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'Tis the Voice of the Lobster

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'Tis the Voice of the Lobster is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in Chapter 10 of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. As recited by Alice to the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, the first stanza describes a vain and stylish lobster who pretends not to fear sharks, but is in fact terrified by them. In the second stanza, an owl naively attempts to share a meat pie with a greedy panther. Although the poem's final line is left incomplete, the owl's unhappy fate is evident to the reader.

Full Text

'Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
"You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair."
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark;
But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.
I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye,
How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon;
While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
And concluded the banquet by ---

Alice's recitation is suddenly interrupted by the Mock Turtle, who finds the poem "the most confusing thing I ever heard." It is generally assumed that the last words of the poem could be supplied as "— eating the Owl".

Poems
Poems 'Tis the Voice of the Lobster - A boat beneath a sunny sky - All in the golden afternoon... - Child of the pure unclouded brow - Haddocks' Eyes - How Doth the Little Crocodile - Humpty Dumpty's Recitation - Jabberwocky - The Lobster Quadrille - The Mock Turtle's Song - The Mouse's Tale - The Walrus and the Carpenter - They told me you had been to her... - Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat - You Are Old, Father William

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