Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today primarily for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised.
Lear was born into a middle-class family in the village of Holloway, the 21st child of Ann and Jeremiah Lear. He was raised by his eldest sister, also named Ann, 21 years his senior. Ann doted on Lear and continued to mother him until her death, when Lear was almost 50 years of age. Due to the family's failing financial fortune, at age four he and his sister had to leave the family home and set up house together.
Lear suffered from health problems. From ... more »
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Edward Lear Poems
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear, Who has written such volumes of stuff. Some think him ill-tempered and queer, But a few find him pleasant enough.
The Owl and the Pussy-cat
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note.
They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
The Pobble Who Has No Toes
The Pobble who has no toes Had once as many as we; When they said "Some day you may lose them all;" He replied "Fish, fiddle-de-dee!"
There Was an Old Man in a Tree
There was an Old Man in a tree, Who was horribly bored by a bee. When they said "Does it buzz?" He replied "Yes, it does!
There Was an Old Man with a Beard
The Dong with a Luminous Nose
When awful darkness and silence reign Over the great Gromboolian plain, Through the long, long wintry nights; -- When the angry breakers roar
There was an Old Man of New York
There was an Old Man of Calcutta
There was a Young Lady Whose Eyes
There was a young lady whose eyes, were unique as to colour and size; When she opened them wide, people all turned aside,
The Quangle Wangle's Hat
I. On the top of the Crumpetty Tree The Quangle Wangle sat, But his face you could not see,
The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo
I On the Coast of Coromandel Where the early pumpkins blow,
There was an old person of Nice
There was an old man on the Border
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How pleasant to know Mr. Lear
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find 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);
He used to be one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.
He sits in a beautiful parlour,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
He drinks a great deal of marsala, ...