‘The Sea’ by Lewis Carroll

‘The Sea’

by Lewis Carroll

“There are certain things -a spider, a ghost,
The income-tax, gout, an umbrella for three –
That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most
Is a thing they call the SEA.

Pour some salt water over the floor –
Ugly I’m sure you’ll allow it to be:
Suppose it extended a mile or more,
That’s very like the SEA.

Beat a dog till it howls outright –
Cruel, but all very well for a spree;
Suppose that one did so day and night,
That would be like the SEA.

I had a vision of nursery-maids;
Tens of thousands passed by me –
All leading children with wooden spades,
And this was by the SEA.

Who invented those spades of wood?
Who was it cut them out of the tree?
None, I think, but an idiot could –
Or one that loved the SEA.

It is pleasant and dreamy, no doubt, to float
With `thoughts as boundless, and souls as free’;
But suppose you are very unwell in a boat,
How do you like the SEA.

There is an insect that people avoid
(Whence is derived the verb `to flee’)
Where have you been by it most annoyed?
In lodgings by the SEA.

If you like coffee with sand for dregs,
A decided hint of salt in your tea,
And a fishy taste in the very eggs –
By all means choose the SEA.

And if, with these dainties to drink and eat,
You prefer not a vestige of grass or tree,
And a chronic state of wet in your feet,
Then -I recommend the SEA.

For I have friends who dwell by the coast,
Pleasant friends they are to me!
It is when I’m with them I wonder most
That anyone likes the SEA.

They take me a walk: though tired and stiff,
To climb the heights I madly agree:
And, after a tumble or so from the cliff,
They kindly suggest the SEA.

I try the rocks, and I think it cool
That they laugh with such an excess of glee,
As I heavily slip into every pool,
That skirts the cold, cold SEA.”

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