Mementoes of the Past
Where is there a little flower,
To fill the heart with sadness?
What is there in a leafless bower,
To give the spirit gladness?
What is there in the flowing streams,
That bind the traveller fast?
Those transient, visionary gleams
Momentoes of the past!
The little violet in our path,
May give us days of sorrow;
Tis such a fondness memory hath,
Of youthful years to borrow:
Whole volumes, at such times, are read
Within the humblest flower,
As we the paths of childhood tread
If but for one brief hour!
The rust of time, frail memory's strings
May almost wear away;
But one light touch the music brings
Of some forgotten day:
The chord once struck, ah! how it thrills
And vibrates at the heart;
With harmony the bosom fills,
No string forgets it's part.
A lowly flower, a faded leaf,
The murmurs of a stream,
May give, from woe, a short relief.
Bring back a time worn dream;
May waft remembrance back from age,
Its coldness, and its rime
As, for a moment, we engage,
With warm spring's merry time.
Through mists of years, we flutter back
To fair elysian fields,
And wander down a memory's track,
To land the pleasure yields;
Where once we culled the sweetest flowers
Through verdant valleys passed;
Oh, welcome in declining hours,
Mementoes of the past!
The published poem cites M. C. Cooke as the author. I believe him to be British born Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825 ~ 1914). He had little formal education but was well known as a mycologist, illustrator, lecturer, editor, translator and the occasional poet. He was a prolific writer and a skilled artist. His biographer, Mary English, sums him up as a "Victorian Naturalist, Mycologist, Teacher and Eccentric".
So there you have it, the rest of the story and a wonderful poem. Thank you Margo for keeping my train on the rails.