Saturday, February 04, 2006


Donnish Humor

A.D. Godley (1856-1925), Motor Bus:
What is this that roareth thus?
Can it be a Motor Bus?
Yes, the smell and hideous hum
Indicat Motorem Bum!
Implet in the Corn and High
Terror me Motoris Bi:
Bo Motori clamitabo
Ne Motore caedar a Bo--
Dative be or Ablative
So thou only let us live:
Whither shall thy victims flee?
Spare us, spare us, Motor Be!
Thus I sang; and still and still anigh
Came in hordes Motores Bi,
Et complebat omne forum
Copia Motorum Borum.
How shall wretches live like us
Cincti Bis Motoribus?
Domine, defende nos
Contra hos Motores Bos!
On "Corn and High" see the Encyclopedia Britannica, s.v. Oxford:
Main roads from east to west and from north to south intersect near the centre of ancient Oxford at a point called Carfax, and form four principal streets, High Street (east), Queen Street (west), Cornmarket Street (north) and St Aldates (south) .... In the common speech of the university some streets are never spoken of as such, but, e.g., as the High, the Corn (i.e. Cornmarket), the Broad.

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