Charles Lamb

(10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London)

The Old Familiar Faces - Poem by Charles Lamb

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.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women:
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces--

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

Comments about The Old Familiar Faces by Charles Lamb

  • Freshman - 767 Points John S (11/10/2015 10:37:00 PM)

    I am shocked by the low score awarded to this poem. Perhaps, because I could so completely relate to this poem, I think it is a 10. Sometimes, whether or not justified, I can hijack a poem, and read it like it was about my own life, like I actually wrote it. This poem speaks to me. Speaks of my own life: My childhood friends, gone; my young adult drinking chums, gone; My old lover, and my mother too, gone. I too, ghost-like, pace round the haunts of my childhood, a desert that was once flush.
    This poem is loosely written in iambic pentameter, which means it contains one stressed syllable followed by unstressed etc. This makes a poem flow effortlessly. Just think of Poe's Annabel Lee and how effortlessly that poem reads. Reread this poem and look at the pattern. It's beautiful, it's quasi mathematical. Each part before or after a comma has 5 or 6 syllables. And then the repetition. 'All, all are gone' that places emphasis on the word All, on his pain. Like you might call out in agony if your lover left you, SHE, she is gone! His pain is palpable. (Report) Reply

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  • Freshman - 767 Points John S (11/10/2015 12:28:00 AM)

    I will comment on this beautiful poem later, I am annoyed by Thabani's incessant copy and paste that he would like to write like this, only if god would bless him enough to! Stop pasting that. You want to write like that than practice, practice, practice. Study the old masters, study vocabulary, read books like A Poetry Handbook, study literature, but for god's sake stop copying and pasting that stupid sentence. Why are you doing that? (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,053 Points Thabani Khumalo (6/16/2015 9:12:00 AM)

    I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ruth Campbell (12/15/2005 8:46:00 AM)

    this poem seems to depict the heart of charles lamb and his broken relationship. One gets the feeling he could not persue his love due to caring for his insane sister Mary. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: childhood, friend, school, brother, women, father, woman

Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003

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