Sunday, May 5, 2013

Album of the Heart ~ March of 1874

Here is one leaf reserved for me
Among all the sweet memorials free;
And here my simple song might tell
The feelings thou must guess so well.
But could I thus, within thy mind,
One little vacant corner find,
Where no impression yet is seen,
Where no memorial yet has been,
Oh! It should be my sweetest care
To write my name forever there!

The entry is signed with a simple elegant "E"
The poem is from Irish poet Thomas Moore (28 May 1779 – 25 February 1852).  He was a man of many talents: a singer, songwriter, novelist and entertainer.  He led an interesting and well traveled life, though not without controversy.

Research reveals that this poem was written in the blank leaf of a "lady's commonplace book". The tradition of keeping a commonplace book is one that goes back for a number of centuries. Essentially it is a book that is used to organize and keep memorabilia that is devoted to a particular subject, a commonplace book often served as a means of family members passing on valuable information from one generation to another. Great grandmother Flora's Album of the Heart is by this definition a commonplace book, a term new to me.