By Charles Sangster



     Erase it from my memory! for, lo!
     As I look backward on the devious track,
     Unhappy images are seen to pass,
     Like the wild shapes in a Magician’s glass.
     Making the brain grow dizzy as they go


     And come again, as if employed to rack
     The human mind, and cause the tears to flow
     From Life’s own fountain.  Yes, erase the Past!—
     But, no!—not all—for some green spots are there;
     Small twinkling stars, out-peering through the gloom;


     Warm gleams of sunlight, which do sometimes cast
     Their mellow tints within.  These will entomb
Each sullen shadow in its secret lair,
And Hope may make the future prospect fair.

     Yea; let them rest! I would not banish one


     Stern recollection from its chosen cell.
     Thick clouds may for a moment hide the sun,
     But lessen not his glory; even so,
     We hold within us what of dark and bright
     By our own wills have been implanted there.


     And we can purge from the mind’s crucible
     The scum of Error that excludes the light
     Of Truth.  Experience teacheth us to know
     That light and darkness—moral day and night—
     Are incident to mortals here below.


Yes; let me rather muse on errors past,
The silent monitors that bring us peace at last. [Page 209]