The New Vestments

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The New Vestments
by Edward Lear



There lived an old man in the kingdom of Tess,
Who invented a purely original dress;
And when it was perfectly made and complete,
He opened the door, and walked into the street.

By way of a hat, he'd a loaf of Brown Bread,
In the middle of which he inserted his head; -
His Shirt was made up of no end of dead Mice,
The warmth of whose skins was quite fluffy and nice; -
His Drawers were of Rabit-skins, -- but it is not known whose; -
His Waistcoat and Trowsers were made of Pork Chops; -
His Buttons were Jujubes, and Chocolate Drops; -
His Coat was all Pancakes with Jam for a border,
And a girdle of Biscuits to keep it in order;
And he wore over all, as a screen from bad weather,
A Cloak of green Cabbage-leaves stitched all together.

He had walked a short way, when he heard a great noise,
Of all sorts of Beasticles, Birdlings, and Boys; -
And from every long street and dark lane in the town
Beasts, Birdles, and Boys in a tumult rushed down.
Two Cows and a half ate his Cabbage-leaf Cloak; -
Four Apes seized his Girdle, which vanished like smoke; -
Three Kids ate up half of his Pancaky Coat, -
And the tails were devour'd by an ancient He Goat; -
An army of Dogs in a twinkling tore up his
Pork Waistcoat and Trowsers to give to their Puppies; -
And while they were growling, and mumbling the Chops,
Ten boys prigged the Jujubes and Chocolate Drops. -
He tried to run back to his house, but in vain,
Four Scores of fat Pigs came again and again; -
They rushed out of stables and hovels and doors, -
They tore off his stockings, his shoes, and his drawers; -
And now from the housetops with screechings descend,
Striped, spotted, white, black, and gray Cats without end,
They jumped on his shoulders and knocked off his hat, -
When Crows, Ducks, and Hens made a mincemeat of that; -
They speedily flew at his sleeves in trice,
And utterly tore up his Shirt of dead Mice; -
They swallowed the last of his Shirt with a squall, -
Whereon he ran home with no clothes on at all.

And he said to himself as he bolted the door,
'I will not wear a similar dress any more,
'Any more, any more, any more, never more!'

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