Father William

A Japanese ‘Father William’ …  Pen & Ink – WHB – 2014

Are Old, Father William” is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in his book  ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (1865).

You are Old, Father William

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door —
Pray, what is the reason for that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment — one shilling a box —
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak —
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose —
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs.”

By Lewis Carroll

Ruthless Rhymes

Ruthless Rhymes

RUTHLESS RHYMES

In his book ‘Word Play‘ (Pub. Coronet Books, 2015) Gyles Brandreth talks about his love of short pithy rhymes which he calls ‘Potted Poetry’ or ‘Terse Verse’.  He particularly enjoys those which he calls ‘ruthless’ and which make a pungent point in just 4 lines.  One such which he quotes is:

‘I had written to Aunt Maud
Who was on a trip abroad
When I heard she’d died of cramp –
Just too late to save the stamp.’

He goes on to invite his readers to compose their own ‘ruthless rhymes’.  I doubt if the following could be considered as ruthless as his examples, but here are a few which I managed to create . . .

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Winston Hawden Archibald Hughes
Revelled in a life of booze;
One night he downed a bottle of gin,
The landlord rang his next of kin.


I pressed the bell just for a lark,
‘Twas 8 o’clock and after dark.
A lady answered in her nightie,
But sadly she was over ninety.


I longed to kiss her slender neck,
To take a bite not just a peck,
But when I got the chance to do it,
My vampire teeth just weren’t up to it.


Well, tell me now what you would do
If your old man had said to you,
“I no longer want you for a wife” –
I’d stab him with my butter knife.

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NOTES:

The original ‘Ruthless Rhymes’ were composed by Harry Graham and his book ‘RUTHLESS RHYMES FOR HEARTLESS PEOPLE’ was published in 1898.  It contains many short rhymes, all wickedly cruel and completely without morals.

Jocelyn Henry Clive ‘Harry’ Graham (1874–1936) was an English writer. He was a successful journalist who is now best remembered as a writer of verse full of black humour.  At the time of publication of this and several follow-up collections of verse written in a similar vein, Harry Graham was compared to W.S.Gilbert, Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. It has also been suggested that his verse and prose, all exhibiting a delight in language, was an early influence on P. G. Wodehouse.  More information on Harry Graham can be found on the Ruthless Rhymes website and on Wikipedia

ruthless-rhymes1-1

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A BIT OF NONSENSE

nonsense-verse1

“Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?“ 
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head.
But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” 
― ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ 1865  … Lewis Carroll

 

A BIT OF NONSENSE

NONSENSE VERSES  . . .  Just playing with words & triple rhymes

A very  long song is quite wrong 
But a terse little verse is worse 
So why try to cry, ‘cos
You know I’ll feel low when you go.

It would seem that I scream when I dream
So why can’t I try to be shy
It’s unkind when I find you don’t mind
You will know it is so when I go.

It is sad when a lad turns out bad
But a joy for a boy to annoy;
Why disguise all those lies I despise,
Tell me why you don’t try to comply?

Please desist and don’t twist my wrist
You can kill my goodwill with that pill
I can tell you’re not well when you yell
Lose your head, you’ll be dead, it is said.

Try to recall your fall in the hall,
I could tell you weren’t well when you fell.
Don’t sigh, that is why, by and by
If you’re kind you will find I won’t mind.

The cop had to pop to the shop
To get runny honey for money;
But today he’s away at a play,
So tomorrow, in sorrow, he’ll borrow.

The girl with the twirl and the curl
Denied she had tried not to hide,
But the boy full of joy with the toy
Asked to play, if he may,every day.

When the man with a can saw the fan
I know he gave a slow blow
He looked swell till he fell in a well;
He’s unwell I can tell by the smell.

It is fun to run in the sun,
If you try to fly you’ll see why.
But begin to sin, you won’t win;
No, you shouldn’t, you wouldn’t , you couldn’t ,

Bliss in a kiss will not go amiss
It serves and deserves, to comfort the nerves.
But let me repeat, you’ll meet with  defeat
When time and chime no longer rhyme. 

It’s absurd when a bird can’t be heard
It’s a sin when an inn won’t serve gin.
It’s a pity this ditty‘s not witty
I endeavour to be clever however.

nonsense

Father William

father-william4

A Japanese ‘Father William’ …  Pen & Ink – WHB – 2014

You are Old, Father William

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door —
Pray, what is the reason for that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment — one shilling a box —
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak —
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose —
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs.”

Lewis Carroll

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“You Are Old, Father William” is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in his book  ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (1865).
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