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THE

POETICAL WORKS

OF

CHARLES L A M B.

DEDICATION.*

ΤΟ

S. T. COLERIDGE, ESQ.

MY DEAR COLERIDGE, You will sınile to see the slender labours of your friend designated by the title of works ; but such was the wish of the gentlemen who have kindly undertaken the trouble of collecting them, and from their judgment could be no appeal.

It would be a kind of disloyalty to offer to any one but yourself a volume containing the early pieces, which were first published among your poems, and were fairly derivatives from you and them. My friend Lloyd and myself came into our first battle (authorship is a sort of warfare) under cover of the greater Ajax. How this association, which shall always be a dear and proud recollection to me, came to be broken-who snapped the three-fold cord — whether yourself (but I know that was not the case) grew ashamed of your former companions-or whether (which is by much the more probable) some ungracious bookseller was author of the separation-I cannot tell; but wanting the support of your friendly elm, (I speak for myself,) my vine has, since that time, put forth few or nó fruits; the sap (if ever it had any) has become, in a manner, dried up and extinct; and you will find your old associate, in his second volume, dwindled into prose and criticism.

Am I right in assuming this as the cause? or is it that, as years come upon us, (except with some more healthy-happy spirits,) life itself loses much of its poetry for us? we transcribe but what we read in the great volume of Nature ; and, as the characters grow dim, we turn off, and look another way. You yourself write no Christables or Ancient Mariners now.

Some of the sonnets, which shall be carelessly turned over by the general reader, may happily awaken in you remembrances which I should be sorry should be ever totally extinct-the memory

"Of summer days and delightful years"even so far back as to those old suppers at our old ********** Inn--when life was fresh and topics exhaustless-and you first kindled in me, if not the power, yet the love of poetry, and beauty, and kindliness.

"What words have I heard

Spoke at the Mermaid !" The world has given you many a shrewd nip and gird since that time, but either my eyes are grown dimmer, or my old friend is the same who stood be. fore me three-and-twenty years ago-his hair a little confessing the hand of time, but still shrouding the saine capacious brain-his heart not altered, scarcely where it “alteration finds."

One piece, Coleridge, I have ventured to publish in its original form, though I have heard you complain of a certain over-imitation of the antique in the

• Prefixed to the author's works published in 1818.

style. If I could see any way of getting rid of the objection without rewriting it entirely, I would make some sacrifices. But when I wrote John Woodvil, I never proposed to myself any distinct deviation from common English. I had been newly initiated in the writings of our elder dramatists; Beau. mont and Fletcher, and Massinger, were then a first love; and from what I was so freshly conversant in, what wonder if my language imperceptibly took a tinge? The very time which I had chosen for my story, that which immediately followed the restoration, seemed to require, in an English play, that the English should be of rather an older cast than that of the precise year in which it happened to be written. I wish it had not some faulls, which I can loss vindicate than the language.

I remain,
My dear Coleridge,

Yours,
With onalated esteem,

C. LAMB

CONTENTS.

POEMS.

PAGE Hester

483 To Charles Lloyd, an Unexpected Visiter

484 The Three Friends

485 To a River in which a Child was drowned.

490 The Old Familiar Faces

490 A Vision of Repentance.

491 Queen Oriana's Dream.

493 A Ballad, noting the Difference of Rich and Poor, in the ways of a rich Noble's Palace and a poor Workhouse..

494 Hypochondriacus

495 A Farewell to Tobacco .

496 To T. L. H., a Child

500 Ballad, from the German

501 Lines on the celebrated Picture by Leonardo da Vinci, called the Vir. gin of the Rocks

502

SONNETS.
I. To Miss Kelly
II. On the Sight of Swans in Kensington Garden
III.
IV.

V.
VI.
VII.
VIII. The Family Name.
IX. To John Lamb, Esq., of the South Sea House
X.
XI.

503 503 504 504 505 505 506 506 507 507 508

BLANK VERSE. Childhood.

509 The Grandame

509 The Sabbath Bells

510 Fancy employed on Divine Subjects

511 Composed at Midnight

511 John Woodvil, a Tragedy

513 The Witch, a Dramatic Sketch of the Seventeenth Century

549 ALBUM VERSES, &c. In the Album of a Clergyman's Lady

553 In the Autograph Book of Mrs. Sergeant W.

553 In the Album of Edith S.

554 To Dora W on being asked by her Father to write in her Album 554 In the Album of Rotha Q

555 In the Album of Catharine Orkney

555 In the Album of Lucy Barton

556 In the Album of Miss

557 In the Album of Mrs. Jane Towers

557

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