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LEAR, Edward


How pleasant to know Mr. Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find 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);
He used to be 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 waterproof white,
The children run after him so!
Calling out, "He's gone 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 does not speak, Spanish,
He cannot abide ginger beer;
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!


Imitation of The Olden Poets

Time is a taper waning fast!

Use it, man, well whilst it doth last:

Lest burning downwards it consume away,

Before thou hast commenced the labour of the day.

Time is a pardon of a goodly soil!

Plenty shall crown thine honest toil:

But if uncultivated, rankest weeds

Shall choke the efforts of the rising seeds.

Time is a leasehold of uncertain date!

Granted to thee by everlasting fate.

Neglect not thou, ere thy short term expire,

To save thy soul from ever-burning fire. …..


The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussycat 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!"

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.

"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.


Calico Pie

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!

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!

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!
They never came back!
They never came back!
They never came back to me!

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!
They never came back!
They never came back!
They never came back to me!


The Dong with a Luminous Nose

When awful darkness and silence reign

Over the great Gromboolian plain,

Through the long, long wintry nights; --

When the angry breakers roar

As they beat on the rocky shore; --

When Storm-clouds brood on the towering heights

Of the Hills of the Chankly Bore: --

Then, through the vast and gloomy dark,

There moves what seems a fiery spark,

A lonely spark with silvery rays

Piercing the coal-black night, --

A Meteor strange and bright: --

Hither and thither the vision strays,

A single lurid light.

Slowly it wander, -- pauses, -- creeps, --

Anon it sparkles, -- flashes and leaps;

And ever as onward it gleaming goes

A light on the Bong-tree stems it throws.

And those who watch at that midnight hour

From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,

Cry, as the wild light passes along, --

"The Dong! -- the Dong!

"The wandering Dong through the forest goes!

"The Dong! the Dong!

"The Dong with a luminous Nose!"

Long years ago

The Dong was happy and gay,

Till he fell in love with a Jumbly Girl

Who came to those shores one day.

For the Jumblies came in a sieve, they did, --

Landing at eve near the Zemmery Fidd

Where the Oblong Oysters grow,

And the rocks are smooth and gray.

And all the woods and the valleys rang

With the Chorus they daily and nightly sang, --

"Far and few, far and few,

Are the lands where the Jumblies live;

Their heads are green, and the hands are blue

And they went to sea in a sieve.

Happily, happily passed those days!

While the cheerful Jumblies staid;

They danced in circlets all night long,

To the plaintive pipe of the lively Dong,

In moonlight, shine, or shade.

For day and night he was always there

By the side of the Jumbly Girl so fair,

With her sky-blue hands, and her sea-green hair.

Till the morning came of that hateful day

When the Jumblies sailed in their sieve away,

And the Dong was left on the cruel shore

Gazing -- gazing for evermore, --

Ever keeping his weary eyes on

That pea-green sail on the far horizon, --

Singing the Jumbly Chorus still

As he sate all day on the grassy hill, --

"Far and few, far and few,

Are the lands where the Jumblies live;

Their heads are green, and the hands are blue

And they went to sea in a sieve.

But when the sun was low in the West,

The Dong arose and said;

-- "What little sense I once possessed

Has quite gone out of my head!" --

And since that day he wanders still

By lake and dorest, marsh and hills,

Singing -- "O somewhere, in valley or plain

"Might I find my Jumbly Girl again!

"For ever I'll seek by lake and shore

"Till I find my Jumbly Girl once more!"

Playing a pipe with silvery squeaks,

Since then his Jumbly Girl he seeks,

And because by night he could not see,

He gathered the bark of the Twangum Tree

On the flowery plain that grows.

And he wove him a wondrous Nose, --

A Nose as strange as a Nose could be!

Of vast proportions and painted red,

And tied with cords to the back of his head.

-- In a hollow rounded space it ended

With a luminous Lamp within suspended,

All fenced about

With a bandage stout

To prevent the wind from blowing it out; --

And with holes all round to send the light,

In gleaming rays on the dismal night.

And now each night, and all night long,

Over those plains still roams the Dong;

And above the wail of the Chimp and Snipe

You may hear the squeak of his plaintive pipe

While ever he seeks, but seeks in vain

To meet with his Jumbly Girl again;

Lonely and wild -- all night he goes, --

The Dong with a luminous Nose!

And all who watch at the midnight hour,

From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,

Cry, as they trace the Meteor bright,

Moving along through the dreary night, --

"This is the hour when forth he goes,

"The Dong with a luminous Nose!

"Yonder -- over the plain he goes;

"He goes!

"He goes;

"The Dong with a luminous Nose!"