Rimshot

There was a young lady named Psyche
Who was heard to ejaculate, “Pcryche!”
For, riding her pbych,
She ran over a ptych,
And fell on some rails that were pspyche.

“Ough”

As a farmer was going to plough,
He met a man driving a cough;
They had words which led to a rough,
And the farmer was struck on his brough.

One day when the weather was rough,
An old lady went for some snough,
Which she thoughtlessly placed in her mough,
And it got scattered, all over her cough.

While a baker was kneading his dough,
A weight fell down on his tough,
When he suddenly exclaimed ough!
Because it had hurt him sough.

There was a hole in the hedge to get through,
It was made by no one knew whough;
In getting through a boy lost his shough,
And was quite at a loss what to dough.

A poor old man had a bad cough,
To a doctor he straight went ough,
The doctor did nothing but scough,
And said it was all fancy, his cough.

— Anonymous, cited in Carolyn Wells, A Whimsey Anthology, 1906

“Idling I Sit in This Mild Twilight Dim”

A univocalic is a poem that uses only one vowel. This example was composed by Charles Bombaugh in 1875:

Incontrovertible Facts

No monk too good to rob, or cog or plot.
No fool so gross to bolt Scotch collops hot.
From Donjon tops no Oronooko rolls.
Logwood, not lotos, floods Oporto’s bowls.
Troops of old tosspots oft to sot consort.
Box tops odd schoolboys oft do flog for sport.
No cool monsoons blow soft on Oxford dons,
Orthodox, jog-trot, book-worm Solomons!
Bold Ostrogoths of ghosts no horror show.
On London shop-fronts no hop-blossoms grow.
To crocks of gold no dodo looks for food.
On soft cloth footstools no old fox doth brood.
Long storm-tost sloops forlorn work on to port.
Rooks do not roost on spoons, nor woodcocks snort,
Nor dog on snowdrop or on coltsfoot rolls,
Nor common frog concocts long protocols.

“An Alphabetical Wooing”

Let others talk of L N’s eyes,
And K T’s figure light and free,
Say L R, too, is beautiful —
I heed them not while U I C.
U need not N V them, for U
X L them all, my M L E.
I have no words when I would tell
How much in love with U I B.
So sweet U R, my D R E,
I love your very F E G;
And when you speak or sign, your voice
Is like a winsome L O D.
When U R I C, hope D K’s,
I am a mere non- N T T.
Such F E K C has your smile,
It shields from N E N M E.
For love so deep as mine, I fear,
There is no other M E D.
But that you love me back again —
O, thought of heavenly X T C;
So, lest my M T heart and I
Should sing for love an L E G,
T’s me no more — B Y’s, B kind,
O, M L E, U R, I C!

— Anonymous, cited in Carolyn Wells, A Whimsey Anthology, 1906

Next Stop …

The Busman’s Lord’s Prayer, allegedly recited by British bus drivers:

Our Farnham, who art in Hendon
Harrow be Thy name.
Thy Kingston come; thy Wimbledon,
In Erith as it is in Hendon.
Give us this day our daily Brent
And forgive us our Westminster
As we forgive those who Westminster against us.
And lead us not into Thames Ditton
But deliver us from Yeovil.
For Thine is the Kingston, the Purley and the Crawley,
For Esher and Esher.
Crouch End.

“Ambiguous Lines”

First published in 1671, this anonymous verse came with a simple instruction that would render it into sense. Can you discover it?

I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground
I saw a pismire swallow up a whale
I saw a raging sea brim full of ale
I saw a venice glass sixteen foot deep
I saw a well full of men’s tears that weep
I saw their eyes all in a flame of fire
I saw a house as big as the moon and higher
I saw the sun even in the midst of night
I saw the man that saw this wondrous sight.
I saw a pack of cards gnawing a bone
I saw a dog seated on Britain’s throne
I saw King George shut up within a box
I saw an orange driving a fat ox
I saw a butcher not a twelvemonth old
I saw a great-coat all of solid gold
I saw two buttons telling of their dreams
I saw my friends who wished I’d quite these themes.

Click for Answer

“Double-Entendre”

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/116942

This double-entendre was originally published in a Philadelphia newspaper a hundred years ago. It may be read three different ways: First, let the whole be read in the order in which it is written; second, read the lines downward on the left of each comma in every line; third, in the same manner on the right of each comma. In the first reading the Revolutionary cause is condemned, and by the others it is encouraged and lauded —

Hark! Hark! the trumpet sounds, the din of war’s alarms,
O’er seas and solid grounds, doth call us all to arms;
Who for King George doth stand, their honors soon shall shine;
Their ruin is at hand, who with the Congress join.
The acts of Parliament, in them I much delight,
I hate their cursed intent, who for the Congress fight;
The Tories of the day, they are my daily toast,
They soon will sneak away, who independence boast;
Who non-resistance hold, they have my hand and heart,
May they for slaves be sold, who act a Whiggish part;
On Mansfied, North and Bute, may daily blessings pour,
Confusion and dispute, on Congress evermore;
To North and British lord, may honors still be done,
I wish a block or cord, to General Washington.

— Frank H. Stauffer, The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical, 1882

The Gentleman Bandit

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CharlesBolles.jpg

For an Old West outlaw, Black Bart had a rather poetic sensibility. Born Charles Bolles, Bart robbed stagecoaches of thousands of dollars throughout the 1870s and 1880s, but even his first victims noted his politeness — he avoided foul language and merely asked the driver to “please throw down the box.”

Eventually Bart was writing full-blown poetry to leave at the scene of each crime. He left behind this verse after one California robbery in 1877:

I’ve labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches,
But on my corns too long you’ve tread
You fine-haired sons of bitches.

… and this one the following year:

Here I lay me down to sleep
To wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat,
And everlasting sorrow.
Let come what will I’ll try it on,
My condition can’t be worse;
And if there’s money in that box
‘Tis munny in my purse.

When Bart was released from prison in 1888, a reporter asked if he were going to return to robbing stagecoaches. “No, gentlemen,” he said, “I’m through with crime.” Another asked whether he would write more poetry. He smiled, “Now, didn’t you hear me say that I am through with crime?”