Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VERSES TO THE MEMORY OF A CHILD NAMED AFTER CHARLES LAMB, by THOMAS NOON TALFOURD



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VERSES TO THE MEMORY OF A CHILD NAMED AFTER CHARLES LAMB, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Our gentle charles has pass'd away
Last Line: The poet and the child.
Alternate Author Name(s): Talfourd, Sergeant
Subject(s): Death - Children; Lamb, Charles (1775-1834); Death - Babies


OUR gentle Charles has pass'd away,
From earth's short bondage free,
And left to us its leaden day
And mist-enshrouded sea.

Here, by the restless ocean's side,
Sweet hours of hope have flown,
When first the triumph of its tide
Seem'd omen of our own.

That eager joy the sea-breeze gave,
When first it raised his hair,
Sunk with each day's retiring wave,
Beyond the reach of prayer.

The sun-blink that through dazzling mist,
To flickering hope akin,
Far waves with feeble fondness kiss'd,
No smile as faint can win;

Yet not in vain with radiance weak
The heavenly stranger gleams --
Not of the world it lights to speak,
But that from whence it streams.

That world our patient sufferer sought,
Serene with pitying eyes,
As if his mounting spirit caught
The wisdom of the skies.

With boundless love it look'd abroad
For one bright moment given,
Shone with a loveliness that awed,
And quiver'd into heaven.

A year made slow by care and toil
Has paced its weary round,
Since death's enrich'd with kindred spoil
The snow-clad, frost-ribb'd ground.

Then Lamb, with whose endearing name
Our boy we proudly graced,
Shrank from the warmth of sweeter fame
Than ever bard embraced.

Still 't was a mournful joy to think
Our darling might supply
For years on earth, a living link
To name that cannot die.

And though such fancy gleam no more
On earthly sorrow's night,
Truth's nobler torch unveils the shore
Where lends to both its light.

The nurseling there that hand may take
None ever grasp'd in vain,
And smiles of well-known sweetness wake,
Without their tinge of pain.

Though 'twixt the child and childlike bard
Late seem'd distinction wide,
They now may trace, in Heaven's regard,
How near they were allied.

Within the infant's ample brow
Blythe fancies lay unfurl'd,
Which, all uncrush'd, may open now
To charm a sinless world.

Though the soft spirit of those eyes
Might ne'er with Lamb's compete --
Ne'er sparkle with a wit as wise,
Or melt in tears as sweet,

That calm and unforgotten look
A kindred love reveals
With his who never friend forsook
Or hurt a thing that feels.

In thought profound, in wildest glee,
In sorrow's lengthening range,
His guileless soul of infancy
Endured no spot or change.

From traits of each our love receives
For comfort nobler scope;
While light which childlike genius leaves
Confirms the infant's hope:

And in that hope with sweetness fraught
Be aching hearts beguiled,
To blend in one delightful thought
The poet and the child.





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