Sometimes when things seem to overwhelm us, it’s good to think about nice things, or things that we don’t have to think too deeply about and maybe a bit nonsensical.
Today is the birthday of Edward Lear (born 12 May 1812) He was an English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet, now known mostly for his poems and limericks and most especially for the Owl and the Pussy-Cat. Lear wrote it for Janet, the three year old daughter of a friend of his. It was first published in 1871.
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible* spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
- Try not to worry about the meaning of ‘runcible’ It was a word invented by Lear and has no obvious meaning.
With thanks to Edward Lear for entertaining us with much-needed nonsense which is very different from the nonsense being played out on the world’s stage just now.