W. Holman Hunt
Walker Art Gallery
Of course, you know I am staid and stuffy and oh-so-serious, and simply can't imagine nonsense, never mind write it, but for the sake of the other Real Toads, I will give it my best shot.
Almost everyone knows Edward Lear's most famous poem, The Owl and the Pussycat, which has been a favourite of mine since early childhood. But how many know he was an artist and an illustrator as well? It's as if someone existed, two hundred years ago, who was an amalgam of my dad, my brothers, and me. Mom, Dad, Clint and I always enjoyed this kind of do-it-yourself entertainment when Clint and I were young.
My favourite lines from that poem are:
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
My Edward Lear(ish) poem contains, however, no honey, nor even no money (wrapped up in a five-pound note), and is not based at all on The Owl and the Pussycat.
an old lady tried for a beard
after reading a book by Ed Lear
she said, “I have heared
that if I have a beard,
with wildlife my beard will be smeared.”
she started with hair she adhered
with glue to her face as she peered
into a mir-
ror quite near
for her eyesight wasn't too clear
said hair she had just commandeered
from the side of her head, near her ear
and hoped, it appeared
that a newly-grown beard
to the false one would simply cohere
but the new beard, it didn’t appear,
although the old girl persevered
for nearly a year
as her family jeered
|From the painting|
"The bearded woman"
by Jusepe de Ribera.Prado Museum,
Madrid, Spain.Public domain.
that it wasn't bioengineered.
Lear's much shorter version of this ditty can be found on the Real Toads page.