by: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

      HEN on the sandy shore I sit,
      Beside the salt sea-wave,
      And fall into a weeping fit
      Because I dare not shave--
      A little whisper at my ear
      Inquires the reason of my fear.
      I answer, "If that ruffian Jones
      Should recognize me here,
      He'd bellow out my name in tones
      Offensive to the ear:
      He chaffs me so on being stout
      (A thing that always puts me out)."
      Ah me! I see him on the cliff!
      Farewell, farewell to hope,
      If he should look this way, and if
      He's got his telescope!
      To whatsoever place I flee,
      My odious rival follows me!
      For every night, and everywhere,
      I meet him out at dinner;
      And when I've found some charming fair,
      And vowed to die or win her,
      The wretch (he's thin and I am stout)
      Is sure to come and cut me out!
      The girls (just like them!) all agree
      To praise J. Jones, Esquire:
      I ask them what on earth they see
      About him to admire?
      They cry, "He is so sleek and slim,
      It's quite a treat to look at him!"
      They vanish in tobacco smoke,
      Those visionary maids--
      I feel a sharp and sudden poke
      Between the shoulder-blades--
      "Why, Brown, my boy! You're growing stout!"
      (I told you he would find me out!)
      "My growth is not your business, sir!"
      "No more it is, my boy!
      But if it's yours, as I infer,
      Why, Brown, I give you joy!
      A man whose business prospers so
      Is just the sort of man to know!
      "It's hardly safe, though, talking here--
      I'd best get out of reach:
      For such a weight as yours, I fear,
      Must shortly sink the beach!"--
      Insult me thus because I'm stout!
      I vow I'll go and call him out!

"Size and Tears" is reprinted from The Hunting of the Snark and Other Poems and Verses. Lewis Carroll. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1903.




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