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Neatness In Apparel

Charles Lamb 1775 (Inner Temple, London) – 1834 (Edmonton, London)

In your garb and outward clothing
A reservëd plainness use;
By their neatness more distinguished
Than the brightness of their hues.

All the colours in the rainbow
Serve to spread the peacock's train;
Half the lustre of his feathers
Would turn twenty coxcombs vain.

Yet the swan that swims in rivers,
Pleases the judicious sight;
Who, of brighter colours heedless,
Trusts alone to simple white.

Yet all other hues, comparëd
With his whiteness, show amiss;
And the peacock's coat of colours
Like a fool's coat looks by his.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb was an English essayist, poet, and antiquarian, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, co-authored with his sister, Mary Lamb (1764–1847). Friends with such literary luminaries as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, William Wordsworth, and William Hazlitt, Lamb was at the centre of a major literary circle in England. He has been referred to by E. V. Lucas, his principal biographer, as "the most lovable figure in English literature". more…

All Charles Lamb poems | Charles Lamb Books

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