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The Wonder of Whiffling

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Here’s “Jack and Jill” eliminating the letters H and W:

Jack and Nicole
Ascended a knoll
To fill a copper pail.
Jack’s footing bestirred,
A concussion occurred.
Nicole did too uptail.

From pallid repose,
Jack quickly arose,
And scurried to doctors for aid.
Good cleansings and dressings
And gauzy compressings
Got Jack’s painful noggin remade.

Here’s Marc Antony’s eulogy from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar rewritten leaving out the letters O and R. “Crown” becomes “kingly diadem,” “Rome” becomes “The Seven Hills,” “thrice” becomes “twice and yet again,” and so forth. (The closest substitute I could think of for “Brutus” was the alarmingly non-Latinate “Butch.”)

Chums, Italics, landsmen, heed my syllables.
I seek Julius’s deep-sixing, his blandishment be damned.
The evil that men inflict stays behind as they die;
The laudable many times inhumes with the fibulae.
Thus let it be with Gaius Julius. The eminent Butch
Hath explained that Julius was acquisitive.
If such wasn’t a lie, it was a fatal fault;
And fatally hath Julius paid.
At this place, beneath Butch et al’s leave,
Ken that Butch is an estimable man;
Likewise his allies, all estimable men.
Speaking at Julius’s wake is my aim in being at this place.
He was my chum, faithful, and as benefitted me, just.
But Butch says he was acquisitive,
And Butch is an estimable man.
He hath fetched many valuable captives;
The Seven Hills at this time jail them;
The state’s vaults sag with glistening metals.
Did this in Julius seem acquisitive?
When that the needy have wailed, Julius hath wept.
‘Tis expected acquisitiveness be less easily affected.
Yet Butch says he was acquisitive,
And Butch is an estimable man.
My audience did see that at the Faunus festival
I twice and yet again tempted him with a kingly diadem,
Which he did twice and yet again decline.
Was this acquisitiveness?
Yet Butch says he was acquisitive,
And, indubitably, he is an estimable man.
My talk isn’t meant as an indictment against Butch’s talk;
But at this place I stand, I say that which I ken.
In salad days my audience did laud him, justifiably.
What cause, then, stays my audience’s sadness?
Ah, judgement, he hath fled the nasty beast way,
And men have misplaced the sense they claim! Keep listening.
My essence lies with Julius in his casket,
And I must pause till it snap back.
© Peter Blinn

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Next: Now is the winter of our discontent

By the way, here’s a page for Latin date conversions and another for Roman fractions.

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