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Lewis Carroll Poems

A collection of select Lewis Carroll famous poems that were written by Lewis Carroll or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Carroll, Lewis
 A BOAT beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July --
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear --
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing...Read More



by Carroll, Lewis
 Five little girls, of Five, Four, Three, Two, One:
Rolling on the hearthrug, full of tricks and fun. 

Five rosy girls, in years from Ten to Six:
Sitting down to lessons - no more time for tricks. 

Five growing girls, from Fifteen to Eleven:
Music, Drawing, Languages, and food enough for seven! 

Five winsome girls, from Twenty to Sixteen:
Each young man that...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
"At length I realize," he said,
"The bitterness of life!"

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
"Unless you leave this house," he said,
"I'll send for the police!"

he thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 Sent to a friend who had complained that I was glad enough to see 
him when he came, but didn't seem to miss him if he stayed away.

And cannot pleasures, while they last,
Be actual unless, when past,
They leave us shuddering and aghast,
With anguish smarting?
And cannot friends be firm and fast,
And yet bear parting?

And must I then, at Friendship's call,
Calmly...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 Little maidens, when you look 
On this little story-book, 
Reading with attentive eye 
Its enticing history, 
Never think that hours of play 
Are your only HOLIDAY, 
And that in a HOUSE of joy 
Lessons serve but to annoy: 
If in any HOUSE you find 
Children of a gentle mind, 
Each the others pleasing ever-- 
Each the others vexing never--...Read More



by Carroll, Lewis
 All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?

Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 "Are you deaf, Father William!" the young man said, 
"Did you hear what I told you just now? 
"Excuse me for shouting! Don't waggle your head 
"Like a blundering, sleepy old cow! 
"A little maid dwelling in Wallington Town, 
"Is my friend, so I beg to remark: 
"Do you think she'd be pleased if a book were sent down...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 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...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 The Beaver's Lesson 

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. 

Then the Butcher contrived an ingenious plan 
For making a separate sally; 
And fixed on a spot unfrequented by man, 
A dismal and desolate valley....Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 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...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 I 

There was an ancient City, stricken down
With a strange frenzy, and for many a day
They paced from morn to eve the crowded town,
And danced the night away. 

I asked the cause: the aged man grew sad:
They pointed to a building gray and tall,
And hoarsely answered "Step inside, my lad,
And then you'll see it all." 


Yet what are all...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
'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...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 Little Birds are dining
Warily and well,
Hid in mossy cell:
Hid, I say, by waiters
Gorgeous in their gaiters -
I've a Tale to tell.

Little Birds are feeding
Justices with jam,
Rich in frizzled ham:
Rich, I say, in oysters
Haunting shady cloisters -
That is what I am.

Little Birds are teaching
Tigresses to smile,
Innocent of guile:
Smile, I say, not smirkle -
Mouth a semicircle,
That's the proper style!

Little Birds are...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 With saddest music all day long
She soothed her secret sorrow:
At night she sighed "I fear 'twas wrong
Such cheerful words to borrow.
Dearest, a sweeter, sadder song
I'll sing to thee to-morrow." 

I thanked her, but I could not say
That I was glad to hear it:
I left the house at break of day,
And did not venture near it
Till time, I hoped, had...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 I have a fairy by my side 
Which says I must not sleep, 
When once in pain I loudly cried 
It said "You must not weep" 
If, full of mirth, I smile and grin, 
It says "You must not laugh" 
When once I wished to drink some gin 
It said "You must not quaff". 

When once a meal I...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 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"...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 A short direction 
To avoid dejection, 
By variations 
In occupations, 
And prolongation 
Of relaxation, 
And combinations 
Of recreations, 
And disputation 
On the state of the nation 
In adaptation
To your station, 
By invitations 
To friends and relations, 
By evitation 
Of amputation, 
By permutation 
In conversation, 
And deep reflection 
You'll avoid dejection. 

Learn well your grammar, 
And never stammer, 
Write well...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 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...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
 The First Voice 


HE trilled a carol fresh and free,
He laughed aloud for very glee:
There came a breeze from off the sea: 

It passed athwart the glooming flat -
It fanned his forehead as he sat -
It lightly bore away his hat, 

All to the feet of one who stood
Like maid enchanted in a wood,
Frowning as darkly as she could....Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
The sun was shining on the sea,
   Shining with all his might;
He did his very best to make
   The billows smooth and bright—
And this was odd, because it was
   The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
   Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
   After...Read More