The Book of Nonsense

Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer, and David Widger

BOOK OF NONSENSE

By Edward Lear


                    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-GRANDCHILDREN,
GRAND-NEPHEWS, AND GRAND-NIECES
OF EDWARD, 13th EARL OF DERBY,

THIS BOOK OF DRAWINGS AND VERSES

(The greater part of which were originally
made and composed for their parents,)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 seldom, if ever, stood 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, “Granny, burn 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, “Yes, it 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 he 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.

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