Blindness

17 Aug

by Charles Lamb

In a stage-coach, where late I chanced to be,
A little quiet girl my notice caught;
I saw she looked at nothing by the way,
Her mind seemed busy on some childish thought.

I with an old man’s courtesy addressed
The child, and called her pretty dark-eyed maid,
And bid her turn those pretty eyes and see
The wide extended prospect. ‘Sir,’ she said,

‘I cannot see the prospect, I am blind.’
Never did tongue of child utter a sound
So mournful, as her words fell on my ear.
Her mother then related how she found

Her child was sightless. On a fine bright day
She saw her lay her needlework aside,
And, as on such occasions mothers will,
For leaving off her work began to chide.

‘I’ll do it when ’tis daylight, if you please,
I cannot work, mamma, now it is night.’
The sun shone bright upon her when she spoke,
And yet her eyes received no ray of light.

Charles Lamb was born in London in 1775. He studied at Christ’s Hospital where he formed a lifelong friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. When he was twenty years old Lamb suffered a period of insanity.  Lamb worked for the East India Company in London but managed to contribute articles to several journals and newspapers including London Magazine, The Morning Chronicle, Morning Post and The Quarterly Review.  Charles Lamb died in 1834.  (Taken from http://www.poemhunter.com/search/default_poem_poet.asp?q=blindness .  Charles Lamb

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