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.

  His observation none impeach’d or blam’d,
  But every man and woman when ’twas nam’d
  Drew in the head, or slunk away asham’d.

  One monkey, who had more pride than the other,
  His infinite chagrin could scarcely smother;
  But Pug the wiser said unto his brother: 

  “The slights and coolness of this human nation
  Should give a sensible ape no mort’fication;
  ’Tis thus they always serve a poor relation.”



  Once on a time, Love, Death, and Reputation,
    Three travellers, a tour together went;
  And, after many a long perambulation,
    Agreed to part by mutual consent.

  Death said:  “My fellow tourists, I am going
    To seek for harvests in th’ embattled plain;
  Where drums are beating, and loud trumpets blowing,
    There you’ll be sure to meet with me again”

  Love said:  “My friends, I mean to spend my leisure
    With some young couple, fresh in Hymen’s bands;
  Or ’mongst relations, who in equal measure
    Have had bequeathed to them house or lands.”

  But Reputation said:  “If once we sever,
    Our chance of future meeting is but vain: 
  Who parts from me, must look to part for ever,
    For Reputation lost comes not again.”


  A Sparrow, when Sparrows like Parrots could speak,
    Addressed an old Hen who could talk like a Jay: 
  Said he, “It’s unjust that we Sparrows must seek
    Our food, when your family’s fed every day.

  “Were you like the Peacock, that elegant bird,
    The sight of whose plumage her master may please,
  I then should not wonder that you are preferr’d
    To the yard, where in affluence you live at your ease.

  “I affect no great style, am not costly in feathers,
    A good honest brown I find most to my liking,
  It always looks neat, and is fit for all weathers,
    But I think your gray mixture is not very striking.

  “We know that the bird from the isles of Canary
    Is fed, foreign airs to sing in a fine cage;
  But your note from a cackle so seldom does vary,
    The fancy of man it cannot much engage.

  “My chirp to a song sure approaches much nearer,
    Nay, the Nightingale tells me I sing not amiss;
  If voice were in question I ought to be dearer;
    But the Owl he assures me there’s nothing in this.

  “Nor is it your proneness to domestication,
    For he dwells in man’s barn, and I build in man’s thatch,
  As we say to each other—­but, to our vexation,
    O’er your safety alone man keeps diligent watch.”

  “Have you e’er learned to read?” said the Hen to the Sparrow. 
    “No, Madam,” he answer’d, “I can’t say I have,”
  “Then that is the reason your sight is so narrow,”
    The old Hen replied, with a look very grave.

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