Written In The First Leaf Of A Child's Memorandum-Book

Charles Lamb

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My neat and pretty book, when I thy small lines see
They seem for any use to be unfit for me.
My writing, all misshaped, uneven as my mind,
Within this narrow space can hardly be confined.
Yet I will strive to make my hand less awkward look;
I would not willingly disgrace thee, my neat book.
The finest pens I'll use, and wondrous pains I'll take,
And I these perfect lines my monitors will make.
And every day I will set down in order due
How that day wasted is; and should there be a few
At the year's end that show more goodly to the sight,
If haply here I find some days not wasted quite,
If a small portion of them I have passed aright,
Then shall I think the year not wholly was misspent,
And that my Diary has been by some good angel sent.

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