Charles Lamb

The Lame Brother

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My parents sleep both in one grave;
My only friend's a brother.
The dearest things upon the earth
We are to one another.


A fine stout boy I knew him once,
With active form and limb;
Whene'er he leaped, or jumped, or ran,
O I was proud of him!


He leaped too far, he got a hurt,
He now does limping go.--
When I think on his active days,
My heart is full of woe.


He leans on me, when we to school
Do every morning walk;
I cheer him on his weary way,
He loves to hear my talk:


The theme of which is mostly this,
What things he once could do.
He listens pleased--then sadly says,
"Sister, I lean on you."


Then I reply, "Indeed you're not
Scarce any weight at all.--
And let us now still younger years
To memory recall.


"Led by your little elder hand,
I learned to walk alone;
Careful you used to be of me,
My little brother John.


"How often, when my young feet tired,
You've carried me a mile!--
And still together we can sit,
And rest a little while.


"For our kind master never minds,
If we're the very last;
He bids us never tire ourselves
With walking on too fast."

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Charles Lamb