Edward Lear

(12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888 / London / England)

The Akond of Swat


Who, or why, or which, or what, Is the Akond of SWAT?

Is he tall or short, or dark or fair?
Does he sit on a stool or a sofa or a chair,
      &nb sp; or SQUAT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Is he wise or foolish, young or old?
Does he drink his soup and his coffee cold,
      &nbs p; or HOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he sing or whistle, jabber or talk,
And when riding abroad does he gallop or walk
        ; or TROT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a turban, a fez, or a hat?
Does he sleep on a mattress, a bed, or a mat,
        ; or COT,
    The Akond of Swat?

When he writes a copy in round-hand size,
Does he cross his T's and finish his I's
         with a DOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Can he write a letter concisely clear
Without a speck or a smudge or smear
      &nbs p; or BLOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Do his people like him extremely well?
Or do they, whenever they can, rebel,
      &nb sp; or PLOT,
    At the Akond of Swat?

If he catches them then, either old or young,
Does he have them chopped in pieces or hung,
      &nbs p; or SHOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Do his people prig in the lanes or park?
Or even at times, when days are dark,
      &nbs p; GAROTTE,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he study the wants of his own dominion?
Or doesn't he care for public opinion
      &n bsp; a JOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

To amuse his mind do his people show him
Pictures, or any one's last new poem,
      &nbs p; or WHAT,
    For the Akond of Swat?

At night if he suddenly screams and wakes,
Do they bring him only a few small cakes,
      &nb sp; or a LOT,
    For the Akond of Swat?

Does he live on turnips, tea, or tripe?
Does he like his shawl to be marked with a stripe,
      &n bsp; or a DOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he like to lie on his back in a boat
Like the lady who lived in that isle remote,
      &n bsp; SHALLOTT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Is he quiet, or always making a fuss?
Is his steward a Swiss or a Swede or Russ,
      &nbs p; or a SCOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does like to sit by the calm blue wave?
Or to sleep and snore in a dark green cave,
      &nbs p; or a GROTT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he drink small beer from a silver jug?
Or a bowl? or a glass? or a cup? or a mug?
        ; or a POT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe,
When she let the gooseberries grow too ripe,
      &nbs p; or ROT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a white tie when he dines with friends,
And tie it neat in a bow with ends,
      &nbs p; or a KNOT.
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he like new cream, and hate mince-pies?
When he looks at the sun does he wink his eyes,
      &nbs p; or NOT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Does he teach his subjects to roast and bake?
Does he sail about on an inland lake
        ; in a YACHT,
    The Akond of Swat?

Some one, or nobody, knows I wot
Who or which or why or what
    Is the Akond of Swat?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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