by: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
- N stature
the Manlet was dwarfish--
- No burly, big Blunderbore he;
- And he wearily gazed on the crawfish
- His Wifelet had dressed for his tea.
- "Now reach me, sweet Atom, my gunlet,
- And hurl the old shoelet for luck;
- Let me hie to the bank of the runlet,
- And shoot thee a Duck!"
- She has reached him his minikin gunlet;
- She has hurled the old shoelet for luck;
- She is busily baking a bunlet,
- To welcome him home with his Duck.
- On he speeds, never wasting a wordlet,
- Though thoughtlets cling, closely as wax,
- To the spot where the beautiful birdlet
- So quietly quacks.
- Where the Lobsterlet lurks, and the Crablet
- So slowly and sleepily crawls;
- Where the Dolphin's at home, and the Dablet
- Pays long, ceremonious calls;
- Where the Grublet is sought by the Froglet;
- Where the Frog is pursued by the Duck;
- Where the Ducklet is chased by the Doglet--
- So runs the world's luck!
- He has loaded with bullet and powder;
- His footfall is noiseless as air;
- But the Voices grow louder and louder,
- And bellow and bluster and blare.
- They bristle before him and after,
- They flutter above and below,
- Shrill shriekings of lubberly laughter,
- Weird wailings of woe!
- They echo without him, within him;
- They thrill through his whiskers and beard;
- Like a teetotum seeming to spin him,
- With sneers never hitherto sneered.
- "Avengement," they cry, "on our Foelet!
- Let the Manikin weep for our wrongs!
- Let us drench him, from toplet to toelet,
- With Nursery Songs!
- "He shall muse upon 'Hey! Diddle! Diddle!'
- On the Cow that surmounted the Moon;
- He shall rave of the Cat and the Fiddle,
- And the Dish that eloped with the Spoon;
- And his soul shall be sad for the Spider,
- When Miss Muffet was sipping her whey,
- That so tenderly sat down beside her,
- And scared her away!
- "The music of Midsummer madness
- Shall sting him with many a bite,
- Till, in rapture of rollicking sadness,
- He shall groan with a gloomy delight;
- He shall swathe him, like mists of the morning,
- In platitudes luscious and limp,
- Such as deck, with a deathless adorning,
- The Song of the Shrimp!
- "When the Ducklet's dark doom is decided,
- We will trundle him home in a trice;
- And the banquet, so plainly provided,
- Shall round into rose-buds and rice;
- In a blaze of pragmatic invention
- He shall wrestle with Fate, and shall reign;
- But he has not a friend fit to mention,
- So hit him again!"
- He has shot it, the delicate darling!
- And the Voices have ceased from their strife;
- Not a whisper of sneering or snarling,
- As he carries it home to his wife;
- Then, cheerily champing the bunlet
- His spouse was so skilful to bake,
- He hies him once more to the runlet
- To fetch her the Drake!
POEMS BY LEWIS CARROLL
"The Manlet" is reprinted
from The Hunting of the Snark and Other Poems and Verses.
Lewis Carroll. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1903.