"King Alfred Burning the Cakes" by David Wilkie‘Alfred the Great’ and Other Limericks by Peter Hartley The Society October 12, 2021 Culture, Humor, Limerick, Poetry 18 Comments . Alfred the Great Alfred the Great was a shy king Who found it not much to his liking __Making do with cornflakes __‘Cos he’d burned all the cakes While hiding his face from the Viking. __ Sweyn Forkbeard It is said that Sweyn Forkbeard Would frequently walk weird. __His lumbering limp __Made him look like the wimp The lusty old Bishop of York feared. __ Æthelread the Unready Æthelread the Unready Often felt rather heady. __Territorial gains __From his war with the Danes Left him moderately flushed and unsteady. __ King Canute King Canute entered into dispute With his courtiers hot in pursuit. __No matter, the tide __Was to shatter their pride And refute his omnipotent repute. . . Peter Hartley is a retired painting restorer. He was born in Liverpool and lives in Manchester, UK. 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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 18 Responses Joe Tessitore October 12, 2021 Good work! Shy king/ liking/Viking is exceptional! Reply Peter Hartley October 12, 2021 Ravi – Thank you for the comment. Either that heady mix or the poor vodka has a lot to answer for. Reply Ravi Choks October 12, 2021 Nice ones Mr. Hartley. Would like to add some more spice to the heady mix. Bloody Mary Didn’t want to get blackened at fiery stake So chanted her name to keep me awake I saw fear in mirror’s eyes Now thousand piece it comprise Blame icy Russians for poor vodka make. Reply Peter Hartley October 12, 2021 Joe – Thank you for the kind comment, but I’m glad he wasn’t King William of Orange. Reply James A. Tweedie October 12, 2021 Peter, these limericks serve as a witty appetizer to whet palates for more since they assume readers know as much about these characters as you do! Not surprisingly, I didn’t know that Sweyn (Sven?) Forkbeard had a limp or, more important than that, I didn’t know who he was at all. As for Æthelread, besides having the coolest last name in history, wouldn’t it be great if a few parents gave that name to their child and insisted that it be spelled and formatted correctly? “This is my son, Æth.” You have also succeeded in enabling my dream of being better able to multi-task insofar as I am 1. reading your limericks, 2. scratching my head, and 3. laughing all at the same time. Thank you for that. Reply Peter Hartley October 12, 2021 James – I only make the assumption that Sweyn Forkbeard had a limp because he accidentally had both his kneecaps shot off in a motorcycle accident in 1013AD. As you probably know “unready” means poorly counselled or ill-advised. As to multi- tasking if I lie on my back I am able to breathe, sleep and snore all at the same time, oh! and juggle four bananas. Thank you for the kind comments. Reply Paul Freeman October 12, 2021 Very nicely done, Peter. I, too, was unaware of Sweyn Forkbeard and the Bish. If I may: Though Alfred the Great ruled a nation, He caused one old hag consternation; For her cakes, which he watched, Got entirely botched On the stove in a mass conflagration. Thanks for the entertaining reads. Reply Peter Hartley October 12, 2021 Paul – Thank you for the kind comment and, particularly, for the incendiary poem. King Edward the Elder From the moment he beheld her Shared exactly the views Of his twenty-stone wife Eadgifu’s. King Æthelstan’s Unacceptably murderous plans Involved spearing Saint Cuthbert On the point of his halbert. Reply Paul Freeman October 12, 2021 Aha! So we’re going down the Clerihew route! The Briton, Queen Boudicca, The Roman centurions called a moody cur, to which, with a screech and a frown, she got in her chariot and mowed them all down. Peter Hartley October 12, 2021 Paul – you don’t know how pleased I am that you brought up the issue. King Edward the Martyr, His claim to the throne a non-starter, Only wanted a life without hassle But was sadly killed at Corfe Castle. King Edmund Ironside Was glorified countrywide, And was better known for his valour Than his thanatognomonic pallor. King Edward the Confessor’s Comedo expressers left his mirrors less reflective And consequently less effective. Hereward the Wake took umbrage At outcasts from Cambridge But associated more freely With exiles from Ely. Reply Paul A. Freeman October 13, 2021 Thank you for ‘thanatognomonic’! And… Ethel the Woke claimed she misspoke. She wanted headlights on bikes, not heads high on spikes. Reply Peter Hartley October 13, 2021 Paul – An immensely useful word it is, particularly since it has a silent G slap bang in the middle. Ethel the Woke at a stroke (Though folk spoke of her as a joke) Would forsake her beefcake And take Hereward the Wake Till a poke proved he wasn’t a bloke. Jeff Eardley October 12, 2021 Peter, “Forkbeard,” “walk weird” and “York feared” is so delightfully, breathtakingly bonkers. Thank you for a huge chuckle today. Reply Peter Hartley October 13, 2021 Jeff – Sweyn really was a king of England, the first Danish one, though he only lasted from 1013 to 1014 and his life was made a misery by all the revolting peasants. I can’t vouch for the limp though. Thank you for your splendid comment. Reply Jeff Eardley October 13, 2021 Peter, I have just noticed a range of gentleman’s shaving products under the brand name of “Sweyn Forkbeard” I wonder if if you give some as a gift on Christmas Day, to a revolting peasant, it will last just five weeks…a bit like Sweyn’s reign? Peter Hartley October 13, 2021 Jeff – Dedicating a range of gentlemen’s shaving products to Sweyn Forkbeard sounds a bit like honouring the name of Orwell’s Napoleon with a set of giant pig-castrating shears. Swine Forkbeard never shaved in his life, being far too busy with his revolting peasants. Reply Jeff Eardley October 13, 2021 Peter, just a word to say that Chieftains founder, Paddy Moloney, passed away today. He was an amazing bundle of energy. Best wishes to you and thanks for the smiles today. Reply Peter Hartley October 13, 2021 Jeff – Thank you for that information and it is sad to think he will no longer be around. To me he always looked old, but that is only because he was so much older than me, but his age was always belied by his incredible energy. A great loss to the world of Irish music and I particularly like the sound of instruments that, like the hurdy-gurdy and the Northumbrian and Highland pipes, always sound good on their own because they have their own drones. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.