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.

  Think not I shall do that wrong
  Either to my native tongue,
  English authors to despise,
  Or those books which you so prize;
  Though from them awhile I stray,
  By new studies call’d away,
  Them when next I take in hand,
  I shall better understand. 
  For I’ve heard wise men declare
  Many words in English are
  From the Latin tongue deriv’d,
  Of whose sense girls are depriv’d
  ’Cause they do not Latin know.—­
  But if all this anger grow
  From this cause, that you suspect
  By proceedings indirect,
  I would keep (as misers pelf)
  All this learning to myself;
  Sister, to remove this doubt,
  Rather than we will fall out,
  (If our parents will agree)
  You shall Latin learn with me.


  “Your prayers you have said, and you’ve wished Good night: 
    What cause is there yet keeps my darling awake? 
  This throb in your bosom proclaims some affright
    Disturbs your composure.  Can innocence quake?

  “Why thus do you cling to my neck, and enfold me,
    What fear unimparted your quiet devours?”
  “O mother, there’s reason—­for Susan has told me,
    A dead body lies in the room next to ours.”

  “I know it; and, but for forgetfulness, dear,
    I meant you the coffin this day should have seen,
  And read the inscription, and told me the year
    And day of the death of your poor old Nurse Green.”

  “O not for the wealth of the world would I enter
    A chamber wherein a dead body lay hid,
  Lest somebody bolder than I am should venture
    To go near the coffin and lift up the lid.”

  “And should they do so and the coffin uncover,
    The corpse underneath it would be no ill sight;
  This frame, when its animal functions are over,
    Has nothing of horror the living to fright.

  “To start at the dead is preposterous error,
    To shrink from a foe that can never contest;
  Shall that which is motionless move thee to terror;
    Or thou become restless, ’cause they are at rest?

  “To think harm of her our good feelings forbid us
    By whom when a babe you were dandled and fed;
  Who living so many good offices did us,
    I ne’er can persuade me would hurt us when dead.

  “But if no endeavour your terrors can smother,
    If vainly against apprehension you strive,
  Come, bury your fears in the arms of your mother;
    My darling, cling close to me, I am alive.”


  In whatsoever place resides
  Good Temper, she o’er all presides;
  The most obdurate heart she guides.

  Even Anger yields unto her power,
  And sullen Spite forgets to lour,
  Or reconciled weeps a shower;

  Reserve she softens into Ease,
  Makes Fretfulness leave off to teaze,
  She Waywardness itself can please.

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