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.

[Footnote 1:  The name of this man was Desclieux, and the story is to be found in the Abbe Raynal’s History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies, book XIII.]


  With the apples and the plums
  Little Carolina comes,
  At the time of the dessert she
  Comes and drops her new last curt’sy;
  Graceful curt’sy, practis’d o’er
  In the nursery before. 
  What shall we compare her to? 
  The dessert itself will do. 
  Like preserves she’s kept with care,
  Like blanch’d almonds she is fair,
  Soft as down on peach her hair,
  And so soft, so smooth is each
  Pretty cheek as that same peach,
  Yet more like in hue to cherries;
  Then her lips, the sweet strawberries,
  Caroline herself shall try them
  If they are not like when nigh them;
  Her bright eyes are black as sloes,
  But I think we’ve none of those
  Common fruit here—­and her chin
  From a round point does begin,
  Like the small end of a pear;
  Whiter drapery she does wear
  Than the frost on cake; and sweeter
  Than the cake itself, and neater,
  Though bedeck’d with emblems fine,
  Is our little Caroline.


  Why is your mind thus all day long
    Upon your music set;
  Till reason’s swallow’d in a song,
    Or idle canzonet?

  I grant you, Melesinda, when
    Your instrument was new,
  I was well pleas’d to see you then
    Its charms assiduous woo.

  The rudiments of any art
    Or mast’ry that we try,
  Are only on the learner’s part
    Got by hard industry.

  But you are past your first essays;
    Whene’er you play, your touch,
  Skilful, and light, ensures you praise: 
    All beyond that’s too much.

  Music’s sweet uses are, to smooth
    Each rough and angry passion;
  To elevate at once, and soothe: 
    A heavenly recreation.

  But we misconstrue, and defeat
    The end of any good;
  When what should be our casual treat,
    We make our constant food.

  While, to th’ exclusion of the rest,
    This single art you ply,
  Your nobler studies are supprest,
    Your books neglected lie.

  Could you in what you so affect
    The utmost summit reach;
  Beyond what fondest friends expect,
    Or skilful’st masters teach: 

  The skill you learn’d would not repay
    The time and pains it cost,
  Youth’s precious season thrown away,
    And reading-leisure lost.

  A benefit to books we owe,
    Music can ne’er dispense;
  The one does only sound bestow,
    The other gives us sense.


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