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.

    Two long years did intervene
  Since they’d either of them seen,
  Or, by letter, any word
  Of their old companion heard,—­
  When, upon a day, once walking,
  Of indifferent matters talking,
  They a female figure met;—­
  Martha said to Margaret,
  “That young maid in face does carry
  A resemblance strong of Mary.” 
  Margaret, at nearer sight,
  Own’d her observation right: 
  But they did not far proceed
  Ere they knew ’twas she indeed. 
  She—­but ah! how chang’d they view her
  From that person which they knew her! 
  Her fine face disease had scarr’d,
  And its matchless beauty marr’d:—­
  But enough was left to trace
  Mary’s sweetness—­Mary’s grace. 
  When her eye did first behold them,
  How they blush’d!—­but, when she told them
  How on a sick bed she lay
  Months, while they had kept away,
  And had no inquiries made
  If she were alive or dead;—­
  How, for want of a true friend,
  She was brought near to her end,
  And was like so to have died,
  With no friend at her bed-side;—­
  How the constant irritation,
  Caus’d by fruitless expectation
  Of their coming, had extended
  The illness, when she might have mended,—­
  Then, O then, how did reflection
  Come on them with recollection! 
  All that she had done for them,
  How it did their fault condemn!

    But sweet Mary, still the same,
  Kindly eas’d them of their shame;
  Spoke to them with accents bland,
  Took them friendly by the hand;
  Bound them both with promise fast,
  Not to speak of troubles past;
  Made them on the spot declare
  A new league of friendship there;
  Which, without a word of strife,
  Lasted thenceforth long as life. 
  Martha now and Margaret
  Strove who most should pay the debt
  Which they ow’d her, nor did vary
  Ever after from their Mary.


  I have taught your young lips the good words to say over,
    Which form the petition we call the Lord’s Pray’r,
  And now let me help my dear child to discover
    The meaning of all the good words that are there. 
  “Our Father,” the same appellation is given
    To a parent on earth, and the parent of all—­
  O gracious permission, the God that’s in heaven
    Allows his poor creatures him Father to call.

  To “hallow his name,” is to think with devotion
    Of it, and with reverence mention the same;
  Though you are so young, you should strive for some notion
    Of the awe we should feel at the Holy One’s name.

  His “will done on earth, as it is done in heaven,”
    Is a wish and a hope we are suffer’d to breathe,
  That such grace and favour to us may be given,
    Like good angels on high we may live here beneath.

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