Charles Lamb

10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London

Blindness

In a stage-coach, where late I chanced to be,
A little quiet girl my notice caught;
I saw she looked at nothing by the way,
Her mind seemed busy on some childish thought.
I with an old man's courtesy addressed
The child, and called her pretty dark-eyed maid,
And bid her turn those pretty eyes and see
The wide extended prospect. 'Sir,' she said,
'I cannot see the prospect, I am blind.'
Never did tongue of child utter a sound
So mournful, as her words fell on my ear.
Her mother then related how she found
Her child was sightless. On a fine bright day
She saw her lay her needlework aside,
And, as on such occasions mothers will,
For leaving off her work began to chide.
'I'll do it when 'tis daylight, if you please,
I cannot work, mamma, now it is night.'
The sun shone bright upon her when she spoke,
And yet her eyes received no ray of light.
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