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The Best Nonsense Verses

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OU 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 suppleBy 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 weakFor 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 jawHas lasted the rest of my life.""You are old," said the youth; "one would hardly supposeThat 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!"

[Lewis Carroll



HE sun was shining on the sea,Shining with all his might:He did his very best to makeThe billows smooth and bright—And this was odd, because it wasThe middle of the night.The moon was shining sulkily,Because she thought the sunHad got no business to be thereAfter 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, becauseNo cloud was in the sky:No birds were flying overhead—There were no birds to fly.The Walrus and the CarpenterWere walking close at hand:They wept like anything to seeSuch quantities of sand:"If this were only cleared away,"They said, "it would be grand!""If seven maids with seven mopsSwept 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 chooseTo 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....