And Now for Something Completely Different. . . . This Month’s Contributor Question

Fourth of July fireworks over the Colorado state house. (Carol Highsmith/Library of Congress)

For this 4th of July, we asked our contributors to write a limerick inspired by the Declaration of Independence.

John Knight

In Albion a King once did wonder
If taxes had caused him to blunder
“From France they are free
still they dilute my tea
better send Tarleton over to plunder”.

Tom Shachtman

There once was a fine Declaration,
Whose Signers celebrated with a libation,
In hopes independence would solve
Rather than have to involve
Them in a British gaol vacation.

Greg Aaron

The Declaration was their chance to profess
Their wish for freedom and means of redress.
But I don’t know what they meant—
it’s not self-evident—
When they wrote down “the purfuit of happineff”.

James A. Cornelius

“The pursuit of happiness,” the pinnacle of liberty;
Conceived by a brilliant mind, but who was he?
‘Twas not Thomas Jefferson.
Not Locke nor George Mason.
Instead, ‘twas the sagacious gem of Burlamaqui.

Gregory J. W. Urwin

When Tom wrote that all men are free,
He meant only white men like he.
But the country he founded,
Has recently rebounded,
And will soon forge a prouder history.

Kevin Philbin

There was a young man named Thomas,
Who, many said, showed promise.
His words, most profound,
Laid foundational ground,
For the freedoms that were meant for all of us.

Don N. Hagist

It’s not that we mind the taxation
But it must be with representation
If we’re given no say
On the taxes we pay
We’ve no choice but to start our own nation.

Timothy Symington

Adams sought the Glorious Cause,
Preaching freedom from Britain’s jaws.
The Declaration
Made the new nation,
But Jefferson gets the applause!

Don Glickstein

A passive-aggressive Virginian
Wrote a fine rebellious opinion.
Black Americans deplored it,
And women ignored it,
And Indians lost their dominion.

Ken Shumate

When in the Course of human events
One people has major laments
They must tell mankind
Our states are entwined
In a nation where freedom presents

Conner Runyan

Old King George the Third
Was something of an old T*rd
“Lives, fortune and scared honor” be d*mn
“I’ll show these rustics who I am!”
“All men created equal? Such rubbish I never heard.”

Jonathan Carriel

Young Tom was conflicted, no doubt,
And some fools would throw his work out.
Hypocrisy not-
withstanding, he caught
In essence, what freedom’s about.

Samuel Baule (son of Steven M Baule)

There once was a man of English descent,
who taxed a land without their consent.
He kept standing armies,
He didn’t join in their parties!
And now he has no land to torment

Gregory Safko

The Colonists called him a bore
King George changed the rules by the score
On a parchment of brown
They wrote their gripes down
And knew they had started a war

Lindsey Wood

On what day did Congress, the ties to Britain unbind?
In the answer a surprise you might find.
‘Twas not on our celebration date but rather July two,
For first debates over wording they had to get through.
Until finally the Fourth saw the final version signed.

J. L. Bell

“Since our new circumstances allow,”
Said Congress, “we’ll separate now!”
But all the while,
Upon Staten Isle
A British advance force asked, “Howe?”

Geoff Smock

King George and Parliament were grossly unfair
Denying the colonies their fair share
So Jefferson sat down to write
By a guttering candle at night
Why it was independence they did declare

 

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