marnanightingale: (trouble or champagne)
[personal profile] marnanightingale
My First Name, Wystan,
Rhymes with Tristan,
But--O dear!-- I do hope
I'm not quite such a dope.

Henry Adams
Was mortally afraid of Madams:
In a disorderly house
He sat quiet as a mouse.

St Thomas Aquinas
Always regarded wine as
A medicinal juice
That helped him to deduce.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Was a master of his Fach:
Nothing could be more kluge
Than his Kunst der Fuge.

Thomas Lovell Beddoes
Could never walk through meadows
Without getting the glooms
And thinking of tombs.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Believed it proven
That, for mortal dust,
What must be, must.

Good Queen Bess
Couldn't have liked it less,
When Burghley and Cecil
Drank out of the same vessel.

William Blake
Found Newton hard to take,
And was not enormously taken
With Francis Bacon.

Said Robert Bridges,
When badly bitten by midges:
"They're only doing their duty
As a testament to my beauty."

Robert Browning
Immediately stopped frowning
And started to blush,
When fawned on by Flush.

Martin Buber
Never said "Thou" to a tuber:
Despite his creed,
He did not feel the need.

Lord Byron
Once succumbed to a Siren:
His flesh was weak,
Hers Greek.

Among the prosodists, Bysshe
Was the syllable-counting old sissy,
The accentual pest.

When Arthur Hugh Clough
Was jilted by a piece of fluff,
He sighed "Quel dommage!",
And wrote Amours de Voyage.

Was utterly enchanté
When Beatrice cried in tones that were peachy:
Noi siamo amici.

Hugh De Vries
During a visit to Greece
Composed a pastoral poem,
Xylem & Phloem.

Charles Dickens
Could find nothing to say to chickens,
But gossipping with rabbits
Became one of his habits.

Desiderius Erasmus
Always avoided chiasmus,
But grew addicted as time wore on
To oxymoron.

Fulke Greville
Wrote beautifully at sea level:
With each rising contour his verse
Got progressively worse.

The Geheimrat in Goethe
Made him all the curter
With Leute who were leery
Of his Color Theory.

Sir Rider Haggard,
Was completly staggered
When his bride-to-be
Announced "I AM SHE!"

Georg Friedrich Händel
Was highly respected in Kendal:
It was George Frederick Handel
Who caused all the scandal.

Thomas Hardy
Was never tardy
When summoned to fulfill
The Immanent Will.

Joseph Haydn
Never read Dryden
Nor did John Dryden
Ever hear Haydn.

No one could ever inveigle
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Into offering the slightest apology
For his Phenomenology.

George Herbert
Once tried ordering sherbet
On Salisbury Plain:
He ordered in vain.

Robert Herrick
Certainly did not write Eric:
So far
As we know, it was Dean Farrar.

Henry James
Abhorred the word Dames,
And always wrote "Mommas"
With inverted commas.

When the young Kant
Was told to kiss his aunt,
He obeyed the Categorical Must,
But only just.

Søren Kierkegaard
Tried awfully hard
To take The Leap
But fell in a heap.

Karl Kraus
Always had some grouse:
Among his bête noires
Were Viennese choirs.

Archbishop Laud
Was High, not Broad:
He could never descend
To celebrating the North End.

Edward Lear
Was haunted by a fear
While travelling in Albania
Of contracting kleptomania.

Joseph Lister,
According to his sister,
Was not an alcoholic:
His vice was carbolic.

Mr Robert Liston
Used the saw like a piston:
He was that elated
When he amputated.

Luther & Zwingli
Should be treated singly:
L hated the Peasants,
Z the Real Presence.

Had too much to say:
He could never quite
Leave the paper white.

Mary, Queen of Scots,
Could tie the most complicated knots,
But she couldn't bake
The simplest cake.

Queen Mary (The Bloody)
Had an understudy
Who was a Prot:
She was not.

When Karl Marx
Found the phrase "financial sharks,"
He sang a Te Deum
In the British Museum.

John Milton
Never stayed in a Hilton
Which was just as well.

William Henry Monk
Lived in a perpetual blue funk
Of being taken on hikes
By John Bacchus Dykes.

Thomas Moore
Caused a furore
Every time he bellowed his
Irish Melodies.

Cardinal Newman
Was being only human
When he dreamed of panning
The latest tract by Cardinal Manning.

Had the habit as a teacher
Of cracking his joints
To emphasize his points.

Oxbridge philosophers, to be cursory,
Are products of a middle-class nursery:
Their arguments are anent
What Nanny really meant.

Louis Pasteur,
So his colleagues aver,
Lived on excellent terms
With most of his germs.

Alexander Pope
Never gave up hope
Of finding a motto
To affix to his Grotto.

Christina Rossetti
Thought it rather petty,
When her brother, D.G.,
Put laudanum in her tea.

When Sir Walter Scott
Made a blot,
He stamped with rage
And started a new page.

"Ma foi!", exclaimed Stendhal,
"Ce Scarpia n'est pas si mal,
But he's no Count Mosca,
Unluckily for Tosca."

Adalbert Stifter
Was no weight-lifter:
He would hire old lags
To carry his bags.

William Makepeace Thackeray
Wept into his daiquiri,
When he heard St John's Wood
Thought he was no good.

Thomas the Rhymer
Was probably a social climber:
He should have known Fairy Queens
Were beyond his means.

Thomas Traherne
Could always discern
The Angel in boys,
Even when they made a noise.

Paul Valéry
Earned a meagre salary,
Walking through the Bois,
Observing his Moi.

Good Queen Victoria
In a fit of euphoria
Commanded Disraeli
To blow up the Old Bailey.

James Watt
Was the hard-boiled kind of Scot:
He thought any dream
Sheer waste of steam.

Oscar Wilde
Was greatly beguiled,
When into the Café Royal walked Boise
Wearing a tea-cosy.

Sir Thomas Wyatt
Never went on a diet,
Unlike the Earl of Surrey,
Who ate nothing but curry.

Whenever Xantippe
Wasn't feeling too chippy,
She would bawl at Socrates:
"Why aren't you Hippocrates?"

T.S. Eliot is quite at a loss
When clubwomen bustle across
At literary teas,
Crying:-- "What, if you please,
Did you mean by The Mill on the Floss?"

To get the Last Poems of Yeats,
You need not mug up on dates;
All a reader requires
Is some knowledge of gyres
And the sort of people he hates.

Date: 2006-02-07 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2006-02-07 01:38 pm (UTC)


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