This is a "shadow" of the rhythm used in "The Nightmare" by Gilbert and Sullivan. Let music inspire your poetry!

The Nightmare Song by G & S Funny Poems Main Poetry Index Our Language Index

You feel so awake and your head starts to ache.

      Oh!  You just cannot drop off to sleep!

Now your bed seems to shake as you lie there awake

     As you frantically count all those sheep.


In this terrible state you’re aware that it’s late,

    But some words just float down from the wall.

It’s the night-time you hate and those words irritate

    But your readers you want to enthral.


So you get up and then, hunt for paper and pen

    To jot down the things on your mind.

Your brain wakes and then you’re ready for when

     Your best lines will flow, as you’ll find.


As the clock by the door begins chiming at four,

     Do you think of the teapot and then,

With your head feeling sore as you pick up and pour,

        Do you start on your writing  again?


With adrenalin flowing and your confidence growing

     Like a river do words start to stream?

Your pen is now moving, your writing’s improving

      And you feel like the cat with the cream.


It’s seven in the morning and a new day is dawning.

     Are you ready to face this new day?

When you look at your face it’s an awful disgrace

     So you go back to bed right away!



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By Josie Whitehead