Sister, fie, for shame, no more,
Give this ignorant babble o'er,
Nor with little female pride
Things above your sense deride.
Why this foolish under-rating
Of my first attempts at Latin?
Know you not each thing we prize
Does from small beginnings rise?
'Twas the same thing with your writing,
Which you now take such delight in.
First you learnt the down-stroke line,
Then the hair-stroke thin and fine,
Then a curve, and then a better,
Till you came to form a letter;
Then a new task was begun,
How to join them two in one;
Till you got (these first steps past)
To your fine text-hand at last.
So though I at first commence
With the humble accidence,
And my study's course affords
Little else as yet but words,
I shall venture in a while
At construction, grammar, style,
Learn my syntax, and proceed
Classic authors next to read,
Such as wiser, better, make us,
Sallust, Phædrus, Ovid, Flaccus:
All the poets (with their wit),
All the grave historians writ,
Who the lives and actions show
Of men famous long ago;
Even their very sayings giving
In the tongue they used when living.

Think not I shall do that wrong
Either to my native tongue,
English authors to despise,
Or those books which you so prize;
Though from them awhile I stray,
By new studies called away,
Them when next I take in hand,
I shall better understand.
For I've heard wise men declare
Many words in English are
From the Latin tongue derived,
Of whose sense girls are deprived
'Cause they do not Latin know.-
But if all this anger grow
From this cause, that you suspect
By proceedings indirect,
I would keep (as misers pelf)
All this learning to myself;
Sister, to remove this doubt,
Rather than we will fall out,
(If our parents will agree)
You shall Latin learn with me.


About Charles Lamb


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,... Read more...

Poet of the day

Nanalal Dalpatram Kavi (Gujarati: નાનાલાલ દલપતરામ કવિ) was a noted author, poet of Gujarati literature, and was given a title of "Kavishwar" (God of Poets) by people of Gujarat. His name is sometimes spelt Nhanalal.

Biography

Nanalal was born on March 16, 1877 as the fourth son of Dalpatram, the...
Read more...

Poem of the day


hame.n ko_ii Gam nahii.n thaa Gam-e-aashiqii se pahale
na thii dushmanii kisii se terii dostii se pahale

hai ye merii badanasiibii teraa kyaa qasuur is me.n
tere Gam ne maar Daalaa mujhe zindagii se pahale

meraa pyaar jal rahaa hai ai chaa.Nd aaj chhup jaa
kabhii pyaar...
Read more...