How doth the little … What?!

Saturday, March 20, 2010 - Consumerism, Me, Thoughts

So, surely, all of us know (or have heard) the little poem from Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.  Few of us know that it is a parody of a real poem.  I’ve always been curious because she says that she didn’t say it correctly in the story after reciting this version:

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
This is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s (better known as Lewis Carroll) parody of the poem “Against Idleness And Mischief” by Isaac Watts.

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!
How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.
In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

I actually quite like the second poem, but the parody makes me giggle.

Anyways, I learned something new so I figured I would share it with all of you!

Oh, and for those who have never read the books, check out Project Gutenberg for those and tons of others!  Or, of course, if you’re like me and prefer to have a physical book in your hands, you can buy the Penguin Classics edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass which includes both books and a few other extras!  Mine came in yesterday and I’m going to start reading it as soon as I finish my other books.  It’s only $8.00 from and it’s eligible for their “super saving shipping” if your total is $25.00 or more.  It’s definitely worth it!

Happy reading, peoples!

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