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The Twins

    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 a fearful 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, fruitlessly,
    To everyone 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 fact, year after year the same
    Absurd mistakes went on,
    And when I died, the neighbors came
    And buried brother John.

    Sambrooke Leigh


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