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Charles Lamb

(10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London)

The Mimic Harlequin


'I'll make believe, and fancy something strange:
I will suppose I have the power to change
And make all things unlike to what they were,
To jump through windows and fly through the air,
And quite confound all places and all times,
Like harlequins we see in pantomimes.
These thread-papers my wooden sword must be,
Nothing more like one I at present see.
And now all round this drawing-room I'll range,
And every thing I look at I will change.
Here's Mopsa, our old cat, shall be a bird;
To a Poll parrot she is now transferred.
Here's mamma's work-bag, now I will engage
To whisk this little bag into a cage;
And now, my pretty parrot, get you in it,
Another change I'll show you in a minute.'


'O fie, you naughty child, what have you done?
There never was so mischievous a son.
You've put the cat among my work, and torn
A fine laced cap that I but once have worn.'

Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010

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