Limericks on Jane Austen

A limerick is a five-line poem with a strict form, originally popularized in English by Edward Lear. The limerick form can be traced back several hundred years. The oldest recorded poem fitting the metrical pattern is from Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). A limerick has five lines, with three metrical feet in the first, second, and fifth lines and two metrical feet in the third and fourth lines. The rhyme scheme is usually AABBA. This amusing Limerick (in two parts) was created by Diane R. Welch, Dr. Bowman, and John Hopfner and circulated on the Austen-L listserv. Follow the link to learn more about how to subscribe to this fascinating email "Discussion" group. I Miss Austen sat down at her journal To try yet again for life's kernel. But though sometimes satirical She often waxed lyrical And concluded that love reigns eternal. * * * II Then added she, archly, to spoof: "From gay-ness I stay all aloof So was I? Can't say, For my sis', in her day, Came after and burnt all the proof!" * * * * The following limericks were written by Irene Dias and read at the the 1996 JASNA conference held in Richmond, Virginia. Elton thought our Emma so fair; Thus rejected, he looked elsewhere. In-sip-id Bozo, Now, "caro sposo" The two of them make a fine pair! Dear Edward had chosen his wife, Yet soon was embroiled in strife. Though pledged to Miss Steele, Our reluctant heel At last found the love of his life. Flitting from flower to flower, Destroying the entire bower, Woo and deceive 'em Love 'em and leave 'em, Wickham's now stripped of his power. John Willoughby -- or so it seemed -- Was the stuff of which maidens dreamed; So quick to desert, Cared not whom he hurt, At last he's no longer esteemed. Henry Crawford put forth his best For the hand of Miss Price (his quest), William's promotion Was his love potion -- He's refused, as you might have guessed. When Knightley asked for his "jewel," Mr. Woodhouse thought it cruel. His anger vented, He soon relented And then sought solace in gruel. After reading these, it's nearly impossible not to try a few of your own! We'd love to see your best efforts. Email them to the Editor for use in a later update. Please include your name and a brief line about your inspiration. Historical information provided by Wikipedia. Enjoyed this article? Browse our book shop at

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