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Dumptyrecitation tenniel

Illustration by Sir John Tenniel.

Humpty Dumpty's Recitation refers to an otherwise unnamed poem by Lewis Carroll that appears within his 1871 novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Humpty Dumpty performs it for Alice near the end of the sixth chapter.

Text

"In winter, when the fields are white,
I sing this song for your delight----
"In spring, when woods are getting green,
I'll try and tell you what I mean:"
"In summer, when the days are long,
Perhaps you'll understand the song:
In autumn, when the leaves are brown,
Take pen and ink, and write it down."
"I sent a message to the fish:
I told them 'This is what I wish.'
The little fishes of the sea,
They sent an answer back to me.
The little fishes' answer was,
'We cannot do it, Sir, because----'"
"I sent to them again to say
'It will be better to obey.'
The fishes answered, with a grin,
'Why, what a temper you are in!'
I told them once, I told them twice:
They would not listen to advice.
I took a kettle large and new,
Fit for the deed I had to do.
My heart went hop, my heart went thump:
I filled the kettle at the pump.
Then some one came to me and said,
'The little fishes are in bed.'
I said to him, I said it plain,
'Then you must wake them up again.'
I said it very loud and clear:
I went and shouted in his ear.
But he was very stiff and proud:
He said, 'You needn't shout so loud!'
And he was very proud and stiff:
He said, 'I'd go and wake them, if----'
I took a corkscrew from the shelf:
I went to wake them up myself.
And when I found the door was locked,
I pulled and pushed and kicked and knocked.
And when I found the door was shut,
I tried to turn the handle, but----"

A New Alice in The Old Wonderland

In the 4th chapter of the unofficial sequel  A New Alice in the Old Wonderland written in 1895 by Anna M. Richards and illustrated by her daughter  Anna M. Richards Jr, the character of Humpty is again encountered, this time by a girl named Alice Lee who is a fan of the original book and who has been magically transported to Wonderland. Upon meeting Humpty she asks him about the poem and why it ended so abruptly in the original work, whereupon he reveals that he failed to realize the poem continued on the next page of the book he read it in until years and years later. The missing lines of the poem are then recorded as being:

The door flew open at a touch,
I said, 'I thank you very much.'
The door flew open of itself,
There were no fishes on the shelf.
There were no little fishes there!
And that was more than I could bear.

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