Looking-Glass Lessons

THE dancing will begin at any time,
And partners are not chosen for their looks —
Sooner or later everybody cries.
Make up your mind there won’t be any jam
And no one ever pacifies the cooks.
Oh learn to contemplate without surprise
The babies turning carelessly to pigs,
The White Queen maudlin and the Red Queen jeering,
The lion harrying the unicorn,
The bowing footmen tangled in their wigs,
The candid guinea pig suppressed for cheering.
Politeness will not get you anywhere,
But some have learned to vanish with an air.