Lewis Carroll

(27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898 / Cheshire)

Phantasmagoria CANTO II ( Hys Fyve Rules )


"MY First - but don't suppose," he said,
"I'm setting you a riddle -
Is - if your Victim be in bed,
Don't touch the curtains at his head,
But take them in the middle,

"And wave them slowly in and out,
While drawing them asunder;
And in a minute's time, no doubt,
He'll raise his head and look about
With eyes of wrath and wonder.

"And here you must on no pretence
Make the first observation.
Wait for the Victim to commence:
No Ghost of any common sense
Begins a conversation.

"If he should say 'HOW CAME YOU HERE?'
(The way that YOU began, Sir,)
In such a case your course is clear -
'ON THE BAT'S BACK, MY LITTLE DEAR!'
Is the appropriate answer.

"If after this he says no more,
You'd best perhaps curtail your
Exertions - go and shake the door,
And then, if he begins to snore,
You'll know the thing's a failure.

"By day, if he should be alone -
At home or on a walk -
You merely give a hollow groan,
To indicate the kind of tone
In which you mean to talk.

"But if you find him with his friends,
The thing is rather harder.
In such a case success depends
On picking up some candle-ends,
Or butter, in the larder.

"With this you make a kind of slide
(It answers best with suet),
On which you must contrive to glide,
And swing yourself from side to side -
One soon learns how to do it.

"The Second tells us what is right
In ceremonious calls:-
'FIRST BURN A BLUE OR CRIMSON LIGHT'
(A thing I quite forgot to-night),
'THEN SCRATCH THE DOOR OR WALLS.'"

I said "You'll visit HERE no more,
If you attempt the Guy.
I'll have no bonfires on MY floor -
And, as for scratching at the door,
I'd like to see you try!"

"The Third was written to protect
The interests of the Victim,
And tells us, as I recollect,
TO TREAT HIM WITH A GRAVE RESPECT,
AND NOT TO CONTRADICT HIM."

"That's plain," said I, "as Tare and Tret,
To any comprehension:
I only wish SOME Ghosts I've met
Would not so CONSTANTLY forget
The maxim that you mention!"

"Perhaps," he said, "YOU first transgressed
The laws of hospitality:
All Ghosts instinctively detest
The Man that fails to treat his guest
With proper cordiality.

"If you address a Ghost as 'Thing!'
Or strike him with a hatchet,
He is permitted by the King
To drop all FORMAL parleying -
And then you're SURE to catch it!

"The Fourth prohibits trespassing
Where other Ghosts are quartered:
And those convicted of the thing
(Unless when pardoned by the King)
Must instantly be slaughtered.

"That simply means 'be cut up small':
Ghosts soon unite anew.
The process scarcely hurts at all -
Not more than when YOU're what you call
'Cut up' by a Review.

"The Fifth is one you may prefer
That I should quote entire:-
THE KING MUST BE ADDRESSED AS 'SIR.'
THIS, FROM A SIMPLE COURTIER,
IS ALL THE LAWS REQUIRE:

"BUT, SHOULD YOU WISH TO DO THE THING
WITH OUT-AND-OUT POLITENESS,
ACCOST HIM AS 'MY GOBLIN KING!
AND ALWAYS USE, IN ANSWERING,
THE PHRASE 'YOUR ROYAL WHITENESS!'

"I'm getting rather hoarse, I fear,
After so much reciting :
So, if you don't object, my dear,
We'll try a glass of bitter beer -
I think it looks inviting."

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: respect, success, fear, home, alone, light, friend

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Phantasmagoria CANTO II ( Hys Fyve Rules ) by Lewis Carroll )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. *Darling Dove, C. P. Sharma
  2. *The Divine Blessings - For Jen Walls an.., C. P. Sharma
  3. Bittersweet, Kelly Curiel
  4. The American Dream, Lilly Emery
  5. *Rumi Speaks, C. P. Sharma
  6. Destiny Misplaced, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  7. *Stray Thoughts, C. P. Sharma
  8. Shame-Shame Israel, Aftab Alam
  9. Paths Of Childhood, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. lips of flower, Aftab Alam

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Herrick

Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurl'd
By dreams, each one into a several world.... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]