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Jabberwocky

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Jabberwock

Illustration of the Jabberwocky by Sir John Tenniel.

Jabberwocky is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears within his 1871 novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. It is read by Alice in the first chapter from a book in her family's drawing room.

TextEdit

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Text (2010)Edit

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Jaws that bite and claws that catch.
Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
And the frumious Bandersnatch.

He took his vorpal sword in hand
And the vorpal blade went snicker-snack.
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

GlossaryEdit

487px-Jabberwocky creatures

Toves, Borogroves, and Mome Raths

In Chapter Six, Carroll has the character of Humpty Dumpty explain some of the poem's nonsense language.
  • Brillig: four o'clock in the afternoon (the time when you begin broiling things for dinner).
  • Slithy: a portmanteau of "lithe" and "slimy"
  • Tove: a creature the resembles a hybrid of a badger, a lizard and a corkscrew. It lives under sundials and subsists on cheese.
  • Gyre: to go round and round like a gyroscope.
  • Gimble: to make holes like a gimblet.
  • Wabe: the grass-plot round a sun-dial.
  • Mimsy: a portmanteau of "miserable" and "flimsy."
  • Borogove: a type of bird that resembles a mop.
  • Mome: to be lost from home.
  • Rath: a type of green pig.
  • Outgrabe: a noise that's between a bellow and a whistle, with a kind of sneeze in the middle.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)Edit

Johnny Jabberwocky00:46

Johnny Jabberwocky

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