Jabberwocky and Other Poems

Jabberwocky and Other Poems

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by Lewis Carroll

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Carefully chosen collection contains 34 of Carroll's most appealing verses—nonsense verse, parodies, burlesques, more—including such unforgettable pieces as “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” “The Mock Turtle's Song,” and “Father William,” as well as such lesser-known gems as “My Fancy,” “A Sea Dirge,” “Brother and Sister,” “Hiawatha's Photographing,” “The Mad…  See more details below


Carefully chosen collection contains 34 of Carroll's most appealing verses—nonsense verse, parodies, burlesques, more—including such unforgettable pieces as “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” “The Mock Turtle's Song,” and “Father William,” as well as such lesser-known gems as “My Fancy,” “A Sea Dirge,” “Brother and Sister,” “Hiawatha's Photographing,” “The Mad Gardener's Song,” “What Tottles Meant,” “Poeta Fit, non Nascitur,” “The Little Man That Had a Little Gun,” and many others.

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Neeland Media
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14 Years

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Jabberwocky and Other Poems


Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2001 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-11329-6



    My Fairy

    (From Useful and Instructive Poety, 1845)

    I HAVE a fairy by my side
     Which says I must not sleep,
    When once in pain I loudly cried
     It said "You must not weep."

    If, full of mirth, I smile and grin,
     It says "You must not laugh;"
    When once I wished to drink some gin
     It said "You must not quaff"

    When once a meal I wished to taste
     It said "You must not bite;"
    When to the wars I went in haste
     It said "You must not fight."

    "What may I do?" at length I cried,
     Tired of the painful task.
    The fairy quietly replied,
     And said "You must not ask."

    Moral: "You mustn't."


    (From Useful and Instructive Poetry)

    MAN naturally loves delay,
     And to procrastinate;
    Business put off from day to day
     Is always done too late.

    Let every hour be in its place
     Firm fixed, nor loosely shift,
    And well enjoy the vacant space,
     As though a birthday gift.

    And when the hour arrives, be there,
     Where'er that "there" may be;
    Uncleanly hands or ruffled hair
     Let no one ever see.

    If dinner at "half-past" be placed,
     At "half-past" then be dressed.
    If at a "quarter-past" make haste
     To be down with the rest.

    Better to be before your time,
     Than e'er to be behind;
    To ope the door while strikes the chime,
     That shows a punctual mind.


    Let punctuality and care
     Seize every flitting hour,
    So shalt thou cull a floweret fair,
     E'en from a fading flower.


    (From Useful and Instructive Poetry)

    THERE was an old farmer of Readall,
    Who made holes in his face with a needle,
     They went far deeper in
     Than to pierce through the skin,
    And yet strange to say he was made beadle.


    There was an eccentric old draper,
    Who wore a hat made of brown paper,
     It went up to a point,
     Yet it looked out of joint,
    The cause of which he said was "vapour."


    There was once a young man of Oporta,
    Who daily got shorter and shorter,
     The reason he said
     Was the hod on his head,
    Which was filled with the heaviest mortar.

    His sister, named Lucy O'Finner,
    Grew constantly thinner and thinner;
     The reason was plain,
     She slept out in the rain,
    And was never allowed any dinner.

    Brother and Sister

    (From Useful and Instructive Poetry)

    "SISTER, sister, go to bed!
    Go and rest your weary head."
    Thus the prudent brother said.

    "Do you want a battered hide,
    Or scratches to your face applied?"
    Thus his sister calm replied.

    "Sister, do not raise my wrath.
    I'd make you into mutton broth
    As easily as kill a moth!"

    The sister raised her beaming eye
    And looked on him indignantly
    And sternly answered, "Only try!"

    Off to the cook he quickly ran.
    "Dear Cook, please lend a frying-pan
    To me as quickly as you can."

    "And wherefore should I lend it you?"
    "The reason, Cook, is plain to view.
    I wish to make an Irish stew."

    "What meat is in that stew to go?"
    "My sister'll be the contents!"

    "You'll lend the pan to me, Cook?"
    "No! "
    Moral: Never stew your sister.


    (From Useful and Instructive Poetry)

    WERE I to take an iron gun,
    And fire it off towards the sun;
    I grant 'twould reach its mark at last,
    But not till many years had passed.

    But should that bullet change its force,
    And to the planets take its course,
    'Twould never reach the nearest star,
    Because it is so very far.

    Rules and Regulations

    (From Useful and Instructive Poetry)

    A SHORT direction
    To avoid dejection,
    By variations
    In occupations,
    And prolongation
    Of relaxation,
    And combinations
    Of recreations,
    And disputation
    On the state of the nation
    In adaptation
    To your station,
    By invitations
    To friends and relations,
    By evitation
    Of amputation,
    By permutation
    In conversation,
    And deep reflection
    You'll avoid dejection.

    Learn well your grammar,
    And never stammer,
    Write well and neatly,
    And sing most sweetly,
    Be enterprising,
    Love early rising,
    Go walk of six miles,
    Have ready quick smiles,
    With lightsome laughter,
    Soft flowing after.
    Drink tea, not coffee;
    Never eat toffy.
    Eat bread with butter.
    Once more, don't stutter.
    Don't waste your money,
    Abstain from honey.
    Shut doors behind you,
    (Don't slam them, mind you)
    Drink beer, not porter.
    Don't enter the water
    Till to swim you are able.
    Sit close to the table.
    Take care of a candle.
    Shut a door by the handle,
    Don't push with your shoulder
    Until you are older.
    Lose not a button.
    Refuse cold mutton.
    Starve your canaries.
    Believe in fairies.
    If you are able,
    Don't have a stable
    With any mangers.
    Be rude to strangers.

    Moral: Behave.


    (From The Rectory Magazine, 1850)

    METHOUGHT I walked a dismal place
     Dim horrors all around;
    The air was thick with many a face,
     And black as night the ground.

    I saw a monster come with speed,
     Its face of grimmliest green,
    On human beings used to feed,
     Most dreadful to be seen.

    I could not speak, I could not fly,
     I fell down in that place,
    I saw the monster's horrid eye
     Come leering in my face!

    Amidst my scarcely-stifled groans,
     Amidst my moanings deep,
    I heard a voice, "Wake! Mr. Jones,
     You're screaming in your sleep!"


    (From The Rectory Magazine)

    IF such a thing had been my thought,
    I should have told you so before,
    But as I didn't, then you ought
    To ask for such a thing no more,
    For to teach one who has been taught
    Is always thought an awful bore.

    Now to commence my argument,
    I shall premise an observation,
    On which the greatest kings have leant
    When striving to subdue a nation,
    And e'en the wretch who pays no rent
    By it can solve a hard equation.

    Its truth is such, the force of reason
    Can not avail to shake its power,
    Yet e'en the sun in summer season
    Doth not dispel so mild a shower
    As this, and he who sees it, sees on
    Beyond it to a sunny bower—
    No more, when ignorance is treason,
    Let wisdom's brows be cold and sour.

    As It Fell upon a Day

    (From The Rectory Magazine)

    AS I was sitting on the hearth
    (And O, but a hog is fat!)
    A man came hurrying up the path,
    (And what care I for that?)

    When he came the house unto,
    His breath both quick and short he drew.

    When he came before the door,
    His face grew paler than before.

    When he turned the handle round,
    The man fell fainting to the ground.

    When he crossed the lofty hall,
    Once and again I heard him fall.

    When he came up to the turret stair,
    He shrieked and tore his raven hair.

    When he came my chamber in,
    (And O, but a hog is fat!)
    I ran him through with a golden pin,
    (And what care I for that?)

Photography Extraordinary

(From Misch-Masch. Specimens of the results obtained by photographing the mental operations of a young man and developing them to various degrees of intensity epresenting different Schools of Novels)

    The Milk-and-Water School

    ALAS! she would not hear my prayer!
    Yet it were rash to tear my hair;
    Disfigured, I should be less fair.

    She was unwise, I may say blind;
    Once she was lovingly inclined;
    Some circumstance has changed her mind.

    The Strong-Minded or Matter-of-Fact School

    Well! so my offer was no go!
    She might do worse, I told her so;
    She was a fool to answer "No."

    However, things are as they stood;
    Nor would I have her if I could,
    For there are plenty more as good.

    The Spasmodic or German School

    Firebrands and daggers! hope hath fled!
    To atoms dash the doubly dead!
    My brain is fire—my heart is lead!

    Her soul is flint, and what am I?
    Scorch'd by her fierce, relentless eye,
    Nothingness is my destiny!

    Lays of Mystery, Imagination, and Humour
    No. 1
    (From Misch-Masch)

    I DREAMT I dwelt in marble halls,
    And each damp thing that creeps and crawls
    Went wobble-wobble on the walls.

    Faint odours of departed cheese,
    Blown on the dank, unwholesome breeze,
    Awoke the never-ending sneeze.

    Strange pictures decked the arras drear,
    Strange characters of woe and fear,
    The humbugs of the social sphere.

    One showed a vain and noisy prig,
    That shouted empty words and big
    At him that nodded in a wig.

    And one, a dotard grim and gray,
    Who wasteth childhood's happy day
    In work more profitless than play.

    Whose icy breast no pity warms,
    Whose little victims sit in swarms,
    And slowly sob on lower forms.

    And one, a green thyme-honoured Bank,
    Where flowers are growing wild and rank,
    Like weeds that fringe a poisoned tank.

    All birds of evil omen there
    Flood with rich Notes the tainted air,
    The witless wanderer to snare.

    The fatal Notes neglected fall,
    No creature heeds the treacherous call,
    For all those goodly Strawn Baits Pall.

    The wandering phantom broke and fled,
    Straightway I saw within my head
    A vision of a ghostly bed,

    Where lay two worn decrepit men,
    The fictions of a lawyer's pen,
    Who never more might breathe again.

    The serving-man of Richard Roe
    Wept, inarticulate with woe:
    She wept, that waited on John Doe.

    "Oh rouse," I urged, "the waning sense
    With tales of tangled evidence,
    Of suit, demurrer, and defence."

    "Vain," she replied, "such mockeries:
    For morbid fancies, such as these,
    No suits can suit, no plea can please."

    And bending o'er that man of straw,
    She cried in grief and sudden awe,
    Not inappropriately, "Law!"

    The well-remembered voice he knew,
    He smiled, he faintly muttered "Sue!"
    (Her very name was legal too.)

    The night was fled, the dawn was nigh:
    A hurricane went raving by,
    And swept the Vision from mine eye.

    Vanished that dim and ghostly bed,
    (The hangings, tape; the tape was red:)
    'Tis o'er, and Doe and Roe are dead!

    Oh, yet my spirit inly crawls,
    What time it shudderingly recalls
    That horrid dream of marble halls!



    How Doth ...

    How doth the little crocodile
     Improve his shining tail,
    And pour the waters of the Nile
     On every golden scale!

    How cheerfully he seems to grin,
     How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in
     With gently smiling jaws!

    The Duchess's Lullaby

    "SPEAK roughly to your little boy,
     And beat him when he sneezes:
    He only does it to annoy,
     Because he knows it teases."


    "Wow! wow! WOW!"

     "I speak severely to my boy,
     I beat him when he sneezes;
    For he can thoroughly enjoy
     The pepper when he pleases!"


    "Wow! wow! wow!"

    The Mouse's Tale
    "FURY said to

    Father William

    "YOU are old, Father William," the young man said,
     "And your hair has become very white;
    And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
     Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

    "In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
     "I feared it might injure the brain;
    But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
     Why, I do it again and again."

    "You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
     And have grown most uncommonly fat;
    Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
     Pray, what is the reason of that?"

    "In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
     "I kept all my limbs very supple
    By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box-
     Allow me to sell you a couple?"

    "You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
     For anything tougher than suet;
    Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak-
     Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

    "In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
     And argued each case with my wife;
    And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw
     Has lasted the rest of my life."

    "You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
     That your eye was as steady as ever;
    Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
     What made you so awfully clever?"

    "I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
     Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
    Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
     Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs!"

    The Mad Hatter's Song

    TWINKLE, twinkle, little bat!
    How I wonder what you're at!
    Up above the world you fly,
    Like a tea-tray in the sky.
    Twinkle, twinkle—

    The Mock Turtle's Song

    "WILL you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
    "There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
    See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
    They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?
     Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
     Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?

    "You can really have no notion how delightful it will be,
    When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!"
    But the snail replied "Too far, too far!" and gave a look skance—
    Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.

    Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
    Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

    "What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied.
    "There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
    The further off from England the nearer is to France—
    Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
     Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
     Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?"


Excerpted from Jabberwocky and Other Poems by LEWIS CARROLL, Paul Negri. Copyright © 2001 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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