WAGGAWOCKY - Robert Browning Poems


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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: --

'Twas Maytime, and the lawyer coves
    Did jibe and jabber in the wabe,
All menaced were the Tichborne groves,
    And their true lord, the Babe.

"Beware the Waggawock, my son,
    The eyelid twitch, the knees' incline,
Beware the Baigent network, spun
    For gallant Ballantine."

He took his ton-weight brief in hand,
    Long time the hidden clue he sought,
Then rested he by the Hawkins tree,
    And sat awhile in thought.

And as in toughish thought he rocks,
    The Waggawock, sans ruth or shame,
Came lumbering to the witness box,
    And perjured out his Claim.

"Untrue! untrue!" Then, through and through
    The weary weeks he worked the rack;
But March had youth, ere with the Truth
    He dealt the final wrack.

"And hast thou slain the Waggawock?
    Come to my arms, my Beamish Boy!
O Coleridge, J.! Hoorah! hooray!"
    Punch chortled in his joy.