A treasured link of shining pearls,
A by-gone melody,
A shower of tears with smiles between--
And this is memory.
A thing so light a breath of air
May waft its life away;
A thing so dark that moments of pain
Seem like some endless day.
A careless word may wound the heart,
And quickly it may die;
Yet in the seas of memory
Forever it will lie.
And sometimes when the tide rolls back
Its waves of joy and pain,
That careless word, though long forgot,
Will wound the heart again.
The restless seas of memory
Are vast and deep and wide;
And every deed that we can know
Sleeps in that tireless tide.
Upon the thoughtless lives of men
Its waves in mockery roll;
And sweep a might of bitter pain
Across each human soul.
And few can stand upon the sands
Beside this boundless sea,
And say with calm unfaltering voice
"It has no grief for me."
The passing wave may bear away
Our deeds and words untrue;
Yet surely as the tide comes in
The wrecks will follow too.