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Macaronic Verse

Verses in which foreign words are ludicrously distorted and jumbled together, as in Porson's lines on the threatened invasion of England by Napoleon. (Lingo drawn for the Militia.) So called by Teofilo Folengo, a Mantuan monk of noble family, who published a book entitled Liber Macaronicorum, a poetical rhapsody made up of words of different languages, and treating of “pleasant matters” in a comical style (1520). Folengo is generally called Merlinus Coccaius, or Merlino Coccajo. (See preceding.) The Vigonce of Tossa was published in 1494. The following Latin verse is an hexameter;

“Trumpeter unus erat qui coatum scarlet habebat”

A. Cunningham published in 1801 a Delectus masaronicorum carminum, a history of macaronic poetry Cane carmen SIXPENCE, pera plena rye,

De multis atris avibus coctis in a pie:

Simul haec pertest, cantat omnis grex,

Nonne permirabile, quod vidit ille rex?

Dimidium rex esus, misit ad reginam

Quod reliquit illa, sending back catinum

Rex fuit in aerario, multo nummo turmens:

In culina Domina, bread and mel consumens, Ancellin horticulo, hanging out the clothes,

Quum descendens cornix rapuit her nose.

E. C. B.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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