Charles Lamb

What Is Fancy?

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SISTER.
I am to write three lines, and you
Three others that will rhyme.
There--now I've done my task.


BROTHER.
Three stupid lines as e'er I knew.
When you've the pen next time,
Some question of me ask.


SISTER.
Then tell me, brother, and pray mind,
Brother, you tell me true:
What sort of thing is fancy?


BROTHER.
By all that I can ever find,
'Tis something that is very new,
And what no dunces can see.


SISTER.
That is not half the way to tell
What fancy is about;
So pray now tell me more.


BROTHER.
Sister, I think 'twere quite as well
That you should find it out;
So think the matter o'er.


SISTER.
It's what comes in our heads when we
Play at "Let's-make-believe,"
And when we play at "Guessing."


BROTHER.
And I have heard it said to be
A talent often makes us grieve,
And sometimes proves a blessing.

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Charles Lamb