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Full text of "The smile on the face of the tiger; a collection of limericks"

etymological society, so the Limerick has, by leaning 
upon the arm of Lear and Miss Wells, ascended to 
an enviable position, and is welcomed wherever 
good verse is appreciated. We here present it and 
stand aside that it may make its best bow. 

The first representative Limerick, according to 
Mr. Stanton Vaughn, was that beginning "There 
was a young man of St. Kitts," written about 
1834. Lear is said to have derived his inspira- 
tion in 1846 from that gem of Mother Goose, 
"There was an old man of Tobago," a favorite 
also of old Lady Tippins and the redoubtable Eugene. 
Since Lear's day the trend has been away from 
nonsense, and of those who would substitute wit a 
few have met with conspicuous success. To these 
gifted writers, Edward Lear, Cosmo Monkhouse, 
Carolyn Wells, Oliver Herford, Gelett Burgess, 
and others whose names we have diligently striven 
to discover, we are indebted and grateful. Limericks 
do "achieve an enormous circulation verbally," 
and for this reason it has been difficult to trace 
authorship and accurate text. To forgiving authors 
and an indulgent public we commit the result of 
our labors. 



THE SMILE 
ON THE FACE OF THE TIGER 



There was a young man of St. Kitts, 
Who was very much troubled with fits ; 
The eclipse of the moon 
Threw him into a swoon ; 
When he tumbled and broke into bits. 



m 

There was an old man of Tobago, 
Who lived on rice, gruel, and sago ; 
Till much to his bliss 
His physician said this 
44 To a leg, sir, of mutton you may go." 



VI 

There once was a lady from Guam, 

Who said, " Now the sea is so calm 

I will swim, for a lark ; " 

But she met with a shark. 

Let us now sing the ninetieth psalm. 



VII 

I'd rather have fingers than toes, 
I'd rather have ears than a nose, 
And as for my hair, 
I'm glad it's all there, 
I'll be awfully sad when it goes. 



There was an old man who said, " Do 
Tell me how Fm to add two and two ? 

Pm not very sure 

That it doesn't make four 
But I fear that is almost too few/' 



XI 

There was a young woman named Sue, 
Who wanted to catch the 2.02; 

Said the trainman, " Don't hurry 

Or flurry or worry ; 
It's a minute or two to 2.02." 



XIV 

There was a young lady of Truro, 
Who wished a mahogany bureau, 
But they said to her, " God 
On the length of Cape Cod 
Couldn't raise a mahogany bureau!" 



XV 

A fellow named Teddy Magee, 

Rolling homeward one night from a spree, 
Met the parson, who said, 
"Ah! drunk again, Ted!" 

" Sho'm /, parson/' gurgled Magee. 



xvni 

There was a young lady of Crete, 
Who was so exceedingly neat, 
When she got out of bed 
She stood on her head, 
To make sure of not soiling her feet. 



XIX 

There was an old maid of Shanghai, 
Who was so exceedingly shy, 
When undressing at night, 
She turned out the light, 
For fear of the All Seeing Eye. 



XXII 

I wish that my room had a floor ; 

I don't so much care for a door; 
But this crawling around 
Without touching the ground 

Is getting to be quite a bore. 



xxni 

There was an old man of Tarentum, 
Who chewed on his teeth till he bent ' 
And when asked for the cost 
Of what were not " lost " 
Said, "I really can't tell, for I rent 'e 



XXVI 

A sleeper from the Amazon 
Put nighties of his gra'mazon 

The reason, that 

He was too fat 
To get his own pajamazon. 



XXVII 

There was a man in Henderson, 
Who had a tall and slenderson, 

A human rail, 

Who used a nail, 
To fasten his suspenderson. 



xxvni 

There was a man in Atchison, 
Whose trousers had rough patchison ; 

He found them great, 

He'd often state, 
To scratch his parlor matchison. 



XXDC 

A silly young fellow named Hyde, 
In a funeral procession was spied ; 

When asked, " Who is dead?" 

He giggled and said, 
44 1 don't know ; I just came for the ride." 



XXX 

There was an old man in a hearse, 
Who murmured, " This might have been 
worse; 

Of course the expense 

Is simply immense, 
But it doesn't come out of my purse/' 



XXXI 

There was a young man of Fort Blainey, 
Who proposed to a typist named Janey : 

When his friends said, " Oh, dear ! 

She's so old and so queer ! " 
He replied, " But the day was so rainy ! " 



XXXII 

There was a young man from the West, 
Who loved a young lady with zest ; 
So hard did he press her 
To make her say, " Yes, sir," 
That he broke three cigars in his vest. 



xxxin 

There was a young sailor of Lyd, 
Who loved a fair Japanese kid ; 
When it came to good-bye, 
They were eager but shy, 
So they put up a sunshade and did. 



XXXIV 

There once was a maiden of Siam, 
Who said to her lover, young Kiam, 

" If you kiss me, of course 

You will have to use force, 
But God knows you're stronger than I am." 



XXXV 

There once was an old man of Lyme, 
Who married three wives at a time : 
When asked, "Why a third?" 
He replied, " One's absurd ! 
And bigamy, sir, is a crime/' 



XXXVI 

There once was an old kangaroo, 
Who painted his children sky-blue ; 
When his wife said, " My dear, 
Don't you think they look queer ? " 
He replied, "I don't know but they do/' 



xxxvn 

There once was a maid of Japan, 

Who married a Hottentot man; 
The maid she was yellow, 
Black as coal was the fellow, 

And their children were all black and tan. 



XXXVIH 

There was a young man of Dunbar, 
Who playfully poisoned his Ma ; 
When he'd finished his work, 
He remarked with a smirk, 
" This will cause quite a family jar/* 



XXXIX 

There was an old lady of Brooking, 
Who had a great genius for cooking ; 

She could bake sixty pies 

All of quite the same size, 
And tell which was which without looking. 



XL 

A joiner of intellect crude 

Said, "Why not use sawdust for food? 

It's cheap by the ton, 

And it nourishes one, 
And that's the chief object of food/' 



XLI 

There once was a girl of New York, 
Whose body was lighter than cork; 
She had to be fed 
For six weeks upon lead, 
Before she went out for a walk* 



XLII 



For beauty I am not a star, 

There are others more handsome by far .* 

But my face ; I don't mind it, 

For I am behind it ; 
It's the people in front that I jar. 



XLIII 

A father once said to his son, 
" The next time you make up a pun t 
Go out in the yard 
And kick yourself hard, 
And I will begin when you've done." 



XLIV 

There was an old woman of Tweedle, 
Who sat down in church on a needle ; 

Though deeply imbedded, 

'Twas luckily threaded, 
And extracted at once by the beadle. 



XLV 

There was a fat canon of Durham, 
Who trod on a cloister-bred wurrum ; 

Said he to the beadle, 

" Prepare the cathedr'l, 
And let us proceed to inter 'm." 



XLVI 

There was a young lady whose dream 
Was to feed a black cat on whipped cream; 
But the first cat she found 
Spilled the cream on the ground, 
And she fed a whipped cat on black cream. 



XLVII 

There was an old fellow named Green, 
Who grew so abnormally lean, 
And flat, and compressed, 
That his back touched his chest, 
And sideways he couldn't be seen* 



XLVIH 

There was a young lady of Lynn, 
Who was so excessively thin, 

That when she essayed 

To drink lemonade 
She slipped through the straw and fell in. 



XLDC 

There was an old man from Antigua, 
Whose wife said, " My dear, what a pig you 
are!" 

He replied, " O my queen, 

Is it manners you mean, 
Or do you refer to my f ig-u-a ? " 



There was a young lady named Perkins, 
Who had a great fondness for gherkins ; 

She went to a tea 

And ate twenty-three, 
Which pickled her internal workings. 



LI 

There was a young lady named Maud, 
A very deceptive young fraud ; 

She never was able 

To eat at the table, 
But out in the pantry, O Lord ! 



LH 

There was a young maid who said, " Why 
Can't I look in my ear with my eye ? 

If I put my mind to it 

Fm sure I can do it : 
You never can tell till you try/' 



LHI 

Erat Romanorum dictator 
Qui hated his uxoris mater ; 

Cum leo her edit, 

A holler he dedit, 
Et dixit, " Vale, ma, until later/' 



LIV 

There was a young lady from Boston, 
A two-horned dilemma was tossed on, 

As to which was the best, 

To be rich in the West 
Or poor and peculiar in Boston. 



LV 

There once was a lonesome, lorn spinster, 
And luck had for years been ag'inst her ; 
When a man came to burgle 
She shrieked, with a gurgle, 
" Stop thief, while I call in a minister ! " 



LVI 

There was an old maid named McDowd, 
Who got squeezed in a terrible crowd ; 
The thing that most vexed her 
Was that there stood next her 
A man who said " Damn " right out loud. 



LVII 

A mathematical maiden named Chaucer 
Cried "O fie \" and "For shame I" and "O 
law, Sir !" 

44 Dividers have limbs 

Like indelicate hims. 
So circles I draw with a saucer*" 



LVIIIa 

There was a young lady named Hannah, 
Who slipped on a peel of banana. 

More stars she espied 

As she lay on her side 
Than are found in the Star Spangled Banner. 



LVfflb 

A gentleman sprang to assist her ; 

He picked up her glove and her wrister ; 

" Did you fall, Ma'am ? " he cried; 

" Do you think," she replied, 
44 1 sat down for the fun of it, Mister ? " 



LIX 

There once was a doughty young fly, 
Who said, "I will do it or die; " 

So she took off her stocking, 

A spectacle shocking, 
And waded right into a pie. 



LX 

There was a young woman from Wilts 
Who went up to Scotland on stilts. 

When they said, "Oh, how shocking 
To show so much stocking ! " 
She answered, "Well, how about kilts?" 



LXI 

There was a young lady of Lynn, 
Who believed in original sin. 
She'd try to be good 
As hard as she could, 
And then she'd go at it ag'in. 



Lxn 

Augustus Fitzgibbons Mor an 
Fell in love with Maria McGinn, 
With a yell and a whoop 
He cleared the front stoop 
Just ahead of her papa's brogan. 



LXIII 

Said a bad little youngster named Beauchamp, 
44 Those jelly tarts, how shall I reauchamp ? 

To my parents I'd go, 

But they always say no, 
No matter how much I beseauchamp." 



LXIV 

A bright little maid in St. Thomas 
Discovered a suit of pajhomas. 

Said the maiden, " Well, well ! 

What they are I can't tell, 
But Pm sure that these garments St. 
Mhoma's." 



LXV 

An amorous M. A. 

Says that cupid, the C D., 
Doesn't cast for his health 
But is rolling in wealth 

He's the John Jaco-B. H. 



LXVI 

A sore-hipped hippopotamus, much flustered, 
Objected to a poultice made of custard. 

Said he, "This cussed flip 

Seems to irritate my hip/* 
So they put upon his hip a pot o' mustard. 



LXVII 

The Sultan got sore on his harem 
And invented a scheme for to scare 'em ; 
He caught him a mouse 
Which he loosed in the house; 
(The confusion is called harem-scarem). 



Lxvm 

A tutor who tooted the flute, 

Tried to teach two young tooters to toot ; 

Said the two to the tutor, 

" Is it harder to toot or 
To tutor two tooters to toot ? " 



LXIX 

A canner, exceedingly canny, 

One morning remarked to his granny, 

44 A canner can can 

Anything that he can, 
But a canner can't can a can, can he ? " 



LXX 

Said a miser who sordidly mised, 
" My gold I have always despised ; 
I have stinged till Fm stingy, 
And dinged till I'm dingy, 
But it's really the practice I've prized." 



LXXI 



A flea and a fly in a flue 

Were imprisoned, so what could they do ? 
Said the fly," Let us flee," 
Said the flea, "Let us fly," 

So they flew through a flaw in the flue. 



LXXII 

A certain young fellow named Beebee 
Wished to wed with a lady named Phoebe. 

" But/' said he, " I must see 

What the clerical fee 
Be before Phoebe be Phoebe Beebee." 



LXXUI 

There was a great swell in Japan, 

Whose name on a Tuesday began ; 

It lasted through Sunday 

Till twilight on Monday, 

And sounded like stones in a can. 



LXXIV 

My grandma, Rose Angela Hemans, 
Is disposed to delirium tremens. 

She contracted the habit 

Of eating Welsh Rarebit 
At midnight, and then she'd see demons. 



LXXV 

There was a young person named Ned, 
Who dined, before going to bed, 

On lobster and ham 

And salad and jam, 
And when he awoke he was dead* 



LXXVI 

There once were some learned M.D/s, 
Who captured some germs of disease, 

And infected a train 

Which, without causing pain, 
Allowed one to catch it with ease. 



LXXVH 

There once was a pious young priest, 
Who lived almost wholly on yeast ; 

44 For/' he said, " it is plain 

We must all rise again, 
And I want to get started, at least/' 



LXXVHI 

There was a young lady named Ruth, 
Who had a great passion for truth. 

She said she would die 

Before she would lie, 
And she died in the prime of her youth. 



LXXIX 



There was an old man in a tree, 
Who was horribly bored by a bee; 
When they said, "Does it buzz?" 
He replied, "Yes, it does, 
It's a regular brute of a bee." 



LXXX 

There was an old man of St. Bees, 
Who was stung in the arm by a wasp ; 

When they asked, Does it hurt ?" 

He replied, " No, it doesn't, 
But I thought all the time 'twas a hornet I" 

( W. S, Gilbert's parody oj No. LXXIX.) 



LXXXI 

There was a young man from Cornell, 
Who said, "I'm aware of a smell, 

But whether it's drains 

Or human remains 
I'm really unable to tell/' 



LXXXII 

A man to whom illness was chronic. 
When told that he needed a tonic, 

Said, "O Doctor dear, 

Won't you please make it beer ? " 
" No, no/' said the Doc., " that's Teutonic." 



LXXXHI 

To his wife said a person named Brown, 
44 My dear, there's a caller from town/' 

" Wait/' she cried in distress, 

"Till I slip on a dress/' 
But she slipped on the stairs and came down. 



LXXXIV 

There was an old man of Kamschatka t 
Who possessed a remarkably fat cur; 

His gait and his waddle 

Were held as a model 
To all the fat dogs in Kamschatka. 



LXXXV 

44 Cassez-vous, cassez-vous, cassez-vous, 
O mer, sur vos froids gris cailloux." 

Ainsi traduisit Laure 

Au profit d^Isadore, 
(Bon jeune homme, et son futur epoux). 



LXXXVI 

Un marin naufrage* (de Doncastre) 
Pour priere, au milieu du desastre, 

Rep&ait a genoux 

Ccs mots simples et doux : 
" Sctntillez, scintillez, petit astre ! " 



LXXXVII 

A young person of Tomahawk Bluff 
Carried pistols to make him look tough. 

When they asked, "Do you chew?" 

He replied, " Yes, I do, 
I'm a wegular wetch of a wough." 



LXXXVIII 

There was a young lady of Skye, 
With a shape like a capital I; 

She said, "It's too bad! 

But then, I can pad," 
Which shows you that figures can lie. 



LXXXIX 

There was a young lady from Joppa, 
Whose friends all decided to drop her. 
She went to Ostend 
On a trip with a friend 
And the rest of the story's improper. 



xc 

There was a young woman named Florence, 
Who for kissing professed great abhorrence; 
But when she'd been kissed 
And found what she'd missed, 
She cried till the tears came in torrents. 



XCI 

There was a young lady named Nell t 
Who considered herself quite a belle ; 
She sat on the sand 
And held her own hand, 
And never discovered the sell. 



xcn 

There was a young person called Kate, 
Who sat on the stairs very late. 

When asked how she fared, 

She said she was scared, 
But was otherwise doing first-rate. 



xcm 

There was an old man with a beard, 
Who said, " It is just as I feared ! 

Two owls and a hen, 

Four larks and a wren, 
Have all built their nests in my beard/* 



XdV 

Said a great congregational preacher 
To a hen, " You're a beautiful creature." 

And the hen, just for that, 

Laid an egg in his hat, 
And thus did the Hen reward Beecher. 



xcv 

There was a young curate of Worcester, 
Who could have a command if he'd choose ter, 

But he said each recruit 

Must be blacker than soot, 
Or else he'd go preach where he used ter. 

( Written of Thomas Went-worth Higginson.) 



XCV1 

A genius who once did aspire 
To invent an aerial flyer, 

When asked, " Does it go ?" 

Replied," I don't know; 
Pm awaiting some damphule to try *er." 



XCVIIa 

There once was a man from Nantucket, 
Who kept all his cash in a bucket, 

But his daughter named Nan 

Ran away with a man, 
And alas for the bucket, Nan-tuck-et ! 



XCVHb 

But he followed the pair to Pawtucket t 
The man and the girl with the bucket, 
And he said to the man, 
He was welcome to Nan; 
And as for the bucket, Paw-tuck-et ! 



xcvnt 

Said the old man of Abinger-Hammei 4 , 
Who was blessed with a wife and a stammer, 

" The plague of my life 

Is my w-w-w-wife, 
D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-dammer ! " 



XdX 

There was a young lady of Cork, 
Whose Pa made a fortune in pork ; 
He bought for his daughter 
A tutor who taught her 
To balance green peas on her fork. 



There was a young man so benighted, 
He never knew when he was slighted ; 

He would go to a party, 

And eat just as hearty, 
As if he'd been really invited. 



a 

There was a young person called Smarty, 
Who sent out his cards for a party ; 
So exclusive and few 
Were the friends that he knew 
That no one was present but Smarty. 



CII 

There were three young women of Birming- 
ham, 
And I know a sad story concerning 'em ; 

They stuck needles and pins 

In the Right Reverend shins 
Of the Bishop engaged in confirming 'em. 



cin 

There was a young man from Quebec, 
Who was buried in snow to his neck ; 

When asked, " Are you friz ? " 

He replied, " Yes, I is - 
But this is not cold for Quebec/' 



ov 

There was an old man of Madrid, 
Who was hit with a brick by a kid; 

Said the man, " Oh, what joy 

To wallup that boy ! 
Be darned if I don't ; " and he did. 



cv 

There was a young lady named Tucker, 
Who rushed at her mother and struck her ; 
Her mother said, "Damn, 
Don't you know who I am ? 
You act like a regular mucker/* 



CVI 

A scrupulous priest of Kildare, 
Used to pay a rude peasant to swear, 

Who would paint the air blue, 

For an hour or two, 
While his reverence wrestled in prayer* 



cvn 

There was a young lady named Banker, 
Who slept while the ship lay at anchor ; 
She awoke in dismay 
When she heard the mate say : 
44 Now hoist up the top sheet, and spanker." 



cvin 

There once was a lady so fair 

That no one could see she was there : 

It may not seem decent 

To be so translucent, 
But we pardon all things to the fair. 



ox 

There was an old monk of Siberia, 

Whose existence grew drearier and drearier ; 

He burst from his cell 

With a hell of a yell, 
And eloped with the Mother Superior. 



ex 

There's a lady in Kalamazoo, 

Who bites all her oysters in two : 

She has a misgiving, 

Should any be living, 

They'd raise such a hullabaloo. 



CXI 

There once was a sculptor named Phidias, 
Whose statues by some were thought hideous : 

He made Aphrodite, 

Without any nightie, 
Which shocked all the ultra fastidious. 



cxn 

There was a young lady named Enos, 
Who went to a ball dressed as Venus. 

The guests said, "It's rude, 

To come in the nude 
And they brought her a leaf from the 
green'us." 



cxm 

Said the Reverend Jabez McCotten, 
" The waltz of the devil's begotten/' 
Said young Jones to Miss Sly 
" Never mind that old guy : 
To the pure almost everything's rotten/ 



cxrv 

II y avait une demoiselle de Nigre, 
Qui souriait en se promenant a tigre ; 
De la course en rentrant 
Voila la dame en dedans, 
Et le sourire a la gueule du tigre. 



LIST OF SOURCES 



LIST OF SOURCES 

ARLO BATES LVII 

GELETT BURGESS VII, xxn 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE XXVII 

F. G. CHRISTGAU LXIV 

GEORGE DU MAURIER LXXXV, LXXXVI 

W. S. GILBERT LXXX 

HARVARD LAMPOON VIII, LIU, LXV 

OLIVER HERFORD LXXVI 

DAVID STARR JORDAN XLVI, CVlll 

RUDYARD KIPLING cm 

THE LARK LXX 

EDWARD LEAR .... IX, LXXIX, LXXXiv, xcm 
LIFE xv, xxi, LXII, LXXXVII 

LIPPINCOTT'S XXVIII 

COSMO MONKHOUSE XX, XXXV, XLI 

PRINCETON TIGER . LXVII 



ALPHONSO ROSS XCIV 

ST. NICHOLAS XCM 

MRS. SIVRET XCV 

THE TECH XXV 

CAROLYN WELLS ... XI, XII, LXin, LXVIII, LXIX 



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