A Novel Defense


G stands for gnu,
Whose weapons of defense
Are long, sharp, curling horns, and common sense.
To these he adds a name so short and strong,
That even hardy Boers pronounce it wrong.
How often on a bright autumnal day
The pious people of Pretoria say,
“Come, let us hunt the–” Then no more is heard
But sounds of strong men struggling with a word.
Meanwhile, the distant gnu with grateful eyes
Observes his opportunity and flies.

— Hilaire Belloc

Payment in Kind


The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher
Called a hen a most elegant creature.
The hen, pleased with that,
Laid an egg in his hat–
And thus did the hen reward Beecher.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Plane Geometry”

‘Twas Euclid, and the theorem pi
Did plane and solid in the text,
All parallel were the radii,
And the ang-gulls convex’d.

“Beware the Wentworth-Smith, my son,
And the Loci that vacillate;
Beware the Axiom, and shun
The faithless Postulate.”

He took his Waterman in hand;
Long time the proper proof he sought;
Then rested he by the XYZ
And sat awhile in thought.

And as in inverse thought he sat
A brilliant proof, in lines of flame,
All neat and trim, it came to him,
Tangenting as it came.

“AB, CD,” reflected he–
The Waterman went snicker-snack–
He Q.E.D.-ed, and, proud indeed,
He trapezoided back.

“And hast thou proved the 29th?
Come to my arms, my radius boy!
O good for you! O one point two!”
He rhombused in his joy.

‘Twas Euclid, and the theorem pi
Did plane and solid in the text;
All parallel were the radii,
And the ang-gulls convex’d.

— Emma Rounds



A tiger, by taste anthropophagous,
Felt a yearning inside his oesophagus;
He spied a fat Brahmin
And growled, “What’s the harm in
A peripatetic sarcophagus?”

— Anonymous

Altered States

There’s a girl out in Ann Arbor, Mich.,
To meet whom I never would wich.
She’d gobble ice cream
Till with colic she’d scream,
Then order another big dich.

A handsome young gent down in Fla.
Collapsed in a hospital ca.
A young nurse from Me.
Sought to banish his pe.
And shot him. Now what could be ha.?

There was a young lady from Del.
Who was most undoubtedly wel.
That to dress for a masque
Wasn’t much of a tasque,
But she cried, “What the heck will my fel.?”

There are plenty of people in Md.
Who think that their state is a fd.
It seems odd to find
That they don’t really mind
That Wis., not Md., is Dd.

See This Sceptred Isle.


  • As Britain prepared for World War I, officers were required to have their swords sharpened.
  • Wordsworth’s “The Rainbow” has an average word length of 3.08 letters.
  • sin 10° × sin 50° × sin 70° = 1/8
  • “I have always thought that every woman should marry, and no man.” — Benjamin Disraeli