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Poem by Charles Lamb

To Charles Lloyd: an Unexpected Visitor

Alone, obscure, without a friend,
 A cheerless, solitary thing,
Why seeks, my Lloyd, the stranger out?
 What offering can the stranger bring

Of social scenes, home-bred delights,
 That him in aught compensate may
For Stowey's pleasant winter nights,
 For loves and friendships far away?

In brief oblivion to forego
 Friends, such as thine, so justly dear,
And be awhile with me content
 To stay, a kindly loiterer, here:

For this a gleam of random joy
 Hath flush'd my unaccustom'd cheek;
And, with an o'er-charg'd bursting heart,
 I feel the thanks I cannot speak.

Oh! sweet are all the Muses' lays,
 And sweet the charm of matin bird;
'Twas long since these estranged ears
 The sweeter voice of friend had heard.

The voice hath spoke: the pleasant sounds
 In memory's ear in after time
Shall live, to sometimes rouse a tear,
 And sometimes prompt an honest rhyme.

For, when the transient charm is fled,
 And when the little week is o'er,
To cheerless, friendless, solitude
 When I return, as heretofore,

Long, long, within my aching heart
 The grateful sense shall cherish'd be;
I'll think less meanly of myself,
 That Lloyd will sometimes think on me.

Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb's other poems:
  1. Incorrect Speaking
  2. Love, Death, and Reputation
  3. Blindness
  4. The Two Boys
  5. Wasps in a Garden

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