Charles Lamb

10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London


Lucy, what do you espy
In the cast in Jenny's eye
That should you to laughter move?
I far other feelings prove.
When on me she does advance
Her good-natured countenance,
And those eyes which in their way
Saying much, so much would say,
They to me no blemish seem,
Or as none I them esteem;
I their imperfection prize
Above other clearer eyes.
Eyes do not as jewels go
By the brightness and the show,
But the meanings which surround them,
And the sweetness shines around them.
Isabel's are black as jet,
But she cannot that forget,
And the pains she takes to show them
Robs them of the praise we owe them.
Ann's, though blue, affected fall;
Kate's are bright, and fierce withal;
And the sparklers of her sister
From ill-humour lose their lustre.
Only Jenny's eyes we see,
By their very plainness, free
From the vices which do smother
All the beauties of the other.
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