Home  »  The Book of Georgian Verse  »  Charles Lamb (1775–1834)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

In My Own Album

Charles Lamb (1775–1834)

FRESH clad from heaven in robes of white,

A young probationer of light,

Thou wert my soul, an Album bright,—

A spotless leaf; but thought, and care,

And friend and foe, in foul or fair,

Have ‘written strange defeatures’ there;

And Time with heaviest hand of all,

Like that fierce writing on the wall,

Hath stamp’d sad dates—he can’t recall;

And error gilding worst designs—

Like speckled snake that strays and shines—

Betrays his path by crooked lines;

And vice hath left his ugly blot:

And good resolves, a moment hot,

Fairly began—but finish’d not;

And fruitless, late remorse doth trace—

Like Hebrew lore, a backward pace—

Her irrecoverable race.

Disjointed numbers; sense unknit;

Huge reams of folly, shreds of wit;

Compose the mingled mass of it.

My scalded eyes no longer brook

Upon this ink-blurred thing to look—

Go, shut the leaves, and clasp the book.