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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 16 January 1797

Contents vol. VI
Letters: 1796
Letters: 1797
Letters: 1798
Letters: 1799
Letters: 1800
Letters: 1801
Letters: 1802
Letters: 1803
Letters: 1804
Letters: 1805
Letters: 1806
Letters: 1807
Letters: 1808
Letters: 1809
Letters: 1810
Letters: 1811
Letters: 1812
Letters: 1814
Letters: 1815
Letters: 1816
Letters: 1817
Letters: 1818
Letters: 1819
Letters: 1820
Letters: 1821
Contents vol. VII
Letters: 1821
Letters: 1822
Letters: 1823
Letters: 1824
Letters: 1825
Letters: 1826
Letters: 1827
Letters: 1828
Letters: 1829
Letters: 1830
Letters: 1831
Letters: 1832
Letters: 1833
Letters: 1834
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
List of Letters
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[Dated at end: January 18, 1797.]

DEAR Col,—You have learnd by this time, with surprise, no doubt, that Lloyd is with me in town. The emotions I felt on his coming so unlooked for are not ill expressed in what follows, & what, if you do not object to them as too personal, & to the world obscure, or otherwise wanting in worth, I should wish to make a part of our little volume.

I shall be sorry if that vol comes out, as it necessarily must do, unless you print those very schoolboyish verses I sent you on not getting leave to come down to Bristol last Summer. I say I shall be sorry that I have addrest you in nothing which can appear in our joint volume.

So frequently, so habitually as you dwell on my thoughts, ’tis some wonder those thoughts came never yet in Contact with a poetical mood—But you dwell in my heart of hearts, and I love you in all the naked honesty of prose. God bless you, and all your little domestic circle—my tenderest remembrances to your Beloved Sara, & a smile and a kiss from me to your dear dear little David Hartley—The verses I refer to above, slightly amended, I have sent (forgetting to ask your leave, tho’ indeed I gave them only your initials) to the Month: Mag: where they may possibly appear next month, and where I hope to recognise your Poem on Burns.

Alone, obscure, without a friend,
A cheerless, solitary thing,
Why seeks my Lloyd the stranger out?
What offring can the stranger bring
Of social scenes, home-bred delights,
That him in aught compensate may
For Stowey’s pleasant winter nights,
For loves & 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.
O! 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 cherishd be;
I’ll think less meanly of myself,
That Lloyd will sometimes think on me.

O Col: would to God you were in London with us, or we two at Stowey with you all. Lloyd takes up his abode at the Bull & Mouth Inn,—the Cat & Salutation would have had a charm more forcible for me. O noctes cœnæque Deûm! Anglice—Welch rabbits, punch, & poesy.

Should you he induced to publish those very schoolboyish verses, print ’em as they will occur, if at all, in the Month: Mag: yet I should feel ashamed that to you I wrote nothing better. But they are too personal, & almost trifling and obscure withal. Some lines of mine to Cowper were in last Month: Mag: they have not body of thought enough to plead for the retaining of ’em.

My sister’s kind love to you all.

C. Lamb.