Charles Lamb

The First Of April

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"Tell me what is the reason you hang down your head?
From your blushes I plainly discern
You have done something wrong. Ere you go up to bed,
I desire that the truth I may learn."


"O mamma, I have longed to confess all the day
What an ill-natured thing I have done;
I persuaded myself it was only in play,
But such play I in future will shun.


"The least of the ladies that live at the school,
Her whose eyes are so pretty and blue,
Ah! would you believe it? an April fool
I have made her, and called her so too.


"Yet the words almost choked me; and, as I spoke low,
I have hopes that she might them not hear.
I had wrapped up some rubbish in paper, and so,
The instant the school-girls drew near,


"I presented it with a fine bow to the child,
And much her acceptance I pressed;
When she took it, and thanked me, and gratefully smiled,
I never felt half so distressed.


"No doubt she concluded some sweetmeats were there,
For the paper was white and quite clean,
And folded up neatly, as if with great care.
O what a rude boy I have been!


"Ever since I've been thinking how vexed she will be,
Ever since I've done nothing but grieve.
If a thousand young ladies a-walking I see,
I will never another deceive."

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Charles Lamb