Edward Lear

Nonsense Alphabet

A was an ant

Who seldom stood still,

And who made a nice house

In the side of a hill.

Nice little ant!

B was a bat,

Who slept all the day,

And fluttered about

When the sun went away.

Brown little bat!

C was a camel;

You rode on his hump;

And if you fell off,

You came down such a bump!

What a high camel!

D was a duck

With spots on his back,

Who lived in the water,

And always said "Quack!"

Dear little duck!

E was an elephant,

Stately and wise:

He had tusks and a trunk,

And two queer little eyes.

Oh, what funny small eyes!

F was a fish

Who was caught in a net;

But he got out again,

And is quite alive yet.

Lively young fish!

G was a goat

Who was spotted with brown:

When he did not lie still

He walked up and down.

Good little goat!

H was a hat

Which was all on one side;

Its crown was too high,

And its brim was too wide.

Oh, what a hat!

I was some ice

So white and so nice,

But which nobody tasted;

And so it was wasted.

All that good ice!

J was a jug,

So pretty and white,

With fresh water in it

At morning and night.

Nice little jug!

K was a kite

Which flew out of sight,

Above houses so high,

Quite into the sky.

Fly away, kite!

L was a lily,

So white and so sweet!

To see it and smell it

Was quite a nice treat.

Beautiful lily!

M was a man,

Who walked round and round;

And he wore a long coat

That came down to the ground.

Funny old man!

N was a net

Which was thrown in the sea

To catch fish for dinner

For you and for me!

Nice little net!

O was an orange

So yellow and round:

When it fell off the tree,

It fell down to the ground.

Down to the ground!

P was a Polly,

All red, blue, and green,

The most beautiful Polly

That ever was seen.

Poor little Polly!

Q was a quail

With a very short tail;

And he fed upon corn

In the evening and morn.

Quaint little quail!

R was a rabbit,

Who had a bad habit

Of eating the flowers

In gardens and bowers.

Naughty fat rabbit!

S was the sugar-tongs,


To take up the sugar

To put in our tea


T was a tortoise,

All yellow and black:

He walked slowly away,

And he never came back.

Torty never came back!

U was an urn

All polished and bright,

And full of hot water

At noon and at night.

Useful old urn!

V was a veil

With a border upon it,

And a ribbon to tie it

All round a pink bonnet.

Pretty green veil!

W was a watch,

Where, in letters of gold,

The hour of the day

You might always behold.

Beautiful watch!

X was King Xerxes

Who wore on his head

A mighty large turban,

Green, yellow, and red.

Look at King Xerxes!

Y was a yew,

Which flourished and grew

By a quiet abode

Near the side of a road.

Dark little yew!

Z was the zebra,

All striped white and black

And if he were tame,

You might ride on his back.

Pretty striped Zebra!