The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò (Poem by Edward Lear)

Classic Poem

The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò
By Edward Lear

(I)

On the Coast of Coromandel,
    Where the early pumpkins grow,
        In the middle of the woods
    Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
Two old chairs, and half a candle, —
One old jug without a handle, —
        These were all his worldly goods:
        In the middle of the woods,
        These were all the worldly goods
    Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
 
(II)

Once, among the Bong-trees walking
    Where the early pumpkins grow,
        To a little heap of stones
    Came the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
There he heard a Lady talking,
To some milk-white Hens of Dorking, —
        “’Tis the Lady Jingly Jones!
        “On that little heap of stones
        “Sits the Lady Jingly Jones!”
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
 
(III)

“Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!
    “Sitting where the pumpkins grow,
        “Will you come and be my wife?”
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
“I am tired of living singly, —
“On this coast so wild and shingly, —
        “I’m a-weary of my life;
        “If you’ll come and be my wife,
        “Quite serene would be my life!” —
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

(IV)

“On this Coast of Coromandel,
    “Shrimps and watercresses grow,
        “Prawns are plentiful and cheap.”
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
“You shall have my chairs and candle,
“And my jug without a handle! —
        “Gaze upon the rolling deep
        (“Fish is plentiful and cheap) —
        “As the sea, my love is deep!”
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

(V)

Lady Jingly answered sadly,
    And her tears began to flow, —
        “Your proposal comes too late,
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
“I would be your wife most gladly!”
(Here she twirled her fingers madly)
        “But in England I’ve a mate!
        “Yes! you’ve asked me far too late,
        “For in England I’ve a mate,
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
 
(VI)

“Mr. Jones — (his name is Handel, —
    “Handel Jones, Esquire, & Co.)
        “Dorking fowls delights to send,
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
“Keep, oh I keep your chairs and candle,
“And your jug without a handle, —
        “I can merely be your friend!
        “ — Should my Jones more Dorkings send,
        “I will give you three, my friend!
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
 
(VII)

“Though you’ve such a tiny body,
    “And your head so large doth grow, —
        “Though your hat may blow away,
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
“Though you’re such a Boddy Doddy —
“Yet I wish that I could modi-
        “fy the words I needs must say!
        “Will you please to go away?
        “That is all I have to say —
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    “Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!”

(VIII)

Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,
    Where the early pumpkins grow,
        To the calm and silent sea
    Fled the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
There beyond the Bay of Gurtle,
Lay a large and lively Turtle; —
        “You’re the Cove,” he said, “for me;
        “On your back beyond the sea,
        “Turtle, you shall carry me!”
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
    Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
 
(IX)

Through the silent-roaring ocean
    Did the Turtle swiftly go;
        Holding fast upon his shell
    Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
With a sad primæval motion
Towards the sunset isles of Boshen
        Still the Turtle bore him well,
        Holding fast upon his shell.
        “Lady Jingly Jones, farewell!”
    Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
 
(X)

From the Coast of Coromandel
    Did that Lady never go;
        On that heap of stones she mourns
    For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
On that Coast of Coromandel,
In his jug without a handle,
        Still she weeps, and daily moans;
        On that little heap of stones
        To her Dorking Hens she moans
    For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
    For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

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