Little Birds

Little Birds are dining
Warily and well,
Hid in mossy cell:
Hid, I say, by waiters
Gorgeous in their gaiters -
I've a Tale to tell.

Little Birds are feeding
Justices with jam,
Rich in frizzled ham:
Rich, I say, in oysters
Haunting shady cloisters -
That is what I am.

Little Birds are teaching
Tigresses to smile,
Innocent of guile:
Smile, I say, not smirkle -
Mouth a semicircle,
That's the proper style!

Little Birds are sleeping
All among the pins,
Where the loser wins:
Where, I say, he sneezes
When and how he pleases -
So the Tale begins.

Little Birds are writing
Interesting books,
To be read by cooks:
Read, I say, not roasted -
Letterpress, when toasted,
Loses its good looks.

Little Birds are playing
Bagpipes on the shore,
Where the tourists snore:
"Thanks!" they cry. "'Tis thrilling!
Take, oh take this shilling!
Let us have no more!"

Little Birds are bathing
Crocodiles in cream,
Like a happy dream:
Like, but not so lasting -
Crocodiles, when fasting,
Are not all they seem!

Little Birds are choking
Baronets with bun,
Taught to fire a gun:
Taught, I say, to splinter
Salmon in the winter -
Merely for the fun.

Little Birds are hiding
Crimes in carpet-bags,
Blessed by happy stags:
Blessed, I say, though beaten -
Since our friends are eaten
When the memory flags.

Little Birds are tasting
Gratitude and gold,
Pale with sudden cold:
Pale, I say, and wrinkled -
When the bells have tinkled,
And the Tale is told.

by Lewis Carroll

Comments (20)

little birds are dinging, flying, dining. tasting Gratitude.. a fine poem. tony
the rhyme and rhythm of the poem is so very nice. I feel that the little birds symbolize the poets as the poets are the most wise and knowledgeable among mankind for they observe the minutest details of the world around them and can teach anything with their experience and vision.
i wish to see the little bird flying not that much chatting
Snarky. Carroll cloaked his ideas in riddle, and I admit defeat here. I could use a scholar's help to decipher the subtext. The form of the poem itself - I like each stanza's musical quality and parsimony.
So very sad. The population used for the betterment of the nation are left to nothingness in a short while. Little birds. Us are taken I adore Lewis Carroll
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