Charles Lamb poems

Charles Lamb(10 February 1775 - 27 December 1834 / London)
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Crumbs To The Birds

- by Charles Lamb 122

A bird appears a thoughtless thing,
He's ever living on the wing,
And keeps up such a carolling,
That little else to do but sing
A man would guess had he.

No doubt he has his little cares,
And very hard he often fares,
The which so patiently he bears,
That, listening to those cheerful airs,
Who knows but he may be

In want of his next meal of seeds?
I think for that his sweet song pleads.
If so, his pretty art succeeds.
I'll scatter there among the weeds
All the small crumbs I see.

A Ballad

- by Charles Lamb 86

In a costly palace Youth goes clad in gold;
In a wretched workhouse Age's limbs are cold:
There they sit, the old men by a shivering fire,
Still close and closer cowering, warmth is their desire.

In a costly palace, when the brave gallants dine,
They have store of good venison, with old canary wine,
With singing and music to heighten the cheer;
Coarse bits, with grudging, are the pauper's best fare.

In a costly palace Youth is still carest
By a train of attendants which laugh at my young Lord's jest;
In a wretched workhouse the contrary prevails:
Does Age begin to prattle?-no man heark'neth to his tales.

In a costly palace if the child with a pin
Do but chance to prick a finger, straight the doctor is called in;
In a wretched workhouse men are left to perish
For want of proper cordials, which their old age might cherish.

In a costly palace Youth enjoys his lust;
In a wretched workhouse Age, in corners thrust,
Think upon the former days, when he was well to do,
Had children to stand by him, both friends and kinsmen too.

In a costly palace Youth his temples hides
With a new devised peruke that reaches to his sides;
In a wretched workhouse Age's crown is bare,
With a few thin locks just to fence out the cold air.

In peace, as in war, 'tis our young gallants' pride,
To walk, each one i' the streets, with a rapier by his side,
That none to do them injury may have pretence;
Wretched Age, in poverty, must brook offence.
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