The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 755 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3.


Your repentance, my children, I see is unfeign’d,
  You are now my good Robert, and now my good Jane;
And if you never will be naughty again,
  Your fond mother will never look grave.


  In your garb and outward clothing
    A reserved plainness use;
  By their neatness more distinguish’d
    Than the brightness of their hues.

  All the colours in the rainbow
    Serve to spread the peacock’s train;
  Half the lustre of his feathers
    Would turn twenty coxcombs vain.

  Yet the swan that swims in rivers,
    Pleases the judicious sight;
  Who, of brighter colours heedless,
    Trusts alone to simple white.

  Yet all other hues, compared
    With his whiteness, show amiss;
  And the peacock’s coat of colours
    Like a fool’s coat looks by his.


  Whether beneath sweet beds of roses,
  As foolish little Ann supposes,
  The spirit of a babe reposes
      Before it to the body come;
  Or, as philosophy more wise
  Thinks, it descendeth from the skies,—­
      We know the babe’s now in the room.

  And that is all which is quite clear,
  Ev’n to philosophy, my dear. 
      The God that made us can alone
  Reveal from whence a spirit’s brought
  Into young life, to light, and thought;
      And this the wisest man must own.

  We’ll now talk of the babe’s surprise,
  When first he opens his new eyes,
      And first receives delicious food. 
  Before the age of six or seven,
  To mortal children is not given
      Much reason; or I think he would

  (And very naturally) wonder
  What happy star he was born under,
      That he should be the only care
  Of the dear sweet-food-giving lady,
  Who fondly calls him her own baby,
      Her darling hope, her infant heir.


  The motes up and down in the sun
    Ever restlessly moving we see;
  Whereas the great mountains stand still,
    Unless terrible earthquakes there be.

  If these atoms that move up and down
    Were as useful as restless they are,
  Than a mountain I rather would be
    A mote in the sun-beam so fair.


  Henry was every morning fed
  With a full mess of milk and bread. 
  One day the boy his breakfast took,
  And eat it by a purling brook
  Which through his mother’s orchard ran. 
  From that time ever when he can
  Escape his mother’s eye, he there
  Takes his food in th’ open air. 
  Finding the child delight to eat
  Abroad, and make the grass his seat,
  His mother lets him have his way. 

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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