Size and Tears

Lewis Carroll 1832 (Daresbury) – 1898 (Guildford)



When on the sandy shore I sit,
Beside the salt sea-wave,
And fall into a weeping fit
Because I dare not shave -
A little whisper at my ear
Enquires the reason of my fear.

I answer "If that ruffian Jones
Should recognise me here,
He'd bellow out my name in tones
Offensive to the ear:
He chaffs me so on being stout
(A thing that always puts me out)."

Ah me! I see him on the cliff!
Farewell, farewell to hope,
If he should look this way, and if
He's got his telescope!
To whatsoever place I flee,
My odious rival follows me!

For every night, and everywhere,
I meet him out at dinner;
And when I've found some charming fair,
And vowed to die or win her,
The wretch (he's thin and I am stout)
Is sure to come and cut me out!

The girls (just like them!) all agree
To praise J. Jones, Esquire:
I ask them what on earth they see
About him to admire?
They cry "He is so sleek and slim,
It's quite a treat to look at him!"

They vanish in tobacco smoke,
Those visionary maids -
I feel a sharp and sudden poke
Between the shoulder-blades -
"Why, Brown, my boy! Your growing stout!"
(I told you he would find me out!)

"My growth is not YOUR business, Sir!"
"No more it is, my boy!
But if it's YOURS, as I infer,
Why, Brown, I give you joy!
A man, whose business prospers so,
Is just the sort of man to know!

"It's hardly safe, though, talking here -
I'd best get out of reach:
For such a weight as yours, I fear,
Must shortly sink the beach!" -
Insult me thus because I'm stout!
I vow I'll go and call him out!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 22, 2023

1:34 min read
44

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCD ECECFF GHGHII JKJKFF ILILMM NONOFF KPKPQQ CRDRFF
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,461
Words 310
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. more…

All Lewis Carroll poems | Lewis Carroll Books

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