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Re: Cox (was: News about Futurese)

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 13, 2002, 18:04
Adrian Morgan writes:
 > Jan van Steenbergen wrote:
 > > Reminds me of this nice piece of Middle English poetry:
 > >
 > > I HAVE A NOBLE COCK, he crows at break of day.
 > > He makes me rise up early - my prayers for to say.
 > > I HAVE A NOBLE COCK, the finest rooster yet.
 > > His comb is of red coral. His tail - black as jet.
 > > I HAVE A NOBLE COCK, he is a child of nature.
 > > And when he sticks his neck out, and sings, it's quite a feature.
 > > I HAVE A NOBLE COCK, his eyes can grow like amber.
 > > And every night he perches in my lady's chamber!
 > Actually I thought of the old limerick: "There was a (forgotten) /
 > who had a remarkable ass. / 'Twas not rounded and pink / as you
 > probably think / 'twas grey, had long ears and ate grass".
 > I know of at least one example of the same sense of humour going
 > back to the first millennium ... I'm thinking of the riddle about
 > onions quoted in the book "The Year 1000" (I don't have the book
 > - I have the cassette edition - but someone here almost certainly
 > knows it).

Well, I don't have that book, but I may have the same riddle.  In the
book _The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology_ there's a chapter with 31
riddles taken from the _Exeter Book_, bequeathed to the library of
that cathedral in 1072.  Two of those given are "witty and obscene
double entendres", with an obvious obscene meaning and a less obvious
non-obscene meaning.  I reproduce these two below.  I've put the
solutions at the bottom, with enough space that they shouldn't show up
on anyone's screen before they get a chance to guess at the
non-obscene answer.

(These are translations into Modern English, of course)


|I'm a strange creature, for I satisfy women,
|a service to the neighbours!  No one suffers
|at my hands except my slayer.
|I grow very tall, erect in a bed,
|I'm hairy underneath.  From time to time
|a beautiful girl, the brave daughter
|of some churl dares to hold me,
|grips my russet skin, robs me of my head
|and puts me in the pantry.  At once that girl
|with plaited hair who has confined me
|remembers our meeting.  Her eye moistens.


|A young man made for the corner
|where he knew she was standing; this strapping churl
|had walked some way - with his own hands
|he whipped up her dress, and under her girdle
|(as she stood there) thrust something stiff,
|worked his will;  they both shook.
|This fellow quickened: one moment he was forceful,
|a first-rate servant, so strenuous
|that the next he was knocked up, quite
|blown by his exertion.  Beneath the girdle
|a thing began to grow that upstanding men
|often think of, tenderly, and acquire.







1  Penis/Onions
2  Coiton/butter churn


Joe <joe@...>