“The Passions” by Joseph Merrifield
By Joseph Merrifield
From Godey’s Magazine, September 1853, pg. 264
How sweet, how soothing the relief,
To hearts oppressed with present grief,
In Memory’s retrospect to view
Those flowery scenes that once we knew!
The cord invisible that binds
In sympathy two kindred minds;
Where heart to heart responsive thrills,
Partaking mutual joys and ills.
The keenest shaft that Envy shoots—
A thought that Candor oft refutes—
A self-inflicted wound, we feel
That woman’s smile alone can heal.
Through memory oft a solace brings,
Recalling past and pleasant things,
Still memory’s pleasures ne’er can cope
With life’s sweet balmy soother—HOPE.
If ‘mongst the passions of the heart
LOVE held not much the greater part,
What would the other passions be?
A fleet of ships without a sea!
The darkest passion of the heart,
Where Rage and Hatred claim a part,
And deaf to Mercy’s pleading voice,
O’er prostrate Innocence rejoice!
The utmost depths of human woe
That mortal man can ever know—
By blighted hopes to madness driven,
He flies from earth, and forfeits heaven!