Charles Lamb

(10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London)

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.

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.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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  • 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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