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.
And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
In his zeal to discover the Snark.
But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
For he knew it was useless to fly.
He offered large discount – he offered a cheque
(Drawn "to bearer") for seven-pounds-ten:
But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
And grabbed at the Banker again.
Without rest or pause – while those frumious jaws
Went savagely snapping around –
He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
Till fainting he fell to the ground.
The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
And the Bellman remarked "It is just as I feared!"
And solemnly tolled on his bell.
He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace
The least likeness to what he had been:
While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white –
A wonderful thing to be seen!
To the horror of all who were present that day.
He uprose in full evening dress,
And with senseless grimaces endeavoured to say
What his tongue could no longer express.
Down he sank in a chair – ran his hands through his hair –
And chanted in mimsiest tones
Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,
While he rattled a couple of bones.
"Leave him here to his fate – it is getting so late!"
The Bellman exclaimed in a fright.
"We have lost half the day. Any further delay,
And we sha'nt catch a Snark before night!"