1824 FMN


Charles Lamb Letter to B.W. Procter
(January 29, 1829)
with text of poem ("The Gypsy's Malison")rejected for the 1829 Gem by editor Thomas Hood

[page 1]

Appealing language! unto me
How much thy words impart!
They seem as if designed to be
The Motto of the Heart;
Whose fondest feelings, still the same,
Whate’er its earthly lot,
Prefer alike this touching claim,
And say – "Forget Me Not!"
 

The soldier, who for glory dies,
However bright may seem
The fame he wins in others’ eyes,
Would own that fame a dream,
Did he not hope its better part
Would keep him unforgot.
The chosen motto of his heart
Is still – "Forget Me Not!"
 

[page 2]

The sailor, tost on stormy seas,
Though far his bark may roam
Still hears a voice in every breeze
That wakens thoughts of home.
He thinks upon his distant friends,
His wife, his humble cot;
And from this inmost heart ascends
The prayer – "Forget Me Not!"
 

The sculptor, painter, while they trace
On canvas, or in stone,
Another’s figure, form, or face,
Our motto’s spirit own;
Each thus would like to leave behind
His semblence – and for what?
But that the thought which fills his mind
Is this – "Forget Me Not!"
 
The poet too, who, borne along
In thought to distant time,
Pours forth his inmost soul in song,
Holds fast this hope sublime!
He would a glorious name bequeath,
Oblivion shall not blot,
And round that name his thoughts enwreath
The words – "Forget Me Not!"
 
Our motto is, in truth, the voice
Of nature in the heart;
For who from mortal life, by choice,
Forgotten would depart?

[page 3]

[contd. stanza]
Nor is the wish by grace abhor’d,
Or counted as a spot;
Even the language of Our Lord
Is still – "Forget Me Not!"
 

Within the heart His Spirit speaks
The words of truth divine,
And by its heavenly teaching seeks
To make that heart His shrine.
This is "the still small voice," which all,
In city, or in grot,
May hear and live: its gentle call
Is – "Man, Forget Me Not!"