A few of Edward Lear's limericks

Melody -

Edward Lear 1812-1888

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

There was a Young Lady in White,
Who looked out at the depths of the Night;
But the birds of the air
Filled her heart with despair,
And oppressed that Young Lady in White.

There was a Young Lady of Lucca,
Whose lovers completely forsook her;
She ran up a tree
And said, 'Fiddle-de-dee!'
Which embarrassed the people of Lucca.

There was a Young Lady of Parma,
Whose conduct grew calmer and calmer;
When they said, 'Are you dumb?
She merely said, 'Hum!'
That provoking Young Lady of Parma.

There was a Young Lady of Portugal,
Whose ideas were excessively nautical:
She climbed up a tree,
To examine the sea,
But declared she would never leave Portugal.

There was a Young Lady of Tyre,
Who swept the loud chords of a lyre;
At the sound of each sweep
She enraptured the deep,
And enchanted the city of Tyre.

There was a Young Person of Smyrna,
Whose grandmother threatened to burn her;
But she seized on the cat,
And said, 'Granny, burn that!
You incongruous old woman of Smyrna!'

There was a young person whose history
Was always considered a mystery.
She sate in a ditch,
Although no one knew which,
And composed a small treatise on history.

There was an Old Lady of Chertsey,
Who made a remarkable curtsey;
She twirled round and round,
Till she sunk underground,
Which distressed all the people of Chertsey.

There was an old Lady of Winchelsea,
Who said, 'If you needle or pin shall see
On the floor of my room,
Sweep it up with the broom!'
- That exhaustive old Lady of Winchelsea!

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat! I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you aint!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

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!'

There was an Old Man in a Tree,
Whose Whiskers were lovely to see;
But the Birds of the Air
Pluck'd them perfectly bare
To make themselves Nests in that Tree.

There was an Old Man of Thermopylae,
Who never did anything properly;
But they said, 'If you choose
To boil Eggs in your Shoes,
You shall never remain in Thermopylae.'

There was an Old Man of Toulouse
Who purchased a new pair of shoes.
When they asked, 'Are they pleasant?' -
He said, 'Not at present!'
That turbid old man of Toulouse.

There was an Old Man of Cape Horn,
Who wished he had never been born;
So he sat on a chair
Till he died of despair,
That dolorous Man of Cape Horn.
  There was an Old Man of Hong Kong,
Who never did anything wrong.
He lay on his back,
With his head in a sack,
That innocuous Old Man of Hong Kong.

There was an Old Man on the Border,
Who lived in the utmost disorder;
He danced with the Cat,
And made Tea in his Hat,
Which vexed all the folks on the Border.

There was an Old Man who said, 'Hush!
I perceive a young bird in this bush.!'
When they said, 'Is it small?'
He replied, 'Not at all!
It is four times as big as the bush!'

There was an Old Man who, when little,
Fell casually into a Kettle;
But, growing too stout,
He could never get out,
So he passed all his life in that Kettle.

There was an old man whose despair
Induced him to purchase a hare:
Whereon one fine day,
He rode wholly away,
Which partly assuaged his despair.

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!'

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who sat on a horse when he reared;
But they said, 'Never mind!
You will fall off behind,
You propitious Old Man with a beard!'

There was an Old Person in Black,
A Grasshopper jumped on his back;
When it chirped in his ear,
He was smitten with fear,
That helpless Old Person in Black.

There was an Old Person in Gray,
Whose feelings were tinged with disman;
She purchased two Parrots,
And fed them with Carrots,
Which pleased that Old Person in Gray.

There was an Old Person of Basing,
Whose presence of mind was amazing;
He purchased a steed,
Which he rode at full speed,
And escaped from the people of Basing.

There was an Old Person of Fife,
Who was greatly disgusted with life;
They sang him a ballad,
And fed him on Salad,
Which cured that Old Person of Fife.

There was an Old Person of Gretna,
Who rushed down the crater of Etna;
When they said, 'Is it hot?'
He replied, 'No, it's not!'
That mendacious Old Person of Gretna.

There was an Old Person of Putney,
Whose food was roast spiders and chutney,
Which he took with his tea
Within sight of the sea,
That romantic Old Person of Putney.

There was an Old Person of Slough,
Who danced at the end of a Bough;
But they said, 'If you sneeze,
You might damage the trees,
You imprudent Old Person of Slough.

There was an Old Person of Ware
Who rode on the back of a Bear;
When they ask'd, 'Does it trot?'
He said, 'Certainly not!
He's a Moppsikon Floppsikon Bear!'

There was an Old Person of Wick,
Who said, 'Tick-a-Tick, Tick-a-Tick;
Chickabee, Chickabaw.'
And he said nothing more,
That laconic Old Person of Wick.

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