Charles Lamb

Neatness In Apparel

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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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Charles Lamb