Sunday, 26 June 2011
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
There's an anonymous poem of 1747 called The Poetess's Bouts-Rimés. It starts as a woman's prayer to Apollo concerning a fellow she has a crush on. But half way through, she realises that she may reveal too much, so she decides just to give you the rhymes and let you guess the rest.
The poem goes thusly:
Dear Phoebus, hear my only vow;
If e'er you loved me, hear me now.
That charming youth - but idle Fame
Is ever so inclined to blame -
These men will turn it to a jest;
I'll tell the rhymes and drop the rest
I invite you, dear reader, to fill in the blanks. Obscenity is not necessary, but it will be appreciated. Incidentally, this sort of competition is called bout-rimés, or end-rhymes.