“Blindness” by Charles Lamb is a poem about the encounter of a gentleman riding in a stagecoach with a young girl and her mother. In the first stanza, he observed that the little girl did not look at her surroundings “by the way.” She did not look at what the coach was passing, but she looked like she was engrossed in the thoughts of a child.
In the second stanza, he speaks to the girl, calling her a “pretty dark-eyed maid” and asking her to look at the wide world that passed by.
She responded kindly to him, telling him she could not see “the prospect” because she was blind. Her words stung him and made him grief-stricken. It was then that her mother told the man how she found out her daughter was blind.
In the final stanza, the mother tells the speaker how the little girl put her needlework down one bright day. The mother admonished the child to continue her work. The little girl complained that it was too dark to see the needlework and told her mother that she would complete her work when it was daylight. It was then, as the sun shined on them, that the mother realized her daughter could not see that she lived in a world of darkness: “The sun shone bright upon her when she spoke, And yet her eyes received no ray of light.”