Home  »  library  »  poem  »  In My Own Album

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

In My Own Album

By Charles Lamb (1775–1834)

FRESH clad from heaven in robes of white,

A young probationer of light,

Thou wert my soul, an album bright,

A spotless leaf: but thought and care,

And friend and foe, in foul or fair,

Have “written strange defeatures” there;

And Time with heaviest hand of all,

Like that fierce writing on the wall,

Hath stamped sad dates he can’t recall:

And error gilding worst designs—

Like speckled snake that strays and shines—

Betrays his path by crooked lines;

And vice hath left his ugly blot;

And good resolves, a moment hot,

Fairly begun—but finished not;

And fruitless, late remorse doth trace—

Like Hebrew lore, a backward pace—

Her irrecoverable race.

Disjointed numbers, sense unknit,

Huge reams of folly, shreds of wit,

Compose the mingled mass of it.

My scalded eyes no longer brook

Upon this ink-blurred thing to look:

Go, shut the leaves, and clasp the book.