Lewis Carroll’s “Punctuality”


Man naturally loves delay,

And to procrastinate;

Business put off from day to day

Is always done too late.


Let every hour be in its place

Firm fixed, nor loosely shift,

And well enjoy the vacant space,

As though a birthday gift.


And when the hour arrives, be there,

Where’er that “there” may be;

Uncleanly hands or ruffled hair

Let no one ever see.


If dinner at “half-past” be placed,

At “half-past” then be dressed.

If at a “quarter-past” make haste

to be down with the rest.


Better to be before your time,

Than e’er to be behind;

To open the door while strikes the chime,

That shows a punctual mind.



Let punctuality and care,

Seize every flitting hour,

So shalt thou cull a floweret fair,

E’en from a fading flower.


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