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< Theme 7. Imagination, Sense and Nonsense (iv) >

Lewis Carroll

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< The Mad Gardener's Song >


Sylvie and Bruno (1889, 57)


He thought he saw an Elephant, 
That practised on a fife: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A letter from his wife. 
“At length I realise,” he said, 
“The bitterness of Life!” 

He thought he saw a Buffalo 
Upon the chimney-piece: 
He looked again, and found it was 
His Sister's Husband's Niece. 
“Unless you leave this house,” he said, 
“I'll send for the Police!” 

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake 
That questioned him in Greek: 
He looked again, and found it was 
The Middle of Next Week. 
“The one thing I regret,” he said, 
“Is that it cannot speak!” 

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk 
Descending from the bus: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Hippopotamus. 
“If this should stay to dine,” he said, 
“There won't be much for us!” 

He thought he saw a Kangaroo 
That worked a coffee-mill: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Vegetable-Pill. 
“Were I to swallow this,” he said, 
“I should be very ill!” 

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four 
That stood beside his bed: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Bear without a Head. 
“Poor thing,” he said, “poor silly thing! 
It's waiting to be fed!” 

He thought he saw an Albatross 
That fluttered round the lamp: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Penny-Postage Stamp. 
“You'd best be getting home,” he said: 
“The nights are very damp!” 

He thought he saw a Garden-Door 
That opened with a key: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Double Rule of Three: 
“And all its mystery,” he said, 
“Is clear as day to me!” 

He thought he saw a Argument 
That proved he was the Pope: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Bar of Mottled Soap. 
“A fact so dread,” he faintly said, 
“Extinguishes all hope!”

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