The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear by Edward Lear
4.2k
Calico Pie

I

  Calico Pie,
  The little Birds fly
Down to the calico tree,
  Their wings were blue,
  And they sang 'Tilly-loo!'
  Till away they flew,--
    And they never came back to me!
      They never came back!
      They never came back!
    They never came back to me!

II

  Calico Jam,
  The little Fish swam,
Over the syllabub sea,
    He took off his hat,
  To the Sole and the Sprat,
  And the Willeby-Wat,--
But he never came back to me!
  He never came back!
  He never came back!
He never came back to me!

III

  Calico Ban,
  The little Mice ran,
To be ready in time for tea,
  Flippity flup,
  They drank it all up,
  And danced in the cup,--
But they never came back to me!
  They never came back!
  They never came back!
They never came back to me!

IV

  Calico Drum,
  The Grasshoppers come,
The Butterfly, Beetle, and Bee,
  Over the ground,
  Around and around,
  With a hop and a bound,--
But they never came back to me!
  They never came back!
  They never came back!
They never came back to me!

King and Queen of the Pelicans we;
No other Birds so grand we see!
None but we have feet like fins!
With lovely leathery throats and chins!
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

We live on the Nile. The Nile we love.
By night we sleep on the cliffs above;
By day we fish, and at eve we stand
On long bare islands of yellow sand.
And when the sun sinks slowly down
And the great rock walls grow dark and brown,
Where the purple river rolls fast and dim
And the Ivory Ibis starlike skim,
Wing to wing we dance around,--
Stamping our feet with a flumpy sound,--
Opening our mouths as Pelicans ought,
And this is the song we nighly snort;--
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

Last year came out our daughter, Dell;
And all the Birds received her well.
To do her honour, a feast we made
For every bird that can swim or wade.
Herons and Gulls, and Cormorants black,
Cranes, and flamingoes with scarlet back,
Plovers and Storks, and Geese in clouds,
Swans and Dilberry Ducks in crowds.
Thousands of Birds in wondrous flight!
They ate and drank and danced all night,
And echoing back from the rocks you heard
Multitude-echoes from Bird to bird,--
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

Yes, they came; and among the rest,
The King of the Cranes all grandly dressed.
Such a lovely tail! Its feathers float
between the ends of his blue dress-coat;
With pea-green trowsers all so neat,
And a delicate frill to hide his feet,--
(For though no one speaks of it, every one knows,
He has got no webs between his toes!)

As soon as he saw our Daughter Dell,
In violent love that Crane King fell,--
On seeing her waddling form so fair,
With a wreath of shrimps in her short white hair.
And before the end of the next long day,
Our Dell had given her heart away;
For the King of the Cranes had won that heart,
With a Crocodile's egg and a large fish-tart.
She vowed to marry the King of the Cranes,
Leaving the Nile for stranges plains;
And away they flew in a gathering crowd
Of endless birds in a lengthening cloud.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

And far away in the twilight sky,
We heard them singing a lessening cry,--
Farther and farther till out of sight,
And we stood alone in thesilent night!
Often since, in the nights of June,
We sit on the sand and watch the moon;--
She has gone to the great Gromboolian plain,
And we probably never shall meet again!
Oft, in the long still nights of June,
We sit on the rocks and watch the moon;--
----She dwells by the streams of the Chankly Bore,
And we probably never shall see her more.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

There was an Old Man of Peru,
Who watched his wife making a stew;
But once by mistake,
In a stove she did bake,
That unfortunate Man of Peru.

There was an Old Person of Chili,
Whose conduct was painful and silly,
He sate on the stairs,
Eating apples and pears,
That imprudent Old Person of Chili.

There was an old man in a barge,
Whose nose was exceedingly large;
But in fishing by night,
It supported a light,
Which helped that old man in a barge.

There was an Old Man with a flute,
A sarpint ran into his boot;
But he played daay and night,
Till the sarpint took flight,
And avoided that man with a flute.

I

Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,
  'Good gracious! how you hop!
Over the fields and the water too,
  As if you never would stop!
My life is a bore in this nasty pond,
And I long to go out in the world beyond!
  I wish I could hop like you!'
  Said the duck to the Kangaroo.

II

'Please give me a ride on your back!'
  Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
'I would sit quite still, and say nothing but "Quack,"
  The whole of the long day through!
And we'd go to the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,
Over the land and over the sea;--
  Please take me a ride! O do!'
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

III

Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
  'This requires some little reflection;
Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,
  And there seems but one objection,
Which is, if you'll let me speak so bold,
Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
  And would probably give me the roo-
  Matiz!' said the Kangaroo.

IV

Said the Duck ,'As I sate on the rocks,
  I have thought over that completely,
And I bought four pairs of worsted socks
  Which fit my web-feet neatly.
And to keep out the cold I've bought a cloak,
And every day a cigar I'll smoke,
  All to follow my own dear true
  Love of a Kangaroo!'

V

Said the Kangaroo,'I'm ready!
  All in the moonlight pale;
But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady!
  And quite at the end of my tail!'
So away they went with a hop and a bound,
And they hopped the whole world three times round;
  And who so happy,--O who,
  As the duck and the Kangaroo?

There was an old man of Blackheath,
Whose head was adorned with a wreath,
Of lobsters and spice,
Pickled onions and mice,
That uncommon old man of Blackheath.

There was Old Man in a pew,
Whose waistcoat was spotted with blue;
But he tore it in pieces
To give to his nieces,
That cheerful Old Man in a pew.

There was a young lady in white,
Who looked out at the depths of the night;
But the birds of the air,
Filled her heart with despair,
And oppressed that young lady in white.

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.

II

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.

III

'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.

IV

'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.

V

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!'

VI

'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!'

VII

'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 a 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!'.

VIII

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.

IX

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
Towards 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.

X

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 that little hep of stones
    To her Dorking Hens she moans,
  For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
  For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

There was a Young Lady of Portugal,
Whose ideas were excessively nautical:
She climbed up a tree,
To examine the sea,
But declared she would never leave Portugal.

I

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,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
  What a beautiful Pussy you are,
    You are,
    You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

II

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
  How charmingly sweet you sing!
O 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 a 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.

III

'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.

I

The Nutcrackers sate by a plate on the table,
  The Sugar-tongs sate by a plate at his side;
And the Nutcrackers said, 'Don't you wish we were able
  'Along the blue hills and green meadows to ride?
'Must we drag on this stupid existence for ever,
  'So idle so weary, so full of remorse,--
'While every one else takes his pleasure, and never
  'Seems happy unless he is riding a horse?

II

'Don't you think we could ride without being instructed?
  'Without any saddle, or bridle, or spur?
'Our legs are so long, and so aptly constructed,
  'I'm sure that an accident could not occur.
'Let us all of a sudden hop down from the table,
  'And hustle downstairs, and each jump on a horse!
'Shall we try? Shall we go! Do you think we are able?'
  The Sugar-tongs answered distinctly,'Of course!'

III

So down the long staircase they hopped in a minute,
  The Sugar-tongs snapped, and the Crackers said 'crack!'
The stable was open, the horses were in it;
  Each took out a pony, and jumped on his back.
The Cat in a fright scrambled out of the doorway,
  The Mice tumbled out of a bundle of hay,
The brown and white Rats, and the black ones from Norway,
  Screamed out, 'They are taking the horses away!'

IV

The whole of the household was filled with amazement,
  The Cups and the Saucers danced madly about,
The Plates and the Dishes looked out of the casement,
  The Saltcellar stood on his head with a shout,
The Spoons with a clatter looked out of the lattice,
  The Mustard-pot climbed up the Gooseberry Pies,
The Soup-ladle peeped through a heap of Veal Patties,
  And squeaked with a ladle-like scream of surprise.

V

The Frying-pan said, 'It's an awful delusion!'
  The Tea-kettle hissed and grew black in the face;
And they all rushed downstairs in the wildest confusion,
  To see the great Nutcracker-Sugar-tong race.
And out of the stable, with screamings and laughter,
  (Their ponies were cream-coloured, speckled with brown,)
The Nutcrackers first, and the Sugar-tongs after,
  Rode all round the yard, and then all round the town.

VI

They rode through the street, and they rode by the station,
  They galloped away to the beautiful shore;
In silence they rode, and 'made no observation',
  Save this: 'We will never go back any more!'
And still you might hear, till they rode out of hearing,
  The Sugar-tongs snap, and the Crackers say 'crack!'
Till far in the distance their forms disappearing,
  They faded away.--And they never came back!

There was an old man of Dumbree,
Who taught little owls to drink tea;
For he said, 'To eat mice,
Is not proper or nice'
That amiable man of Dumbree.

There was an Old Man of Calcutta,
Who perpetually ate bread and butter,
Till a great bit of muffin,
On which he was stuffing,
Choked that horrid Old Man of Calcutta.

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who sat on a horse when he reared;
But they said, "Never mind!
You will fall off behind,
You propitious Old Man with a beard!"

I

The Broom and the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs,
  They all took a drive in the Park,
And they each sang a song, Ding-a-dong, Ding-a-dong,
  Before they went back in the dark.
Mr. Poker he sate quite upright in the coach,
  Mr. Tongs made a clatter and clash,
Miss Shovel was all dressed in black (with a brooch),
  Mrs. Broom was in blue (with a sash).
    Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
    And they all sang a song!

II

'O Shovel so lovely!' the Poker he sang,
  'You have perfectly conquered my heart!
'Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong! If you're pleased with my song,
  'I will feed you with cold apple tart!
'When you scrape up the coals with a delicate sound,
  'You encapture my life with delight!
'Your nose is so shiny! your head is so round!
  'And your shape is so slender and bright!
    'Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
    'Ain't you pleased with my song?'

III

'Alas! Mrs. Broom!' sighed the Tongs in his song,
  'O is it because I'm so thin,
'And my legs are so long--Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
  'That you don't care about me a pin?
'Ah! fairest of creatures, when sweeping the room,
  'Ah! why don't you heed my complaint!
'Must you needs be so cruel, you beautiful Broom,
  'Because you are covered with paint?
    'Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
    'You are certainly wrong!'

IV

Mrs. Broom and Miss Shovel together they sang,
  'What nonsense you're singing to-day!'
Said the Shovel, 'I'll certainly hit you a bang!'
  Said the Broom, 'And I'll sweep you away!'
So the Coachman drove homeward as fast as he could,
  Perceiving their anger with pain;
But they put on the kettle and little by little,
  They all became happy again.
    Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
    There's an end of my song!

There was an Old Man of Vienna,
Who lived upon Tincture of Senna;
When that did not agree,
He took Camomile Tea,
That nasty Old Man of Vienna.

There was a young lady of Corsica,
Who purchased a little brown saucy-cur;
Which she fed upon ham,
And hot raspberry jam,
That expensive young lady of Corsica.

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat, I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you ain't!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

There was a young lady, whose nose,
Continually prospers and grows;
When it grew out of sight,
She exclaimed in a fright,
'Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!'

There was an old lady of France,
Who taught little ducklings to dance;
When she said, 'Tick-a-Tack!'--
They only said, 'Quack!'
Which grieved that old lady of France.

There was a Young Lady of Poole,
Whose soup was excessively cool;
So she put it to boil
By the aid of some oil,
That ingenious Young Lady of Poole.

There was a young lady of Greenwich,
Whose garments were bordered with Spinach;
But a large spotty Calf,
Bit her shawl quite in half,
Which alarmed that young lady of Greenwich.

There was a Young Lady of Dorking,
Who bought a large bonnet for walking;
But its colour and size,
So bedazzled her eyes,
That she very soon went back to Dorking.

There was an old person of Bude,
Whose deportment was vicious and crude;
He wore a large ruff,
Of pale straw-coloured stuff,
Which perplexed all the people of Bude.

There was an Old Man of Vesuvius,
Who studied the works of Vitruvius;
When the flames burnt his book,
To drinking he took,
That morbid Old Man of Vesuvius.

On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
The Quangle Wangle sat,
But his face you could not see,
On account of his Beaver Hat.
For his Hat was a hundred and two feet wide,
With ribbons and bibbons on every side
And bells, and buttons, and loops, and lace,
So that nobody every could see the face
Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.
The Quangle Wangle said
To himself on the Crumpetty Tree, --
"Jam; and jelly; and bread;
"Are the best of food for me!
"But the longer I live on this Crumpetty Tree
"The plainer than ever it seems to me
"That very few people come this way
"And that life on the whole is far from gay!"
Said the Quangle Wangle Quee.
But there came to the Crumpetty Tree,
Mr. and Mrs. Canary;
And they said, -- "Did every you see
"Any spot so charmingly airy?
"May we build a nest on your lovely Hat?
"Mr. Quangle Wangle, grant us that!
"O please let us come and build a nest
"Of whatever material suits you best,
"Mr. Quangle Wangle Quee!"
And besides, to the Crumpetty Tree
Came the Stork, the Duck, and the Owl;
The Snail, and the Bumble-Bee,
The Frog, and the Fimble Fowl;
(The Fimble Fowl, with a corkscrew leg;)
And all of them said, -- "We humbly beg,
"We may build out homes on your lovely Hat, --
"Mr. Quangle Wangle, grant us that!
"Mr. Quangle Wangle Quee!"
And the Golden Grouse came there,
And the Pobble who has no toes, --
And the small Olympian bear, --
And the Dong with a luminous nose.
And the Blue Baboon, who played the Flute, --
And the Orient Calf from the Land of Tute, --
And the Attery Squash, and the Bisky Bat, --
All came and built on the lovely Hat
Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.
And the Quangle Wangle said
To himself on the Crumpetty Tree, --
"When all these creatures move
"What a wonderful noise there'll be!"
And at night by the light of the Mulberry moon
They danced to the Flute of the Blue Baboon,
On the broad green leaves of the Crumpetty Tree,
And all were as happy as happy could be,
With the Quangle Wangle Quee.

I

Said the Table to the Chair,
'You can hardly be aware,
'How I suffer from the heat,
'And from chilblains on my feet!
'If we took a little walk,
'We might have a little talk!
'Pray let us take the air!'
Said the Table to the Chair.

II

Said the Chair to the table,
'Now you know we are not able!
'How foolishly you talk,
'When you know we cannot walk!'
Said the Table with a sigh,
'It can do no harm to try,
'I've as many legs as you,
'Why can't we walk on two?'

III

So they both went slowly down,
And walked about the town
With a cheerful bumpy sound,
As they toddled round and round.
And everybody cried,
As they hastened to the side,
'See! the Table and the Chair
'Have come out to take the air!'

There was a Young Lady of Norway,
Who casually sat on a doorway;
When the door squeezed her flat,
She exclaimed, 'What of that?'
This courageous Young Lady of Norway.

There was an Old Man with a poker,
Who painted his face with red oker
When they said, 'You're a Guy!'
He made no reply,
But knocked them all down with his poker.

There was a Young Lady whose bonnet,
Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
But she said: 'I don't care!
All the birds in the air
Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!'

There was an Old Sailor of Compton,
Whose vessel a rock it once bump'd on;
The shock was so great,
that it damaged the pate,
Of that singular Sailor of Compton.

There was an old man whose remorse,
Induced him to drink Caper Sauce;
For they said, 'If mixed up,
With some cold claret-cup,
It will certainly soothe your remorse!'

There was an Old Person of Dover,
Who rushed through a field of blue Clover;
But some very large bees,
Stung his nose and his knees,
So he very soon went back to Dover.

There was an old man in a Marsh,
Whose manners were futile and harsh;
He sate on a log,
And sang songs to a frog,
That instructive old man in a Marsh.

Two old Bachelors were living in one house;
One caught a Muffin, the other caught a Mouse.
Said he who caught the Muffin to him who caught the Mouse,--
'This happens just in time! For we've nothing in the house,
'Save a tiny slice of lemon nd a teaspoonful of honey,
'And what to do for dinner--since we haven't any money?
'And what can we expect if we haven't any dinner,
'But to loose our teeth and eyelashes and keep on growing thinner?'

Said he who caught the Mouse to him who caught the Muffin,--
'We might cook this little Mouse, if we had only some Stuffin'!
'If we had but Sage andOnion we could do extremely well,
'But how to get that Stuffin' it is difficult to tell'--

Those two old Bachelors ran quickly to the town
And asked for Sage and Onions as they wandered up and down;
They borrowed two large Onions, but no Sage was to be found
In the Shops, or in the Market, or in all the Gardens round.

But some one said,--'A hill there is, a little to the north,
'And to its purpledicular top a narrow way leads forth;--
'And there among the rugged rocks abides an ancient Sage,--
'An earnest Man, who reads all day a most perplexing page.
'Climb up, and seize him by the toes!--all studious as he sits,--
'And pull him down,--and chop him into endless little bits!
'Then mix him with your Onion, (cut up likewise into Scraps,)--
'When your Stuffin' will be ready--and very good: perhaps.'

Those two old Bachelors without loss of time
The nearly purpledicular crags at once began to climb;
And at the top, among the rocks, all seated in a nook,
They saw that Sage, a reading of a most enormous book.

'You earnest Sage!' aloud they cried, 'your book you've read enough in!--
'We wish to chop you into bits to mix you into Stuffin'!'--

But that old Sage looked calmly up, and with his awful book,
At those two Bachelors' bald heads a certain aim he took;--
and over crag and precipice they rolled promiscuous down,--
At once they rolled, and never stopped in lane or field or town,--
And when they reached their house, they found (besides their want of Stuffin',)
The Mouse had fled;--and, previously, had eaten up the Muffin.

They left their home in silence by the once convivial door.
And from that hour those Bachelors were never heard of more.

There was a Young Lady of Bute,
Who played on a silver-gilt flute;
She played several jigs,
To her uncle's white pigs,
That amusing Young Lady of Bute.

There was an old person of Ware,
Who rode on the back of a bear:
When they ask'd,--'Does it trot?'--
He said 'Certainly not!
He's a Moppsikon Floppsikon bear!'

There was an Old Man of Jamaica,
Who suddenly married a Quaker;
But she cried out, 'Alack!
I have married a black!'
Which distressed that Old Man of Jamaica.

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-blinkledy-winkled a bell,
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further 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 grey,
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!"

There was a Young Lady of Troy,
Whom several large flies did annoy;
Some she killed with a thump,
Some she drowned at the pump,
And some she took with her to Troy.

There was a Young Girl of Majorca,
Whose aunt was a very fast walker;
She walked seventy miles,
And leaped fifteen stiles,
Which astonished that Girl of Majorca.

There was an old person of Jodd,
Whose ways were perplexing and odd;
She purchased a whistle,
And sate on a thistle,
And squeaked to the people of Jodd.

I

Once Mr. Daddy Long-legs,
  Dressed in brown and gray,
Walked about upon the sands
  Upon a sumer's day;
And there among the pebbles,
  When the wind was rather cold,
He met with Mr. Floppy Fly,
  All dressed in blue and gold.
And as it was too soon to dine,
They drank some Periwinkle-wine,
And played an hour or two, or more,
At battlecock and shuttledore.

II

Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs
  To Mr. Floppy Fly,
'Why do you never come to court?
  I wish you'd tell me why.
All gold and shine, in dress so fine,
  You'd quite delight the court.
Why do you never go at all?
  I really think you ought!
And if you went, you'd see such sights!
Such rugs! Such jugs! and candle-lights!
And more than all, the King and Queen,
One in red, and one in green!'

III

'O Mr. Daddy Long-legs,'
  Said Mr. Floppy Fly,
'It's true I never go to court,
  And I will tell you why.
If I had six long legs like yours,
  At once I'd go to court!
But oh! I can't, because my legs
  Are so extremely short.
And I'm afraid the King and Queen
(One in red, and one in green)
Would say aloud, "You are not fit,
You Fly, to come to court a bit!"'

IV

'O Mr. Daddy Long-legs,'
  Said Mr. Floppy Fly,
'I wish you'd sing one little song!
  One mumbian melody!
You used to sing so awful well
  In former days gone by,
But now you never sing at all;
  I wish you'd tell me why:
For if you would, the silvery sound
Would please the shrimps and cockles round,
And all the crabs would gladly come
To hear you sing, "Ah, hum di Hum"!'

V

Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs,
  'I can never sing again!
And if you wish, I'll tell you why,
  Although it gives me pain.
For years I cannot hum a bit,
  Or sing the smallest song;
And this the dreadful reason is,
  My legs are grown too long!
My six long legs, all here and there,
Oppress my bosom with despair;
And if I stand, or lie, or sit,
I cannot sing one little bit!'

VI

So Mr. Daddy Long-legs
  And Mr. Floppy Fly
Sat down in silence by the sea,
  And gazed upon the sky.
They said, 'This is a dreadful thing!
The world has all gone wrong,
Since one has legs too short by half,
  The other much too long!
One never more can go to court,
Because his legs have grown too short;
The other cannot sing a song,
Because his legs have grown too long!'

There was an Old Man with a owl,
Who continued to bother and howl;
He sat on a rail
And imbibed bitter ale,
Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl.

Who, or why, or which, or what, Is the Akond of SWAT?

Is he tall or short, or dark or fair?
Does he sit on a stool or a sofa or a chair,
                or SQUAT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Is he wise or foolish, young or old?
Does he drink his soup and his coffee cold,
                or HOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he sing or whistle, jabber or talk,
And when riding abroad does he gallop or walk
                or TROT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a turban, a fez, or a hat?
Does he sleep on a mattress, a bed, or a mat,
                or COT,
        The Akond of Swat?

When he writes a copy in round-hand size,
Does he cross his T's and finish his I's
                with a DOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Can he write a letter concisely clear
Without a speck or a smudge or smear
                or BLOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Do his people like him extremely well?
Or do they, whenever they can, rebel,
                or PLOT,
        At the Akond of Swat?

If he catches them then, either old or young,
Does he have them chopped in pieces or hung,
                or SHOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Do his people prig in the lanes or park?
Or even at times, when days are dark,
                GAROTTE,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he study the wants of his own dominion?
Or doesn't he care for public opinion
                a JOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

To amuse his mind do his people show him
Pictures, or any one's last new poem,
                or WHAT,
        For the Akond of Swat?

At night if he suddenly screams and wakes,
Do they bring him only a few small cakes,
                or a LOT,
        For the Akond of Swat?

Does he live on turnips, tea, or tripe?
Does he like his shawl to be marked with a stripe,
                or a DOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he like to lie on his back in a boat
Like the lady who lived in that isle remote,
                SHALLOTT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Is he quiet, or always making a fuss?
Is his steward a Swiss or a Swede or Russ,
                or a SCOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does like to sit by the calm blue wave?
Or to sleep and snore in a dark green cave,
                or a GROTT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he drink small beer from a silver jug?
Or a bowl? or a glass? or a cup? or a mug?
                or a POT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe,
When she let the gooseberries grow too ripe,
                or ROT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a white tie when he dines with friends,
And tie it neat in a bow with ends,
                or a KNOT.
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he like new cream, and hate mince-pies?
When he looks at the sun does he wink his eyes,
                or NOT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Does he teach his subjects to roast and bake?
Does he sail about on an inland lake
                in a YACHT,
        The Akond of Swat?

Some one, or nobody, knows I wot
Who or which or why or what
        Is the Akond of Swat?

There was an Old Man who said, 'Well!
Will nobody answer this bell?
I have pulled day and night,
Till my hair has grown white,
But nobody answers this bell!'

There was an old person of Grange,
Whose manners were scroobious and strange;
He sailed to St. Blubb,
In a waterproof tub,
That aquatic old person of Grange.

Next page