Charles Lamb

Time Spent In Dress

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In many a lecture, many a book,
You all have heard, you all have read,
That time is precious. Of its use
Much has been written, much been said.


The accomplishments which gladden life,
As music, drawing, dancing, are
Encroachers on our precious time;
Their praise or dispraise I forbear.


They should be practised or forborne,
As parents wish, or friends desire:
What rests alone in their own will
Is all I of the young require.


There's not a more productive source
Of waste of time to the young mind
Than dress; as it regards our hours
My view of it is now confined.


Without some calculation, youth
May live to age and never guess,
That no one study they pursue
Takes half the time they give to dress.


Write in your memorandum-book
The time you at your toilette spend;
Then every moment which you pass,
Talking of dress with a young friend:


And ever when your silent thoughts
Have on this subject been intent,
Set down as nearly as you can
How long on dress your thoughts were bent.


If faithfully you should perform
This task, 'twould teach you to repair
Lost hours, by giving unto dress
Not more of time than its due share.

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Charles Lamb