Not to mention the novels

On reading Claire Tomalin's biography of Dickens

Turns out to be a book about me, too.

Page after page, the story I read here

relates how small my share of hardship’s been;

how little barely suppressed scandal my

irregular relationships have caused;

how rarely I’ve walked 20 miles, all night,

to found a newspaper the following day;

how circumscribed my human sympathies;

how few the great men I’ve befriended, the

disappointing sons I’ve packed off to the

colonies, the orphaned children and

impoverished widows I’ve rescued from the streets;

how narrowly,

how very narrowly,

I’ve lived this one life of mine.