A Nonsense Anthology
Collected by Carolyn Wells

Part 2 out of 5

In loopy links the canker crawls,
Tads twiddle in their 'polian glee,
Yet sinks my heart as water falls.
The loon that laughs, the babe that bawls,
The wedding wear, the funeral palls,
Are neither here nor there to me.
Of life the mingled wine and brine
I sit and sip pipslipsily.



Oh! to be wafted away
From this black Aceldama of sorrow,
Where the dust of an earthy to-day
Makes the earth of a dusty to-morrow.

_W.S. Gilbert_.


Come fleetly, come fleetly, my hookabadar,
For the sound of the tam-tam is heard from afar.
"Banoolah! Banoolah!" The Brahmins are nigh,
And the depths of the jungle re-echo their cry.
_Pestonjee Bomanjee_!
Smite the guitar;
Join in the chorus, my hookabadar.

Heed not the blast of the deadly monsoon,
Nor the blue Brahmaputra that gleams in the moon.
Stick to thy music, and oh, let the sound
Be heard with distinctness a mile or two round.
_Famsetjee, Feejeebhoy_!
Sweep the guitar.
Join in the chorus, my hookabadar.

Art thou a Buddhist, or dost thou indeed
Put faith in the monstrous Mohammedan creed?
Art thou a Ghebir--a blinded Parsee?
Not that it matters an atom to me.
_Cursetjee Bomanjee_!
Twang the guitar
Join in the chorus, my hookabadar.

_Henry S. Leigh_.


Affection's charm no longer gilds
The idol of the shrine;
But cold Oblivion seeks to fill
Regret's ambrosial wine.
Though Friendship's offering buried lies
'Neath cold Aversion's snow,
Regard and Faith will ever bloom
Perpetually below.

I see thee whirl in marble halls,
In Pleasure's giddy train,
Remorse is never on that brow,
Nor Sorrow's mark of pain.
Deceit has marked thee for her own;
Inconstancy the same;
And Ruin wildly sheds its gleam
Athwart thy path of shame.

_Bret Harte_.


Oh, limpid stream of Tyrus, now I hear
The pulsing wings of Armageddon's host,
Clear as a colcothar and yet more clear--
(Twin orbs, like those of which the Parsees boast;)

Down in thy pebbled deeps in early spring
The dimpled naiads sport, as in the time
When Ocidelus with untiring wing
Drave teams of prancing tigers, 'mid the chime

Of all the bells of Phicol. Scarcely one
Peristome veils its beauties now, but then--
Like nascent diamonds, sparkling in the sun,
Or sainfoin, circinate, or moss in marshy fen.

Loud as the blasts of Tubal, loud and strong,
Sweet as the songs of Sappho, aye more sweet;
Long as the spear of Arnon, twice as long,
What time he hurled it at King Pharaoh's feet.

_Charles Battell Loomis_.


Where avalanches wail, and green Distress
Sweeps o'er the pallid beak of loveliness:
Where melancholy Sulphur holds her sway:
And cliffs of conscience tremble and obey;

And where Tartarean rattle snakes expire;
Twisting like tendrils of a hero's pyre?
No! dancing in the meteor's hall of power,
See, Genius ponders o'er Affection's tower!
A form of thund'ring import soars on high,
Hark! 'tis the gore of infant melody:
No more shall verdant Innocence amuse
The lips that death-fraught Indignation glues;--
Tempests shall teach the trackless tide of thought.
That undiminish'd senselessness is naught;
Freedom shall glare; and oh! ye links divine,
The Poet's heart shall quiver in the brine.



Mingled aye with fragrant yearnings,
Throbbing in the mellow glow,
Glint the silvery spirit-burnings,
Pearly blandishments of woe.

Aye! forever and forever,
Whilst the love-lorn censers sweep,
Whilst the jasper winds dissever
Amber-like the crystal deep,

Shall the soul's delirious slumber,
Sea-green vengeance of a kiss,
Teach despairing crags to number
Blue infinities of bliss.

_Francis G. Stokes_.


Good reader, if you e'er have seen,
When Phoebus hastens to his pillow,
The mermaids with their tresses green
Dancing upon the western billow;
If you have seen at twilight dim,
When the lone spirit's vesper hymn
Floats wild along the winding shore,
The fairy train their ringlets weave
Glancing along the spangled green;--
If you have seen all this, and more,
God bless me! what a deal you've seen!

_Thomas Moore_.


He comes with herald clouds of dust;
Ecstatic frenzies rend his breast;
A moment, and he graced the earth--
Now, seek him at the eagle's nest.

Hark! see'st thou not the torrent's flash
Far shooting o'er the mountain height?
Hear'st not the billow's solemn roar,
That echoes through the vaults of night?

Anon the murky cloud is riven,
The lightnings leap in sportive play,
And through the clanging doors of heaven,
In calm effulgence bursts the day.

Hope, peering from her fleecy car,
Smiles welcome to the coming spring,
And birds with blithesome songs of praise
Make every grove and valley ring.

What though on pinions of the blast
The sea-gulls sweep with leaden flight?
What though the watery caverns deep
Gleam ghostly on the wandering sight?

Is there no music in the trees
To charm thee with its frolic mirth?
Must Care's wan phantom still beguile
And chain thee to the stubborn earth?

Lo! Fancy from her magic realm
Pours Boreal gleams adown the pole.
The tidal currents lift and swell--
Dead currents of the ocean's soul.

Yet never may their mystic streams
Breathe whispers of the mournful past,
Or Pallas wake her sounding lyre
Mid Ether's columned temples vast.

Grave History walks again the earth
As erst it did in days of eld,
When seated on the golden throne
Her hand a jewelled sceptre held.

The Delphian oracle is dumb,
Dread Cumae wafts no words of fate,
To fright the eager souls that press
Through sullen Lethe's iron gate.

But deeper shadows gather o'er
The vales that sever night and morn;
And darkness folds with brooding wing
The rustling fields of waving corn.

Then issuing from his bosky lair
The crafty tiger crouches low,
Or thunders from the frozen north
The white bear lapped in Arctic snow.

Thus shift the scenes till high aloft
The young moon sets her crescent horn,
And in gray evening's emerald sea
The beauteous Star of Love is born.



When moonlike ore the hazure seas
In soft effulgence swells,
When silver jews and balmy breaze
Bend down the Lily's bells;

When calm and deap, the rosy sleap
Has lapt your soal in dreems,
R Hangeline! R lady mine!
Dost thou remember Jeames?

I mark thee in the Marble all,
Where England's loveliest shine--
I say the fairest of them hall
Is Lady Hangeline.

My soul, in desolate eclipse,
With recollection teems--
And then I hask, with weeping lips,
Dost thou remember Jeames?

Away! I may not tell thee hall
This soughring heart endures--
There is a lonely sperrit-call
That Sorrow never cures;

There is a little, little Star,
That still above me beams;
It is the Star of Hope--but ar!
Dost thou remember Jeames?

_W.M. Thackeray_.


Fluttering spread thy purple pinions,
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart,
I a slave in thy dominions,
Nature must give way to art.

Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks,
See my weary days consuming,
All beneath yon flowery rocks.

Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping,
Mourned Adonis, darling youth:
Him the boar, in silence creeping,
Gored with unrelenting tooth.

Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
Fair Discretion, tune the lyre;
Soothe my ever-waking slumbers;
Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.

Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
Armed in adamantine chains,
Lead me to the crystal mirrors,
Watering soft Elysian plains.

Mournful Cypress, verdant willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's brows,
Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow,
Hear me pay my dying vows.

Melancholy, smooth Maeander,
Swiftly purling in a round,
On thy margin lovers wander
With thy flowery chaplets crowned.

Thus when Philomela, drooping,
Softly seeks her silent mate,
So the bird of Juno stooping;
Melody resigns to fate.

_Alexander Pope_.


Untwine those ringlets! Ev'ry dainty clasp
That shines like twisted sunlight in my eye
Is but the coiling of the jewelled asp
That smiles to see men die.

Oh, cobra-curled! Fierce-fanged fair one! Draw
Night's curtain o'er the landscape of thy hair!
I yield! I kneel! I own, I bless thy law
That dooms me to despair.

I mark the crimson ruby of thy lips,
I feel the witching weirdness of thy breath!
I droop! I sink into my soul's eclipse,--
I fall in love with death!

And yet, vouchsafe a moment! I would gaze
Once more into those sweetly-murderous eyes,
Soft glimmering athwart the pearly haze
That smites to dusk the skies.

Hast thou no pity? Must I darkly tread
The unknown paths that lead me wide from thee?
Hast thou no garland for this aching head
That soon so low must be?

No sound? No sigh? No smile? Is _all_ forgot?
Then spin my shroud out of that golden skein
Thou callst thy tresses! _I_ shall stay thee not--
My struggles were but vain!

But shall I see thee far beyond the sun,
When the new dawn lights Empyrean scenes?
What matters now? I know the poem's done,
And wonder what the dickens it all means!



Lovely maid, with rapture swelling,
Should these pages meet thine eye,
Clouds of absence soft dispelling;--
Vacant memory heaves a sigh.

As the rose, with fragrance weeping,
Trembles to the tuneful wave,
So my heart shall twine unsleeping,
Till it canopies the grave.

Though another's smile's requited,
Envious fate my doom should be;
Joy forever disunited,
Think, ah! think, at times on me!

Oft, amid the spicy gloaming,
Where the brakes their songs instil,
Fond affection silent roaming,
Loves to linger by the rill--

There, when echo's voice consoling,
Hears the nightingale complain,
Gentle sighs my lips controlling,
Bind my soul in beauty's chain.

Oft in slumber's deep recesses,
I thy mirror'd image see;
Fancy mocks the vain caresses
I would lavish like a bee!

But how vain is glittering sadness!
Hark, I hear distraction's knell!
Torture gilds my heart with madness!
Now forever fare thee well!



How many strive to force a way
Where none can go save those who pay,
To verdant plains of soft delight
The homage of the silent night,
When countless stars from pole to pole
Around the earth unceasing roll
In roseate shadow's silvery hue,
Shine forth and gild the morning dew.

And must we really part for good,
But meet again here where we've stood?
No more delightful trysting-place,
We've watched sweet Nature's smiling face.
No more the landscape's lovely brow,
Exchange our mutual breathing vow.
Then should the twilight draw around
No loving interchange of sound.

Less for renown than innate love,
These to my wish must recreant prove;
Nor whilst an impulse here remain,
Can ever hope the soul to gain;
For memory scanning all the past,
Relaxes her firm bonds at last,
And gives to candor all the grace
The heart can in its temple trace.



Thy heart is like some icy lake,
On whose cold brink I stand;
Oh, buckle on my spirit's skate,
And lead, thou living saint, the way
To where the ice is thin--
That it may break beneath my feet
And let a lover in!



There's not a spider in the sky,
There's not a glowworm in the sea,
There's not a crab that soars on high,
But bids me dream, dear maid, of thee!

When watery Phoebus ploughs the main,
When fiery Luna gilds the lea,
As flies run up the window-pane,
So fly my thoughts, dear love, to thee!



I don't know any greatest treat
As sit him in a gay parterre,
And sniff one up the perfume sweet
Of every roses buttoning there.

It only want my charming miss
Who make to blush the self red rose;
Oh! I have envy of to kiss
The end's tip of her splendid nose.

Oh! I have envy of to be
What grass 'neath her pantoffle push,
And too much happy seemeth me
The margaret which her vestige crush.

But I will meet her nose at nose,
And take occasion for her hairs,
And indicate her all my woes,
That she in fine agree my prayers.

I don't know any greatest treat
As sit him in a gay parterre,
With Madame who is too more sweet
Than every roses buttoning there.

_E.H. Palmer_


When gooseberries grow on the stem of a daisy,
And plum-puddings roll on the tide to the shore,
And julep is made from the curls of a jazey,
Oh, then, Mollidusta, I'll love thee no more.

When steamboats no more on the Thames shall be going,
And a cast-iron bridge reach Vauxhall from the Nore,
And the Grand Junction waterworks cease to be flowing,
Oh, then, Mollidusta, I'll love thee no more.



_At the Piano_


Love me and leave me; what love bids retrieve me? can June's fist
grasp May?
Leave me and love me; hopes eyed once above me like spring's
sprouts, decay;
Fall as the snow falls, when summer leaves grow false--cards
packed for storm's play!


Nay, say Decay's self be but last May's elf, wing shifted, eye
Changeling in April's crib rocked, who lets 'scape rills locked
fast since frost breathed--
Skin cast (think!) adder-like, now bloom bursts bladder-like,--
bloom frost bequeathed?


Ah, how can fear sit and hear as love hears it grief's heart's
cracked grate's screech?
Chance lets the gate sway that opens on hate's way and shews on
shame's beach
Crouched like an imp sly change watch sweet love's shrimps lie, a
toothful in each.


Time feels his tooth slip on husks wet from Truth's lip, which
drops them and grins--
Shells where no throb stirs of life left in lobsters since joy
thrilled their fins--
Hues of the pawn's tail or comb that makes dawn stale, so red for
our sins!


Leaves love last year smelt now feel dead love's tears melt--flies
caught in time's mesh!
Salt are the dews in which new time breeds new sin, brews blood
and stews flesh;
Next year may see dead more germs than this weeded and reared them

Old times left perish, new time to cherish; life just shifts its
As, when the day dies, half afraid, eyes the growth of the moon;
Love me and save me, take me or waive me; death takes one so soon!

_A.C. Swinburne_.


The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"Oh, lovely Pussy, oh, Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh, let us be married; too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in the wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

_Edward Lear_.


She hid herself in the _soiree_ kettle
Out of her Ma's way, wise, wee maid!
Wan was her lip as the lily's petal,
Sad was the smile that over it played.
Why doth she warble not? Is she afraid
Of the hound that howls, or the moaning mole?
Can it be on an errand she hath delayed?
Hush thee, hush thee, dear little soul!

The nightingale sings to the nodding nettle
In the gloom o' the gloaming athwart the glade:
The zephyr sighs soft on Popocatapetl,
And Auster is taking it cool in the shade:
Sing, hey, for a _gutta serenade_!
Not mine to stir up a storied pole,
No noses snip with a bluggy blade--
Hush thee, hush thee, dear little soul!

Shall I bribe with a store of minted metal?
With Everton toffee thee persuade?
That thou in a kettle thyself shouldst settle,
When grandly and gaudily all arrayed!
Thy flounces 'ill foul and fangles fade.
Come out, and Algernon Charles 'ill roll
Thee safe and snug in Plutonian plaid--
Hush thee, hush thee, dear little soul!


When nap is none and raiment frayed,
And winter crowns the puddered poll,
A kettle sings ane soote ballade--
Hush thee, hush thee, dear little soul.

_John Twig_.


Ah Night! blind germ of days to be,
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
What wail of smitten strings hear we?
(Ah me! ah me!
_Hey diddle dee_!)

Ravished by clouds our Lady Moon,
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
Sinks swooning in a lady-swoon
(Ah me! ah me!
_Dum diddle dee_!)

What profits it to rise i' the dark?
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
If love but over-soar its mark
(Ah me! ah me!
_Hey diddle dee_!)

What boots to fall again forlorn?
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
Scorned by the grinning hound of scorn,
(Ah me! ah me!
_Dum diddle dee_!)

Art thou not greater who art less?
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
Low love fulfilled of low success?
(Ah me! ah me!
_Hey diddle dee_!)



Out on the margin of moonshine land,
Tickle me, love, in these lonesome ribs,
Out where the whing-whang loves to stand,
Writing his name with his tail on the sand,
And wiping it out with his oogerish hand;
Tickle me, love, in these lonesome ribs.

Is it the gibber of gungs and keeks?
Tickle me, love, in these lonesome ribs,
Or what _is_ the sound the whing-whang seeks,
Crouching low by the winding creeks,
And holding his breath for weeks and weeks?
Tickle me, love, in these lonesome ribs.

Aroint him the wraithest of wraithly things!
Tickle me, love, in these lonesome ribs,
'Tis a fair whing-whangess with phosphor rings,
And bridal jewels of fangs and stings,

_James W. Riley_


The lilies lie in my lady's bower,
(Oh! weary mother, drive the cows to roost;)
They faintly droop for a little hour;
My lady's head droops like a flower.

She took the porcelain in her hand,
(Oh! weary mother, drive the cows to roost;)
She poured; I drank at her command;
Drank deep, and now--you understand!
(Oh! weary mother, drive the cows to roost.)

_Barry Pain_.


I'm a gay tra, la, la,
With my fal, lal, la, la,
And my bright--
And my light--
Tra, la, le. [_Repeat_.]

Then laugh, ha, ha, ha,
And ring, ting, ling, ling,
And sing, fal, la, la,
La, la, le. [_Repeat_.]

_Bret Harte_.


The bulbul hummeth like a book
Upon the pooh-pooh tree,
And now and then he takes a look
At you and me,
At me and you.

_Owen Seaman_.


_With an Ancient Refrain_

O stoodent A has gone and spent,
With a hey-lililu and a how-low-lan
All his money to a Cent,
And the birk and the broom blooms bonny.

His Creditors he could not pay,
With a hey-lililu and a how-low-lan,
And Prison proved a shock to A,
And the birk and the broom blooms bonny.



Oh, my Geraldine,
No flow'r was ever seen so toodle um.
You are my lum ti toodle lay,
Pretty, pretty queen,
Is rum ti Geraldine and something teen,
More sweet than tiddle lum in May.
Like the star so bright
That somethings all the night,
My Geraldine!
You're fair as the rum ti lum ti sheen,
Hark! there is what--ho!
From something--um, you know,
Dear, what I mean.
Oh! rum! tum!! tum!!! my Geraldine.

_F.C. Burnand_.


Buz, quoth the blue fly,
Hum, quoth the bee,
Buz and hum they cry,
And so do we:
In his ear, in his nose, thus, do you see?
He ate the dormouse, else it was he.

_Ben Jonson
in "The Masque of Oberon_."


As I walked by myself,
And talked to myself,
Myself said unto me,
Look to thyself,
Take care of thyself,
For nobody cares for thee.

I answered myself,
And said to myself,
In the self-same repartee,
Look to thyself,
Or not look to thyself,
The selfsame thing will be.



There was a monkey climbed up a tree,
When he fell down, then down fell he.

There was a crow sat on a stone,
When he was gone, then there was none.

There was an old wife did eat an apple,
When she had eat two, she had eat a couple.

There was a horse going to the mill,
When he went on, he stood not still.

There was a butcher cut his thumb,
When it did bleed, then blood did come.

There was a lackey ran a race,
When he ran fast, he ran apace.

There was a cobbler clouting shoon,
When they were mended, they were done.

There was a chandler making candle,
When he them strip, he did them handle.

There was a navy went into Spain,
When it returned, it came again.

_Anonymous, 1626_.


There was a little Guinea-pig,
Who, being little, was not big;
He always walked upon his feet,
And never fasted when he eat.

When from a place he ran away,
He never at that place did stay;
And while he ran, as I am told,
He ne'er stood still for young or old.

He often squeaked, and sometimes vi'lent,
And when he squeaked he ne'er was silent:
Though ne'er instructed by a cat,
He knew a mouse was not a rat.

One day, as I am certified,
He took a whim, and fairly died;
And as I'm told by men of sense,
He never has been living since!



Three children sliding on the ice
Upon a summer's day,
As it fell out they all fell in,
The rest they ran away.

Now, had these children been at home,
Or sliding on dry ground,
Ten thousand pounds to one penny
They had not all been drowned.

You parents all that children have,
And you too that have none,
If you would have them safe abroad
Pray keep them safe at home.

_London, 1662_


If all the land were apple-pie,
And all the sea were ink;
And all the trees were bread and cheese,
What should we do for drink?



The man in the wilderness asked of me
How many strawberries grew in the sea.
I answered him as I thought good,
As many as red herrings grow in the wood.



There were three jovial huntsmen,
As I have heard them say,
And they would go a-hunting
All on a summer's day.

All the day they hunted,
And nothing could they find
But a ship a-sailing,
A-sailing with the wind.

One said it was a ship,
The other said Nay;
The third said it was a house
With the chimney blown away.

And all the night they hunted,
And nothing could they find;
But the moon a-gliding,
A-gliding with the wind.

One said it was the moon,
The other said Nay;
The third said it was a cheese,
And half o't cut away.



My father left me three acres of land,
Sing ivy, sing ivy;
My father left me three acres of land,
Sing holly, go whistle, and ivy!

I ploughed it with a ram's horn,
Sing ivy, sing ivy;
And sowed it all over with one peppercorn.
Sing holly, go whistle, and ivy!

I harrowed it with a bramble bush,
Sing ivy, sing ivy;
And reaped it with my little penknife,
Sing holly, go whistle, and ivy!

I got the mice to carry it to the barn,
Sing ivy, sing ivy;
And thrashed it with a goose's quill,
Sing holly, go whistle, and ivy!

I got the cat to carry it to the mill,
Sing ivy, sing ivy;
The miller he swore he would have her paw,
And the cat she swore she would scratch his face,
Sing holly, go whistle, and ivy!



Master I have, and I am his man,
Gallop a dreary dun;
Master I have, and I am his man,
And I'll get a wife as fast as I can;
With a heighly gaily gamberally,
Higgledy piggledy, niggledy, niggledy,
Gallop a dreary dun.



Hyder iddle diddle dell,
A yard of pudding is not an ell;
Not forgetting tweedle-dye,
A tailor's goose will never fly.



When good King Arthur ruled the land,
He was a goodly king:
He stole three pecks of barley meal,
To make a bag-pudding.

A bag-pudding the king did make,
And stuffed it well with plums;
And in it put great lumps of fat,
As big as my two thumbs.

The king and queen did eat thereof,
And noblemen beside;
And what they could not eat that night,
The queen next morning fried.



We're all in the dumps,
For diamonds are trumps;
The kittens are gone to St. Paul's!
The babies are bit,
The moon's in a fit,
And the houses are built without walls.



Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee
Resolved to have a battle,
For Tweedle-dum said Tweedle-dee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew by a monstrous crow,
As big as a tar-barrel,
Which frightened both the heroes so
They quite forgot their quarrel.



Martin said to his man,
Fie! man, fie!
Oh, Martin said to his man,
Who's the fool now?
Martin said to his man,
Fill thou the cup, and I the can;
Thou hast well drunken, man:
Who's the fool now?

I see a sheep shearing corn,
Fie! man, fie!
I see a sheep shearing corn,
Who's the fool now?
I see a sheep shearing corn,
And a cuckoo blow his horn;
Thou hast well drunken, man:
Who's the fool now?

I see a man in the moon,
Fie! man, fie!
I see a man in the moon,
Who's the fool now?
I see a man in the moon,
Clouting of St. Peter's shoon,
Thou hast well drunken, man:
Who's the fool now?

I see a hare chase a hound,
Fie! man, fie!
I see a hare chase a hound,
Who's the fool now?
I see a hare chase a hound,
Twenty mile above the ground;
Thou hast well drunken, man:
Who's the fool now?

I see a goose ring a hog,
Fie! man, fie!
I see a goose ring a hog,
Who's the fool now?
I see a goose ring a hog,
And a snail that bit a dog;
Thou hast well drunken, man:
Who's the fool now?

I see a mouse catch the cat,
Fie! man, fie!
I see a mouse catch the cat,
Who's the fool now?
I see a mouse catch the cat,
And the cheese to eat the rat;
Thou hast well drunken, man:
Who's the fool now?

From _Deuteromelia
printed in the reign of James I_.



On the Coast of Coromandel
Where the early pumpkins blow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
Two old chairs, and half a candle,
One old jug without a handle,--
These were all his worldly goods:
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.


Once, among the Bong-trees walking
Where the early pumpkins blow,
To a little heap of stones
Came the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
There he heard a Lady talking,
To some milk-white Hens of Dorking,--
"'Tis the Lady Jingly Jones!
On that little heap of stones
Sits the Lady Jingly Jones!"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.


"Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!
Sitting where the pumpkins blow,
Will you come and be my wife?"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
"I am tired of living singly,--
On this coast so wild and shingly,--
I'm a-weary of my life;
If you'll come and be my wife,
Quite serene would be my life!"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.


"On this Coast of Coromandel
Shrimps and watercresses grow,
Prawns are plentiful and cheap,"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
"You shall have my chairs and candle,
And my jug without a handle!
Gaze upon the rolling deep
(Fish is plentiful and cheap):
As the sea, my love is deep!"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

Lady Jingly answered sadly,
And her tears began to flow,--
"Your proposal comes too late,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
I would be your wife most gladly!"
(Here she twirled her fingers madly,)
"But in England I've a mate!
Yes! you've asked me far too late,
For in England I've a mate,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!"


Mr. Jones (his name is Handel,--
Handel Jones, Esquire & Co.)
Dorking fowls delights to send,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
Keep, oh, keep your chairs and candle,
And your jug without a handle,--
I can merely be your friend!
Should my Jones more Dorkings send,
I will give you three, my friend!
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!


"Though you've such a tiny body,
And your head so large doth grow,--
Though your hat may blow away,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
Though you're such a Hoddy Doddy,
Yet I wish that I could modi-
fy the words I needs must say!
Will you please to go away?
That is all I have to say,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!"


Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,
Where the early pumpkins blow,
To the calm and silent sea
Fled the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
There, beyond the Bay of Gurtle,
Lay a large and lively Turtle.
"You're the Cove," he said, "for me:
On your back beyond the sea,
Turtle, you shall carry me!"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.


Through the silent roaring ocean
Did the Turtle swiftly go;
Holding fast upon his shell
Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
With a sad primaeval motion
Toward the sunset isles of Boshen
Still the Turtle bore him well,
Holding fast upon his shell.
"Lady Jingly Jones, farewell!"
Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.


From the Coast of Coromandel
Did that Lady never go,
On that heap of stones she mourns
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
On that Coast of Coromandel,
In his jug without a handle
Still she weeps, and daily moans;
On the little heap of stones
To her Dorking Hens she moans,
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

_Edward Lear_.


The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said, "Some day you may lose them all,"
He replied, "Fish fiddle de-dee!"
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink;
For she said, "The World in general knows
There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!"

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said, "No harm
Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes
Are safe--provided he minds his nose."

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him,
He tinkledy-binkledy-winkled a bell
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the farther side,
"He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska's
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!"

But before he touched the shore--
The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green Porpoise carried away
His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet,
Formerly garnished with toes so neat,
His face at once became forlorn
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew,
From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes,
In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps or crawfish gray,
Or crafty mermaids stole them away,
Nobody knew; and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back and carried him up
To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish,
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish;
And she said, "It's a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes."

_Edward Lear_.



They went to sea in a sieve, they did;
In a sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
In a sieve they went to sea.
And when the sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, "You'll all be drowned!"
They called aloud, "Our sieve ain't big;
But we don't care a button, we don't care a fig:
In a sieve we'll go to sea!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.


They sailed away in a sieve, they did,
In a sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a ribbon by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast.
And every one said who saw them go,
"Oh! won't they soon be upset, you know?
For the sky is dark and the voyage is long,
And, happen what may, it's extremely wrong
In a sieve to sail so fast."
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.


The water it soon came in, it did;
The water it soon came in:
So, to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat;
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar;
And each of them said, "How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
While round in our sieve we spin."
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.


And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
"O Timballoo! How happy we are
When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar!
And all night long, in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail
In the shade of the mountains brown."
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,--
To a land all covered with trees;
And they bought an owl and a useful cart,
And a pound of rice, and a cranberry-tart,
And a hive of silvery bees;
And they bought a pig, and some green jackdaws,
And a lovely monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of ring-bo-ree,
And no end of Stilton cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.


And in twenty years they all came back,--
In twenty years or more;
And every one said, "How tall they've grown!
For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore."
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, "If we only live,
We, too, will go to sea in a sieve,
To the hills of the Chankly Bore."
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue;
And they went to sea in a sieve.

_Edward Lear_.



Oh! my aged Uncle Arly,
Sitting on a heap of barley
Through the silent hours of night,
Close beside a leafy thicket;
On his nose there was a cricket,
In his hat a Railway-Ticket,
(But his shoes were far too tight.)


Long ago, in youth, he squander'd
All his goods away, and wander'd
To the Timskoop-hills afar.
There on golden sunsets glazing
Every evening found him gazing,
Singing, "Orb! you're quite amazing!
How I wonder what you are!"


Like the ancient Medes and Persians,
Always by his own exertions
He subsisted on those hills;
Whiles, by teaching children spelling,
Or at times by merely yelling,
Or at intervals by selling
"Propter's Nicodemus Pills."


Later, in his morning rambles,
He perceived the moving brambles
Something square and white disclose:--
'Twas a First-class Railway-Ticket;
But on stooping down to pick it
Off the ground, a pea-green cricket
Settled on my uncle's nose.


Never, nevermore, oh! never
Did that cricket leave him ever,--
Dawn or evening, day or night;
Clinging as a constant treasure,
Chirping with a cheerious measure,
Wholly to my uncle's pleasure,
(Though his shoes were far too tight.)


So for three and forty winters,
Till his shoes were worn to splinters
All those hills he wander'd o'er,--
Sometimes silent, sometimes yelling;
Till he came to Borley-Melling,
Near his old ancestral dwelling,
(But his shoes were far too tight.)


On a little heap of barley
Died my aged Uncle Arly,
And they buried him one night
Close beside the leafy thicket;
There, his hat and Railway-Ticket;
There, his ever faithful cricket;
(But his shoes were far too tight.)

_Edward Lear_.


How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!
Who has written such volumes of stuff!
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few think him pleasant enough.

His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers,
Leastways if you reckon two thumbs;
Long ago he was one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.

He sits in a beautiful parlour,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
He drinks a great deal of Marsala,
But never gets tipsy at all.

He has many friends, laymen and clerical,
Old Foss is the name of his cat:
His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.

When he walks in a waterproof white,
The children run after him so!
Calling out, "He's come out in his night-
Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!"

He weeps by the side of the ocean,
He weeps on the top of the hill;
He purchases pancakes and lotion,
And chocolate shrimps from the mill.

He reads but he cannot speak Spanish,
He cannot abide ginger-beer:
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear.

_Edward Lear_.


I'll tell thee everything I can;
There's little to relate.
I saw an aged aged man,
A-sitting on a gate.
"Who are you, aged man?" I said,
"And how is it you live?"
His answer trickled through my head
Like water through a sieve.

He said, "I look for butterflies
That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men," he said,
"Who sail on stormy seas;
And that's the way I get my bread--
A trifle, if you please."

But I was thinking of a plan
To dye one's whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.
So, having no reply to give
To what the old man said,
I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"
And thumped him on the head.

His accents mild took up the tale;
He said, "I go my ways
And when I find a mountain-rill
I set it in a blaze;
And thence they make a stuff they call
Rowland's Macassar Oil--
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all
They give me for my toil."

But I was thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter.
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue;
"Come, tell me how you live," I cried,
"And what it is you do!"

He said, "I hunt for haddock's eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine,
But for a copper halfpenny
And that will purchase nine."

"I sometimes dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs;
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of Hansom cabs.
And that's the way" (he gave a wink)
"By which I get my wealth--
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honor's noble health."

I heard him then, for I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai Bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine.
I thanked him much for telling me
The way he got his wealth,
But chiefly for his wish that he
Might drink my noble health.

And now if e'er by chance I put
My fingers into glue,
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot
Into a left-hand shoe,
Or if I drop upon my toe
A very heavy weight,
I weep, for it reminds me so
Of that old man I used to know--
Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow,
Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
Whose face was very like a crow,
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
Who seemed distracted with his woe,
Who rocked his body to and fro,
And muttered mumblingly, and low,
As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo--
That summer evening, long ago,
A-sitting on a gate.

_Lewis Carroll_


The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But not a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter,
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you 're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said,
"Do you admire the view?"

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said;
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

_Lewis Carroll_.


We have sailed many months, we have sailed many weeks,
(Four weeks to the month you may mark),
But never as yet ('tis your Captain who speaks)
Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!

"We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days,
(Seven days to the week I allow),
But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze,
We have never beheld until now!"

"Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
The warranted genuine Snarks."

"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o-the-wisp."

"Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day."

"The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
Should you happen to venture on one,
It will sigh like a thing that is greatly distressed;
And it always looks grave at a pun."

"The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
Which it constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes--
A sentiment open to doubt."

"The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
To describe each particular batch;
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
From those that have whiskers, and scratch."

"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
Yet I feel it my duty to say
Some are Boojums--" The Bellman broke off in alarm,
For the Baker had fainted away.

They roused him with muffins--they roused him with ice--
They roused him with mustard and cress--
They roused him with jam and judicious advice--
They set him conundrums to guess.

When at length he sat up and was able to speak,
His sad story he offered to tell;
And the Bellman cried, "Silence! Not even a shriek!"
And excitedly tingled his bell.

"My father and mother were honest, though poor--"
"Skip all that!" cried the Bellman in haste,
"If it once becomes dark, there's no chance of a Snark,
We have hardly a minute to waste!"

"I skip forty years," said the Baker, in tears,
"And proceed without further remark
To the day when you took me aboard of your ship
To help you in hunting the Snark."

"You may seek it with thimbles--and seek it with care;
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
You may charm it with smiles and soap--"

"I said it in Hebrew--I said it in Dutch--
I said it in German and Greek;
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!"

"The thing can be done," said the Butcher, "I think
The thing must be done, I am sure.
The thing shall be done! Bring me paper and ink,
The best there is time to procure."

So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not,
As he wrote with a pen in each hand,
And explained all the while in a popular style
Which the Beaver could well understand.

"Taking Three as the subject to reason about--
A convenient number to state--
We add Seven and Ten and then multiply out
By One Thousand diminished by Eight."

"The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
By Nine Hundred and Ninety and Two;
Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
Exactly and perfectly true."

"As to temper, the Jubjub's a desperate bird,
Since it lives in perpetual passion:
Its taste in costume is entirely absurd--
It is ages ahead of the fashion."

"Its flavor when cooked is more exquisite far
Than mutton or oysters or eggs:
(Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
And some, in mahogany kegs.)"

"You boil it in sawdust; you salt it in glue:
You condense it with locusts and tape;
Still keeping one principal object in view--
To preserve its symmetrical shape."

The Butcher would gladly have talked till next day,
But he felt that the Lesson must end,
And he wept with delight in attempting to say
He considered the Beaver his friend.

_Lewis Carroll_.


He thought he saw a Banker's clerk
Descending from the 'bus;
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
"If this should stay to dine," he said,
"There won't be much for us!"

He thought he saw an Albatross
That fluttered round the lamp:
He looked again, and found it was
A Penny-Postage-Stamp.
"You'd best be getting home," he said;
"The nights are very damp!"

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was


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