Our favourite Lewis Carroll poems

06 June 2017

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Although most famous for writing children's books, Lewis Carroll also wrote and published nonsense poetry. Here are some of our favourite Lewis Carroll poems including 'Jabberwocky', 'How Doth the Little Crocodile' and 'You are Old Father William'. You can read the full poems in Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
 
 

The Crocodile

How doth the little crocodile 
     Improve his shining tail, 
And pour the waters of the Nile 
     On every golden scale! 
  
How cheerfully he seems to grin, 
     How neatly spreads his claws, 
And welcomes little fishes in, 
     With gently smiling jaws!

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You are Old, Father William

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

Read the full poem in Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland

 

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat
How I wonder what you're at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!
 

The Mock Turtle's Song

“Will you walk a little faster?”
said a whiting to a snail.
“There’s a porpoise close behind us,
and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and
the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle—
will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
won’t you join the dance?

 

Jabberwocky

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
      Did gyre and gimble in 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 Jubjub bird, and shun 
      The frumious Bandersnatch!” 
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
      Did gyre and gimble in 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 Jubjub bird, and shun 
      The frumious Bandersnatch!” 
 
Read the full poem in Through the Looking Glass 

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The Walrus and the Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

Read the full poem in Through the Looking Glass

 
The Alice Collection - Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass

The Alice Collection - Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass

These gorgeous editions of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass come in a slipcase, the perfect gift for Alice fans. Both editions feature the original line illustrations by John Tenniel, specially commissioned forewords by Hilary McKay and Philip Ardagh, ribbon markers and colour plates.

Read extract  
 



 

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