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Category: Funny Narrative Poems
       Classic humorous and funny story poems. Narrative poems are written accounts of connected events in poetry format.

  THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK  

"Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
    The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
    The warranted genuine Snarks.

"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
    Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
    With a flavor of Will-o'-the-wisp.

"Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
    That it carries too far when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
    And dines on the following day.

             *             *             *             *             *

"The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
    Which it constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes--
    A sentiment open to doubt.

"The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
    To describe each particular batch;
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
    From those that have whiskers, and scratch.

"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
    Yet I feel it my duty to say
Some are Boojums--" The Bellman broke off in alarm,
    For the Baker had fainted away.

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--

"'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!

"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!"

                                                 Lewis Carroll.


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