Fit the Third: The Baker’s Tale

  1. The Bellman’s Speech
  2. The Hunting of the Snark
  3. The Hunting
    • They roused him with muffins—they roused him with ice—
    • They roused him with mustard and cress—
    • They roused him with jam and judicious advice—
    • They set him conundrums to guess.
    • When at length he sat up and was able to speak,
    • His sad story he offered to tell;
    • And the Bellman cried “Silence! Not even a shriek!”
    • And excitedly tingled his bell.
    • There was silence supreme! Not a shriek, not a scream,
    • Scarcely even a howl or a groan,
    • As the man they called “Ho!” told his story of woe
    • In an antediluvian tone.
    • “My father and mother were honest, though poor—”
    • “Skip all that!” cried the Bellman in haste.
    • “If it once becomes dark, there’s no chance of a Snark—
    • We have hardly a minute to waste!”
    • “I skip forty years”, said the Baker, in tears,
    • “And proceed without further remark
    • To the day when you took me aboard of your ship
    • To help you in hunting the Snark.
    • “A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named)
    • Remarked, when I bade him farewell—”
    • “Oh, skip your dear uncle!” the Bellman exclaimed,
    • As he angrily tingled his bell.
    • “He remarked to me then”, said that mildest of men,
    • “‘If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
    • Fetch it home by all means—you may serve it with greens,
    • And it’s handy for striking a light.
    • “‘You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care;
    • You may hunt it with forks and hope;
    • You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
    • You may charm it with smiles and soap—’”
    • (”That’s exactly the method”, the Bellman bold
    • In a hasty parenthesis cried,
    • “That’s exactly the way I have always been told
    • That the capture of Snarks should be tried!”)
    • “‘But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
    • If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
    • You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
    • And never be met with again!’
    • “It is this, it is this that oppresses my soul,
    • When I think of my uncle’s last words:
    • And my heart is like nothing so much as a bowl
    • Brimming over with quivering curds!
    • “It is this, it is this—” “We have had that before!”
    • The Bellman indignantly said.
    • And the Baker replied “Let me say it once more.
    • It is this, it is this that I dread!
    • “I engage with the Snark—every night after dark—
    • In a dreamy delirious fight:
    • I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes,
    • And I use it for striking a light:
    • “But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day,
    • In a moment (of this I am sure),
    • I shall softly and suddenly vanish away—
    • And the notion I cannot endure!”
  1. The Bellman’s Speech
  2. The Hunting of the Snark
  3. The Hunting