Tag Archives: monarchy

“Sirens” [Morals from Mythology, or Practical Advice from the Classics] by Paul Burgess

“Sirens” [Morals from Mythology, or Practical Advice from the Classics] by Paul Burgess

To safely hear the song that Sirens sing,
You must become a legendary king.

“Thomas Hobbes”

When influential monarchist Thomas Hobbes
Suggests that men in nature are like brutes,
The modern readers say, between their sobs,
“I guess some haven’t left behind their roots.”

“Elizabeth II”–a 10th Clerihew by Paul Burgess

“Elizabeth II”

British Bessie number two–

What does her Royal Highness do?

Despite the glory that she hogs,

She mostly plays with Corgi dogs.

Edgar Allan Poe, Marie Antoinette, Mary Queen of Scots, and Ernest Hemingway–4 Clerihews by Paul Burgess

“Edgar Allan Poe”
Edgar “Raven” Allan Poe
To cemeteries liked to go
And mourn the cousins lying dead
Who nevermore would share his bed. *

*While many of my clerihews are absurd, this one comes somewhat close to the truth.

“Marie Antoinette”
The queen, Marie Antoinette,
In Vegas made a foolish bet.
She wagered both her neck and head
On men forgetting what she’d said.

“Mary Queen of Scots”
Mary, lovely Queen of Scots,
Refused to sleep on hay or cots.
She cried, “This cot’s no feather bed!”
Queen Bess* replied, “Off with her head!”

*Elizabeth I’s nickname.

“Ernest Hemingway”
Insecure old* Ernest Hemingway
Was afraid that people’d think him gay*,
So he vowed he’d never leave Japan
‘til he’d fought Godzilla like a man.*

*In the first foot of each line, I have used anapests instead of iambs.
*Hemingway was the sort of “manly man” who would exaggerate his masculinity to alleviate his sexual confusion.

*I apologize for the sexist assumption that only men would fight Godzilla.

Elizabeth I–the 5th Clerihew by Paul Burgess

A clerihew about the brilliant “virgin” queen:

“Elizabeth I”
Good Queen Elizabeth the First
Among all liars was the worst.
She was a virgin, people said,
Including those who shared her bed.
(Alternate ending: Because they’d rather keep their head[s]…)

“Old King Cole”–a 4th Clerihew-inspired Quatrain by Paul Burgess

“Old King Cole”

King Cole, monarch of merry soul,
Consumed a duck and chicken whole.
When Cole had him a heart attack,
He found his doctor was a quack.

“Salesmen [from HELL]”

“Salesman”
The compound “salesman” was originally the compound “sails-man.” To relieve the kingdom of undesirables, Tudor monarchs would have these pests “man the sails” on merchant ships. Recognizing the economic benefits of shamelessness and dishonesty, the merchants often sent these “sails-men” into towns to vend wares. While the merchant tended to other business, the sails-men would try to sell goods at the market. The possibility of receiving a five-percent commission inspired many of the men to raise the art of the sales pitch to unprecedented levels.
Incidentally, the term “fire”—as in, “Let’s fire Johnny before he is eligible for a pension”—comes from the method used by merchants to ensure that sails-men returned with the profits and unsold goods. Sails-men were branded with a mark recognized throughout Europe. People who captured and returned escaped sails-men would receive a monetary reward, and the sails-men would earn an all-expenses-paid vacation to a burning pit; in other words, the sails-men would be “fired”.
A notable early use of the terms “sails-men” and “fire” appears in Tremblestaff’s Merchantman of Florence:

When sails-men giveth me all that is due,
Their prize will be a pretty pound or two.
But mark! If runneth they away with it,
‘Tis time to light a flaming, fiery pit.
Post nigh the ashes there enmired,
“Here lie some rascals who a merchant fired.”

5 Limericks a Day (to Keep the Dr. Away) [Day 3]–By Paul O’Burgess

“Sex Ed.?”
There was a young person from Cork
Who wanted a child from the stork.
In the eyes of that bird,
It seemed quite absurd
To be wooed by that person from Cork.

“A Kindly Priest”
There was once a priest who would pray
the following words ev’ry day:
“Be you all at peace
In Rome and in Greece
With exception of anyone gay.”

“A Representative’s Plight”
A Rep, who’d become quite annoyed,
Asserted: “This bill should be void!
If more taxes I paid,
I’d have one less maid,
And a person would be unemployed.”

“Marie Antoinette”
Marie, when preparing to die,
Was heard to declare with a sigh,
“I’d lose not my head,
If only I’d said,
To the mob, ‘Oh, let them eat pie.’”

“A Well-Stocked Kitchen in the Middle East” [Today’s ‘dirty limerick;’ it is only dirty if, unlike its angelic author, you are perverted and hell-bound;)]

There was once a gal from Iraq
Who had her so lovely a rack.
Its space did suffice
To hold ev’ry spice
Required for cuisine in Iraq.