Nonsense Alphabet

Edward Lear

 
A
A was an ant
Who seldom stood still,
And who made a nice house
In the side of a hill.
a
Nice little ant!
*
B
B was a book
With a binding of blue,
And pictures and stories
For me and for you.
b
Nice little book!
*
C
C was a cat
Who ran after a rat;
But his courage did fail
When she seized on his tail.
c
Crafty old cat!
*
D
D was a duck
With spots on his back,
Who lived in the water,
And always said "Quack!"
d
Dear little duck!
*
E
E was an elephant,
Stately and wise:
He had tusks and a trunk,
And two queer little eyes.
e
Oh, what funny small eyes!
*
F
F was a fish
Who was caught in a net;
But he got out again,
And is quite alive yet.
f
Lively young fish!
*
G
G was a goat
Who was spotted with brown:
When he did not lie still
He walked up and down.
g
Good little goat!
*
H
H was a hat
Which was all on one side;
Its crown was too high,
And its brim was too wide.
h
Oh, what a hat!
*
I
I was some ice
So white and so nice,
But which nobody tasted;
And so it was wasted.
i
All that good ice!
*
J
J was a jackdaw
Who hopped up and down
In the principal street
Of a neighboring town.
j
All through the town!
*
K
K was a kite
Which flew out of sight,
Above houses so high,
Quite into the sky.
k
Fly away, kite!
*
L
L was a light
Which burned all the night,
And lighted the gloom
Of a very dark room.
l
Useful nice light!
*
M
M was a mill
Which stood on a hill,
And turned round and round
With a loud hummy sound.
m
Useful old mill!
*
N
N was a net
Which was thrown in the sea
To catch fish for dinner
For you and for me.
n
Nice little net!
*
O
O was an orange
So yellow and round:
When it fell off the tree,
It fell down to the ground.
o
Down to the ground!
*
P
P was a pig,
Who was not very big;
But his tail was too curly,
And that made him surly.
p
Cross little pig!
*
Q
Q was a quail
With a very short tail;
And he fed upon corn
In the evening and morn.
q
Quaint little quail!
*
R
R was a rabbit,
Who had a bad habit
Of eating the flowers
In gardens and bowers.
r
Naughty fat rabbit!
*
S
S was the sugar-tongs,
sippity-see,
To take up the sugar
To put in our tea.
s
sippity-see!
*
T
T was a tortoise,
All yellow and black:
He walked slowly away,
And he never came back.
t
Torty never came back!
*
U
U was an urn
All polished and bright,
And full of hot water
At noon and at night.
u
Useful old urn!
*
V
V was a villa
Which stood on a hill,
By the side of a river,
And close to a mill.
v
Nice little villa!
*
W
W was a whale
With a very long tail,
Whose movements were frantic
Across the Atlantic.
w
Monstrous old whale!
*
X
X was King Xerxes,
Who, more than all Turks, is
Renowned for his fashion
Of fury and passion.
x
Angry old Xerxes!
*
Y
Y was a yew,
Which flourished and grew
By a quiet abode
Near the side of a road.
y
Dark little yew!
*
Z
Z was some zinc,
So shiny and bright,
Which caused you to wink
In the sun's merry light.
z
Beautiful zinc!
 

Poems by This Author

Book of Nonsense, 1, 10 & 11 by Edward Lear
There was an Old Man with a beard
Alphabet Poem by Edward Lear
A tumbled down, and hurt his Arm, against a bit of wood
The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo by Edward Lear
On the Coast of Coromandel
The Jumblies by Edward Lear
They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea


Further Reading

Poems About Animals and Pets
27,000 Miles
by Albert Goldbarth
from The Kitten and Falling Leaves
by William Wordsworth
I Am! Said the Lamb [excerpt]
by Theodore Roethke
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, [For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
A Crocodile
by Thomas Lovell Beddoes
A List of Praises
by Anne Porter
A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman
Animals and Art
by Ron Padgett
At Bay
by Carl Phillips
At the Zoo
by William Makepeace Thackeray
Bats
by Paisley Rekdal
Darwin's Finches
by Deborah Digges
Eletelephony
by Laura Elizabeth Richards
Epitaph to a Dog
by George Gordon Byron
Flamingo Dreams
by William Saphier
Freedom in Ohio
by Jennifer Chang
From the Canal
by Michael Dickman
Gila
by Rigoberto González
Goldfish Are Ordinary
by Stacie Cassarino
Grasshopper
by Ron Padgett
Hawk
by Daniel Waters
Ho Ho Ho Caribou
by Joseph Ceravolo
horse vision
by Julian T. Brolaski
How Doth the Little Busy Bee
by Isaac Watts
Journey aka OR7
by Gerard Malanga
Leda and the Swan
by W. B. Yeats
Maine Seafood Company
by Matthew Dickman
Me and the Otters
by Dorothea Lasky
Mole
by Wyatt Prunty
On Viewing the Skull and Bones of a Wolf
by Alexander Posey
Orkney Interior
by Ian Hamilton Finlay
Prayer from a Mouse
by Sarah Messer
Psalm
by George Oppen
Quiet the Dog, Tether the Pony
by Marilyn Chin
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Testy Pony
by Zachary Schomburg
The Armadillo
by Elizabeth Bishop
The Barnacle and the Gray Whale
by Cecilia Llompart
The Bear
by Galway Kinnell
The Caterpillar
by Robert Graves
The Crocodile
by Lewis Carroll
The Dusk of Horses
by James Dickey
The Eagle
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
The Fly
by William Blake
The Future is an Animal
by Tina Chang
The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me
by Delmore Schwartz
The Lorca Variations (XXVIII)
"For Turtles"

by Jerome Rothenberg
The Moose
by Elizabeth Bishop
The Paper Nautilus
by Marianne Moore
The Parakeets
by Alberto Blanco
The Purple Cow
by Gelett Burgess
The Return
by Frances Richey
The Snail
by William Cowper
The Tyger
by William Blake
The Windhover
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Thing
by Rae Armantrout
To a Mouse,
by Robert Burns
Toad
by Diane Seuss
Turn of a Year
by Joan Houlihan
Wild Gratitude
by Edward Hirsch
Wilderness
by Carl Sandburg
Woodchucks
by Maxine Kumin
Back to School Poems
Apples
by Grace Schulman
Being Jewish in a Small Town
by Lyn Lifshin
Evening Walk as the School Year Starts
by Sydney Lea
First Gestures
by Julia Spicher Kasdorf
Gradeschool's Large Windows
by Thomas Lux
In Michael Robins’s class minus one
by Bob Hicok
M. Degas Teaches Art & Science at Durfee Intermediate School, Detroit 1942
by Philip Levine
Mary's Lamb
by Sarah Josepha Hale
Niggerlips
by Martín Espada
One A.M. [excerpt]
by David Young
Panty Raid
by Terri Ford
Pledge
by Elizabeth Powell
Sentimental Education
by Mary Ruefle
Sick
by Shel Silverstein
The Hand
by Mary Ruefle
The High-School Lawn
by Thomas Hardy
The Junior High School Band Concert
by David Wagoner
The Testing-Tree
by Stanley Kunitz
Theme for English B
by Langston Hughes
We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks
Why Latin Should Still Be Taught in High School
by Christopher Bursk
You and Your Ilk
by Thomas Lux
Poems for Kids
Antigonish [I met a man who wasn't there]
by Hughes Mearns
At the Zoo
by William Makepeace Thackeray
Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
by Jack Prelutsky
Bleezer's Ice Cream
by Jack Prelutsky
Clouds
by Christina Rossetti
Dream Variations
by Langston Hughes
Eletelephony
by Laura Elizabeth Richards
Fishmonger
by Marsden Hartley
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)
by Emily Dickinson
Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll
maggie and milly and molly and may
by E. E. Cummings
Mary's Lamb
by Sarah Josepha Hale
Mother Doesn't Want a Dog
by Judith Viorst
Mr. Grumpledump's Song
by Shel Silverstein
My Shadow
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Sick
by Shel Silverstein
Since Hannah Moved Away
by Judith Viorst
The Crocodile
by Lewis Carroll
The Duel
by Eugene Field
The Eagle
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
The Good Moolly Cow [excerpt]
by Eliza Lee Follen
The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Purple Cow
by Gelett Burgess
The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe
The Tyger
by William Blake
We never know how high we are (1176)
by Emily Dickinson
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
by Eugene Field