Luna Nova Music: Robert G. Patterson — The Hunting of the Snark
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Luna Nova Music: Robert G. Patterson — The Hunting of the Snark

November 16, 2019

“Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried, As he landed his crew with care; Supporting each man on the top of the tide By a finger entwined in his hair. “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice: That alone should encourage the crew. Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.” “We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days, (Seven days to the week I allow), But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze, We have never beheld till now! “Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again The unmistakable marks By which you may know, wheresoever you go The warranted genuine Snarks. “For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm, Yet, I feel it my duty to say, Some are Boojums—” The Bellman broke off in alarm, For the Baker had fainted away. They roused him with muffins— they roused him with ice— They roused him with mustard and cress— They roused him with jam and judicious advice— They set him conundrums to guess. When at length he sat up and was able to speak, His sad story he offered to tell; “A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named) Remarked, when I bade him farewell—” “‘If your Snark be a Snark, that is right: Fetch it home by all means— you may serve it with greens, you may serve it with greens, And it’s handy for striking a light. “‘You may seek it with thimbles— and seek it with care; You may hunt it with forks and hope; You may threaten its life with a railway- share; You may charm it with smiles and soap—’” “‘But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, If your Snark be a Boojum! For then You will softly and suddenly vanish away, And never be met with again!’” They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care; They pursued it with forks and hope; They threatened its life with a railway-share; They charmed it with smiles and soap. “It’s a Snark!” was the sound that first came to their ears, And seemed almost too good to be true. Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers: Then the ominous words “It’s a Boo–” Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air A weary and wandering sigh That sounded like “-jum!” but the others declare It was only a breeze that went by. They hunted till darkness came on, but they found Not a button, or feather, or mark, By which they could tell that they stood on the ground Where the Baker had met with the Snark. In the midst of the word he was trying to say, In the midst of his laughter and glee, He had softly and suddenly vanished away— For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

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  1. The text by Lewis Carroll:

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