JABBERWOCKYTHE JABBERWOCK
Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)version: Peter H. Cole
(double Shakespearian sonnet)
Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble on the wabe,
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome-raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son.
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch.
Beware the Jub-Jub bird and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand
Long time the manxome foe he sought
Till rested by the tum-tum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock with eyes of flame
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood
And burbled as it came.

One-two! One-two! And through and through!
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack.
He left it dead and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock,
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Callooh! Callay! Oh, frabjous day!"
He chortled in his joy.

Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble on the wabe,
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome-raths outgrabe.
Upon the verdant wabe, the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble, though the brillig hour
All mimsy made the drooping borogoves -
Mome-raths outgrabe among the grass and flowers.
"Beware the fierce Jabberwock, my son.
Beware his teeth that gnash and claws that scratch.
Avoid the fearsome jub-jub bird and shun
The diabolic, frumious Bandersnatch!
Take thou thy vorpal sword in hand and seek
This bane, this beast, this more than manxome foe;
And shouldst thou slay him, blessed shalt thou be,
And shouldst thou not, then all is wreck and woe."
So, long his foe cross heath and forests sought,
Til rested by the tum-tum tree in thought.

And as he deep in uffish thought there stood,
The baleful Jabberwock with flaming eyes
Came whiffling by from out the tulgey wood
And, burbled loud with fearsome snuffling sighs.
So through and through, he stabbed the hideous beast.
One-two! One-two! His sword went snicker-snack -
The fight was long and bloody, but at last
he took its head and went galumphing back.
"Let me embrace thee, Oh my beamish boy!
For thou hast slain the beast!" his Father cried,
"Callooh! Callay! Oh, this most frabjous day!"
He chortled roundly, loudly in his pride.
And now the tale is told - the beast is slain;
Deliv'rance duly won and honour gained.

Copyright Peter H. Cole 2001


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