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Edward Lear



THE BOOK OF NONSENSE

 

 

 

 

 There was an Old Derry down Derry
Who loved to see little folks merry;
So he made them a Book
And with laughter they shook
At the fun of that Derry down Derry!

 

 

TO THE GREAT-GRANDCHILDRENGRAND-NEPHEWSAND GRAND-NIECESOF EDWARD13th EARL OF DERBY

THIS BOOK OF DRAWINGS AND VERSES

(The greater part of which were originallymade and composed for their parents)

IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR

EDWARD LEAR

 

 

1.

There was an Old Man with a beard
Who said"It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen
Four Larks and a Wren
Have all built their nests in my beard!"

 

 2.

There was a Young Lady of Ryde
Whose shoe-strings were seldom untied;
She purchased some clogs
And some small spotty dogs
And frequently walked about Ryde.

 

 3.

There was an Old Man with a nose
Who said"If you choose to suppose
That my nose is too long
You are certainly wrong!"
That remarkable Man with a nose.

 

 4.

There was an Old Man on a hill
Who seldomif everstood still;
He ran up and down
In his Grandmother's gown
Which adorned that Old Man on a hill.

 

 
5.

There was a Young Lady whose bonnet
Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
But she said"I don't care!
All the birds in the air
Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!"

 

 
6.

There was a Young Person of Smyrna
Whose Grandmother threatened to burn her;
But she seized on the Cat
And said"Grannyburn that!
"You incongruous Old Woman of Smyrna!"

 

 
7.

There was an Old Person of Chili
Whose conduct was painful and silly;
He sate on the stairs
Eating apples and pears
That imprudent Old Person of Chili.

 

 
8.

There was an Old Man with a gong
Who bumped at it all the day long;
But they called out"O law!
You"re a horrid old bore!"
So they smashed that Old Man with a gong.

 

 
9.

There was an Old Lady of Chertsey
Who made a remarkable curtsey;
She twirled round and round
Till she sunk underground
Which distressed all the people of Chertsey.

 

 
10.

There was an Old Man in a tree
Who was horribly bored by a Bee;
When they said"Does it buzz?"
He replied"Yesit does!
"It's a regular brute of a Bee!"

 

 
11.

There was an Old Man with a flute
A sarpint ran into his boot;
But he played day and night
Till the sarpint took flight
And avoided that man with a flute.

 

 
12.

There was a Young Lady whose chin
Resembled the point of a pin:
So she had it made sharp
And purchased a harp
And played several tunes with her chin.

 

 
13.

There was an Old Man of Kilkenny
Who never had more than a penny;
He spent all that money
In onions and honey
That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny.

 

 
14.

There was an Old Person of Ischia
Whose conduct grew friskier and friskier;
He danced hornpipes and jigs
And ate thousands of figs
That lively Old Person of Ischia.

 

 
15.

There was an Old Man in a boat
Who said"I'm afloat! I'm afloat!"
When they said"No! you ain't!"
He was ready to faint
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

 

 
16.

There was a Young lady of Portugal
Whose ideas were excessively nautical;
She climbed up a tree
To examine the sea
But declared she would never leave Portugal.

 

 
17.

There was an Old Man of Moldavia
Who had the most curious behaviour;
For while be was able
He slept on a table
That funny Old Man of Moldavia

 

 
18.

There was an Old Man of Madras
Who rode on a cream-coloured ass;
But the length of its ears
So promoted his fears
That it killed that Old Man of Madras.

 

 
19.

There was an Old Person of Leeds
Whose head was infested with beads;
She sat on a stool
And ate gooseberry fool
Which agreed with that person of Leeds.

 

 
20.

 

There was an Old Man of Peru
Who never knew what he should do;
So he tore off his hair
And behaved like a bear
That intrinsic Old Man of Peru.

 

 
21.

There was an Old Person of Hurst
Who drank when he was not athirst;
When they said"You'll grow fatter"
He answered"What matter?"
That globular Person of Hurst.

 

 
22.

There was a Young person of Crete
Whose toilette was far from complete;
She dressed in a sack
Spickle-speckled with black
That ombliferous person of Crete.

 

 
23.

There was an Old Man of the Isles
Whose face was pervaded with smiles;
He sung high dum diddle
And played on the fiddle
That amiable Man of the Isles.

 

 
24.

There was an Old Person of Buda
Whose conduct grew ruder and ruder;
Till at lastwith a hammer
They silenced his clamour
By smashing that Person of Buda

 

 
25.

There was an Old Man of Columbia
Who was thirstyand called out for some beer;
But they brought it quite hot
In a small copper pot
Which disgusted that man of Columbia.

 

 
26.

There was a young Lady of Dorking
Who bought a large bonnet for walking;
But its colour and size
So bedazzled her eyes
That she very soon went back to Dorking.

 

 
27.

There was an Old Man who supposed
That the street door was partially closed;
But some very large rats
Ate his coats and his hats
While that futile old gentleman dozed.

 

 
28.

There was an Old Man of the West
Who wore a pale plum-coloured vest;
When they said"Does it fit?"
He replied"Not a bit!"
That uneasy Old Man of the West.

 

 
29.

There was an Old Man of the Wrekin
Whose shoes made a horrible creaking;
But they said"Tell us whether
Your shoes are of leather
Or of whatyou Old Man of the Wrekin?"

 

 
30.

There was a Young Lady whose eyes
Were unique as to colour and size;
When she opened them wide
People all turned aside
And started away in surprise.

 

 
31.

There was a Young Lady of Norway
Who casually sat in a doorway;
When the door squeezed her flat
She exclaimed"What of that?"
This courageous Young Lady of Norway.

 

 
32.

There was an Old Man of Vienna
Who lived upon Tincture of Senna;
When that did not agree
He took Camomile Tea
That nasty Old Man of Vienna.

 

 
33.

There was an Old Person whose habits
Induced him to feed upon Rabbits;
When he'd eaten eighteen
He turned perfectly green
Upon which he relinquished those habits.

 

 
34.

There was an old person of Dover
Who rushed through a field of blue Clover;
But some very large bees
Stung his nose and his knees
So he very soon went back to Dover.

 

 
35.

There was an Old Man of Marseilles
Whose daughters wore bottle-green veils;
They caught several Fish
Which they put in a dish
And sent to their Pa at Marseilles.

 

 
36.

There was an Old Person of Cadiz
Who was always polite to all ladies;
But in handing his daughter
He fell into the water
Which drowned that Old Person of Cadiz.

 

 
37.

There was an Old Person of Basing
Whose presence of mind was amazing;
He purchased a steed
Which he rode at full speed
And escaped from the people of Basing.

 

 
38.

There was an Old Man of Quebec
A beetle ran over his neck;
But he cried"With a needle
I'll slay youO beadle!"
That angry Old Man of Quebec.

 

 
39.

There was an Old Person of Philae
Whose conduct was scroobious and wily;
He rushed up a Palm
When the weather was calm
And observed all the ruins of Philae.

 

 
40.

There was a Young Lady of Bute
Who played on a silver-gilt flute;
She played several jigs
To her uncle's white pigs
That amusing Young Lady of Bute.

 

 
41.

There was a Young Lady whose nose
Was so long that it reached to her toes;
So she hired an Old Lady
Whose conduct was steady
To carry that wonderful nose.

 

 
42.

There was a Young Lady of Turkey
Who wept when the weather was murky;
When the day turned out fine
She ceased to repine
That capricious Young Lady of Turkey.

 

 
43.

There was an Old Man of Apulia
Whose conduct was very peculiar;
He fed twenty sons
Upon nothing but buns
That whimsical Man of Apulia.

 

 
44.

There was an Old Man with a poker
Who painted his face with red oker;
When they said"You're a Guy!"
He made no reply
But knocked them all down with his poker.

 

 
45.

There was an Old Person of Prague
Who was suddenly seized with the plague;
But they gave him some butter
Which caused him to mutter
And cured that Old Person of Prague.

 

 
46.

There was an Old Man of the North
Who fell into a basin of broth;
But a laudable cook
Fished him out with a hook
Which saved that Old Man of the North.

 

 
47.

There was a Young Lady of Poole
Whose soup was excessively cool;
So she put it to boil
By the aid of some oil
That ingenious Young Lady of Poole.

 

 
48.

There was an Old Person of Mold
Who shrank from sensations of cold;
So he purchased some muffs
Some furs and some fluffs
And wrapped himself from the cold.

 

 
49.

There was an Old Man or Nepaul
From his horse had a terrible fall;
Butthough split quite in two
By some very strong glue
They mended that Man of Nepaul.

 

 
50.

There was an old Man of th' Abruzzi
So blind that he couldn't his foot see;
When they said"That's your toe"
He replied"Is it so?"
That doubtful old Man of th' Abruzzi.

 

 
51.

There was an Old Person of Rhodes
Who strongly objected to toads;
He paid several cousins
To catch them by dozens
That futile Old Person of Rhodes.

 

 
52.

There was an Old Man of Peru
Who watched his wife making a stew;
But once by mistake
In a stove she did bake
That unfortunate Man of Peru.

 

 
53.

There was an Old Man of Melrose
Who walked on the tips of his toes;
But they said"It ain't pleasant
To see you at present
You stupid Old Man of Melrose."

 

 
54.

There was a Young Lady of Lucca
Whose lovers completely forsook her;
She ran up a tree
And said"Fiddle-de-dee!"
Which embarassed the people of Lucca.

 

 
55.

There was an old Man of Bohemia
Whose daughter was christened Euphemia;
Till one dayto his grief
She married a thief
Which grieved that old Man of Bohemia.

 

 
56.

There was an Old Man of Vesuvius
Who studied the works of Vitruvius;
When the flames burnt his book
To drinking he took
That morbid Old Man of Vesuvius.

 

 
57.

There was an Old Man of Cape Horn
Who wished he had never been born;
So he sat on a chair
Till he died of despair
That dolorous Man of Cape Horn.

 

 
58.

There was an Old Lady whose folly
Induced her to sit in a holly;
Whereon by a thorn
Her dress being torn
She quickly became melancholy.

 

 
59.

There was an Old Man of Corfu
Who never knew what he should do;
So he rushed up and down
Till the sun made him brown
That bewildered Old Man of Corfu.

 

 
60.

There was an Old Man of the South
Who had an immoderate mouth;
But in swallowing a dish
That was quite full of fish
He was chokedthat Old Man of the South.

 

 
61.

There was an Old Man of the Nile
Who sharpened his nails with a file;
Till he cut off his thumbs
And said calmly"This comes
Of sharpening one's nails with a file!"

 

 
62.

There was an Old Person of Rheims
Who was troubled with horrible dreams;
Soto keep him awake
They fed him with cake
Which amused that Old Person of Rheims.

 

 
63.

There was an Old Person of Cromer
Who stood on one leg to read Homer;
When he found he grew stiff
He jumped over the cliff
Which concluded that Person of Cromer.

 

 
64.

There was an Old Person of Troy
Whose drink was warm brandy and soy;
Which he took with a spoon
By the light of the moon
In sight of the city of Troy.

 

 
65.

There was an Old Man of the Dee
Who was sadly annoyed by a flea;
When he said"I will scratch it"
They gave him a hatchet
Which grieved that Old Man of the Dee.

 

 
66.

There was an Old Man of Dundee
Who frequented the top of a tree;
When disturbed by the crows
He abruptly arose
And exclaimed"I'll return to Dundee."

 

 
67.

There was an Old Person of Tring
Who embellished his nose with a ring;
He gazed at the moon
Every evening in June
That ecstatic Old Person of Tring.

 

 
68.

There was an Old Man on some rocks
Who shut his wife up in a box;
When she said"Let me out"
He exclaimed"Without doubt
You will pass all your life in that box."

 

 
69.

There was an Old Man of Coblenz
The length of whose legs was immense;
He went with one prance
>From Turkey to France
That surprising Old Man of Coblenz.

 

 
70.

There was an Old Man of Calcutta
Who perpetually ate bread and butter;
Till a great bit of muffin
On which he was stuffing
Choked that horrid old man of Calcutta.

 

 
71.

There was an Old Man in a pew
Whose waistcoat was spotted with blue;
But he tore it in pieces
To give to his nieces
That cheerful Old Man in a pew.

 

 
72.

There was an Old Man who said"How
Shall I flee from this horrible Cow?
I will sit on this stile
And continue to smile
Which may soften the heart of that Cow."

 

 
73.

There was a Young Lady of Hull
Who was chased by a virulent Bull;
But she seized on a spade
And called out"Who's afraid!"
Which distracted that virulent Bull.

 

 
74.

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven
Who danced a quadrille with a Raven;
But they said"It's absurd
To encourage this bird!"
So they smashed that Old Man of Whitehaven.

 

 
75.

There was an Old Man of Leghorn
The smallest as ever was born;
But quickly snapt up he
Was once by a puppy
Who devoured that Old Man of Leghorn.

 

 
76.

There was an Old Man of the Hague
Whose ideas were excessively vague;
He built a balloon
To examine the moon
That deluded Old Man of the Hague.

 

 
77.

There was an Old Man of Jamaica
Who suddenly married a Quaker;
But she cried out"O lack!
I have married a black!"
Which distressed that Old Man of Jamaica.

 

 
78.

There was an old person of Dutton
Whose head was so small as a button;
So to make it look big
He purchased a wig
And rapidly rushed about Dutton.

 

 
79.

There was a Young Lady of Tyre
Who swept the loud chords of a lyre;
At the sound of each sweep
She enraptured the deep
And enchanted the city of Tyre.

 

 
80.

There was an Old Man who said" Hush!
I perceive a young bird in this bush!"
When they said"Is it small?"
He replied"Not at all!
It is four times as big as the bush!"

 

 
81.

There was an Old Man of the East
Who gave all his children a feast;
But they all ate so much
And their conduct was such
That it killed that Old Man of the East.

 

 
82.

There was an Old Man of Kamschatka
Who possessed a remarkably fat cur
His gait and his waddle
Were held as a model
To all the fat dogs in Kamschatka.

 

 
83.

There was an Old Man of the Coast
Who placidly sat on a post;
But when it was cold
He relinquished his hold
And called for some hot buttered toast.

 

 
84.

There was an Old Person of Bangor
Whose face was distorted with anger;
He tore off his boots
And subsisted on roots
That borascible person of Bangor.

 

 
85.

There was an Old Man with a beard
Who sat on a horse when he reared;
But they said"Never mind!
You will fall off behind
You propitious Old Man with a beard!"

 

 
86.

There was an Old Man of the West
Who never could get any rest;
So they set him to spin
On his nose find his chin
Which cured that Old Man of the West.

 

 
87.

There was an Old Person of Anerley
Whose conduct was strange and unmannerly;
He rushed down the Strand
With a Pig in each hand
But returned in the evening to Anerley.

 

 
88.

There was a Young Lady of Troy
Whom several large flies did annoy;
Some she killed with a thump
Some she drowned at the pump
And some she took with her to Troy.

 

 
89.

There was an Old Man of Berlin
Whose form was uncommonly thin;
Till he onceby mistake
Was mixed up in a cake
So they baked that Old Man of Berlin.

 

 
90.

There was an Old Person of Spain
Who hated all trouble and pain;
So he sate on a chair
With his feet in the air
That umbrageous Old Person of Spain.

 

 
91.

There was a Young Lady of Russia
Who screamed so that no one could hush her;
Her screams were extreme
No one heard such a scream
As was screamed by that Lady of Russia.

 

 
92.

There was an Old Manwho said"Well!
Will NOBODY answer this bell?
I have pulled day and night
Till my hair has grown white
But nobody answers this bell!"

 

 
93.

There was a Young Lady of Wales
Who caught a large fish without scales;
When she lifted her hook
She exclaimed"Only look!"
That ecstatic Young Lady of Wales.

 

 
94.

There was an Old Person of Cheadle
Was put in the stocks by the beadle;
For stealing some pigs
Some coatsand some wigs
That horrible Person of Cheadle.

 

 
95.

There was a Young Lady of Welling
Whose praise all the world was a-telling;
She played on the harp
And caught several carp
That accomplished Young Lady of Welling.

 

 
96.

There was an Old Person of Tartary
Who divided his jugular artery;
But he screeched to his wife
And she said"Ohmy life!
Your death will be felt by all Tartary!"

 

 
97.

There was an old Person of Chester
Whom several small children did pester;
They threw some large stones
Which broke most of his bones
And displeased that old person of Chester.

 

 
98.

There was an Old Man with an owl
Who continued to bother and howl;
He sate on a rail
And imbibed bitter ale
Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl.

 

 
99.

There was an Old Person of Gretna
Who rushed down the crater of Etna;
When they said"Is it hot?"
He replied"Noit's not!"
That mendacious Old Person of Gretna.

 

 
100.

There was a Young Lady of Sweden
Who went by the slow train to Weedon;
When they cried"Weedon Station!"
She made no observation
But thought she should go back to Sweden.

 

 
101.

There was a Young Girl of Majorca
Whose aunt was a very fast walker;
She walked seventy miles
And leaped fifteen stiles
Which astonished that Girl of Majorca.

 

 
102.

There was an Old Man of the Cape
Who possessed a large Barbary Ape;
Till the Ape one dark night
Set the house on a light
Which burned that Old Man of the Cape.

 

 
103.

There was an Old Lady of Prague
Whose language was horribly vague;
When they said"Are these caps?"
She answered"Perhaps!"
That oracular Lady of Prague.

 

 
104.

There was an Old Person of Sparta
Who had twenty-five sons and one daughter;
He fed them on snails
And weighed them in scales
That wonderful person of Sparta.

 

 
105.

There was an Old Man at a easement
Who held up his hands in amazement;
When they said"Siryou'll fall!"
He replied"Not at all!"
That incipient Old Man at a casement.

 

 
106.

There was an old Person of Burton
Whose answers were rather uncertain;
When they said"How d'ye do?"
He replied"Who are you?"
That distressing old person of Burton.

 

 
107.

There was an Old Person of Ems
Who casually fell in the Thames;
And when he was found
They said he was drowned
That unlucky Old Person of Ems.

 

 
108.

There was an Old Person of Ewell
Who chiefly subsisted on gruel;
But to make it more nice
He inserted some mice
Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.

 

 
109.

There was a Young Lady of Parma
Whose conduct grew calmer and calmer;
When they said"Are you dumb?"
She merely said"Hum!"
That provoking Young Lady of Parma.

 

 
110.

There was an Old Man of Aosta
Who possessed a large Cowbut he lost her;
But they said"Don't you see
She has rushed up a tree?
You invidious Old Man of Aosta!"

 

 
111.

There was an Old Manon whose nose
Most birds of the air could repose;
But they all flew away
At the closing of day
Which relieved that Old Man and his nose.

 

 
112.

There was a Young Lady of Clare
Who was sadly pursued by a bear;
When she found she was tired
She abruptly expired
That unfortunate Lady of Clare.

 




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