One funny limerick is, "There was a young lady named Bright, Who traveled much faster than light. She set out one day, In a relative way, and came back the previous night." Other limericks include, "There was a young lady of Niger" and "A wonderful bird is the pelican."
Edward Lear and William Cosmo Monkhouse wrote the limerick, "There was a young lady of Niger, Who smiled as she rode on a tiger; They returned from the ride, With the lady inside, and the smile on the face of the tiger."
The earliest published American limerick appeared in the "Princeton Tiger" and uses a play on words to tell the story. "There once was a man from Nantucket, Who kept all his cash in a bucket. But his daughter, named Nan, Ran away with a man, And as for the bucket, Nantucket."
A limerick is a form of poetry written in five-line anapestic meter that follows a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA. Generally, lines one, two and five have three stressed syllables while lines three and four have only two. Limericks are often bawdy and written with humorous intent. Limericks appeared in the early years of the 18th century in England and were popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century.