Charles Lamb was an English essayist, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, which he produced with his sister, Mary Lamb. Lamb has been referred to by E.V. Lucas, his principal biographer, as the most lovable figure in English literature.
Lamb was honoured by The Latymer School, a grammar school in Edmonton, a suburb of London where he lived for a time; it has six houses, one of which, "Lamb", is named after Charles.
Youth and Schooling
Lamb was the son of Elizabeth Field and John Lamb. Lamb was the youngest child, with an 11 year older sister Mary, an even older brother John, and 4 other siblings who ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Charles Lamb Poems
A Vision Of Repentance
I saw a famous fountain, in my dream, Where shady path-ways to a valley led; A weeping willow lay upon that stream,
The Old Familiar Faces
I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions, In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days-- All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
Anger in its time and place May assume a kind of grace. It must have some reason in it,
Beauty And The Beast
A Merchant, who by generous pains Prospered in honourable gains, Could boast, his wealth and fame to share,
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,
A timid grace sits trembling in her eye
A timid grace sits trembling in her eye, As loath to meet the rudeness of men's sight, Yet shedding a delicious lunar light That steeps in kind oblivious ecstasy
On an Infant dying as soon as born
I SAW where in the shroud did lurk A curious frame of Nature's work; A floweret crush'd in the bud, A nameless piece of Babyhood,
A dinner party, coffee, tea, Sandwich, or supper, all may be In their way pleasant. But to me Not one of these deserves the praise
Choosing A Name
I have got a new-born sister; I was nigh the first that kissed her. When the nursing woman brought her To papa, his infant daughter,
Crumbs To The Birds
A bird appears a thoughtless thing, He's ever living on the wing, And keeps up such a carolling,
A Farewell To Tobacco
May the Babylonish curse Straight confound my stammering verse, If I can a passage see In this word-perplexity,
In a costly palace Youth goes clad in gold; In a wretched workhouse Age's limbs are cold: There they sit, the old men by a shivering fire,
Come, my little Robert, near- Fie! what filthy hands are here- Who that e'er could understand
The Boy And The Snake
Henry was every morning fed With a full mess of milk and bread. One day the boy his breakfast took, And eat it by a purling brook
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Were I Diogenes, I would not move out of a kilderkin into a hogshead, though the first had had nothing but small beer in it, and the second reeked claret.''Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Letter, March 28, 1809, to Thomas Manning. Vol. 2, Complete Works of Charles Lamb (1882). On h...
''The greatest pleasure I know, is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.''Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Athenaeum (London, Jan. 4, 1834), "Table Talk by the Late Elia."
''Shakespeare is one of the last books one should like to give up, perhaps the one just before the Dying Service in a large Prayer book.''Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. letter, Feb. 1, 1806, to William Wordsworth. Bibliophile (1840).
''Separate from the pleasure of your company, I don't much care if I never see another mountain in my life.''Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. letter, Jan. 30, 1801, to William Wordsworth. Complete Works, vol. 3 (1882).
''He has left off reading altogether, to the great improvement of his originality.''Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. "Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading," The Last Essays of Elia (1833).
Comments about Charles Lamb
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
A Vision Of Repentance
I saw a famous fountain, in my dream,
Where shady path-ways to a valley led;
A weeping willow lay upon that stream,
And all around the fountain brink were spread
Wide branching trees, with dark green leaf rich clad,
Forming a doubtful twilight-desolate and sad.
The place was such, that whoso enter'd in,
Disrobed was of every earthly thought,
And straight became as one that knew not sin,
Or to the world's first innocence was brought;
Enseem'd it now, he stood on holy ground,
In sweet and tender melancholy wrapt around.
A most strange calm ...