|Edward Lear, 12 May 1812|
to 29 January 1888)
The man who invented the limerick, and who lived with it many years thereafter, is entitled to be recognized more than once, isn't he? After all, Madeleine says May 12 is his date of birth. Well, then, the least we can do, is besmirch his memory with yet another gimicky limericky.*
*Did you notice the word limericky, with the addition of a space,
becomes the soda Lime Ricky?
Life is just full of surprises, if only we keep our eyes and ears open. I'm sure Edward Lear believed that, or he would have refused to write the first limerick, or else he'd have let it die a natural death some years ago.
One day I was trying to buff
a limerick that was too rough
if Edward Lear
only were here
he’d help me get it up to snuff.
Now, Mr. Lear, I sorely fear
my limerick is very near
to awful, my friend,
and it won’t amend
without help from you, Mr. Lear.
Lear's self-description in verse, How Pleasant to know Mr. Lear, ends with this reference to his own mortality:
He reads but he cannot speak Spanish,
He cannot abide ginger-beer;
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!