Care and Hope
Fit the fourth (from The Hunting of the Snark)
229 The Bellman looked uffish, and wrinkled his brow.
230 "If only you'd spoken before!
231 It's excessively awkward to mention it now,
232 With the Snark, so to speak, at the door!
233 "We should all of us grieve, as you well may believe,
234 If you never were met with again--
235 But surely, my man, when the voyage began,
236 You might have suggested it then?
237 "It's excessively awkward to mention it now--
238 As I think I've already remarked."
239 And the man they called "Hi!" replied, with a sigh,
240 "I informed you the day we embarked.
241 "You may charge me with murder--or want of sense--
242 (We are all of us weak at times):
243 But the slightest approach to a false pretence
244 Was never among my crimes!
245 "I said it in Hebrew--I said it in Dutch--
246 I said it in German and Greek:
247 But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
248 That English is what you speak!"
249 "'Tis a pitiful tale," said the Bellman, whose face
250 Had grown longer at every word:
251 "But, now that you've stated the whole of your case,
252 More debate would be simply absurd.
253 "The rest of my speech" (he explained to his men)
254 "You shall hear when I've leisure to speak it.
255 But the Snark is at hand, let me tell you again!
256 'Tis your glorious duty to seek it!
257 "To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
258 To pursue it with forks and hope;
259 To threaten its life with a railway-share;
260 To charm it with smiles and soap!
261 "For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't
262 Be caught in a commonplace way.
263 Do all that you know, and try all that you don't:
264 Not a chance must be wasted to-day!
265 "For England expects--I forbear to proceed:
266 'Tis a maxim tremendous, but trite:
267 And you'd best be unpacking the things that you need
268 To rig yourselves out for the fight."
269 Then the Banker endorsed a blank cheque (which he crossed),
270 And changed his loose silver for notes.
272 And shook the dust out of his coats.
273 The Boots and the Broker were sharpening a spade--
274 Each working the grindstone in turn:
275 But the Beaver went on making lace, and displayed
276 No interest in the concern:
277 Though the Barrister tried to appeal to its pride,
278 And vainly proceeded to cite
281 The maker of Bonnets ferociously planned
282 A novel arrangement of bows:
283 While the Billiard-marker with quivering hand
284 Was chalking the tip of his nose.
285 But the Butcher turned nervous, and dressed himself fine,
286 With yellow kid gloves and a ruff--
287 Said he felt it exactly like going to dine,
288 Which the Bellman declared was all "stuff."
289 "Introduce me, now there's a good fellow," he said,
290 "If we happen to meet it together!"
291 And the Bellman, sagaciously nodding his head,
292 Said "That must depend on the weather."
293 The Beaver went simply galumphing about,
294 At seeing the Butcher so shy:
295 And even the Baker, though stupid and stout,
296 Made an effort to wink with one eye.
297 "Be a man!" said the Bellman in wrath, as he heard
298 The Butcher beginning to sob.
299 "Should we meet with a Jubjub, that desperate bird,
300 We shall need all our strength for the job!"