by: Edward Lear (1812-1888)


      N the Coast of Coromandel
      Where the early pumpkins blow,
      In the middle of the woods
      Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      Two old chairs, and half a candle,
      One old jug without a handle,--
      These were all his worldly goods:
      In the middle of the woods,
      These were all the worldly goods
      Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      Once, among the Bong-trees walking
      Where the early pumpkins blow,
      To a little heap of stones
      Came the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      There he heard a Lady talking,
      To some milk-white Hens of Dorking,--
      "'T is the Lady Jingly Jones!
      On that little heap of stones
      Sits the Lady Jingly Jones!"
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      "Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!
      Sitting where the pumpkins blow,
      Will you come and be my wife?"
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      "I am tired of living singly,--
      On this coast so wild and shingly,--
      I'm a-weary of my life;
      If you'll come and be my wife,
      Quite serene would be my life!"
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      "On this Coast of Coromandel
      Shrimps and watercresses grow,
      Prawns are plentiful and cheap,"
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      "You shall have my chairs and candle,
      And my jug without a handle!
      Gaze upon the rolling deep
      (Fish is plentiful and cheap):
      As the sea, my love is deep!"
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      Lady Jingly answered sadly,
      And her tears began to flow,--
      "Your proposal comes to late,
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      I would be your wife most gladly!"
      (Here she twirled her fingers madly,)
      "But in England I've a mate!
      Yes! you've asked me far too late,
      For in England I've a mate,
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      "Mr. Jones (his name is Handel,--
      Handel Jones, Esquire & Co.)
      Dorking fowls delights to send,
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      Keep, oh, keep your chairs and candle,
      And your jug without a handle,--
      I can merely be your friend!
      Should my Jones more Dorkings send,
      I will give you three, my friend!
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      "Though you've such a tiny body,
      And your head so large doth grow,--
      Though your hat may blow away,
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      Though you're such a Hoddy Doddy,
      Yet I wish that I could modi-
      -fy the words I needs must say!
      Will you please to go away?
      That is all I have to say,
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
      Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!"
      Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,
      Where the early pumpkins blow,
      To the calm and silent sea
      Fled the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      There, beyond the Bay of Gurtle,
      Lay a large and lively Turtle.
      "You're the Cove," he said, "for me:
      On your back beyond the sea,
      Turtle, you shall carry me!"
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      Through the silent roaring ocean
      Did the Turtle swiftly go;
      Holding fast upon his shell
      Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      With a sad primæval motion
      Toward the sunset isles of Boshen
      Still the Turtle bore him well,
      Holding fast upon his shell.
      "Lady Jingly Jones, farewell!"
      Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      From the Coast of Coromandel
      Did that Lady never go,
      On that heap of stones she mourns
      For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
      On that Coast of Coromandel,
      In his jug without a handle
      Still she weeps, and daily moans;
      On that little heap of stones
      To her Dorking Hens she moans,
      For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo,
      For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

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




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