Nonsense Verses

Original Text: 
The Works of Arthur Clement Hilton (Of Marlborough & Cambridge) Author of "The Light Green" Together with his Life and Letters, ed. Robert P. Edgcumbe (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1872): 190-92. PR 4790 H27A12 Robarts Library
By Edward Leary.
2Who said, "You could not find a neater house
3    Than our new Combination-Room
4    For a mild dissipation room."
5That abandoned old Fellow of Peterhouse.
6There was a boat captain of Downing,
7Whose crew were in danger of drowning,
8    But he cried, "Swim to shore,
9    For I'm sure that eight more
10Could not be collected in Downing."
11There was a young genius of Queens',
12Who was fond of explosive machines,
13    He once blew up a door,
14    But he'll do it no more,
15For it chanced that that door was the Dean's.
16There was a young student of Caius,
17Who collected black beetles and fleas,
18    He'd walk out in the wet
19    With his butterfly net,
20And smile, and seem quite at his ease.
21There was a young man of Sid. Sussex,
22Who insisted that w + x
23    Was the same as xw;
24    So they said, "Sir, we'll trouble you
25To confine that idea to Sid. Sussex."
26There was a young gourmand of John's,
27Who'd a notion of dining on swans,
30But was told they were kept for the Dons.
31There was an old Fellow of Trinity,
32A Doctor well versed in Divinity,
33    But he took to free thinking
34    And then to deep drinking,
35And so had to leave the vicinity.


1] Parodying the limericks of Edward Lear.
Peterhouse: the oldest college in Cambridge University, founded in 1284. The college combination rooms permit senior and junior members to meet, talk, read, imbibe, and relax. Its junior combination room today, the Sexcentenary Club, offers undergraduates TV, newspapers, and a bar. The other limericks celebrate different Cambridge colleges: Downing (which has a rowing club), Queens', Gonville and Caius (whose list of subjects today does not include biology or botany), Sidney Sussex, St. John's, and Trinity. Back to Line
28] the Backs: the backside of the colleges, on the river Cam. Back to Line
29] cygnets: young swans. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.