Famous Limerick Poems

See also: Famous Limerick Poets


There was a small boy of Quebec
Who was buried in snow to his neck
When they said, "Are you friz?"
He replied, " Yes, I is —
But we don't call this cold in Quebec"
Rudyard Kipling


A man hired by John Smith and Co.
Loudly declared that he’d tho.
Men that he saw
Dumping dirt near his door
The drivers, therefore, didn’t do.
Mark Twain


Our novels get longa and longa
Their language gets stronga and stronga
There’s much to be said
For a life that is led
In illiterate places like Bonga
H. G. Wells


T. S. Eliot is quite at a loss
When clubwomen bustle across
At literary teas
Crying, “What, if you please,
Did you mean by The Mill On the Floss?”
W. H. Auden


A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican
Dixon Merritt


An angry young husband called Bicket
Said: "Turn yourself round and I’ll kick it
You have painted my wife
In the nude to the life
Do you think, Mr Greene, it was cricket?"
John Galsworthy


There is a poor sneak called Rossetti
As a painter with many kicks met he
With more as a man
But sometimes he ran
And that saved the rear of Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti


The marriage of poor Kim Kardashian
Was krushed like a kar in a krashian.
Her Kris kried, "Not fair!
Why kan't I keep my share?"
But Kardashian fell klean outa fashian.
Salman Rushdie


There's a ponderous pundit MacHugh
Who wears goggles of ebony hue.
As he mostly sees double
To wear them why trouble?
I can't see the Joe Miller. Can you?
James Joyce


A bespectacled artist called Lear
First perfected this smile in a sneer.
He was clever and witty;
He gave life to this ditty –
That original author called Lear.
Erica Jong


To Miss Vera Beringer
There was a young lady of station
"I love man" was her sole exclamation
But when men cried, "You flatter"
She replied, "Oh! no matter
Isle of Man is the true explanation"
Lewis Carroll


A combustible woman from Thang
Exploded one day with a BANG!
The maid then rushed in
And said with a grin,
"Pardon me, madam -- you rang?"
Spike Milligan


There was an old poop from Poughkeepsie,
Who tended, at night, to be tipsy.
Said he, ''My last steps
Aren't propelled by just Schweppes!'' –
That peppy old poop from Poughkeepsie.
John Updike


Few thought he was even a starter.
There were many in life who were smarter.
But he finished PM,
A CH, an OM,
An earl and a Knight of the Garter.
Clement Attlee (about himself)


I wish that my room had a floor!
I don't so much care for a door,
But this crawling around
Without touching the ground
Is getting to be quite a bore!
Gelett Burgess


My firm belief is, that Pizarro
Received education at Harrow -
This alone would suffice,
To account for his vice,
And his views superstitiously narrow.
Aldous Huxley


There was a young man of Herne Bay,
Who was making explosives one day;
He dropped his cigar
In the gunpowder jar.
There WAS a young man of Herne Bay.
Langford Reed


Langford Reed saved the limerick verse,
From being taken away in a hearse.
He made it so clean
Now it's fit for a queen, Re-established for better or worse.
George Bernard Shaw


A canner exceedingly canny
One morning remarked to his granny:
“A canner can can
Any thing that he can
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”
Carolyn Wells 


There once was a man who said, "Damn,
It has borne in on me that I am
A creature that moves
In predestinate grooves;
I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram!"
Maurice Evan Hare


Here are some limericks that are based on older limericks:

There was an Old Man of Madras
Who rode on a cream-coloured ass
But the length of its ears
So promoted his fears
That it killed that Old Man of Madras
Edward Lear


There was a young girl from Madras
Who had a most beautiful ass
Not rounded and pink
As you probably think
But gray, with long ears, and ate grass
Anonymous, after Lear


There was an old man in a tree
Who was horribly bored by a bee
When they said, "Does it buzz?"
He replied, "Yes, it does!
It's a regular brute of a bee!"
Edward Lear


There was an old man of St. Bees
Who was horribly stung by a wasp
When they said, “does it hurt?”
He replied, “no, it doesn’t –
It’s a good job it wasn’t a hornet”
W. S. Gilbert (after Lear)


There was a young fellow of Wheeling
Endowed with such delicate feeling
When he read on the door,
"Don't spit on the floor"
He jumped up and spat on the ceiling!
American version (anonymous)


There was an old man of Darjeeling
Who boarded a bus bound for Ealing
It said on the door
`Don't spit on the floor'
So he stood up and spat on the ceiling
British version