I was looking through a neat old book (circa 1840) and I found this clipping of a poem pressed neatly between the pages, I thought I would share it with you.
"Dressing for Church" (the author was not noted)
Has any body heard the bell?
You have? Dear me, I know full well
I’ll never dress in time,
For mercy’s sake, come help me, Jane,
I’ll make my toilet quite plain,
(this is for the sake of rhyme.)
Here – lace this gaiter for me - do;
“A hole,” you say? Plague take the shoe?
Please, Janey, try and hide it.
I know its Sunday, but, my soul,
I cannot wear it with a hole!
The men will surely spy it.
They’re always peeping at our feet,
(Though, to be sure, they needn’t peep,
the way we hold our dresses)
I’ll disappoint them, though, to-day,
“And cross myself,” pray, did you say?
Don’t laugh at my distresses.
How beautifully this silk will rustle,”
(Please hand my “self-adjusting bustle,”
my corset and my hoop.)
There, now, I’ll take five skirts or six;
Do hurry Jane, and help me fix –
You know I can not stoop!
“How shall I say my prayers to-day?”
As if girls went to church to pray!
How can you be so foolish?
Here, damp this ribbon in cologne;
“What for?” to paint, you silly one-
Now, Janey, don’t be mulish.
It’s no more harm than “Lily White”
(Please, see if this cheek’s painted right,
and hand my box of chalk,)
Now, damp the towel, Janey, dear,
And wipe this eyebrow- much I fear
I shall be late to walk,
Now then my bonnet, if you please –
The thing’s as big as all out doors,
The frightful sugar scoop!
Thank heaven, my mantle’s handsome tho’
It cost enough to be, I know,
(straighten this horrid hoop.)
My handkerchief and gloves you’ll find,
Just in that drawer- you’re very kind,
(does my dress trail?)
It’s all the fashion, now you know,
(pray does the paint and powder show
through this lace and veil?)
Thank you, my dear, I believe I’m dressed,
The saints be praised! The day of rest
Comes only once in seven;
For if on all the other six
This trouble I should have to fix,
I’d never get to heaven.