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You Are Old, Father William Analysis



Author: poem of Lewis Carroll Type: poem Views: 13


"You are old, Father william," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head--
Do you think, at your age, it is right?

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And you have grown must uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned back a somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
"I kep all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment--one shilling a box--
Allow me to sell you a couple."

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eyes was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"


Submitted by foolish Paeter

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

Robert Southey's original:
The Old Man's Comforts
And How He Gained Them
You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
The few locks which are left are grey;
You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,
Now tell me the reason, I pray.
In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
I remember'd that youth would fly fast,
And abused not my health and my vigour at first,
That I never might need them at last.
You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
And pleasures with youth pass away;
And yet you lament not the days that are gone,
Now tell me the reason, I pray.
In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
I remember'd that youth could not last;
I thought of the future, whatever I did,
That I never might grieve for the past.
You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
And life must be hastening away;
You are cheerful, and love to converse upon death,
Now tell me the reason, I pray.
I am cheerful, young man, Father William replied,
Let the cause thy attention engage;
In the days of my youth I remember'd my God!
And He hath not forgotten my age.
Basically Lewis Carrolls verson is a parody of the original by Robert. The old man is given vitality and rebounds on the idiots questions. The youth is arrogant and overly concerned with age. This poem is cited in Alices Adventures In Wonderland upon meeting with the hookah smoking catapillar. Both these characters are concerned with age and growing up.
Refrences: Penguin classics Lewis Carroll. Alices Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass.

| Posted on 2009-03-11 | by a guest


.: :.

What are two different literary devices used in this poem? Otherwise, it is extraordinary! I love Lewis Carroll's Poems

| Posted on 2009-03-05 | by a guest




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