Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CHARLES AND MARY (DECEMBER 27, 1834), by CHRISTOPHER DARLINGTON MORLEY

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CHARLES AND MARY (DECEMBER 27, 1834), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I hear their voices still: the stammering one
Last Line: "that charles is really handsome when asleep."
Alternate Author Name(s): Hall, Galway
Subject(s): Lamb, Charles (1775-1834); Lamb, Mary (1764-1847)

Lamb died just before I left town, and Mr. Ryle of
the E. India House, one of his extors, notified it to me.
... He said Miss L. was resigned and composed at the
event, but it was from her malady, then in mild type, so
that when she saw her brother dead, she observed on his
beauty when asleep and apprehended nothing further.
-- Letter of John Rickman, 24 January, 1835.

I HEAR their voices still: the stammering one
Struggling with some absurdity of jest;
Her quiet words that puzzle and protest
Against the latest outrage of his fun.
So wise, so simple -- has she never guessed
That through his laughter, love and terror run?
For when her trouble came, and darkness pressed,
He smiled, and fought her madness with a pun.

Through all those years it was his task to keep
Her gentle heart serenely mystified.
If Fate's an artist, this should be his pride --
When, in that Christmas season, he lay dead,
She innocently looked. "I always said
That Charles is really handsome when asleep."

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