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Assuring Beauties that the border
Of their new dress is out of order,
And schoolboys that their shoes want tying,
And babies that their dolls are dying.

Lend me-lend me some disguise ;
I will tell prodigious lies;
All who care for what I say
Shall be April Fools to-day!

First, I relate how all the nation
Is ruined by Emancipation;
How honest men are sadly thwarted,
How beads and faggots are imported,
How every parish church looks thinner,
How Peel has asked the Pope to dinner;
And how the Duke who fought the duel,
Keeps good King George on water gruel.

Thus I waken doubts and fears
In the Commons and the Peers;
If they care for what I say,
They are April Fools to-day !

Next, I announce to hall and hovel
Lord Asterisk's unwritten novel;
It's full of wit, and full of fashion,
And full of taste, and full of passion ;
It tells some very curious histories,
Elucidates some charming mysteries,
And mingles sketches of society
With precepts of the soundest piety.

Thus I babble to the host
Who adore the Morning Post;
If they care for what I say,
They are April Fools to-day!

Then to the artist of my raiment
I hint his bankers have stopped payment;
And just suggest to Lady Locket
That somebody has picked her pocket;
And scare Sir Thomas from the City
By murmuring, in a tone of pity,
That I am sure I saw my Lady
Drive through the Park with Captain Grady.

Off my troubled victims go,
Very pale and very low;
If they care for what I say,
They are April Fools to-day !

I've sent the learned Doctor Trepan
To feel Sir Hubert's broken knee-pan;
'Twill rout the Doctor's seven senses
To find Sir Hubert charging fences !
I've sent a sallow parchment-scraper
To put Miss Tiin's last will on paper;
He'll see her, silent as a mummy,
At whist, with her two maids and dummy.

Man of brief, and man of pill,
They will take it very ill;
If they care for what I say,
They are April Fools to-day!

And then to her whose smile shed light on
My weary lot last year at Brighton
I talk of happiness and marriage,
St. George's, and a travelling carriage ;
I trifle with my rosy fetters,
I rave about her witching letters,
And swear my heart shall do no treason
Before the closing of the season.

Thus I whisper in the ear
Of Louisa Windermere ;
If she cares for what I say,
She's an April Fool to-day !

And to the world I publish gaily,
That all things are improving daily ;
That suns grow warmer, streamlets clearer,
And faith more warm, and love sincerer ;
That children grow extremely clever,
That sin is seldom known, or never ;
That gas, and steam, and education,
Are killing sorrow and starvation !

Pleasant visions !—but alas,
How those pleasant visions pass !
If you care for what I say,
You're an April Fool to-day !

Last, to myself, when night comes round me,
And the soft chain of thought has bound me,
I whisper “Sir, your eyes are killing ;
You owe no mortal man a shilling;
You never cringe for Star or Garter ;
You're much too wise to be a martyr ;
And, since you must be food for vermin,
You don't feel much desire for ermine !"

Wisdom is a mine, no doubt,
If one can but find it out;
But, whate'er I think or say,
I'm an April Fool to-day!



TWELVE years ago I made a mock

Of filthy trades and traffics :
I wondered what they meant by stock ;

I wrote delightful sapphics;
I knew the streets of Rome and Troy,

I supped with Fates and Furies,–
Twelve years ago I was a boy,

A happy boy, at Drury's.
Twelve years ago !-how many a thought

Of faded pains and pleasures
Those whispered syllables have brought

From Memory's hoarded treasures !
The fields, the farms, the bats, the books,

The glories and disgraces,
The voices of dear friends, the looks

Of all familiar faces !
Kind Mater smiles again to me,

As bright as when we parted ;
I seem again the frank, the free,

Stout-limbed, and simple-hearted !
Pursuing every idle dream,

And shunning every warning ;
With no hard work but Boyney stream,

No chill except Long Morning :
Now stopping Harry Vernon's ball

That rattled like a rocket;
Now hearing Wentworth’s “Fourteen all I ”

And striking for the pocket;


Now feasting on a cheese and fitch,

Now drinking from the pewter ;
Now leaping over Chalvey ditch,

Now laughing at my tutor.
Where are my friends ? I am alone ;

No playmate shares my beaker :
Some lie beneath the churchyard stone,

And some—before the Speaker ; And some compose a tragedy,

And some compose a rondeau ; And some draw sword for Liberty,

And some draw pleas for John Doe.
Tom Mill was used to blacken eyes

Without the fear of sessions ;
Charles Medlar loathed false quantities

As much as false professions;
Now Mill keeps order in the land,

A magistrate pedantic ;
And Medlar's feet repose unscanned

Beneath the wide Atlantic.
Wild Nick, whose oaths made such a din,

Does Dr. Martext's duty;
And Mullion, with that monstrous chin,

Is married to a Beauty;
And Darrell studies, week by week,

His Mant, and not his Manton ;
And Ball, who was but poor in Greek,

Is very rich at Canton.
And I am eight-and-twenty now;-

The world's cold chains have bound me; And darker shades are on my brow,

And sadder scenes around me;

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