Friday, 27 January 2012


Today is the 180th anniversary of the birth of Lewis Carroll on 27 January 1832.

To mark the occasion, here is one of his less-well-known nonsense poems with another of those rediscovered drawings made by my much-younger self...


I painted her a gushing thing,
With years about a score;
I little thought to find they were
A least a dozen more;
My fancy gave her eyes of blue,
A curly auburn head:
I came to find the blue a green,
The auburn turned to red.

She boxed my ears this morning,
They tingled very much;
I own that I could wish her
A somewhat lighter touch;
And if you ask me how
Her charms might be improved,
I would not have them added to,
But just a few removed!

She has the bear's ethereal grace,
The bland hyaena's laugh,
The footstep of the elephant,
The neck of a giraffe;
I love her still, believe me,
Though my heart its passion hides;
"She's all my fancy painted her,"
But oh! how much besides!

Like so many of Lewis Carroll's verses, this is a parody of a popular poem of its day, now pretty much forgotten. The parodied poem here was 'Alice Gray' by William Mee:

She's all my fancy painted her,
She's lovely, she's divine,
But her heart it is another's,
She never can be mine;
Yet lov'd I as man never lov'd,
A love without decay,
Oh! my heart, my heart is breaking
For the love of Alice Gray!

Her dark brown hair is braided
O'er a brow of spotless white;
Her soft blue eye now languishes,
Now flashes with delight;
Her hair is braided not for me,
The eye is turned away;
Yet my heart, my heart is breaking
For the love of Alice Gray.

I've sunk beneath the summer's sun,
And trembled in the blast;
But my pilgrimage is nearly done,
The weary conflict's past;
And when the green sod wraps my grave,
Oh, his heart, his heart is broken
For the love of Alice Gray.


Wendy said...

Love this (and all your informative posts). I nominated you for a bit of fun: the LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD - you inspire many. Thanks, Brian!

Alexandre Augusto said...