An eclectic old lady of Leeds
used to follow two different creeds
till she found with dismay
that she’d soon have to pay
for two distinct sets of misdeeds.
A studious cove of Holmrook
had his nose always stuck in a book,
so his wife in disgust
said "Read on if you must
but you don’t want a wife, just a cook."
A passionate spinster of Drigg
had a torrid affair with a pig.
When reproved for such vice
she would take no advice -
for convention she cared not a fig.
A tomboyish lass of St. Bees
had a strange fascination with trees.
She could climb like an ape
and in time took its shape
going round on her hands and her knees.
An ambitious young housewife of Seaton
made a vow to supplant Mrs. Beeton,
but her dishes, though neat
were in no way a treat;
they looked fine, but they couldn’t be eaten.
An immoderate toper of Haile
was excessively fond of his ale.
To bring home from the pub
what he drank with his grub
needed not just a jug but a pail.
An ingenious fellow of Broughton
had inventions that rapidly caught on.
He made fortunes, ’twas said,
just by lying in bed
dreaming schemes that assistants then wrought on.
A versatile bard from Torpenhow*
lost a fiver and picked up a tenner.
He astonished the throng
by a burst into song -
all the parts, treble, alto and tenor.
A foolhardy maiden of Ulpha
packed a barrel with charcoal and sulphur
well mixed up with nitre,
then flicked on her lighter;
the result was a blast to engulf her.
A headstrong young girl of Glenridding
refused flatly to do her dad’s bidding.
When told what to do
she would coolly say "You"
(in regrettable terms) "must be kidding!"
A long-ago dean of Carlisle
had a fine oratorical style.
The standards he’d preach
were too lofty to reach,
but his actual conduct was vile.
A total abstainer of Santon
on the virtues of water would rant on
till his gin-loving wife
put an end to his life
in the bath, like de Sade’s "Death of Danton."
A thick-set young farmer from Brough
was incredibly hairy and rough.
Back and sides could be sheared
but not so his beard
since the whiskers were vastly too tough.
An irascible navvy from Wick
was indignant at being called thick.
When a man of the south
was too free with his mouth
the response was a well-aimed half brick.
Peter D. Wilson
Copyright © 2001, 2016