Wednesday, July 04, 2012


To mark the 150th anniversary of the first telling of the story that would become Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, here is one of Lewis Carroll's poetic parodies from that book that is now better known than the original verse that Carroll was lampooning...

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!

The original was entitled 'Against Idleness and Mischief' by Isaac Watts and appeared his 1715 book, Divine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children... 
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!
How skillfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.
In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.
I know which I prefer!

You'll find more ramblings in Wonderland here and, again, here.

Image: Crocodile by Darren Hopes

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