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Poem by Lewis Carroll


The Hunting of the Snark. Fit the Third. The Baykers Tale


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. 

There was silence supreme! Not a shriek, not a scream, 
  	Scarcely even a howl or a groan, 
As the man they called Ho! told his story of woe 
  	In an antediluvian tone. 

My father and mother were honest, though poor  
  	Skip all that! cried the Bellman in haste. 
If it once becomes dark, theres 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. 

A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named) 
  	Remarked, when I bade him farewell  
Oh, skip your dear uncle! the Bellman exclaimed, 
  	As he angrily tingled his bell. 

He remarked to me then, said that mildest of men, 
  	 If your Snark be a Snark, that is right: 
Fetch it home by all means  you may serve it with greens, 
  	And its handy for striking a light. 

 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    

(Thats exactly the method, the Bellman bold 
  	In a hasty parenthesis cried, 
Thats exactly the way I have always been told 
  	That the capture of Snarks should be tried!) 

 But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, 
  	If your Snark be a Boojum! For then 
You will softly and suddenly vanish away, 
  	And never be met with again! 

It is this, it is this that oppresses my soul, 
  	When I think of my uncles last words: 
And my heart is like nothing so much as a bowl 
  	Brimming over with quivering curds! 

It is this, it is this  We have had that before! 
  	The Bellman indignantly said. 
And the Baker replied Let me say it once more. 
  	It is this, it is this that I dread! 

I engage with the Snark  every night after dark   
  	In a dreamy delirious fight: 
I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes, 
  	And I use it for striking a light: 

But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day, 
  	In a moment (of this I am sure), 
I shall softly and suddenly vanish away   
  	And the notion I cannot endure! 



Lewis Carroll


Lewis Carroll's other poems:
  1. The Elections to the Hebdomadal Council
  2. The Wandering Burgess
  3. What Tottles Meant
  4. The Deserted Parks
  5. Theme with Variations


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