I love limericks. I quite enjoy the off-color ones (the one about the lady from Brizes is probably my favorite), but I think I delight in the limericks of Edward Gorey — he of The Gashlycrumb Tinies fame — simply because the macabre, and particularly macabre humor, is so rarely dealt with poetically. Of the very many limericks he wrote, here are the ones I treasure:
The babe, with a cry brief and dismal,
Fell into the waters baptismal.
Ere they’d gathered its plight,
It had sunk out of sight,
For the depths of the font were abysmal.
A beetling young woman named Pridgets
Had a violent abhorrence of midgets;
Off the end of a wharf
She once pushed a dwarf
Whose truncation reduced her to fidgets.
A nurse motivated by spite
Tied her infantine charge to a kite;
She launched it with ease
On the afternoon breeze,
And watched till it flew out of sight.
An Edwardian father named Udgeon,
Whose offspring provoked him to dudgeon,
Used on Saturday nights
To turn down the lights,
And chase them around with a bludgeon.
There was a young lady named Rose
Who fainted whenever she chose.
She did so one day
While playing croquet,
But was quickly revived with a hose.
From Number Nine, Penwiper Mews,
There is really abominable news:
They’ve discovered a head
In the box for the bread
And nobody seems to know whose.
There’s a rather odd couple in Herts
Who are cousins (or so each asserts).
Their sex is in doubt
For they’re never without
Their mustaches and long, trailing skirts.