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NONSENSE

AN ORIGINAL CUSS
Keith Preston
A real original, I think,
      My friend Bill can be termed;
A smoker, not inveterate,
      A drinker, not confirmed,

A hail fellow, but not well met;
      A realtor, but no Babbit;
I never knew a cuss like Bill
      For cutting loose from habit.

A THOUSAND HAIRY SAVAGES
Spike Milligan (1918—2001)
A thousand hairy savages
Sitting down to lunch.
Gobble gobble glup glup
Munch munch munch.

BACKYARD, JULY NIGHT
William Cole (1919-2000)
Firefly, airplane, satellite, star--
How I wonder which you are.

COTTLESTON PIE
A. A. Milne (1882-1956)
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken? I don't know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fish can't whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

GENEALOGICAL REFLECTION
Ogden Nash (1902-1974)
No McTavish
Was ever lavish.

HALLELUJAH!
A. E. Housman (1859–1936)
"Hallelujah!" was the only observation
That escaped Lieutenant Colonel Mary Jane
When she tumbled off the platform in the station
And was cut in little pieces by the train.
      Mary Jane, the train is through ya;
      Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
We will gather up the pieces that remain.

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER’S SONG<
Edwin Morgan (1920--)
       Sssnnnwhuffffll?
                  Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnfl hfl?
            Gdroblboblhobngbl gbl gl g g g g glbgl.
      Drublhaflablhaflubhafgabhaflhafl fl fl -
      gm grawwwww grf grawf awfgm graw gm.
Hovoplodok - doplodovok - plovodokot - doplodokosh?
      Splgraw fok fok splgrafhatchgabrlgabrl fok splfok!
                              Zgra kra gka fok!
                            Grof grawff gahf?
                              Gombl mbl bl -
                                    blm plm,
                                    blm plm,
                                    blm plm,
                                          blp

LUCY LAKE
Ogden Nash (1902-1974)
Lawsamassy, for heaven's sake!
Have you never heard of Lucky Lake!
Lucy is fluffy and fair and cosy,
Lucy is like a buddying posy,
Lucy speaks with a tiny lisp.
Lucy's mind is a will-o-the-wisp.
Lucy is just as meek as a mouse.
Lucy lives a darling house,
With a darling garden and darling fence,
And a darling faith in the future tense.
A load of hay, or a crescent moon,
And she knows that things will be better soon.
Lucy resigns herself to sorrow
In building character for tomorrow.
Lucy tells us to carry on,
It's always darkest before the dawn.
A visit to Lucy's bucks you up,
Helps you to swallow the bitterest cup.
Lucy Lake is meek as a house.
Let's go over to Lucy's house,
And let's lynch Lucy!

MIDSUMMER MELANCHOLY
Margaret Fishback
Oh, somewhere there are people who
Have nothing in the world to do
But sit upon the Pyrenees
And use the very special breeze
Provided for the people who
Have nothing in the world to do
But sit upon the Pyrenees
And use the...

NOT ME
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)
The Slithergadee has crawled out of the sea.
He may catch all the others, but he won't catch me.
No, you't catch me, old Slithergadee,
You may catch all the others, but you wo--

PATIENCE
Harry Graham (1874–1936)
When ski-ing in the Engadine
My hat blew off down a ravine.
My son, who went to fetch it back,
Slipped through an icy glacier's crack
And then got permanently stuck.
It really was infernal luck:
My hat was practically new--
I loved my little Henry too--
And I may have to wait for years
Till either of them reappears.

STAIRS
Oliver Herford (1863-1935)
Here's to the man who invented stairs
And taught our feet to soar!
He was the first who ever burst
Into a second floor.
The world would be downstairs to-day
Had he not found the key;
So let his name go down to fame,
Whatever it may be.

TEETH
Spike Milligan (1918—2001)
English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.

English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Champing down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.

English Teeth, HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.

THE MERMAID
Ogden Nash (1902-1974)
Say not the mermaid is a myth,
I knew one once named Mrs. Smith.
She stood while playing cards or knitting;
Mermaids are not equipped for sitting.

THE NAUGHTY PREPOSITION
Morris Bishop (1893-1973)
I lately lost a preposition;
      It hid, I thought, beneath my chair,
And angrily I cried: "Perdition!
      Up from out of in under there!"

Correctness is my vade mecum,
      And straggling phrases I abhor;
And yet I wondered: "What should he come
      Up from out of in under for?"

THE PHILOSOPHER’S DRINKING SONG
Eric Idle for Monty Python's Flying Circus, the Second Series, episode 22
Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
         who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
         who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out consume
         Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
         who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
          'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
          after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
         'alf a crate of whiskey every day!
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
         and Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
         "I drink, therefore I am."

Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

THE PRESCRIPTION
Said the chemist: 'I'll take some dimethyloximodomesordamide
And I'll add just a dash of dimethylamidoazobenzaldehyde;
      But if these won't mix,
      I'll just have to fix
Up a big dose of trisodiumpholoroglucintricarboxycide.'

THOSE TWO BOYS
Franklin P. Adams
When Bill was a lad he was terribly bad.
      He worried his parents a lot.
He'd lie and he'd swear and pull little girl's hair;
      His boyhood was naught but a blot.

At play and in school he would fracture each rule--
      In mischief from autumn to spring;
And the villagers knew when to manhood he grew
      He would never amount to a thing.

When Jim was a child he was not very wild;
      He was known as a good little boy;
He was honest and bright and the teacher's delight--
      To his mother and father a job.

All the neighbors were sure that his virtue'd endure,
      That his life would be free of a spot;
They were certain that Jim had a great head on him
      And that Jim would amount to a lot.

And Jim grew to manhood and honor and fame
      And bears a good name;
While Bill is shut up in a dark prison cell--
      You never can tell.

W
James Reeves (1909-1978)
The King sent for his wise men all
           To find a rhyme for W.
When they had thought a good long time,
But could not think of a single rhyme,
           ‘I’m sorry,’ said he, ‘to trouble you.’

You're read the serious originals (in English class, if nowhere else), now read some poetic parodies.

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