Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face!
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best—
A perfect and absolute blank!"
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.
When he cried "Steer to starboard, but keep her head larboard!"
What on earth was the helmsman to do?
That frequently happens in tropical climes,
When a vessel is, so to speak, "snarked."
Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East,
That the ship would not travel due West!
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
Which consisted to chasms and crags.
Some jokes he had kept for a season of woe—
But the crew would do nothing but groan.
And they could not but own that their Captain looked grand,
As he stood and delivered his speech.
So they drank to his health, and they gave him three cheers,
While he served out additional rations).
But never as yet ('tis your Captain who speaks)
Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!
But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze,
We have never beheld till now!
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
The warranted genuine Snarks.
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o'-the-wisp.
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day.
It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:
And it always looks grave at a pun.
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes—
A sentiment open to doubt.
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
From those that have whiskers, and scratch.
Some are Boojums—" The Bellman broke off in alarm,
For the Baker had fainted away.