An anonymous poem

      HE Nyum-Nyum chortled by the sea,
      And sipped the wavelets green:
      He wondered how the sky could be
      So very nice and clean;
      He wondered if the chambermaid
      Had swept the dust away,
      And if the scrumptious Jabberwock
      Had mopped it up that day.
      And then in sadness to his love
      The Nyum-Nyum weeping said,
      I know no reason why the sea
      Should not be white or red.
      I know no reason why the sea
      Should not be red, I say;
      And why the slithy Bandersnatch
      Has not been round to-day.
      He swore he'd call at two o' clock,
      And now it's half-past four.
      "Stay," said the Nyum-Nyum's love, "I think
      I hear him at the door."
      In twenty minutes in there came
      A creature black as ink,
      Which puts its feet upon a chair
      And called for beer to drink.
      They gave him porter in a tub,
      But, "Give me more!" he cried;
      And then he drew a heavy sigh,
      And laid him down, and died.
      He died, and in the Nyum-Nyum's cave
      A cry of mourning rose;
      The Nyum-Nyum sobbed a gentle sob,
      And silly blew his nose.
      The Nyum-Nyum's love, we need not state,
      Was overwhelmed and sad;
      She said, "Oh, take the corpse away,
      Or you will drive me mad!"
      The Nyum-Nyum in his supple arms
      Took up the gruesome weight,
      And, with a cry of bitter fear,
      He threw it at his mate.
      And then he wept, and tore his hair,
      And threw it in the sea,
      And loudly sobbed with streaming eyes
      That such a thing could be.
      The ox, that mumbled in his stall,
      Perspired and gently sighed,
      And then, in sympathy, it fell
      Upon its back and died.
      The hen that sat upon her eggs,
      With high ambition fired,
      Arose in simple majesty,
      And, with a cluck, expired.
      The jubejube bird, that carolled there,
      Sat down upon a post,
      And with a reverential caw,
      Gave up its little ghost.
      And ere its kind and loving life
      Eternally had ceased,
      The donkey, in the ancient barn,
      In agony deceased.
      The raven, perched upon the elm,
      Gave forth a scraping note,
      And ere the sound had died away,
      Had cut its tuneful throat.
      The Nyum-Nyum's love was sorrowful;
      And, after she had cried,
      She, with a brand-new carving knife,
      Committed suicide.
      "Alas!" the Nyum-Nyum said, "alas!
      With thee I will not part,"
      And straightway seized a rolling-pin
      And drove it through his heart.
      The mourners came and gathered up
      The bits that lay about;
      But why the massacre had been,
      They could not quite make out.
      One said there was a mystery
      Connected with the deaths;
      But others thought the silent ones
      Perhaps had lost their breaths.
      The doctor soon arrived, and viewed
      The corpses as they lay;
      He could not give them life again,
      So he was heard to say.
      But, oh! it was a horrid sight;
      It made the blood run cold,
      To see the bodies carried off
      And covered up with mould.
      The Toves across the briny sea
      Wept buckets-full of tears;
      They were relations of the dead,
      And had been friends for years.
      The Jabberwock upon the hill
      Gave forth a gloomy wail,
      When in his airy seat he sat,
      And told the awful tale.
      And who can wonder that it made
      That loving creature cry?
      For he had done the dreadful work
      And caused the things to die.
      That Jabberwock was passing bad--
      That Jabberwock was wrong,
      And with this verdict I conclude
      One portion of my song.

"The Nyum-Nyum" is reprinted from A Nonsense Anthology. Ed. Carolyn Wells. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915.




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