Sunday 26 June 2011


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
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM       desire,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    fire,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    lie,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    thigh,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    wide,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    ride,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    night,
te-TUM-te-TUM-te-TUM-te    delight.

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.


  1. Well, I was waiting to see what the other, cleverer InkyFool readers came up with, but seeing as they are all very shy, here is my offering:

    While in the throes of hot desire
    I rolled my love into the fire.
    And this (indeed, I tell no lie),
    It left a brand upon his thigh,
    A burn full seven inches wide!
    This mark of love he did deride,
    And fled away into the night:
    Thus ended our inflamed delight.

  2. This is amazing. As is eleus' suggestion.