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A BOOK OF NONSENSE
by EDWARD LEAR
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;
So, to 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 once, by 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.