Charles Lamb

(10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London)

The Reproof - Poem by Charles Lamb

Mamma heard me with scorn and pride
A wretched beggar-boy deride.
'Do you not know,' said I, 'how mean
It is to be thus begging seen?
If for a week I were not fed,
I'm sure I would not beg my bread.'
And then away she saw me stalk
With a most self-important walk.
But meeting her upon the stairs,
All these my consequential airs
Were changed to an entreating look.
'Give me,' said I, 'the pocket-book,
Mamma, you promised I should have.'
The pocket-book to me she gave;
After reproof and counsel sage
She bade me write in the first page
This naughty action all in rhyme;
No food to have until the time,
In writing fair and neatly worded,
The unfeeling fact I had recorded.
Slow I compose, and slow I write;
And now I feel keen hunger bite.
My mother's pardon I entreat,
And beg she'll give me food to eat.
Dry bread would be received with joy
By her repentant beggar-boy.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010



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