The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll

“My poor client’s fate now depends on your votes.”

Here the speaker sat down in his place,

And directed the Judge to refer to his notes

And briefly to sum up the case.

But the Judge said he never had summed up before;

So the Snark undertook it instead,

And summed it so well that it came to far more

Than the Witnesses ever had said!

When the verdict was called for, the Jury declined,

As the word was so puzzling to spell;

But they ventured to hope that the Snark wouldn’t mind

Undertaking that duty as well.

So the Snark found the verdict, although, as it owned,

It was spent with the toils of the day:

When it said the word “GUILTY!” the Jury all groaned,

And some of them fainted away.

Then the Snark pronounced sentence, the Judge being quite

Too nervous to utter a word:

When it rose to its feet, there was silence like night,

And the fall of a pin might be heard.

“Transportation for life” was the sentence it gave,

“Andthen to be fined forty pound.”

The Jury all cheered, though the Judge said he feared

That the phrase was not legally sound.

But their wild exultation was suddenly checked

When the jailer informed them, with tears,

Such a sentence would have not the slightest effect,

As the pig had been dead for some years.

The Judge left the Court, looking deeply disgusted:

But the Snark, though a little aghast,

As the lawyer to whom the defense was entrusted,

Went bellowing on to the last.

Thus the Barrister dreamed, while the bellowing seemed

To grow every moment more clear:

Till he woke to the knell of a furious bell,

Which the Bellman rang close at his ear.

“Fit the Seventh: THE BANKER’S FATE”

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;

They pursued it with forks and hope;

They threatened its life with a railway-share;

They charmed it with smiles and soap.

And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new

It was matter for general remark,

Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view

In his zeal to discover the Snark

But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,

A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh

And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,

For he knew it was useless to fly.

He offered large discount — he offered a check

(Drawn “to bearer”) for seven-pounds-ten:

But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck

And grabbed at the Banker again.

Without rest or pause — while those frumious jaws

Went savagely snapping around —

He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,

Till fainting he fell to the ground.

The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared

Led on by that fear-stricken yell:

And the Bellman remarked “It is just as I feared!”

And solemnly tolled on his bell.

He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace

The least likeness to what he had been:

While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white —

A wonderful thing to be seen!

To the horror of all who were present that day.

He uprose in full evening dress,

And with senseless grimaces endeavored to say

What his tongue could no longer express.

Down he sank in a chair — ran his hands through his hair —

And chanted in mimsiest tones

Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,

While he rattled a couple of bones.

“Leave him here to his fate — it is getting so late!”

The Bellman exclaimed in a fright.

“We have lost half the day. Any further delay,

And we shan’t catch a Snark before night!”

“Fit the Eighth: THE VANISHING”

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;

They pursued it with forks and hope;

They threatened its life with a railway-share;

They charmed it with smiles and soap.

They shuddered to think that the chase might fail,

And the Beaver, excited at last,

Went bounding along on the tip of its tail,

For the daylight was nearly past.

“There is Thingumbob shouting!” the Bellman said,

“He is shouting like mad, only hark!

He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head,

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Categories: Carroll, Lewis