Childhood
THE MAD GARDENER'S SONG
by
Lewis Carroll

He thought he saw an Elephant, 
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was 
A letter from his wife. 
"At length I realise," he said, 
"The bitterness of Life!"

He thought he saw a Buffalo 
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
"Unless you leave this house," he said, 
"I'll send for the Police!"

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake 
That questioned him in Greek: 
He looked again, and found it was 
The Middle of Next Week. 
"The one thing I regret," he said, 
"Is that it cannot speak!"

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk 
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was 
A Hippopotamus
"If this should stay to dine," he said, 
"There won't be much for us!"

He thought he saw a Kangaroo 
That worked a coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was 
A Vegetable-Pill.
"Were I to swallow this," he said, 
"I should be very ill!"

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four 
That stood beside his bed: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Bear without a Head.
"Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing! 
It's waiting to be fed!"

He thought he saw an Albatross 
That fluttered round the lamp: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A Penny-Postage-Stamp.
"You'd best be getting home," he said: 
"The nights are very damp!"

He thought he saw a Garden-Door 
That opened with a key: 
He looked again, and found it was 
A double Rule of Three: 
"And all its mystery," he said, 
"Is clear as day to me!"

He thought he saw an Argument 
That proved he was the Pope
He looked again, and found it was 
A Bar of Mottled Soap. 
"A fact so dread," he faintly said, 
"Extinguishes all hope!"
The end