SIZE AND TEARS Poetry/Poem by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
WHEN on the sandy shore I sit,
Beside the salt sea-wave,
And fall into a weeping fit
Because I dare not shave–
A little whisper at my ear
Inquires the reason of my fear.
I answer, “If that ruffian Jones
Should recognize me here,
He’d bellow out my name in tones
Offensive to the ear:
He chaffs me so on being stout
(A thing that always puts me out).”
Ah me! I see him on the cliff!
Farewell, farewell to hope,
If he should look this way, and if
He’s got his telescope!
To whatsoever place I flee,
My odious rival follows me!
For every night, and everywhere,
I meet him out at dinner;
And when I’ve found some charming fair,
And vowed to die or win her,
The wretch (he’s thin and I am stout)
Is sure to come and cut me out!
The girls (just like them!) all agree
To praise J. Jones, Esquire:
I ask them what on earth they see
About him to admire?
They cry, “He is so sleek and slim,
It’s quite a treat to look at him!”
They vanish in tobacco smoke,
Those visionary maids–
I feel a sharp and sudden poke
Between the shoulder-blades–
“Why, Brown, my boy! You’re growing stout!”
(I told you he would find me out!)
“My growth is not your business, sir!”
“No more it is, my boy!
But if it’s yours, as I infer,
Why, Brown, I give you joy!
A man whose business prospers so
Is just the sort of man to know!
“It’s hardly safe, though, talking here–
I’d best get out of reach:
For such a weight as yours, I fear,
Must shortly sink the beach!”–
Insult me thus because I’m stout!
I vow I’ll go and call him out!