Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
The Memory of the Heart
By Daniel Webster (1782–1852)
IF stores of dry and learned lore we gain,
We keep them in the memory of the brain;
Names, things, and facts—whate’er we knowledge call,
There is the common ledger for them all;
And images on this cold surface traced        5
Make slight impressions, and are soon effaced.
But we ’ve a page more glowing and more bright,
On which our friendship and our love to write;
That these may never from the soul depart,
We trust them to the memory of the heart.        10
There is no dimming—no effacement here;
Each new pulsation keeps the record clear;
Warm, golden letters, all the tablet fill,
Nor lose their lustre till the heart stands still.

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