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Last updated: January 7, 2006

Light Verse Poems About Sex:

The following light-verse poems are slightly naughty – aspects of sex, mostly a bit silly.

The Ballad of Blowing It

A young man in a randy mood
Beseeches his maiden fair--
In gentle words, for she is young
And innocent and...square--

He asks her if she'd sort of do
A sort of special act,
Describing it as a going down,
As "oral"... well, in fact,

A giving of her head, a sort
Of job, how very odd!
And he wants her to do this to
His WHAT? Blow it? My God!

But she would not appear naive
And wants so much to please!
So she puts her lips upon that place,
Praying she won't need to sneeze...

Then bravely puffing up her cheeks,
The lass begins to blow,
And he begins to swell right up,
From his head to his little toe--

Before he thinks to make her stop,
Out the window they drift;
Then, caught, alas!, in a thermal updraft,
Above the housetops they lift.

O! She hangs on for her dear life
To her beloved pink balloon,
Knowing it takes but one slip of the lip
To plunge them to their doom.

But alas, the lass's lips grow weak,
Her pucker tuckers out;
"Why you meant SUCK!" she says; then PFFFFITTT!--
Ah! This is without doubt

The saddest song was ever sung,
For they plunge to regions nether,
At last in a treetop snag, well-hung,
And slightly under the weather.

"Is that what's meant by going down?"
She thinks, then breathes her last;
"Oh Wow! Was it good for you too?"
He whispers with his last gasp.

What moral can we learn from these
Dumb clucks, these two dead ducks?
That it's not sex, but economics
Where inflation sucks,

And when a lad asks a lass to Hoover,
He doesn't refer to Herbert
Nor J. Edgar, nor the dam, madam,
None of which ever a verb wert.

But surely there's more lesson here
Than a quibble over grammar:
Yes! Beware the word misunderstood!
It can crush like a sledgehammer!

If that's not moral enough for you,
Women, to please your men:
If at first you don't suck-seed,
Try, try again.

That's a GOOD Boy!

At coming when I'm called - I'm dumb,
But always call out when I come.

I Never Hope To See One

"Commodity" - outlandish term! -
Moaning in tongues? or purple sperm?

[Note: "Commodity" equals "come oddity"]

Contract of Breeches

Though he wanted the chance
To get into her pants,
He was just as glad when he
Found she hadn't any.

Great Scott!

You reach my South Pole
(O hear the winds moan!)
As I touch the hole
In your O! O! zone.

To A Head?

I slowly walk two fingers up
The inside of your thigh,
Pretending they don't know just what
They'll come to by and by.

What the Dude Do-ed

He was too rude,
Wherefore he rued:
His suits renewed
With "Lets get nude!" -
The more he cooed,
The less she could;
The more he wooed,
The less she would.

Promise Of Breech

She claimed she'd been seduced;
He claimed she'd led him on--that old cliché.
His sentence was reduced
Because of contributory negligee.

Bond-age Before Beauty

Men gamble at roulette,
Then they buy preferred bonds,
And they marry brunette
Despite preference for blondes;
They cry "Freedom!" - and yet
On the whole prefer bonds.

Below the Bible Belt

The limber ladies bare their belly buttons;
Tight pants hug half an inch above their curlies.
What's covering all the skin between? Why, nottin's!
What can I do but stare and stare at girlies?

Though musty moralists decry it,
It's good for me, this Lo-Garb diet.

A La Lujah de Lulu Perdu
[A Tongue-Twister, to be read aloud fast]

Lou and Lulu set the date.
Lou arrives -- to wait...and wait....
"Lou," says Yul, "she won't show up. She'll
Never come. Ten bucks -- no nuptial!"
"A hundred says that Lulu's late,
But on her way!" "HA! Lulu late!?"
And all Lou's friends chime, "Lulu, late?!
HA! Lulu late!" they ululate,
"Oh no. Pay Yul, Lou -- you'll lose, mate!"
"No! Yul, you'll lose, for Lulu's late!"

"Three hours late, I calculate --
You're ill-used, Lou...and celebate!
"You fool, you, Yul, you'll rue this date!"
"Oh yeah! Well soon see who'll boohoo, Lou --
Your hand you'll woo in lieu of Lulu!"
Then...LO! "It's Lulu! Lulu, late!
You, Yul, you lose!" they ululate.

"I'm sorry to have made you wait.
I got locked in the loo, Lou, late,
Where oft I'm wont to lucubrate,"
Cood Lulu -- "sitting on the potty,
Sipping latte -- I'm so naughty!"

"Pay up," says Lou to Yul -- "You lose, mate!
For, Lo! Here's Lulu, though Lulu's late."
And soon Lou says, "I do, Lulu,"
And Lulu says, "I do" to Lou...

Loud, lewdly, Lou and Lulu late
Into the morning ululate,
Hosanna, Hallelujah late
(Create! inflate! Felate! Abate),
Come right on time -- while you, Yul, eat

Crow, feel the darkness pullulate...
But there is none to woo you, mate,
For Lulu's lost -- Ah, Yul, you're late!

Peeking At Playboy

Just a
Bust - a

Luke, Ma, No Han!

Said Han to Leia, "Though Darth Vader
Hunt us, let's forget
Our fears! Let's frolic while we may, Dear...
'Til Darth do us, Pet."

Adamant Event

Adam, naive,
Came nigh Eve
And left naive
No more - the knaive!

The Verge of Extinction

'Twas not the spear, nor sword, nor shield
Put dragons all to rout;
More genial tools the knights did wield
To wipe those beasties out:

Bold knights swarmed into every town,
Plied every lass with flagons
Until no virgins could be found -
'Twas thus they starved the dragons.


O hear the couple ululate
As they Mom-and-Populate.

Sex Partner

Frenetic ally.

Talk to the Stone...But Don't Laugh!

The penis is a very serious organ:
It shrinks from any slightest mocking tone,
Whereas a rapt gaze, fixed and fierce as Gorgon
Turns it to stone.

All Sizes Fit One

In your eyes,
I come in
All sighs.

A Spanner In The Works

When Adam, erect,
Did Eve bisect,
Neither, I suspect,
Was politically correct.

The Center Cannot Hold?

(Based on Wilt Chamberlain's claim that he bedded 20,000 women)

All-conquering, as fierce as Tamerlane --
And so well built!
Girls -- 20K -- had in his chamber lain;
He did not wilt.

Spooning and Forking Greek-Style

We cuddle, my front to her rear,
As, unsleeping, I labor to think witty
Thoughts, but, Oh Dear, this propinquity
(As my nearness keeps nudging more near
To the rear of my slumbering dear)
Makes me think of the kinky iniquity
Of unfinicky Greeks of antiquity...
Who's to blame? The design engineer!

Handling a Basket Case With Dispatch

They say it's best to get things done -
From IN to OUT, no PENDING.
Ah, Lady, backlogs are not fun -
Why MUST you be unbending?
As you can see, without a doubt,
I'm ponderously pending,
So let us shift to IN and OUT
And make a happy ending!

When Truth is a Strange Affliction

Long of tooth & ample of belly,
Yet sex keeps us young--that's our fiction:
Just smooth the way with KY Jelly
When youth's endangered by friction.

On the Goggled Not Being Ogled

Men who don't make passes
At girls who wear glasses
Often commit sexist offenses
Against girls who wear contact lenses
And conduct panty raids
Against cool chicks in shades;
But the fates of femmes monocled,
Have not been chronocled.

More Mellow Was The Costello

Existential indeed was the Abbott
Who, leaping right out of his habit,
Each night after toking cannabis,
Would plunge deeply into the Abbess.

Porn Free

In my school days we read no dirty poems -
No open talk of sex in schools or homes.
We went though bootleg porn with fine tooth combs,
While learning literature from fine couth tomes.

Slave Dancers

Veil after veil
To no-a-veil,
They underdress
Under duress.

Tensile Tinsel Icons'll Leak On

Why inject silicone
Into a silly cone?
I'll take a soft sleek one,
Hand-sized as I like one,
Mine to caress, lick, own,
Not the tinsel icon's
Heaving Godzilla cone -
Quite a Basili-cone!

White Nights and Blue Moods

Knight in white, sat on
By maiden in silk
Squirms like a cat on
Fresh catnip-laced milk.

Listing with lusting,
They tilt as they joust.
His blade is not rusting,
Well-oiled, snugly housed;

Both straddled and swaddled,
Like yodeling their yowls,
Like the screeching, when throttled,
Of once-waddling fowls.

Knight in white, sat on
By maiden in velvet...
Looks down - "What's that on
My lance? Better salve it!"

What she hung like a hat on
Has more than a welt.
Poor knight in white, sat on -
Like a hat, she'll be felt!

[Note: This poem was inspired by a Moody Blues song that always seemed to me a bit soppy: "Knights in White Satin."]

Vici, Vini, VD

Poor whore received from paying lover
An unwanted lump,
So now she's slowly getting over
Her financial hump.

Is This Where I Get Off?

I'm pushed against her, cock-a-tush...
Her Metro smile is coquettish...
She's wiggling...Suffering Succotash!
(Please cut to scenes sky-rocketish.)

On Deep Throats and Shallow Dotes

What's worse than a giraffe with a sore throat
Or a Serb with a sore Croat
Or a swollen lip on Mick Jagger - Ah!
Bill Clinton on Viagra!

She Loved Him in Her "Fashion"

Wise Monica found ways to sate him,
But didn't underestimate him,
Used hands and lips to titillate him,
But didn't once undress to mate him.

She's so well-coifed - not one stray tress
(We see her daily in the Press).
She'll testify under duress,
But never never underdress.

That dress is now a liability,
As lab tests eke out viability
Of DNA. Deniability,
Bye-bye - despite Bill's lie-ability.

To be discreet, ejaculations
Should fabric shun for fabrication's
Sake, and to avoid this quandary, Bill,
Next time offer to pay the laundry bill.

[Note: Refers, of course, to Clinton/Lewinsky, her sperm-stained dress, etc.]

Too Late Zipped Up

Bill got lipped up-
On his tip. Top
Dog, he slipped up...
Or got Tripped up.

[Note: "Tripped" up, that is, by Linda Tripp, who blew the whistle on Monica's blowing the weasel. Fortunately for Clinton's legacy (he liked that word -- I think he said "I like every leg I see"), he was followed by George W. Bush, and day by day, Clinton is looking better and better.]

Is it Perfume From a Dress That Makes Me So Digress

Did Kennedy stray with Maria Callas?
How inappropriate!
Had he been exposed with his roving phallus,
We'd call it Diva-Gate.

After Sewing Up Her Wild Oats...

Hear the abortionist gloat --
He really gets her zygote!

The Course Of True Lava...

Love's flame will fail if you don't fan it,
So please don't take my love for granite.
Just be gneiss - no sneers and snorts! -
Or else I'll see you in the quartz.

The Wicked Queen Rebuilds Her Confidence
At An Adult Motel

TV! TV! So revealing,
Bimbos, Triple X, unpeeling --
Who of us all is most appealing,
Mirror, mirror on the ceiling?

Brave New Worlds

These days the word is "Globalize!"
We, too, are reaching global size.
I'm in my prime. Married I am,
Swelling my prime meridian.
My wife -- to what shall I equate her
Humid hillocks, vast equator?
Since she is all the world to me,
I've taken up geography:

We've latitude and longitude,
As, nibbling chips, we lounge at tube,
My laddietude, her lassietude --
No need a body think it rude
If one or both should let a toot:
Life's brevis, Arse is longa, Dude.

We lie in bed together later,
Touching equator to equator.
These days one really needs a mate
When one can't reach to masturbate,
But each can circumnavigate:
More Jell-O than Magellan, yet
We get around...Ah! Round we get!

So as worlds turn, soul touches soul
And we rejoice from pole to pole.
It's hard to hug when we're thus tangent,
But though remote, her moans are plangent,
For she's my woman and I'm her man, Gent.

And so we roll around the sun --
The earth, my wife and I -- what fun!

Sheer Torchure

Sing us a torch song,
A swing-on-the-porch song;
Sing it like Dietrich -
She was a neat trick!
Make your voice husky
and musky and dusky,
As like a liana,
You twine round the piana,
Shoulders and cleavage
All shiver and heavage,
Snaky hips slinking
To ice cubes' soft clinking,
With each of us knowing
"For ME she is glowing!"

Too Tight to Jiggle Low

Most men wear a zipper,
But the gigolo is hipper:
His endowment, being for lease,
Bulges his C. O. D. piece.

A Good Stiff Sentence, Too

Though sidewalk sex acts won him NEA grants, he
Could not reduce, by sex or necromancy,
His priapism. Found wandering without pants, he
At last was booked for flagrant Viagrancy.

To an Impotent Newlywed

Have a ball at Niag'ra.
(Don't forget your Viagra.)

On Getting Sore

He compensates for past privation.
What's SHE get? Viagravation.


Priapism - kinda dumb,
Sticking out like a sore thumb.


Do you hang loose
And get no juice
When you turn the crank?
Let Viagra
Put a tiagra
In your tank!

That's About the Size of It

Will the bigot
Lose his spigot-
Envy when he sees, purchasing Viagra,
A Niagra?

[Refers to the racist idea that all male Blacks are studs – who would never need Viagra.]

Note to a porno king from an average guy:

Hey, how often must you rub
It in? A nub is quite a nub!

[That is, enough is quite enough.]

The Perfect Instrument

Her voice, her eyes, her charms, her strata, various
Perfectly tuned that she may Mata Hari us.


Two join as one, all their strangeness forsaking,
Yet double in tenderness too,
A mystery I cloak in word play, lest making
A pair one amaze you...so who
Might I be? What's both single and two?

[Note: The solution to the riddle COULD be a copulating couple, but the better answer is: A pun:
"Double in tenderness" = double entendre. "Making a pair one amaze you" = making a paranomasia – i.e., a pun.]

The Prince Converses Referentially After Taking Note of Cinderella's Petite Foot

"Ibid. for her affection
because she the most charming of the op. cit. sex."
"She certainly loc. cit!"
"Yes! See below! Also see above!
I've heard a four mentioned,
but she's a ten!...but she's a stranger. Is it safe?"
"You have only your asterisk."
"But I fear also the p. that burns."
"Then protect your pp."
"But she doesn't seem to notice me at all."
"Bah! She's just playing – passim."

The Eyes Have Us

Sudden, but not abrupt,
Her lapis lazuli
Eyes lap us casually

Honey, Don't!

Can sweetness shape the bee's sharp sting?
Yes, honey is a hone-y thing.

Filling the Bill

Ass, belly, breasts -- O what a bill of fare
To a hungry teen, first getting his fill of bare!

The Genie, Sis, is out of the Bottle

Dazzled, Adam wondered at what he saw:
This "Eve" -- she had a certain Genesis Quoi --
Those breasts, those hips, those eyes -- allies or menaces?
In any case, completely Eve, Sui Genesis.

Weather's Hot -- Wish You Were Here

You're back home in Virginia
While I'm still down in Florida --
A month since I last sinia:
I miss you. I look forewida
Your warmth and I withinia,
A thought that turns me torrida.

Chased by a Hare

Naked, all rosy, beside him she curls,
Having slaked (with her lips) his lust
Chaste -- by a hair! -- and knowing a good girl's
Reward, she sleeps the sleep of the just

Adult, Are We?

There's just one little drawback to sin, to wit:
Just suppose that you really get into it,
And your wife, who's not blind, starts to intuit --
Can you fool her, put some subtle spin to it?
Or play innocent, swear that you din' do it,
While you find covert ways to continue it?
Or head north to hide with the inuit?

Sex Act

"Oh! YES!" she cried, then left to be a lesbian.
He hates the woman, but admires the thespian.

The Tray Sashay

I love to watch the waitress swing her hips
And by a hair miss tables, elbows, plates.
She jockeys trays; men raise their eyes, their tips.
She also swerves, not only stands and waits.
Or...suppose you decide not to sin, you nit!

Beware of Greeks, Period

When asked to join the ranks
Of a phalanx,
Armor your bottom as well as your falanks
Or say, "No thalanx."

A Whored Day's Night

Her flimsy shift undone
Until her shift is done.

Harem Scare Him?

No airy mite, the eremite,
Who, isolated, tarry might;
Nor any woman dare he sight --
Years ere he might a harem night
Essay, this solemn hairy wight.

Luke, Ma, No Han!

Said Han to Leia, "Though Darth Vader
Hunt us, let's forget
Our fears! Let's frolic while we may, Dear...
'Til Darth do us, Pet."

The Prince Strays


Small Car With Clowns

When an innie and an outie
Go about it in an Audi,
It's wham-bam, without a howdy,
Than-you-Ma'am, the windows cloudy
With their steam, for in an Audi,
Close and heated, two's a crowd. He
Doesn't mind the heat -- unbowed, he,
But she worries she'll look dowdy,
Hair and clothes -- and he's so rowdy!
Likes her bawdy, likes her loud; he
Shakes the car and thinks she's wowed. He's
In and out and in and out - he's
In and out and all about. He's
Manly, proud, he wants to shout! He's
On a car seat in an Audi,
Sticky-wet, cold in his Audi,
With some woman, in an Audi,
Who combs and brushes, looking pouty --
No, intent on not being dowdy;
Strangers in this tiny Audi --
But he did it -- Magic! How'd he
Go about it in an Audi!?

The Failed Missionary

"On top of! Down inside! Between!"
On bended knees he begs.
"Your prepositions are obscene,"
she says, crossing her legs.

The Dirty Old Man on the Beach

"The thing you ask for is beyond the pale,
You nasty man!"
"My lips ask but to trace your sun-silked trail
Beyond the tan."


If the boy is gallant,
the gal is buoyant.

Valiant Times

Lust is but lust
(The groin loudly hums),
While love, ah, love is love --

They're worlds apart!
But my quick heart
Has not the art
To tell apart... --

Is quite nonplused --
When your push comes
To my shove.

OK, K-Y!

Though we grow old, discolored and dry
Still the hunger, still the sigh;
Lip to lip and belly to belly,
Easing the way with Kentucky-Fried Jelly.

In The Mood

But for her hair net, she's nude.
I want to get into her snood!

Hersh-eyed Kisses

I was not monk-eyed
as I monkeyed with her.
I laid her in the alley;
we allied,
all passions allayed,

To Boldly Go Where Angels Fear to Tread, But
Generations Have Trod, Have Trod, Have Trod

From the Washington Post, May, 2002: "We believe that the soul is infused into the egg by God when it's fertilized," says a member of a pro-life group of pharmacists. His name is (no kidding) Frank Nice.

How nice, but, frankly, dull. Couldn't the Lord
Assign infusion to some fairy sprite?
Why make our mighty maker, day and night,
Wade through our plumbing with horde after horde
Of sperm, waiting for one to penetrate
An egg, so God Allmighty can infuse --
"infuse," as if it were herb tea he brews --
A soul? Dear God, please learn to delegate
Such boring chores -- to whom? To the Soul Fairy!

Cousin of Sandman, Tooth Fairy and Cupid,
Blithe, blonde and twinkly, just a trifle stupid:
With joy or rancor we might hear her airy
"Oopsie!" as she butterflies off, giggling
At having accidentally squirted two
Souls into one egg -- "Oopsie, my booboo!
But how can I keep track with all that wiggling?"

And so in her diaphanous pink tutu,
She'd flit about from bush to car to bedroom,
Entering in where angels can't find headroom,
Filling up eggs with you and you and you, too,
Sprinkling her unusual fairy dust
From a wand that's ivory-shafted, purple-tipped
And pulsating. As quick as we unzipped,
She'd zip to stamp God's cachet on our lust.

When God, that abstract void, gives us a gift
That we don't want, we rage; "Why me!" we plead;
And all too often we abort, we bleed.
But who could cling to rage, be more than miffed --
Like Ricky asking "What did choo do, LuCEEE?" --
At our itsy-bitsy ditsy Tinkerbell?
She's not like God. She's CUTE! We'd shrug, "Oh well."

She flounces, womb to womb -- O can't you see
Her ride the surging sperm, a joyous child
Upon a dolphin, or on whirring wings,
Gently flitting through our...you know -- things,
Tickling all the way, driving us wild!

How gladly we'd present our eggs to her,
Like children leaving teeth beneath our pillows.
We'd pray, "Soul Fairy, bless our peccadillos!"
We'd leave out milk and cookies. Stuff like myhrr
Would only make her sneeze. She might have time
To nibble on a chocolate chip -- so much
To do! She's always in a hurry, touch
And go, quick, in a trice, from the sublime
To the ridiculous -- no time to sleep,

But if she could, she'd probably curl up --
As other fairies do -- in a flower's cup;
Perhaps to the lip of woman's flower she'd creep
For a pico-second's nap -- ah, who'd dare HER vex?
Thus, even sleeping, she is at your cervix!


Something there is that doesn't love a penis.
Our teachers would have circled it in red.
Whenever we talk, it pops right up between us
As if it were an extra hand or head.

It's part of me, but has its own agenda.
Doll-makers know it simply doesn't belong.
Can't we just chat and gaze and smile, feel tender,
Without the accompaniment -- that bawdy song?

Must talk of weather, literature or Lotto,
Of basketball or politics in the Kremlin
be subverted by the lewd, rude ostinato
Of this magic-twanger-plucking Froggy the Gremlin?

If the penis made our movies -- doesn't it? --
Each scene would end in orgy...and would START
With orgy too. It pokes and squirts: That's wit
To it. In grammar, it's the "dangling part.,"

For in between out-bursts, it just hangs out,
Like a dude against a lamp post in a slum,
Slouched, useless, vaguely menacing -- no doubt,
When not a bully, penis is a bum.

He simply doesn't fit in anywhere,
Cannot be heard, must not be seen, must hide
In hot dark crannies, glued by sweat to hair
And lint; cramped if he prods to get outside;

A pest, but he's just trying to do his duty,
Like the dog who barks at every passerby.
He does it to perpetuate our beauty,
Does what he must, perhaps does not know why.

Poor brute, can we not find a place for you?
Come nestle here. Rest from your hectic labors.
What! Must you still be making much ado?
Once more we learn, good condoms make good neighbors.

"Stirred, But Hardly A Buonar" Wrote He, Marbling

There's a "Vision of Judgment" in the Sistine Chapel
Which some say affords too much vision of the crotches of the
judged--but it has indulgence Papal.
Though few would snigger at the Sistine,
Who would deny that Mike's angelic David is far from pristine?
For in the plaza women come and go, talking of Michelangelo
And of the heft and angle of David's dangle O!
The Pieta is less controversial, but then Jesus is not entirely
in the buff, is he?
Anyway, having an in with the Pope, Michelangelo got Uffizi.

After the Dance

Frosty-clear night --
Yet who'd lack heat
On the back seat,
Where a girdle
Was no hurdle?
How'd we do it?
Nothing to it...

Here our breath clouds
Vision. You crowds
Of the curious,
Don't be furious;
Age clouds memory:
Through those shimmery
Windows, I've peered
Too, to see this
Long white-hot kiss
Make a girdle
Melt and curdle,

But Time's derision
Cuts to the quick,
For no magician
Tells his best trick.
(My guess [cough, cough]:
Before that soft-
ness [please don't scoff!] --
Ah, shimmery
Dim memory
Of that dreamy
Shim-shim-shimmy --
Before being boffed
She took it off.)

...And Part -Taking

Love: Partaking
is part aching.

Beyond The Tan

In my raw youth, I didn't know
Just how a woman looked below.

Each sweet dream, molded without model,
Rose like a genie from a bottle,

Lips I could touch, breasts I could see,
Then tapering to mystery:

Ah! lovely visions, crude, half-baked,
Wholly mine, though but half-naked.

Oy! There's The Rub

Adolescence! That's the hot age
When one needs no more than frottage.

Ego, Ergo He Go Ogle, Eh Girl?

At each slim girl, just see him beam?
Tokens of his sylph-esteem.

Tut Tut

We give our girlfriends lacy frippery,
Stuff to get a grip on, richly knit.
It's only fair, with girls so slippery:
A lacy bra is merely tat for tit.

[Note: To "tat" is to make lace.]


Stripper, do not in drafts go bare:
No-shift without the shiver is rare.

[Note: Refers to James Russell Lowell's line, "The gift without the giver is bare."]

Sir, I Haven't Any

Knowing your lady
Wears no under-
Wear, does it stir you?
Where? No wonder!
Who knows but you,
Sir? No one, Dear!

Taken In

To take me in, you open wide.
My face is in your eyes.
You close your eyes with me inside.
Can that be wise?
You're half my size!

I'm in your eyes--I can't get out,
but I, in mine, hold you.
I close them now, so there's no doubt:
We're one, we're two,
we're something new.

To My A-B-A-B Baby

Today our last-night's love
In poems I rehearse.
I'm good in bed, but now
I go from bed to verse.

Love's Luster

Lust is nettles, ashes, dust,
The shame of Adam's fall,
Yet better to have love and lust
than ne'er have love at all.

The High Earth-Rate

From dearth
to mirth
to berth
To girth
to birth.