Edward Lear's Nonsense Books

Edward Lear's nonsense books complete set - online version

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"O Mr. Daddy Long-legs!" Said Mr. Floppy Fly, "It's true I never go to court; And I will tell you why. If I had six long legs like yours, At once I'd go to court; But, oh! I can't, because my legs Are so extremely short. And I'm afraid the king and queen (One in red, and one in green) Would say aloud, 'You are not fit, You Fly, to come to court a bit!'"
"Oh, Mr. Daddy Long-legs!"
Said Mr. Floppy Fly, "I wish you 'd sing one little song,
One mumbian melody. You used to sing so awful well
In former days gone by; But now you never sing at all:
I wish you'd tell me why: For, if you would, the silvery sound
Would please the shrimps and cockles round,
And all the crabs would gladly come
To hear you sing, 'Ah, Hum di Hum!'"
Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs,
"I can never sing again; And, if you wish, I'll tell you why,
Although it gives me pain. For years I cannot hum a bit,
Or sing the smallest song; And this the dreadful reason is,
My legs are grown too long! My six long legs, all here and there,
Oppress my bosom with despair;
And, if I stand or lie or sit,
I cannot sing one single bit!"
So Mr. Daddy Long-legs
And Mr. Floppy Fly Sat down in silence by the sea,
And gazed upon the sky. They said, "This is a dreadful thing!
The world has all gone wrong, Since one has legs too short by half,
The other much too long. One never more can go to court,
Because his legs have grown too short;
The other cannot sing a song,
Because his legs have grown too long!"