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The Twins

by Henry Sambrooke Leigh

In form and feature, face and limb,
   I grew so like my brother,
That folks got taking me for him,
   And each for one another.
It puzzled all our kith and kin,
   It reached an awful pitch;
For one of us was born a twin,
   Yet not a soul knew which.

One day (to make the matter worse),
   Before our names were fixed,
As we were being washed by nurse
   We got completely mixed;
And thus, you see, by Fate's decree
   (Or rather nurse's whim),
My brother John got christened me,
   And I got christened him.

This fatal likeness even dogged
   My footsteps when at school,
And I was always getting flogged
   For John turned out a fool.
I put this question hopelessly
   To every one I knew -
What would you do, if you were me,
   To prove that you were you?

Our close resemblance turned the tide
   Of my domestic life;
For somehow my intended bride
   Became my brother's wife.
In short, year after year the same
   Absurd mistakes went on;
And when I died - the neighbours came
   And buried brother John!


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