11 October 2009

Limericks

I am not the first to point this out; but some readers may not have heard it: the first recorded Limerick is found in the prayer attributed to S Thomas Aquinas in thanksgiving after Celebrating and Communicating.

Sit vitiorum meorum evacuatio,
Concupiscentiae et libidinis exterminatio,
Caritatis et patientiae,
Humilitatis et obedientiae,
Omniumque virtutum augmentatio.

This must surely prove that there is something inherently satisfying about these structured rhythms.

I bet nobody could render that into an elegant English Limerick.

11 comments:

Michael McDonough said...

What makes for elegance?

Of my vices, lusts and fancies (frenzies?)
Let it be the source of surcease;
But of long-suffering and love,
Of humble faith from above,
Of all noble pow'rs, the increase.

edcryer said...

This isn't by any means elegant, but I don't find Aquinas' Latin elegant at all.

Of my vices let there be an end
Of desire and greed too forfend.
But of love and patience
Humility and obedience
And all the virtues, one big crescend...
O


Regards, Ed

Fr William said...

All blemish of soul be effaced,
All fleshly affections abased,
That to love and forbear,
Human pride to forswear,
The desire in my heart be emplaced.

Sue Sims said...

Make an end of my vices, I plead;
My envy, my lust and my greed:
Make me patient, I pray,
So I love and obey,
And increase all the virtues I need.

Edwin said...

I am confident that Cranmer would approve this rather loose translation:

May my wickedness all be forgiven
Desire and lust utterly shriven
In their place patience, love
And e’en at a shove,
May virtue abounding be given.

Pastor in Valle said...

Fr William wins, in my opinion.
Sunday prevented me having a shot.

rev'd up said...

O, dilly me all me sin,
Purge lewd and crude within,
Love's patience grant,
Yea, I humb'ly pant,
For a dram or two of gin.

...It needs work, but it does have a certain "ring" to it, no?

Fr William said...

Very kind of you, Pastor, though I'm not too happy with the last line. (Besides, I wouldn't wish to set myself up in competition with my ex-PEV and Chapter confrater …)

Seraphim said...

my free transaltion

there once was a man named egidio
who freed himself from dark libido
all the virtues arose
from his toes to his nose
how grand! cried that man named egidio.


+Seraphim Sigrist
ive journal =seraphimsigrist

Seraphim said...

a less literal translation than
mine just sent.

from a livejournal friend
'macseamus1' offers this grand
bit of neo thomism as it seems to
me(but being only eastern orthodox
even my maritain is vague so who
am I to judge)

There once was a man from Sicily
who wanted to see how good he could be
his family brought him a w___e
whom he shoved out the door
saying "I'm getting the hang of this chastity!"

Arthur said...

Please visit:

http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/limerick/stthomas.html

Let it be for the elimination for my sins,
For the expulsion of desire and lust,
[And] for the increase of charity and patience,
Humility and obedience,
As well as all the virtues.

Extinguish concupiscent fires,
Eliminate lustful desires;
Give patience and love,
A plentitude of
What humble obeying requires.

O strengthen my efforts to rule
My passions and help me to cool
Attractions to sin,
Then help me begin
Considering virtue a jewel.

Oh LORD, I can prove intellectual,
A. Doctor, profoundly effectual,
Whose teachings are sure
If YOU keep me pure
With thoughts that are wholly asexual.

Another Version
by Robin Kay Willoughby

This limerick’s for purging my sin,
Ousting lust and desire from within,
Which leaves oodles of space
For agape and grace,
Plus humility, virtue, and gin.