Some passages from a favourite poem III

Some more passages from what I described as one of my most favourite poems, but did not identify or furnish the name of the poet. In the previous two posts, I had also replaced a giveaway name with asterisks, but will not do in this installment.

Here we find the leader of the quest explaining the characteristics of their objective….. It is too funny for words, not to mention a most innovative and ingenious wordplay. Therefore I shall only restrict myself to these passages…. and a little more.

~~~~”We have sailed many months, we have sailed many weeks, 
   (Four weeks to the month you may mark), 
But never as yet (’tis your Captain who speaks) 
  Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!

“We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days, 
  (Seven days to the week I allow), 
But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze, 
  We have never beheld till now!

“Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again 
  The five unmistakable marks 
By which you may know, wheresoever you go, 
  The warranted genuine Snarks.

“Let us take them in order. The first is the taste, 
  Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp: 
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist, 
  With a flavour of Will-o-the-wisp. 

“Its habit of getting up late you’ll agree 
  That it carries too far, when I say 
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o’clock tea, 
  And dines on the following day.

“The third is its slowness in taking a jest. 
  Should you happen to venture on one, 
It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed: 
  And it always looks grave at a pun.

“The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines, 
  Which is constantly carries about, 
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes– 
  A sentiment open to doubt.

“The fifth is ambition. It next will be right 
  To describe each particular batch: 
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite, 
  From those that have whiskers, and scratch.

“For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm, 
  Yet, I feel it my duty to say, 
Some are Boojums–” The Bellman broke off in alarm, 
  For the Baker had fainted away. 

The next part

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.

(When you read the following passages, you may feel that our roused hero talks like me)

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, there’s 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.

To be continued…. quite soon


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