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Reformation limericks

A selection of Will Mackerras’s limericks from the Reformation Tour

On Katharina von Bora

In Wittenburg we saw a statue of Martin Luther’s wife Katharina, who had previously been a nun.

There once was an erudite nun,
Who with medieval monastic Catholicism was done.
When she met an ex-monk
Whom she thought was a spunk
Well… A wedding, a bed, and a bun!

On Luther

Luther also spent some time hiding in Coburg Castle during the Diet of Augsburg.  He would no doubt have been very disappointed to miss out on the Diet, but perhaps it worked out for the best.

When his buddies were off at the Diet,
Martin Luther was stuck in the quiet.
But it worked for the good,
For his grumpiness could
Have incited the Diet to riot!

On Boniface

On our way to Mainz, Rhys told us about the German missionary Boniface, who is memorialized in the cathedral there.  He is best known for his ‘power encounter’ approach to evangelism involving an oak tree!

The namesake of Rhys Bezzant’s dog,
Cut a very significant log.
For it came from an oak
That was loved by a folk
Who on seeing it chopped were agog!

But the incident caused ’em to see
That there’s nothing divine in a tree,
So the stump was renounced,
Onto Jesus they pounced,
And he changed ’em to worship the three!

On tour

Will summarises the whole experience with a four-verse, verbless limerick.  It refers, variously, to the fact that we always seemed to be going to Luther houses; to our tour guide Judy’s farm animals; to the allegedly best hot chocolate shop in the world in Zurich, which never seemed to be open; to the fact that most of us brought plenty of warm clothes that were useless in the beautiful weather; and to the wonderful Ampelmännchens, the cute East German pedestrian lights.

The leaders, the driver, the guides,
The hundreds and thousands of strides,
The euro conversions,
The bus’s diversions,
The oddly cow-free countrysides!

The missing of children and spouses,
The Luther commemorative houses,
The breakfast time bloats,
The rabbits and goats,
The Luther commemorative houses!

The observance of foreign conventions,
My various incomprehensions,
The photographs posed,
The chocolate shops closed,
The roads and the green Ampelmännchens!

The wi-fi, the deadlines, the pace,
The cold weather clothes in my case,
The glorious history
Of church and consistory,
The justification by grace!

© Will Mackerras 2010

Categories: Uncategorized Written by Arthur

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Arthur Davis

Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

2 replies

  1. our year made up lyrics for our 4th yr projects, mine was on Barth…

    There once was a man who was Swiss,
    Who explained in Christ’s vicariousness,
    He was not a mere man,
    But the being of our clan,
    Thus our nature’s not ours but its his.

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