Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership



Best Famous Lewis Carroll Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Lewis Carroll poems. This is a select list of the best famous Lewis Carroll poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Lewis Carroll poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of lewis carroll poems.

Search for the best famous Lewis Carroll poems, articles about Lewis Carroll poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Lewis Carroll poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by Lewis Carroll | |

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!" He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood a while in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came! One two! One two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Theme with Variations

 I never loved a dear Gazelle-- 
Nor anything that cost me much: 
High prices profit those who sell, 
But why should I be fond of such? 
To glad me with his soft black eye 
My son comes trotting home from school; 
He's had a fight but can't tell why-- 
He always was a little fool! 

But, when he came to know me well, 
He kicked me out, her testy Sire: 
And when I stained my hair, that Belle 
Might note the change and this admire 

And love me, it was sure to dye 
A muddy green, or staring blue: 
Whilst one might trace, with half an eye, 
The still triumphant carrot through


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Hiawathas photographing ( Part IV)

 Next to him the eldest daughter:
She suggested very little
Only asked if he would take her
With her look of 'passive beauty-'



Her idea of passive beauty
Was a squinting of the left-eye,
Was a drooping of the right-eye,
Was a smile that went up Sideways
To the corner of the nostrils.
Hiawatha, when she asked him Took no notice of the question Looked as if he hadn't heared it; But, when pointedly appealed to, Smiled in his peculiar manner, Coughed and said it 'didn't matter,' Bit his lip and changed the subject.
Nor in this was he mistaken, As the picture failed completely.
So in turn the other sisters.


More great poems below...

Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Punctuality

 Man Naturally loves delay,
And to procrastinate;
Business put off from day to day
Is always done to late.
Let ever hour be in its place Firm fixed, nor loosely shift, And well enjoy the vacant space, As though a birthday gift.
And when the hour arrives, be there, Where'er that "there" may be; Uncleanly hands or ruffled hair Let no one ever see.
If dinner at "half-past" be placed, At "half-past" then be dressed.
If at a "quarter-past" make haste To be down with the rest Better to be before you time, Than e're to be behind; To open the door while strikes the chime, That shows a punctual mind.
Moral: Let punctuality and care Seize every flitting hour, So shalt thou cull a floweret fair, E'en from a fading flower


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Fit the Third ( Hunting of the Snark )

 The Baker's Tale 

They roused him with muffins--they roused him with ice--
They roused him with mustard and cress--
They roused him with jam and judicious advice--
They set him conundrums to guess.
When at length he sat up and was able to speak, His sad story he offered to tell; And the Bellman cried "Silence! Not even a shriek!" And excitedly tingled his bell.
There was silence supreme! Not a shriek, not a scream, Scarcely even a howl or a groan, As the man they called "Ho!" told his story of woe In an antediluvian tone.
"My father and mother were honest, though poor--" "Skip all that!" cried the Bellman in haste.
"If it once becomes dark, there's no chance of a Snark-- We have hardly a minute to waste!" "I skip forty years," said the Baker in tears, "And proceed without further remark To the day when you took me aboard of your ship To help you in hunting the Snark.
"A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named) Remarked, when I bade him farewell--" "Oh, skip your dear uncle!" the Bellman exclaimed, As he angrily tingled his bell.
"He remarked to me then," said that mildest of men, "'If your Snark be a Snark, that is right: Fetch it home by all means--you may serve it with greens And it's handy for striking a light.
"'You may seek it with thimbles--and seek it with care-- You may hunt it with forks and hope; You may threaten its life with a railway-share; You may charm it with smiles and soap--'" ("That's exactly the method," the Bellman bold In a hasty parenthesis cried, "That's exactly the way I have always been told That the capture of Snarks should be tried!") "'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, If your Snark be a Boojum! For then You will softly and suddenly vanish away, And never be met with again!" "It is this, it is this that oppresses my soul, When I think of my uncle's last words: And my heart is like nothing so much as a bowl Brimming over with quivering curds! "It is this, it is this--" "We have had that before!" The Bellman indignantly said.
And the Baker replied "Let me say it once more.
It is this, it is this that I dread! "I engage with the Snark--every night after dark-- In a dreamy delirious fight: I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes, And I use it for striking a light: "But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day, In a moment (of this I am sure), I shall softly and suddenly vanish away-- And the notion I cannot endure!"


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Hiawathas photographing ( Part I )

 FROM his shoulder Hiawatha 
Took the camera of rosewood, 
Made of sliding, folding rosewood; 
Neatly put it all together.
In its case it lay compactly, Folded into nearly nothing; But he opened out the hinges, Pushed and pulled the joints and hinges, Till it looked all squares and oblongs, Like a complicated figure In the Second Book of Euclid.
This he perched upon a tripod - Crouched beneath its dusky cover - Stretched his hand, enforcing silence - Said "Be motionless, I beg you!" Mystic, awful was the process.
All the family in order Sat before him for their pictures: Each in turn, as he was taken, Volunteered his own suggestions, His ingenious suggestions.


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Hiawathas photographing ( Part II )

 First the Governor, the Father: 
He suggested velvet curtains 
looped about a massy pillar; 
And the corner of a table, 
Of a rosewood dining-table.
He would hold a scroll of something, Hold it firmly in his left-hand; He would keep his right-hand buried (Like Napoleon) in his waistcoat; He would contemplate the distance With a look of pensive meaning, As of ducks that die in tempests.
Grand, heroic was the notion: Yet the picture failed entirely: Failed, because he moved a little, Moved, because he couldn't help it.
Next, his better half took courage; She would have her picture taken.
She came dressed beyond description, Dressed in jewels and in satin Far too gorgeous for an empress.
Gracefully she sat down sideways, With a simper scarcely human, Holding in her hand a bouquet Rather larger than a cabbage.
All the while that she was sitting, Still the lady chattered, chattered, Like a monkey in the forest.
"Am I sitting still ?" she asked him.
"Is my face enough in profile? Shall I hold the bouquet higher? Will it come into the picture?" And the picture failed completely.


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Hiawathas photographing ( Part V )

 Last, the youngest son was taken:
Very rough and thick his hair was,
Very round and red his face was,
Very dusty was his jacket,
Very fidgety his manner.
And his overbearing sisters Called him names he disapproved of: Called him Johnny, 'Daddy's Darling,' Called him Jacky, 'Scrubby School-boy.
' And, so awful was the picture, In comparison the others Seemed, to one's bewildered fancy, To have partially succeeded.
Finally my Hiawatha Tumbled all the tribe together, ('Grouped' is not the right expression), And, as happy chance would have it, Did at last obtain a picture Where the faces all succeeded: Each came out a perfect likeness.
Then they joined and all abused it, Unrestrainedly abused it, As the worst and ugliest picture They could possibly have dreamed of.
'Giving one such strange expressions-- Sullen, stupid, pert expressions.
Really any one would take us (Any one that did not know us) For the most unpleasant people!' (Hiawatha seemed to think so, Seemed to think it not unlikely).
All together rang their voices, Angry, loud, discordant voices, As of dogs that howl in concert, As of cats that wail in chorus.


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Photography Extraordinary

 The Milk-and-Water School 
Alas! she would not hear my prayer!
Yet it were rash to tear my hair;
Disfigured, I should be less fair.
She was unwise, I may say blind; Once she was lovingly inclined; Some circumstance has changed her mind.
The Strong-Minded or Matter-of-Fact School Well! so my offer was no go! She might do worse, I told her so; She was a fool to answer "No".
However, things are as they stood; Nor would I have her if I could, For there are plenty more as good.
The Spasmodic or German School Firebrands and Daggers! hope hath fled! To atoms dash the doubly dead! My brain is fire--my heart is lead! Her soul is flint, and what am I? Scorch'd by her fierce, relentless eye, Nothingness is my destiny!


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Fit the Seventh ( Hunting of the Snark )

 The Banker's Fate 

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope; 
They threatened its life with a railway-share; 
They charmed it with smiles and soap.
And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new It was matter for general remark, Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view In his zeal to discover the Snark.
But while he was seeking with thimbles and care, A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair, For he knew it was useless to fly.
He offered large discount--he offered a cheque (Drawn "to bearer") for seven-pounds-ten: But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck And grabbed at the Banker again.
Without rest or pause--while those frumious jaws Went savagely snapping around-- He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped, Till fainting he fell to the ground.
The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared Led on by that fear-stricken yell: And the Bellman remarked "It is just as I feared!" And solemnly tolled on his bell.
He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace The least likeness to what he had been: While so great was the fright that his waistcoat turned white-- A wonderful thing to be seen! To the horror of all who were present that day, He uprose in full evening dress, And with senseless grimaces endeavoured to say What his tongue could no longer express.
Down he sank in a chair--ran his hands through his hair-- And chanted in mimsiest tones Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity, While he rattled a couple of bones.
"Leave him here to his fate--it is getting so late!" The Bellman exclaimed in a fright.
"We have lost half a day.
Any further delay, And we sha'n't catch a Snark before night!"


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Dedication

 Inscribed to a Dear Child:
In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
And Whispers of a Summer Sea 


Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
The tale he loves to tell.
Rude spirits of the seething outer strife, Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright, Deem if you list, such hours a waste of life, Empty of all delight! Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy, The heart-love of a child!


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Fames Penny-Trumpet

 Blow, blow your trumpets till they crack,
Ye little men of little souls!
And bid them huddle at your back -
Gold-sucking leeches, shoals on shoals! 

Fill all the air with hungry wails -
"Reward us, ere we think or write!
Without your Gold mere Knowledge fails
To sate the swinish appetite!" 

And, where great Plato paced serene,
Or Newton paused with wistful eye,
Rush to the chace with hoofs unclean
And Babel-clamour of the sty 

Be yours the pay: be theirs the praise:
We will not rob them of their due,
Nor vex the ghosts of other days
By naming them along with you.
They sought and found undying fame: They toiled not for reward nor thanks: Their cheeks are hot with honest shame For you, the modern mountebanks! Who preach of Justice - plead with tears That Love and Mercy should abound - While marking with complacent ears The moaning of some tortured hound: Who prate of Wisdom - nay, forbear, Lest Wisdom turn on you in wrath, Trampling, with heel that will not spare, The vermin that beset her path! Go, throng each other's drawing-rooms, Ye idols of a petty clique: Strut your brief hour in borrowed plumes, And make your penny-trumpets squeak.
Deck your dull talk with pilfered shreds Of learning from a nobler time, And oil each other's little heads With mutual Flattery's golden slime: And when the topmost height ye gain, And stand in Glory's ether clear, And grasp the prize of all your pain - So many hundred pounds a year - Then let Fame's banner be unfurled! Sing Paeans for a victory won! Ye tapers, that would light the world, And cast a shadow on the Sun - Who still shall pour His rays sublime, One crystal flood, from East to West, When YE have burned your little time And feebly flickered into rest!


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

The Knights Song

 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!' And thumped him on the head.
His 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.


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Lays of Sorrow

 The day was wet, the rain fell souse
Like jars of strawberry jam, [1] a
sound was heard in the old henhouse,
A beating of a hammer.
Of stalwart form, and visage warm, Two youths were seen within it, Splitting up an old tree into perches for their poultry At a hundred strokes [2] a minute.
The work is done, the hen has taken Possession of her nest and eggs, Without a thought of eggs and bacon, [3] (Or I am very much mistaken happy) She turns over each shell, To be sure that all's well, Looks into the straw To see there's no flaw, Goes once round the house, [4] Half afraid of a mouse, Then sinks calmly to rest On the top of her nest, First doubling up each of her legs.
Time rolled away, and so did every shell, "Small by degrees and beautifully less," As the large mother with a powerful spell [5] Forced each in turn its contents to express, [6] But ah! "imperfect is expression," Some poet said, I don't care who, If you want to know you must go elsewhere, One fact I can tell, if you're willing to hear, He never attended a Parliament Session, For I'm certain that if he had ever been there, Full quickly would he have changed his ideas, With the hissings, the hootings, the groans and the cheers.
And as to his name it is pretty clear That it wasn't me and it wasn't you! And so it fell upon a day, (That is, it never rose again) A chick was found upon the hay, Its little life had ebbed away.
No longer frolicsome and gay, No longer could it run or play.
"And must we, chicken, must we part?" Its master [7] cried with bursting heart, And voice of agony and pain.
So one, whose ticket's marked "Return", [8] When to the lonely roadside station He flies in fear and perturbation, Thinks of his home--the hissing urn-- Then runs with flying hat and hair, And, entering, finds to his despair He's missed the very last train.
[9] Too long it were to tell of each conjecture Of chicken suicide, and poultry victim, The deadly frown, the stern and dreary lecture, The timid guess, "perhaps some needle pricked him!" The din of voice, the words both loud and many, The sob, the tear, the sigh that none could smother, Till all agreed "a shilling to a penny It killed itself, and we acquit the mother!" Scarce was the verdict spoken, When that still calm was broken, A childish form hath burst into the throng; With tears and looks of sadness, That bring no news of gladness, But tell too surely something hath gone wrong! "The sight I have come upon The stoutest heart [10] would sicken, That nasty hen has been and gone And killed another chicken!"


Written by Lewis Carroll | |

Madrigal

 (To Miss May Forshall.
) HE shouts amain, he shouts again, (Her brother, fierce, as bluff King Hal), "I tell you flat, I shall do that!" She softly whispers " 'May' for 'shall'!" He wistful sighed one eventide (Her friend, that made this Madrigal), "And shall I kiss you, pretty Miss!" Smiling she answered " 'May' for 'shall'!" With eager eyes my reader cries, "Your friend must be indeed a val- -uable child, so sweet, so mild! What do you call her?" "May For shall.
"