Famous Funny Poem

Collection of Limericks by Edward Lear. Most are from A Book of Nonsense published in 1846.

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Those birds will just nest anywhere! Of course they need to build a home for their young-uns. Our dad told us a story that when he was young he would help gather the clothes off the clothes...

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Limericks

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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 Person of Ischia,
Whose conduct grew friskier and friskier;
He dance hornpipes and jigs,
And ate thousands of figs,
That lively Old Person of Ischia.


There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat, I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you ain't!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.


There was a Young Lady of Hull,
Who was chased by a virulent bull;
But she seized on a spade,
And called out, 'Who's afraid?'
Which distracted that virulent bull.


There was an Old Person of Ems,
Who casually fell in the Thames;
And when he was found
They said he was drowned,
That unlucky Old Person of Ems.


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 a Young Lady of Russia,
Who screamed so that no one could hush her;
Her screams were extreme,
No one heard such a scream,
As was screamed by that lady of Russia.


There was an Old Person of Ewell,
Who chiefly subsisted on gruel;
But to make it more nice
He inserted some mice,
Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.


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 on that tree.


There is a Young Lady whose nose
Continually prospers and grows;
When it grew out of sight,
she exclaimed in a fright,
"Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!"


There was an Old Person of Dean,
Who dined on one pea and one bean;
For he said,
"More than that would make me too fat,"
That cautious Old Person of Dean.


There was an Old Person of Dover,
Who rushed through a field of blue Clover;
But some very large bees,
Stung his nose and his knees,
So he very soon went back to Dover.


There was an Old Man of Peru,
Who watched his wife making a stew;
But once by mistake,
In a stove she did bake,
That unfortunate Man of Peru.


There was a Young Lady whose bonnet,
Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
But she said: 'I don't care!
All the birds in the air
Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!'

more Edward Lear

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by Jac Judy A. Campbell, calif
  • 2 years ago

Those birds will just nest anywhere! Of course they need to build a home for their young-uns. Our dad told us a story that when he was young he would help gather the clothes off the clothes line. Well one day his mom said, "Son, don't take that shirt off the line," and they couldn't figure out why. The shirt stayed there many days. Finally, she told them there was a nest in the pocket of the shirt and the eggs were ready to hatch. Sure enough, the eggs hatched and the birds were born, and the shirt kept hanging until the little ones flew away. Amazing!
Jac Judy A. Campbell

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