Home » Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky


The Jabberwock, illustrated by John Tenniel'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


Jabberwocky is a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll, and found in his novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, 1871.

The Jabberwock illustration is by John Tenniel.






Notes

  1. In translating Jabberwocky my first priority was to use only Japanese without any waseieigo. I made several translations; some leaning towards a literal rendering, including incorporating what definitions could be found of the nonsense words; and some total nonsense on the Japanese side, although I would prefer to think of it as "applicable nonsense." The above translation turned out to be my favorite. Strictly literal translations are definitely omoshirokunai, and I believe this one has the best balance of verifiable language and fun words for their own sake, which is what I believe best preserves the "spirit" of Lewis Carroll.

    It is my wish that anyone with a sufficient knowledge of both languages and Carroll's works could read this and say naruhodo.

  2. Find out more about Jabberwocky at Wikipedia.

  3. See this version of Jabberwocky in wasei eigo Japanese by Andrew Thompson.

Top