Newport, RD: July 27, 1868. Near Fine.
One leaf (two pp.), 52-line poem titled "Memory," written on plain paper. Signed and dated by Tuckerman at end of poem, on verso. Near fine, with just some light spotting. Overall, a lovely manuscript, without any nicks or tears. Memory When the cares of present being, Wake a tumult in the breast, To the Past the spirit fleeing, Lulls its anxious fears to rest. Herbal, book or faded letter Murmurs of departed years, Fancy freed from Custom's teller, Smiles serenely through her tears. Roaming then the hallowed places Where we quaffed love's fountain new, When Hope's young and winning graces Pure enchantment round us threw; With the primal transport glowing, Tossed upon the sea of Youth; Life's pale star its course retraces, Back the tides of feeling roll, And the dear remembered faces Rise again before the soul. Eyes where fond rays long have perished Make the languid pulses start, Tones whose echo love has cherished Fall again upon the heart. Hands that smoothed an infants' tresses, The worn brow benignly seek, Lips that hailed a child's caresses, Press again the pallid cheek. Up Time's current meekly stealing, Wafted to a distant land, Mark we with ecstatic feeling, Well-known haunts along the Strand. Streams long mute with charm subduing Greet us in the balmy air, Vistas green o'er senses cooing, Lure us down the winding stair. Forms that long won our devotion Thread again familiar ways, Smiles that wake divine emotion, Beam as in more happy days. At old altars then renewing Vows that fate forbade to keep, Bygone paths of bliss pursuing, Pearls we draw from Sorrow's Deep. Musing thus upon the vanished, Blended grow life's varied hues, And the darker shades are banished Or made bright with early dews. Calmly thus we see things fading In the twilight of the past, To the heart its griefs upbraiding, - Whispering that they cannot last. Henry T. Tuckerman (1813 - 1871) was a Boston-born writer who published acclaimed essays, biographies, poems, and sketches. He was an important part of the New York literary world after 1845, and was friends with major authors like Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Washington Irving. Interestingly, he received an order from the King of Italy "in recognition of his labors on behalf of Italian exiles in the United States." Tuckerman's cousin was Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, a highly respected yet reclusive 19th century poet, who only published one collection, Poems (1860), in his lifetime. It was received favorably by such writers as Hawthorne and Lord Alfred Tennyson. Item #HTT001