The Owl and the Pussycat

This conventional children’s poem was authored by Edward Lear in 1871. However, a lot of historians consider this as one of his nonsense poems written for the three-year-old daughter of his poet friend, John Symonds. In the word ‘runcible spoon’ that has been debated for its meaning, it turns out that the word runcible is in fact, one of Lear’s famous nonsense invented words that he used quite much in his works.

The Owl and the Pussycat was voted the most popular children’s poem on the UK’s National Poetry Day ahead of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Humpty Dumpty


The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’

They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
‘Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon, 
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

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