The wonderful world of Bouts-Rimés…..


I was trying to finish off an article this morning on codpieces. Please don`t ask why, all I can say is that it is paid work, of which I am grateful.

Anyway, as usual I got distracted and came across this rather remarkable poem.

It was written in 1747 ( sadly anonymous) but called The Poetess’s Bouts-Rimés. It starts as a love struck young woman’s prayer to Apollo concerning a young buck she has a crush on. But half way through, she begins to realise that she is beginning to reveal too much, so she decides just to give you the rhymes and let you guess the rest.

The poem goes like this..:

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.

If you have a moment or two, why not fill in the blanks? Rude words are not mandatory but they do help. Incidentally, in the stiff, wing collared and bow tie wearing world of dandruff and prosody. These kind of verses are known as bout-rimés, or end-rhymes

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