Ye Olde Oyster House

(with apologies to the memory of Charles Dodgson)

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Were walking close at hand.

They wept like anything to see

Such quantities of sand.

"If this were only cleared away"

They said, "It would be grand."

"If twenty maids with twenty mops

Swept it for half a year

Do you suppose", the Walrus said,

"That they could get it clear?"

"I doubt it", said the Carpenter.

"T'would cost too much I fear."

"Oh, oysters come and walk with us",

The Walrus did beseech,

"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk

Along Mt. Auburn beach.

We cannot do with more than eight

And give a room to each.

"We want all kinds and shapes of shell

To come and join our group.

We don't care who you are or what,

If you are not a goop.

We want you all to rub and mix,

But none of you must stoop."

The Eldest Oyster looked at him,

But not a word he said.

The Eldest Oyster winked an eye

And shook his heavy head.

Meaning to say he did not choose

To leave his oyster bed.

But four young oysters hurried up

All eager for the treat.

Their coats were brushed their faces washed,

Their shoes were clean and neat.

And this was odd, because you know,

In Cambridge there was sleet.

Four other oysters followed them,

And yet another four.

And thick and fast they came at last,

And more, and more, and more.

There were so many in the end

They broke a fire door.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Walked on a mile or so.

And then they rested on a rock

Conveniently low.

And all the little oysters stood

And waited in a row.

"The time has come", the Walrus said,

"To talk of many things.

Of homes, and sports, and rank list rank.

Of schools, and clubs, and rings."

"'Tis tommyrot", the other said.

"They cannot all be kings".

"But wait a bit", the oysters cried,

"Before we must decide.

For some of us are doubtful,

Though others have applied".

"No hurry", said the Carpenter,

"You won't be left outside."

"A loaf of bread", the Walrus said,

Is what we chiefly need.

In sections thin and buttered well,

It's very good indeed.

Now, if you're ready, Carpenter,

We can begin to feed."

"The biggest ones don't come to me".

The Carpenter bemoaned.

"They don't slide down as well. I feel,

Perhaps they're more back-boned.

It seems you're getting all the fish

That one would call high toned.

"I weep for you", the Walrus said.

"I deeply sympathize."

With sobs and tears he sorted out

Those of the largest size.

Holding his pocket handkerchief

Before his streaming eyes.

"The biggest ones aren't always best",

The Carpenter replied.

You mustn't judge the heart of things

By shells on the outside."

"It all depends", the Walrus said.

"On how they are applied.

"It was so nice of you to come

And you are very nice"

The Carpenter said nothing but.

"Give me a better slice.

I wish you were not quite so deaf:

I've had to ask you twice."

"Oh, oysters", said the Carpenter.

"You've had a pleasant run

Shall we be trotting home again?"

But answer there came none.

And this was scarcely odd because

They'd eaten every one.