Humorous Verse

Be ready to be charmed by words ...

Ralph Waldo Emerson


The mountain and the squirrel

Had a quarrel,

And the former called the latter "Little Prig";

Bun replied,

"You are doubtless very big;

But all sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together,

To make up a year

And a sphere,

And I think it no disgrace

To occupy my place.

If I'm not so large as you,

You are not so small as I,

And not half so spry.

I'll not deny you make

A very pretty squirrel track;

Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;

If I cannot carry forests on my back,

Neither can you crack a nut."

William Blake


Why was Cupid a boy,

And why a boy was he?

He should have been a girl,

For aught that I can see.

For he shoots with his bow,

And the girl shoots with her eye;

And they both are merry and glad,

And laugh when we do cry.

Then to make Cupid a boy

Was surely a woman's plan,

For a boy never learns so much

Till he has become a man.

And then he's so pierced with cares,

And wounded with arrowy smarts,

That the whole business of his life

Is to pick out the heads of the darts.

Lord Byron


If, in the month of dark December,

Leander, who was nightly wont

(What maid will not the tale remember?)

To cross thy stream broad Hellespont.

If, when the wint'ry tempest roar'd,

He sped to Hero nothing loth,

And thus of old thy current pour'd,

Fair Venus! how I pity both!

For me, degenerate, modern wretch,

Though in the genial month of May,

My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,

And think I've done a feat to-day.

But since he crossed the rapid tide,

According to the doubtful story,

To woo—and—Lord knows what beside,

And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

'T were hard to say who fared the best:

Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!

He lost his labor, I my jest;

For he was drowned, and I've the ague.

Sir Walter Scott


Hear what Highland Nora said,—

"The Earlie's son I will not wed,

Should all the race of nature die,

And none be left but he and I.

For all the gold, for all the gear,

And all the lands both far and near,

That ever valour lost or won,

I would not wed the Earlie's son."

"A maiden's vows," old Callum spoke,

"Are lightly made and lightly broke,

The heather on the mountain's height

Begins to bloom in purple light;

The frost-wind soon shall sweep away

That lustre deep from glen and brae;

Yet Nora, ere its bloom be gone,

May blithely wed the Earlie's son."

"The swan," she said, "the lake's clear breast

May barter for the eagle's nest;

The Awe's fierce stream may backward turn,

Ben-Cruaichan fall, and crush Kilchurn;

Our kilted clans, when blood is high,

Before their foes may turn and fly;

But I, were all these marvels done,

Would never wed the Earlie's son."

Still in the water-lily's shade

Her wonted nest the wild swan made;

Ben-Cruaichan stands as fast as ever,

Still downward foams the Awe's fierce river;

To shun the clash of foeman's steel,

No Highland brogue has turn'd the heel;

But Nora's heart is lost and won,

—She's wedded to the Earlie's son!

William Makepeace Thackeray


Werther had a love for Charlotte

Such as words could never utter;

Would you know how first he met her?

She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,

And a moral man was Werther,

And for all the wealth of Indies,

Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sigh'd and pined and ogled,

And his passion boil'd and bubbled,

Till he blew his silly brains out,

And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body

Borne before her on a shutter,

Like a well-conducted person,

Went on cutting bread and butter.

This page of verse is curated by Ardan Michael Blum in Palo Alto. Also by Ardan Michael, you may enjoy "World Breakfast" which is a short story written in weekly instalments.


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