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
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.