Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (Chapter 5)
`Repeat "You are old, Father William",' said the Caterpillar.
Alice folded her hands, and began:
`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 have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?'
`In my youth,' said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
`I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment--one shilling the 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 eye 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 down-stairs!'
`That is not said right,' said the Caterpillar.
`Not quite right, I'm afraid,' said Alice, timidly: `some of the words have got altered.'
`It is wrong from beginning to end,' said the Caterpillar, decidedly; and there was silence for some minutes.