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Digerie, digerie, doge

Digerie, digerie, doge.
La souris ascend l'horloge.
      L'horloge frappe
      La souris s'échappe,
Digerie, digerie, doge.

Langford Reed quoted this 'limerick' in My Limerick Book (London and Edinburgh, Nelson, 1937) as proof of a French origin of the form. He also used it to support his view of the origin of the name:

The name 'Limerick' is indirectly connected with the Treaty of Limerick (1691) which brought peace between England and Ireland and released many thousands of trained Irish soldiers for service as mercenaries in 'The Irish Brigade' in France ... To cut a long story short, the form of the rhyme which had been so popular in France, became equally popular among her Irish Allies ... and ... when ... this form of verse became so popular in England as to require a general title, the one already used in Ireland was adopted. And that's how the Limerick got its name.

(L. Reed, The Complete Limerick Book, London, Jarrods, 1924, p. 18; cited in Bibby, p. 33)

Reed also mentioned another French limerick he found in a footnote to Boswell's Life of Johnson:

On s'étonne ici que Caliste
Ait pris l'habite de Moliniste.
      Puisque cette jeune beauté
      Ote à chacun sa liberté,
N'est-ce pas une Janseniste?

See also The Pentatette, XV.12, September 1996, p. 1.

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