Poem a Day, 3: “You are Old Father William”

Since today’s daily prompt is about habits and quirks:

You are old, father William (1865)
Lewis Carroll

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door –
Pray, what is the reason of that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment – one shilling the box –
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
‑‑For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak –
‑‑Pray how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose –
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father; “don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!”

5 thoughts on “Poem a Day, 3: “You are Old Father William”

      • Awesome. I am thinking of posting my Chapter 1 which I have pretty well went through a hundred times. The rest of the chapters need more work, but at least I will get an idea what reader’s would think about my story. What do you think?

      • I started “blogging” here because I read somewhere (believable) that blogging my novel would help my book find an agent. This book has been read by lots of people — including an editor I hired last summer. But the summer before last, I printed it via Lulu and sent it to a dozen people who said they’d proofread and comment. That was a GREAT idea since I’m dyslexic and sometimes fall in love with my prose and can’t see it. I say seek readers. 🙂

      • Thanks for the output. I started writing another reply and it got lost. Oh, well. Need to watch my fingering on this laptop. I can delete without knowing it. Have a great day. I think I will rest for a bit. Never slept a wink last night. Then when I awaken, chapter 2 might be up. No pressure! lol

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