"How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!"
      Who has written such volumes of stuff!
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
      But a few think him pleasant enough.

       His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
       His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers,
      Leastways if you reckon two thumbs;
Long ago he was one of the singers,
      But now he is one of the dumbs.

       He sits in a beautiful parlor,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
       He drinks a great deal of Marsala,
But never gets tipsy at all.

       He has many friends, lay men and clerical,
Old Foss is the name of his cat;
       His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.

When he walks in waterproof white,
      The children run after him so!
Calling out, "He's come out in his night-
      Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!"

He weeps by the side of the ocean,
      He weeps on the top of the hill;
He purchases pancakes and lotion,
      And chocolate shrimps from the mill.

He reads, but he cannot speak, Spanish,
      He cannot abide ginger beer:
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
      How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!


Project Gutenberg text of all 4 nonsense books with their illustrations prepared by Dave Newman, Ben Courtney, A. Deubelbeiss, and Stan Goodman.

Children's Literature Edward Lear

Last modified 16 July 2007