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Lewis carroll

Lewis Carroll

POEMS
FOLLOWERS
11

In winter, when the fields are white,
I sing this song for your delight.

In Spring, when woods are getting green,
I’ll try and tell you what I mean.

In Summer, when the days are long,
Perhaps you’ll understand the song.

In Autumn, when the leaves are brown,
Take pen and ink, and write it down.

I sent a message to the fish:
I told them ‘This is what I wish.’

The little fishes of the sea,
They sent an answer back to me.

The little fishes’ answer was
‘We cannot do it, Sir, because-’

I sent to them again to say
‘It will be better to obey.’

The fishes answered, with a grin,
‘Why, what a temper you are in!’

I told them once, I told them twice:
They would not listen to advice.

I took a kettle large and new,
Fit for the deed I had to do.

My heart went hop, my heart went thump:
I filled the kettle at the pump.

Then someone came to me and said
‘The little fishes are in bed.’

I said to him, I said it plain,
‘Then you must wake them up again.’

I said it very loud and clear:
I went and shouted in his ear.

But he was very stiff and proud:
He said 'You needn’t shout so loud!’

And he was very proud and stiff:
He said 'I’d go and wake them, if-’

I took a corkscrew from the shelf:
I went to wake them up myself.

And when I found the door was locked,
I pulled and pushed and kicked and knocked.

And when I found the door was shut,
I tried to turn the handle, but-

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 “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 never 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.”

1

She’s all my fancy painted him
(I make no idle boast);
If he or you had lost a limb,
Which would have suffered most?

He said that you had been to her,
And seen me here before;
But, in another character,
She was the same of yore.

There was not one that spoke to us,
Of all that thronged the street:
So he sadly got into a 'bus,
And pattered with his feet.

They sent him word I had not gone
(We know it to be true);
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?

They gave her one, the gave me two,
They gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.

If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.

It seemed to me that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle, that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.

Don’t let him know she liked them best,
For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me.

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?’
And 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 one’s self 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 haddocks’ 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.

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.”

“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!”
“Oh”
“You’ll lend the pan to me, Cook?”
“No!”

Moral: Never stew your sister.

Inscribed to a Dear Child:
In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
And Whispers of a Summer Sea

Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
The tale he loves to tell.
Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem if you list, such hours a waste of life,
Empty of all delight!

Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy
Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
The heart—love of a child!

'Haddock’s Eyes’ or 'The Aged Aged Man’ or
'Ways and Means’ or 'A—Sitting On A Gate’

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?’
And 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 it 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 haddocks’ 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.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker—snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

3

I love the stillness of the wood:
   I love the music of the rill:
I love to couch in pensive mood
   Upon some silent hill.

Scarce heard, beneath you arching trees,
   The silver-crested ripples pass;
And, like a mimic brook, the breeze
   Whispers among the grass.

Here from the world I win release,
   Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude,
Break in to mar the holy peace
   Of this great solitude.

Here may the silent tears I weep
   Lull the vexed spirit into rest,
As infants sob themselves to sleep
   Upon a mother’s breast.

But when the bitter hour is gone,
   And the keen throbbing pangs are still,
Oh, sweetest then to couch alone
   Upon some silent hill!

To live in joys that once have been,
   To put the cold world out of sight,
And deck life’s drear and barren scene
   With hues of rainbow-light.

For what to man the gift of breath,
   If sorrow be his lot below;
If all the day that ends in death
   Be dark with clouds of woe?

Shall the poor transport of an hour
   Repay long years of sore distress —
The fragrance of a lonely flower
   Make glad the wilderness?

Ye golden hours of Life’s young spring,
   Of innocence, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
   Thou fairy-dream of youth!

I’d give all wealth that years have piled,
   The slow result of Life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
   For one bright summer-day.

3

“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 you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back—somersault in at the door —
Pray what is the reason for 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 a 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 mange to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his fater, “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 every;
Yet you balanced an eel on the tend 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.”

I have a horse– a ryghte good horse –
Ne doe Y envye those
Who scoure ye playne yn headye course
Tyll soddayne on theyre nose
They lyghte wyth unexpected force
Yt ys– a horse of clothes.

I have a saddel– “Say’st thou soe?
Wyth styrruppes, Knyghte, to boote?”
I sayde not that —I answere “Noe” —
Yt lacketh such, I woote:
Yt ys a mutton—saddel, loe!
Parte of ye fleecye brute.

I have a bytte– a ryghte good bytte –
As shall bee seene yn tyme.
Ye jawe of horse yt wyll not fytte;
Yts use ys more sublyme.
Fayre Syr, how deemest thou of yt?
Yt ys —thys bytte of rhyme.