- While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
- He had different names from these:
- His intimate friends called him "Candle-ends",
- And his enemies "Toasted-cheese".
- "His form is ungainly--his intellect small--"
- (So the Bellman would often remark)--
- "But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
- Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."
- He would joke with hyaenas, returning their stare
- With an impudent wag of the head:
- And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
- "Just to keep up its spirits," he said.
- He came as a Baker: but owned, when too late--
- And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad--
- He could only bake Bridecake--for which, I may state,
- No materials were to be had.
- The last of the crew needs especial remark,
- Though he looked an incredible dunce:
- He had just one idea--but, that one being "Snark"
- The good Bellman engaged him at once.
- He came as a Butcher: but gravely declared,
- When the ship had been sailing a week,
- He could only kill Beavers. The Bellman looked scared,
- And was almost too frightened to speak:
- But at length he explained, in a tremulous tone,
- There was only one Beaver on board;
- And that was a tame one he had of his own,
- Whose death would be deeply deplored.
- The Beaver, who happened to hear the remark,
- Protested, with tears in its eyes,
- That not even the rapture of hunting the Snark
- Could atone for that dismal surprise!