Waggawocky

Original Text: 
Wit and Humour (Poems from "Punch") (London: Bradbury, Agnew, 1875): 311-12. Cambridge University Library XXVII.80.31
A parody on "Jabberwocky, the Chattertonian poem" in Mr. Lewis Carroll's fairy book "Alice through the Looking Glass."

Merely interpolating the note that the word "wabe" is explained by the Poet to mean "a grassplot round a sun-dial," but that it also means a Court of Justice, being derived from the Saxon waube, a wig-shop, Mr. Punch proceeds to dress the prophetic ode in plain English: --

2    Did jibe and jabber in the wabe,
3All menaced were the Tichborne groves,
4    And their true lord, the Babe.
5"Beware the Waggawock, my son,
6    The eyelid twitch, the knees' incline,
7Beware the Baigent network, spun
8    For gallant Ballantine."
9He took his ton-weight brief in hand,
10    Long time the hidden clue he sought,
11Then rested he by the Hawkins tree,
12    And sat awhile in thought.
13And as in toughish thought he rocks,
14    The Waggawock, sans ruth or shame,
15Came lumbering to the witness box,
16    And perjured out his Claim.
17"Untrue! untrue!" Then, through and through
18    The weary weeks he worked the rack;
19But March had youth, ere with the Truth
20    He dealt the final wrack.
21"And hast thou slain the Waggawock?
22    Come to my arms, my Beamish Boy!
23O Coleridge, J.! Hoorah! hooray!"
24    Punch chortled in his joy.

Notes

1] coves: chaps, thieves. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1872
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Rhyme: