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Contents > Author > Edward Lear > The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo 1812- 1888
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Edward Lear
The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo
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I
On the Coast of the Coromandel
Where the early pumpkins blow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
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-Bo,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

II
Once, among the Bong-trees walking
Where the early pumpkins blow,
To a little heap of stones
Came the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
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-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

III
"Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!
"Sitting where the pumpkins blow,
"Will you come and be my wife?"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
"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-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

IV
"On this Coast of Coromandel,
"Shrimps and watercresses grow,
"Prawns are plentiful and cheap,"
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
"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-Bo,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

V
Lady Jingly answered sadly,
And her tears began to flow, -
"Your proposal comes too late,
"Mr Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
"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-Bo!
"Mr Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!

VI
"Mr Jones -(his name is Handel, -
"Handel Jones, Esquire, & Co.)
"Dorking fowls delights to send,
"Mr Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
"Keep, oh! 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-Bo!
"Mr Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!

VII
"Though you've such a tiny body,
"And your head so large doth grow, -
"Though your hat may blow away,
"Mr Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!
"Though you're such a Hoddy 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-Bo!
"Mr Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!"

VIII
Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,
Where the early pumpkins blow,
To the calm and silent sea
Fled the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
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-Bo!
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo!

IX
Through the silent-roaring ocean
Did the Turtle swiftly go;
Holding fast upon his shell
Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
With a sad primaeval 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-Bo,
Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

X
From the Coast of Coromandel,
Did that Lady never go;
On that heap of stones she mourns
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
On the 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-Bo,
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
 

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