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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Charles Lamb (1775–1834)

WHEN maidens such as Hester die,

Their place ye may not well supply,

Though ye among a thousand try,

With vain endeavor.

A month or more hath she been dead,

Yet cannot I by force be led

To think upon the wormy bed

And her together.

A springy motion in her gait,

A rising step, did indicate

Of pride and joy no common rate,

That flushed her spirit.

I know not by what name beside

I shall it call: if ’twas not pride,

It was a joy to that allied,

She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,

Which doth the human feeling cool;

But she was trained in Nature’s school—

Nature had blest her.

A waking eye, a prying mind,

A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;

A hawk’s keen sight ye cannot blind,

Ye could not Hester.