A Strange Mistake [poem, 17 September 1809]

[Editor: A poem published in The Sydney Gazette, 17 September 1809.]

A Strange Mistake.

At a Warehouse in Sydney, if true be the Tale,
A little square Looking-glass, pendant for sale,
A Damsel’s fair countenance chanc’d to oppose; —
Her lips were two rubies — her bloom was the rose.

In (just at the moment), a Customer came,
Whose Eye caught the Image contained in the Frame,
And, as beauties so various rarely unite,
A PAINTING he deem’d it, and bought it outright.

The deceiv’d connoisseur then bestow’d every care,
Unharm’d to preserve the sweet form of the Fair;
Which forth from his bosom he afterwards drew,
Not doubting that still he’d the picture in view.

But horror then seiz’d him! — An African Black
His visage displayed — for he stood at his back!
‘By J———’ he cries ‘but this is a rum trick,
‘I thought I’d an Angel instead of Old Nick!

The Sydney Gazette, and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 17 September 1809, p. 1

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