There was an Old Man with a Beard by Edward Lear
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, 'It is just as I feared!ó
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.
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Dream Land by Christina Rossetti
Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.
She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.
Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.
Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart's core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.
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Knight's Song by Lewis Carroll
I'LL tell thee everything I can:
There's little to relate.
I saw an aged aged man,
A-sitting on a gate.
'Who are you, aged man?' I said.
'And how is it you live?'
And his answer trickled through my head,
Like water through a sieve.
He said, 'I look for butterflies
That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men,' he said,
'Who sail on stormy seas;
And that's the way I get my bread --
A trifle, if you please.'
But I was thinking of a plan
To dye one's whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.
So having no reply to give
To what the old man said, I cried
'Come, tell me how you live!'
nd thumped him on the head.
is accents mild took up the tale:
He said 'I go my ways,
And when I find a mountain-rill,
I set it in a blaze;
And thence they make a stuff they call
Rowland's Macassar-Oil --
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all
They give me for my toil.'
But I was thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day '
Getting a little fatter.
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue:
'Come, tell me how you live,' I cried,
'And what it is you do!'
He said, 'I hunt for haddocks' eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine,
But for a copper halfpenny,
And that will purchase nine.
'I sometimes dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs:
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of Hansom-cabs.
And that's the way' (he gave a wink)
'By which I get my wealth --
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honour's noble health.'
I heard him then, for I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine.
I thanked him much for telling me
The way he got his wealth,
But chiefly for his wish that he
Might drink my noble health.
And now, if e'er by chance I put
My fingers into glue,
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot
Into a left-hand shoe,
Or if I drop upon my toe
A very heavy weight,
I weep, for it reminds me so
Of that old man I used to know --
Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow
Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
Whose face was very like a crow,
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
Who seemed distracted with his woe,
Who rocked his body to and fro,
And muttered mumblingly and low,
As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo-
That summer evening long ago,
A-sitting on a gate
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Unto Us by Spike Milligan
Somewhere at some time
They committed themselves to me
And so, I was!
Small, but I WAS!
Tiny, in shape
Lusting to live
I hung in my pulsing cave.
Soon they knew of me
My mother --my father.
I had no say in my being
I lived on trust
Tho' I couldn't think
Each part of me was saying
A silent 'Wait for me
I will bring you love!'
I was taken
Blind, naked, defenseless
By the hand of one
Whose good name
Was graven on a brass plate
in Wimpole Street,
and dropped on the sterile floor
of a foot operated plastic waste
There was no Queens Counsel
To take my brief.
The cot I might have warmed
Stood in Harrod's shop window.
When my passing was told
My father smiled.
No grief filled my empty space.
My death was celebrated
With tickets to see Danny la Rue
Who was pretending to be a woman
Like my mother was.
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The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak by A. A. Milne
Of all the Knights in Appledore
The wisest was Sir Thomas Tom.
He multiplied as far as four,
And knew what nine was taken from
To make eleven. He could write
A letter to another Knight.
No other Knight in all the land
Could do the things which he could do.
Not only did he understand
The way to polish swords, but knew
What remedy a Knight should seek
Whose armour had begun to squeak.
And, if he didn't fight too much,
It wasn't that he didn't care
For blips and buffetings and such,
But felt that it was hardly fair
To risk, by frequent injuries,
A brain as delicate as his.
His castle (Castle Tom) was set
Conveniently on a hill;
And daily, when it wasn't wet,
He paced the battlements until
Some smaller Knight who couldn't swim
Should reach the moat and challenge him.
Or sometimes, feeling full of fight,
He hurried out to scour the plain,
And, seeing some approaching Knight,
He either hurried home again,
Or hid; and, when the foe was past,
Blew a triumphant trumpet-blast.
One day when good Sir Thomas Tom
Was resting in a handy ditch,
The noises he was hiding from,
Though very much the noises which
He'd always hidden from before,
Seemed somehow less....Or was it more?
The trotting horse, the trumpet's blast,
The whistling sword, the armour's squeak,
These, and especially the last,
Had clattered by him all the week.
Was this the same, or was it not?
Something was different. But what?
Sir Thomas raised a cautious ear
And listened as Sir Hugh went by,
And suddenly he seemed to hear
(Or not to hear) the reason why
This stranger made a nicer sound
Than other Knights who lived around.
Sir Thomas watched the way he went -
His rage was such he couldn't speak,
For years they'd called him down in Kent
The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak!
Yet here and now he looked upon
Another Knight whose squeak had gone.
He rushed to where his horse was tied;
He spurred it to a rapid trot.
The only fear he felt inside
About his enemy was not
'How sharp his sword?' 'How stout his heart?'
But 'Has he got too long a start?'
Sir Hugh was singing, hand on hip,
When something sudden came along,
And caught him a terrific blip
Right in the middle of his song.
'A thunderstorm!' he thought. 'Of course!'
And toppled gently off his horse.
Then said the good Sir Thomas Tom,
Dismounting with a friendly air,
'Allow me to extract you from
The heavy armour that you wear.
At times like these the bravest Knight
May find his armour much too tight.'
A hundred yards or so beyond
The scene of brave Sir Hugh's defeat
Sir Thomas found a useful pond,
And, careful not to wet his feet,
He brought the armour to the brink,
And flung it in...and watched it sink.
So ever after, more and more,
The men of Kent would proudly speak
Of Thomas Tom of Appledore,
'The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak.'
Whilst Hugh, the Knight who gave him best,
Squeaks just as badly as the rest.