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In this bad world, when she was dead and gone :
And where a tear hath sat (take shame, O son !)
When that same child'has proved himself unkind.
One parent yet is left — a wretched thing,
A sad survivor of his buried wife,
A palsy-smitten, childish, old, old man,
A semblance most forlorn of what he was,
A merry cheerful man. A merrier man,
A man more apt to frame matter for mirth,
Mad jokes, and antics for a Christmas eve ;
Making life social, and the laggard time
To move on nimbly, never yet did cheer
The little circle of domestic friends.



WRITTEN A TWELVEMONTH AFTER THE

EVENTS.

(SEPTEMBER, I797.)

t " Friday next, Coleridge, is the day on which my
Mother died." )



Alas 1 how am I changed ! Where be the tears.
The sobs, and forced suspensions of the breath.
And all the dull desertions of the heart.
With which I hung o'er my dead mother's corse ?
Where be the blest subsidings of the storm,
Within the sweet resignedness of hope
Drawn heavenward, and strength of filial love,
In which I bow'd me to my Father's will ?



BLANK VERSE. 305

My God, and my Redeemer ! keep not thou
My soul in brute and sensual thanklessness
Seal'd up ; oblivious ever of that dear grace
And health restored to my long-loved friend,
Long-loved, and worthy known. Thou didst not

leave
Her soul in death ! O leave not now, my Lord,
Thy servants in far worse, in spiritual death !
And darkness blacker than those feared shadows
Of the valley all must tread. Lend us thy balms,
Thou dear Physician of the sin-sick soul.
And heal our cleansed bosoms of the wounds
With which the world has pierced us thro' and thro'.
Give us new flesh, new birth. Elect of heaven
May we become ; in thine election sure
Contain'd, and to one purpose stedfast drawn.
Our soul's salvation 1

Thou, and I, dear friend.
With filial recognition sweet, shall know
One day the face of our dear mother in heaven ;
And her remember'd looks of love shall greet
With answering looks of love ; her placid smiles
Meet with a smile as placid, and her hand
With drops of fondness wet, nor fear repulse.
Be witness for me, Lord, I do not ask
Those days of vanity to return again,
(Nor fitting me to ask, nor thee to give).
Vain loves and wand'rings with a fair-haired maid
(Child of the dust as I am) who so long
My foolish heart steeped in idolatry,
And creature loves. Forgive it, my Maker !
If in a mood of grief I sin almost
In sometimes brooding on the days long past,
And from the grave of time wishing them back,



310 BLANK VERSE.

Days of a mother's fondness to her child,
Her little one.

O where be now those sports,
And infant play-games ? where the joyous troops
Of children, and the haunts I do so love?

my companions, O ye loved names

Of friend or playmate dear ; gone are ye now ;
Gone diverse ways ; to honour and credit some,
And some, I fear, to ignominy and shame !

1 only am left, with unavailing grief.

To mourn one parent dead, and see one live

Of all life's joys bereft and desolate :

Am left with a few friends, and one, above

The rest found faithful in a length of years,

Contented as 1 may, to bear me on

To the not unpeaceful evening of a day

Made black by morning storms !



WRITTEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, 1797.



I AM a widow'd thing, now thou art gone ;
Now thou art gone, my own familiar friend,
Companion, sister, help-mate, counsellor !
Alas ! that honour'd mind, whose sweet reproof
And meekest wisdom in times past have smooth'd
The unfilial harshness of my foolish speech,
And made me loving to my parents old,
(Why is this so, ah, God ! why is this so ?)
That honour'd mind become a fearful blank,
Her senses lock'd up, and herself kept out



BLANK VERSE. 311

Froni human sight or converse, v^rhile so many
Of the foolish sort are left to roam at large,
Doing all acts of folly, and sin, and shame ?
Thy paths are mystery 1

Yet I will not think,
Sweet friend, but we shall one day meet, and live
In quietness, and die so fearing God.
Or if not, and these false suggestions be
A fit of the weak nature, loth to part
With what it loved so long, and held so dear ;
If thou art to be taken, and I left
(More sinning, yet unpunish'd save in thee).
It is the will of God, and we are clay
In the potter's hands ; and, at the worst, are made
From absolute nothing, vessels of disgrace.
Till, his most righteous purpose wrought in us,
Our purified spirits find their perfect rest.



AFTER A VISIT TO LLOYD.



A STRANGER, and alone, I pass those scenes
We past so late together; and my heart
Felt something like desertion, as I look'd
Around me, and the pleasant voice of friend
Was absent, and the cordial look was there
No more to smile on me. I thought on Lloyd —
All he had been to me ! And now I go
Again to mingle with a world impure ;
With men who make a mock of holy things.
Mistaken, and on man's best hope think scorn.
The world does much to warp the heart of man ;
And I may sometimes join its idiot laugh :



312 BLANK VERSE.

Of this I now complain not. Deal with me,

Omniscient Father, as Thou judgest best.

And in Thy season, soften Thou my heart.

I pray not for myself : I pray for him

Whose soul is sore perplexed. Shine Thou on him,

Father of lights ! and in the difficult paths

Make plain his way before him : his own thoughts

May he not think — his own ends not pursue —

So shall he best perform Thy will on earth.

Greatest and Best, Thy will be ever ours !



TO THE POET COVVPER, 1796.



CowPER, I thank my God that thou art heal'd !
Thine was the sorest malady of all :
And I am sad to think that it should light
Upon the worthy head ! But thou art heal'd.
And thou art still, we trust, the destined man,
Born to reanimate the lyre, whose chords
Have slumber'd, and have idle lain so long;
To the immortal sounding of whose strings
Did Milton frame the stately-paced verse ;
Among whose verses with light finger playing.
Our elder bard, Spenser, a gentle name,
The lady Muses' dearest darling child.
Elicited the deftest tunes yet heard
In hall or bower, taking the delicate ear
Of Sidney and his peerless Maiden Queen.

Thou, then, take up the mighty epic strain,
Cowper, of EnglamVs Bards, the wisest and the best.



BLANK VERSE. 3I3



LIVING WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD.



Mystery of God ! thou brave and beauteous world,

Made fair with light and shade and stars, and flowers,

Made fearful and august with woods and rocks ;

Jagg'd precipice, black mountain, sea in storms,

Sun, over all, that no co-rival owns,

But thro' Heaven's pavement rides as in despite

Or mockery of the littleness of man !

I see a mighty arm, by man unseen,

Resistless, not to be controU'd, that guides,

In solitude of unshared energies.

All these thy ceaseless miracles, O world !

Arm of the world, I view thee, and I muse

On man, who, trusting in his mortal strength,

Leans on a shadowy staff, a staff of dreams.

We consecrate our total hopes and fears

To idols, flesh and blood, our love (heaven's due),

Our praise and admiration ; praise bestow'd

By man on man, and acts of worship done

To a kindred nature, certes do reflect

Some portion of the glory and rays oblique

Upon the politic worshipper, — so man

Extracts a pride from his humility.

Some braver spirits of the modern stamp

Affect a God-head nearer : these talk loud

Of mind, and independent intellect.

Of energies omnipotent in man ;

And man of his own fate artificer ;

Yea of his own life lord, and of the di ys

Of his abode on earth, when time shall be.

That life immortal shall become an art.



3H



BLANK VERSE.



Or Death, by chymic practices deceived,

Forego the scent, which for six thousand years

Like a good hound he has followed, or at length

More manners learning, and a decent sense

And reverence of a philosophic world,

Relent, and leave to prey on carcasses.

But these are fancies of a few : the rest,

Atheists, or Deists only in the name.

By word or deed deny a God. They eat

Their daily bread, and draw the breath of heaven

Without or thought or thanks : heaven's roof to them

Is but a painted ceiling hung with lamps,

No more, that lights them to their purposes.

They wander " loose about," they nothing see,

Themselves except, and creatures like themselves,

Short-lived, short-sighted, impotent to save.

So on their dissolute spirits, soon or late,

Destruction cometh, " like an armed man,"

Or like a dream of murder in the night,

Withering their mortal faculties, and breaking

The bones of all their pride.



ALBUM VERSES.



DEDICATION.



TO THE PUBLISHER.

Dear Moxon, — I do not know to whom a Dedication of these
Trifles is more properly due than to yourself. You suggested the
printing of them. You were desirous of exhibiting a specimen of the
manner in which Publications, intrusted to your future care, would
appear. With more propriety, perhaps, the " Christmas,- ' or some
other of your own simple, unpretending Compositions, might have
served this purpose. But I forget — you have bid a long adieu to the
Muses. I had on my hands sundry Copies of Verses written for
Albums —

Those books kept by modern young Ladies for show,
Of which their plain Grandmothers nothing did know —

or otherwise floating about in Periodicals ; which you have chosen in
this manner to embody, I feel little interest in their publication.
They are simply — Advertisement Verses.



3l6 ALBUM VKRSES.

It is not for me, nor you, to allude in public to the kindness ot our
honoured Friend, under whose auspices you are become a Publisher.
May that fine-minded Veteran in Verse enjoy life long enough to see
his patronage justified ! I venture to predict that your lidbits of
industry, and your cheerful spirit, will carry you through the world.

I am. Dear Moxon, your Fif<;nd and sincere Well-Wisher,

Charles Lamb.

Enfield, \st June, 1839.



ALBUM VERSES.



IN THE AUTOGRAPH OF MRS.
SERGEANT W .



Had I a power, Lady, to my will,
You should not want Hand Writings. I would fill
Your leaves with Autographs — resplendent names
Of Knights and Squires of old, and courtly Dames,
Kings, Emperors, Popes. Next under these should

stand
The hands of famous Lawyers — a grave band —
Who in their Courts of Law or Equity
Have best upheld Freedom and Property.
These should, moot cases in your book, and vie
To show their reading and their Sergeantry.
But I have none of these ; nor can I send
The notes by Bullen to her Tyrant penn'd
In her authentic hand ; nor in soft hours
Lines writ by Rosamund in Clifford's bowers.
The lack of curious Signature I moan.
And want the courage to subscribe my own.



ALBUM VERSES. 317



TO DORA W



ON BEING ASKED BY HER FATHER TO WRITE IN HER

ALBUM.



An Album is a Banquet : from the store,
In his intelligential Orchard growing,
Your Sire might heap your board to overflowing :
One shaking of the Tree — 'twould ask no more
To set a salad forth, more rich than that
Which Evelyn in his princely cookery fancied :
Or that more rare, by Eve's neat hands enhanced,
Where, a pleased guest, the Angelic Virtue sat.
But like the all-grasping Founder of the Feast,
Whom Nathan to the sinning king did tax.
From his less wealthy neighbours he exacts ;
Spares his own flocks, and takes the poor man's

beast.
Obedient to his bidding, lo, I am,
A zealous, meek, contributory Lamb.



IN THE ALBUM OF A CLERGYMAN'S LADY.



An Album is a Garden, not for show

Planted, but use ; where wholesome herbs should

grow;
A Cabinet of curious porcelain, where



2l8 ALBUM VERSES.

No fancy enters, but what's rich or rare ;

A Chapel, where mere ornamental things

Are pure as crowns of saints, or angels' wings ;

A List of living friends ; a holier Room

For names of some since mouldering in the tomb,

Whose blooming memories life's cold laws survive

And, dead elsewhere, they here yet speak and live.

Such, and so tender, should an Album be ;

And, Lady, such I wish this book to thee.



IN THE ALBUM OF EDITH S-



In Christian world Mary the garland wears.

Rebecca sweetens on a Hebrew's ear ;

Quakers for pure Priscilla are more clear ;

And the light Gaul by amorous Ninon swears.

Among the lesser lights how Lucy shines 1

What air of fragrance Rosamond throws round 1

How like a hymn doth sweet Cecilia sound !

Of Marthas, and of Abigails, few lines

Have bragg'd in verse. Of coarsest household stuff

Should homely Joan be fashion'd. But can

You Barbara resist, or Marian ?

And is not Clare for love excuse enough ?

Yet, by my faith in numbers, I profess,

These all, than Saxon Edith, please me less.



IN THE ALBUM OF ROTHA Q-



A PASSING glance was all I caught of thee.
In my own Enfield haunts at random roving.



ALBUM VERSES. 319

Old friends of ours were with thee, faces loving ;

Time short : and salutations cursory,

Though deep, and hearty. The familiar Name

Of you, yet unfamiliar, raised in me

Thoughts — what the daughter of that Man should be,

Who call'd our Wordsworth friend. My thoughts

did frame
A growing Maiden, who, from day to day
Advancing still in stature and in grace,
Would all her lonely Father's griefs efface,
And his paternal cares with usury pay.
I still retain the phantom, as I can ;
And call the gentle image — Quillinan.



IN THE ALBUM OF CATHERINE ORKNEY.



Canadia ! boast no more the toils
Of hunters for the furry spoils ;
Your whitest ermines are but foils
To brighter Catherine Orkney.

That such a flower should ever burst
From climes with rigorous Winter curst 1-
We bless you, that so kindly nurst

This flower, this Catherine Orkney.

We envy not your proud display
Of lake — wood — vast Niagara ;
Your greatest pride we've borne away.
How spared you Catherine Orkney ?



S'-'O ALBUM VERSES.

That Wolfe on Heights of Abraham fell,
To your reproach no more we tell :
Canadia, you repaid us well

With rearing Catherine Orkney.

O Britain, guard with tenderest care,
The charge allotted to your share :
You've scarce a native maid so fair,
So good, as Catherine Orkney.



IN THE ALBUM OF LUCY BARTON



Little Book, surnamed of white,
Clean as yet, and fair to sight.
Keep thy attribution right.

Never disproportion'd scrawl,
Ugly blot, that's worse than all,
On thy maiden clearness fall !

In each letter, here design'd.
Let the reader emblem'd find
Neatness of the owner's mind.

Gilded margins count a sin :
Let thy leaves attraction win
By the golden rules within ;

Sayings fetch'd from sages old.
Laws which Holy Writ unfold.
Worthy to be graved in gold ;



ALBUM VERSES. 32I

Lighter fancies not excluding ;
Blameless wit, with nothing rude in,
Sometimes mildly interluding

Amid strains of graver measure :
Virtue's self hath oft her pleasure
In sweet Muses' groves of leisure.

Riddles dark, perplexing sense ;

Darker meanings of offence ;

What but shades — be banish'd hence!

Whitest thoughts in whitest dress,
Candid meanings, best express
Mind of quiet Quakeress.



IN THE ALBUM OF MRS. JANE TOWERS



Lady unknown, who crav'st from me Unknown
The trifle of a verse these leaves to grace.
How shall I find fit matter ? with what face
Address a face that ne'er to me was shown ?
Thy looks, tones, gesture, manners, and what not,
Conjecturing, I wander in the dark.
I know thee only Sister to Charles Clarke !
But at that name my cold Muse waxes hot,
And swears that thou art such a one as he,
Warm, laughter-loving, with a touch of madness,
Wild, glee-provoking, pouring oil of gladness
From frank heart without guile. And if thou be
The pure reverse of this, and I mistake —
Demure one, I will like thee for his sake.

VOL. VL Y



322 ALBUM VERSES.

IN THE ALBUM OF MISS



I.

Such goodness in your face doth shinC;
With modest look, without design,
That I despair, poor pen of mine
Can e'er express it.

To give it words I feebly try ;
My spirits fail me to supp)/
Befitting language for't, and i
Can only bless it 1

11.

But stop, rash verse ! and don't abuse
A bashful Maiden's ear with news
Of her own virtues. She'll refuse
Praise sung so loudly.

Of that same goodness you admire.
The best part is, she doesn't aspne
To praise — nor of herself desire
To think too proudly.



IN MY OWN ALBUM.



Fresh clad from heaven in robes of while,

A young probationer of light.

Thou wert, my soul, an album brighi,

A spotless leaf; but thought, and care,

And friend and foe, in foul or fair.

Have " written strange defeatures" there t



ALBUM VERSES. 323

And Time with heaviest hand of all,
Like that fierce writing on the wall,
Hath stamp'd sad dates — he can't recall ;

And Error gilding worst designs —

Like speckled snake that strays and shines —

Betrays his path by crooked lines ;

And Vice hath left his ugly blot ;
And good resolves, a moment hot.
Fairly began — but finish'd not ;

And fruitless, late Remorse doth trace^ -
Like Hebrew lore a backward pace —
Her irrecoverable race.

Disjointed numbers, sense unknit,
Huge reams of folly, shreds of wit,
Compose the mingled mass of it.

My scalded eyes no longer brook
Upon this ink-blurr'd thing to look :
Go, shut the leaves, and clasp the book !



FOR THE ALBUM OF MISS , FRENCH

TEACHER AT MRS. GISBORN'S SCHOOL,
ENFIELD.



Implored for verse, I send you what I can ;
But you are so exact a French-woman,
As I am told, Jemima, that I fear
To wound with English your Parisian ear,



Y 2



32+



ALBUM VERSES.



And think I do your curious volume wrong,

With lines not written in the Frenchman's tongue.

Had I a knowledge equal to my will,

With airy chansons I your leaves would fill ;

With/a6^^5 that should emulate the vein

Of sprightly Gresset or of La Fontaine ;

Or scenes comiques that should approach the air

Of your favourite, renowned Moliere.

But at my suit the Muse of France looks sour,

And strikes me dumb ! Yet what is in my power

To testify respect for you, I pray

Take in plain English, — our rough Enfield way.



LINES

WRITTEN IN A COPY OF "JOHN WOODVIL," l8o2.



What is an Album ?

September 7, 1830.

'Tis a book kept by modern young ladies for show,
Of which their plain grandmothers nothing did know;
A medley of scraps, half verse and half prose.
And some things not very like either — God knows.
The first, soft effusions of beaus and of belles,
Of future Lord Byrons, and sweet L. E. L.'s;
Where wise folk and simple both equally join,
And _}'o?< write your nonsense that I may write mine;
Stick in a fine landscape to make a display —
A flowerpiece, a foreground, all tinted so gay,
That Nature herself, could she see them, would strike
With envy, to think that she ne'er did the like.



ALBUM VERSES. 325

And since some Lavaters, with head-pieces comical,
Have agreed to pronounce people's heads physiog-
nomical,
Be sure that you stuff it with autographs plenty,
All penn'd in a fashion so stiff and so dainty.
They no more resemble folk's ordinary writing
Than lines penn'd with pains do extempore writing,
Or our every-day countenance, (pardon the stric

ture,)
The faces we make when we sit for our picture.
Then have you, Madelina, an Album complete.
Which may you live to finish, and I live to see it !

C. Lamb.



TO M. I F-



{Expecting to see her again after a long interval.)



How many wasting, many wasted years,
Have run their round, since I beheld your face !
In Memory's dim eye it yet appears
Crown'd, as it then seem'd, with a cheerful grace,
Young prattling maiden, on the Thames' fair side,
Enlivening pleasant Sunbury with your smiles.
Time may have changed you : coy reserve, or pride,
To sullen looks reduced those mirthful wiles.



326 ALBUM VERSES.

I will not 'bate one inch on that clear brow.

But take of Time a rigorous account

When next I see you ; and Maria now

Must be the thing she was. To what amount

^"hese verses else ? — All hollow and untrue —

This was not writ, these lines not meant, for Tou.



FOR THE " TABLE BOOK."



Laura, too partial to her friends' enditing,
Requires from each a pattern of their writing.
A weightier trifle Laura might command ;
For who to Laura would refuse his — hand ?



IN THE ALBUM OF A VERY YOUNG LADY.



Joy to unknown Josepha who, I hear,

Of all good gifts, to Music most is given ;

Science divine, which through the enraptured car

Enchants the soul, and lifts it nearer Heaven.

Parental smiles approvingly attend

Her pliant conduct of the trembling keys.

And listening strangers their glad suffrage lend.

Most musical is Nature. Birds — and bees

At their sweet labour — sing. The moaning winds

Rehearse a lesson to attentive minds.

In louder tones " Deep unto deep doth call :''

And there is music in the waterfall.



ALBUM VERSES. 327



IN THE ALBUM OF MISS DAUBENY.



Some poets by poetic law

Have beauties praised they never saw ;

And sung of Kittys and of Nancys,

Whose charms but lived in their own fancies.

So I, to keep my Muse a-going.

That willingly would still be doing,

A Canzonet or two must try

In praise of — pretty Daubeny.

But whether she indeed be comely.

Or only very good and homely,

Of my own eyes I cannot say ;

I trust to Emma Isola.

But sure I think her voice is tunefu!,

As smoothest birds that sing in June full ;

For else would strangely disagree

The flowing name of — Daubeny.

I hear that she a Book hath got —
As what young damsel now hath not,
In which they scribble favourite fancies,
Copied from poems or romances ?
And prettiest draughts, of her design.
About the curious Album shine ;
And therefore she shall have for me
The style of — tasteful Daubeny



328 ALBUM VERSES.

Thus fai I have taken on believing;
But well I know without deceiving,
That in her heart she keeps alive still
Old school-day likings, which survive still
In spite of absence — worldly coldness —
And thereon can my Muse take boldnes.-i
To crown her other praises three
With praise oi— friendly Daubeny.



TO EMMA ISOLA.



External gifts of fortune or of face.

Maiden, in truth, thou hast not much to show ;

Much fairer damsels have I known, and knov^,

And richer may be found in every place.

In thy mind seek thy beauty and thy wealth.

Sincereness lodgeth there, the soul's best health.

O guard that treasure above gold or pearl.

Laid up secure from moths and worldly stealth —

And take my benison, plain-hearted girl.



ON BEING ASKED TO WRITE IN MISS
WESTWOOD'S ALBUM.



My feeble muse, that fain her best would
Write, at command of Frances Westwood,
But feel her wits not in their best mood,
Fell lately on some idle fancies.



ALBUM VERSES. 329

As she's much given to romances,
About this self-same style of Frances :
Which seems to be a name in common
Attributed to man or woman.

She thence contrived this flattering moral,
With which she hopes no soul will quarrel,
That She whom this Twin Title decks.
Combines what's good in either sex ;
Un\tes — how very rare the case is —
Masculine sense to female graces ;
And (quitting not her proper rank,
Is botK in one — Fanny and Frank.

Charles I.amb, 12th Oct , 1827.



ACROSTICS.



I.

TO CAROLINE MARIA APPLEBEE.



Caroline glides smooth in verse,
And is easy to rehearse ;
Runs just like some crystal river
O'er its pebbly bed for ever.
Lines as harsh and quaint as mine
In their close at least will shine,
Nor from sweetness can decline,
Ending but with Caroline.

Maria asks a statelier pace —
"Ave Maria, full of grace !"
Romish rites before me rise,
Image-worship, sacrifice,
And well-meant but mistaken pieties.

Apple with Bee doth rougher run.
Paradise was lost by one;
Peace of mind would we regain,
Let us, like the other, strain
Every harmless faculty,
Bee-like at work in our degree,
Ever some sweet task designing,
Extracting still, and still refining.



ACROSTICS. 331

II.

TO CECILIA CATHERINE LAWTON.



Choral service, solemn chanting,
Echoing round cathedrals holy —
Can aught else on earth be wanting
In heaven's bliss to plunge us wholly ?
Let us great Cecilia honour
In the praise we give unto them,
And the merit be upon her.

Cold the heart that would undo them,
And the solemn organ banish
That this sainted Maid invented.
Holy thoughts too quickly vanish,
Ere the expressfon can be vented.
Raise the song to Catherine,
In her torments most divine !
Ne'er by Christians be forgot —
Envied be — this Martyr's lot.

Lawton, who these names combinest.
Aim to emulate their praises ;
Women were they, yet divinest
Truths they taught; and story raises
O'er their mouldering bones a Tomb,



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