The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 408 pages of information about The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4.


  Methinks how dainty sweet it were, reclined
  Beneath the vast out-stretching branches high
  Of some old wood, in careless sort to lie,
  Nor of the busier scenes we left behind
  Aught envying.  And, O Anna! mild-eyed maid! 
  Beloved!  I were well content to play
  With thy free tresses all a summer’s day,
  Losing the time beneath the greenwood shade. 
  Or we might sit and tell some tender tale
  Of faithful vows repaid by cruel scorn,
  A tale of true love, or of friend forgot;
  And I would teach thee, lady, how to rail
  In gentle sort, on those who practise not
  Or love or pity, though of woman born.


  When last I roved these winding wood-walks green,
  Green winding walks, and shady pathways sweet,
  Oft-times would Anna seek the silent scene,
  Shrouding her beauties in the lone retreat. 
  No more I hear her footsteps in the shade: 
  Her image only in these pleasant ways
  Meets me self-wandering, where in happier days
  I held free converse with the fair-hair’d maid. 
  I pass’d the little cottage which she loved,
  The cottage which did once my all contain;
  It spake of days which ne’er must come again,
  Spake to my heart, and much my heart was moved. 
  “Now fair befall thee, gentle maid!” said I,
  And from the cottage turn’d me with a sigh.



  What reason first imposed thee, gentle name,
  Name that my father bore, and his sire’s sire,
  Without reproach? we trace our stream no higher;
  And I, a childless man, may end the same. 
  Perchance some shepherd on Lincolnian plains,
  In manners guileless as his own sweet flocks,
  Received thee first amid the merry mocks
  And arch allusions of his fellow swains. 
  Perchance from Salem’s holier fields return’d,
  With glory gotten on the heads abhorr’d
  Of faithless Saracens, some martial lord
  Took HIS meek title, in whose zeal he burn’d,
  Whate’er the fount whence thy beginnings came,
  No deed of mine shall shame thee, gentle name.


  If from my lips some angry accents fell,
  Peevish complaint, or harsh reproof unkind,
  ’Twas but the error of a sickly mind
  And troubled thoughts, clouding the purer well,
  And waters clear, of Reason; and for me
  Let this my verse the poor atonement be—­
  My verse, which thou to praise wert ever inclined
  Too highly, and with a partial eye to see
  No blemish.  Thou to me didst ever show
  Kindest affection; and would oft-times lend
  An ear to the desponding lovesick lay,
  Weeping my sorrows with me, who repay
  But ill the mighty debt of love I owe,
  Mary, to thee, my sister and my friend.

Project Gutenberg
The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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