…The ever-humble Humpty Dumpty is happy to explain, as was Carroll in his original composition, to which he attached a glossary very similar to the egg’s definitions and gave “the literal English” of the first stanza as:
“It was evening, and the smooth active badgers were scratching and boring holes in the hill side; all unhappy were the parrots, and the grave turtles squeaked out“.
There were probably sun dials on the top of the hill, and the “borogoves” were afraid that their nests would be undermined. The hill was probably full of the nests of “raths”, which ran out squeaking with fear on hearing the “toves” scratching outside. This is an obscure, but yet deeply affecting, relic of ancient Poetry.
Does this help? It does explain the mood Carroll is after, and he achieves it. The Jabberwocky is funny and playful and all the rest, but it is also deeply unsettling in its obscure mysteries and frightening descriptions of its title character.excerpt and video from An Animated Reading of “The Jabberwocky,” Lewis Carroll’s Nonsense Poem That Somehow Manages to Make Sense