The Jabberwock Compromise

The Jabberwock Compromise

A poem we’re writing on the occasion of Oliver’s sixth birthday.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
Much overawed, the monster paused
And swailed a measure back. [sit on one’s swooping tail]

“Yon vorpal sword you nimbly strusht [to strongly push with a wooshing rush thrust]
But Jabberwock has eyes of flame –
And claws that crash and jaws what crush! [drip + gore]
Why speak not gentle first your claim?”

“My father dreams a gleamide rail, [gleam + wide]
That goods may cross this tulgey wood.
Or else, he thwail, our business fail; [thunderous + wails] [worries + sulks]
So slay you says I should if could.”

One two and two and threw and threw
Their scoopfling claws much earth can throw. [scoop + fling]
The path they tore links plain with shore:
Three hundreds feet from head til toe.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

“I have not slain the Jabberwock.
With beasties of a manxus stamp,
From meadow high to low down sea,
I’ve wuilt a winding ramp – [willed + built]
For shipping intermodally.”

And now sail wares of Carrol Shares
belound the tulgey wood in where [below + around]
sit he and Jabberwock
in uffish, well-lit thought,

‘templating the heavly Forms, [heavy + heavenly]
that never die, that cannot lie,
that nourish kindly human norms.

Bethinking Infinite Eternal Form
of Goodness True and flowing fair,
Insight moves heaves and spreads
in sacred, solemn, mirlithe care [mirth + lithe]
until there’s nought to dread.

’Tis brillig, and the slithy toves
yet gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy shakes the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabed.

Authors: Lewis Carrol, BW, AW
Copyright insofar as one can in this instance (ie: of course no one has the rights to Lewis Carrol’s Jabberwock): AMW

End

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