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Poem by Charles Lamb


As busy Aurelia, 'twixt work and 'twixt play,
Was labouring industriously hard
To cull the vile weeds from the flowerets away,
Which grew in her father's court-yard;

In her juvenile anger, wherever she found,
She plucked, and she pulled, and she tore;
The poor passive sufferers bestrewed all the ground;
Not a weed of them all she forbore.

At length 'twas her chance on some nettles to light
(Things, till then, she had scarcely heard named);
The vulgar intruders called forth all her spite;
In a transport of rage she exclaimed,

'Shall briars so unsightly and worthless as those
Their great sprawling leaves thus presume
To mix with the pink, the jonquil, and the rose,
And take up a flower's sweet room?'

On the odious offenders enragëd she flew;
But she presently found to her cost
A tingling unlooked for, a pain that was new,
And rage was in agony lost.

To her father she hastily fled for relief,
And told him her pain and her smart;
With kindly caresses he soothëd her grief,
Then smiling he took the weed's part.

'The world, my Aurelia, this garden of ours
Resembles: too apt we're to deem
In the world's larger garden ourselves as the flowers,
And the poor but as weeds to esteem.

'But them if we rate, or with rudeness repel,
Though some will be passive enough,
From others who 're more independent 'tis well
If we meet not a stinging rebuff.'

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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