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By Mary Lamb

This rose-tree is not made to bear

The violet blue, nor lily fair,

   Nor the sweet mignionet:

And if this tree were discontent,

Or wished to change its natural bent,

   It all in vain would fret.


And should it fret, you would suppose

It ne’er had seen its own red rose,

   Nor after gentle shower

Had ever smelled its rose’s scent,

Or it could ne’er be discontent

   With its own pretty flower.


Like such a blind and senseless tree

As I’ve imagined this to be,

   All envious persons are:

With care and culture all may find

Some pretty flower in their own mind,

   Some talent that is rare.


  • Arts & Sciences
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Mary Lamb
British Poet and anthologist Mary Lamb worked as a seamstress for 10 years to support her ailing family. She suffered from bipolar disorder and, during an episode in 1796, killed her mother with a kitchen knife. Her younger brother Charles, a poet and essayist who worked for the East India Company, agreed to serve as Mary’s caretaker rather than consign her to lifelong institutionalization. Despite her illness, the siblings developed a collaborative writing relationship and produced many well-known collections of poetry and prose for children. The books they wrote together were published anonymously or under Charles’s name in order to shield Mary from unwanted publicity.

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