The first poem I memorized was a short one. I think I was seven or eight and reading one of my mother's large collected works volumes.
The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of a bright world dies
When day is done.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
~Francis William Bourdillon
I memorized it because I liked the rhythm of the words, but did not understand the meaning behind them until many years later. And when I did feel that light die for the first time, I wished I was still seven, sitting in front of the massive bookcases in our family room surrounded by open volumes. I wanted to be back in the place where the words were make believe and the emotion behind them foreign.