Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye your dress you'll tear,
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it.
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, Lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it is written)
Made has not the sound of bade
Say, said, pay, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir,
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say expecting fraud and trickery;
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Miles, exiles, similes, reviles
Wholly, holly, signal signing,
Me examining, but mining.
Scholar, vicar, but cigar,
Solar mica, war and far,
From "desire" desirable admirable from "admire",
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown but known.
Knowledge done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,
Gertrude, German, wind and mind
Scene, bean, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce recered and severed
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol.
Billet does not end like ballet
Bouqet wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like wood,
Nor is mould like should and could,
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Towards, to forward, to reward.
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right your pronunciation's O.K.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live,
Is your "r" correct in higher?.
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh but hug and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision
Now position and transition.
Do you know the book of Joshua?
Are you fond of it? - of course, you are,
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease is easy,
But cease, greasy, grease and greasy.
Cornice, Venice, nice, calise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.
What about such puzzling word as nauseous?
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious.
You'll envelop lists, I hope
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You'll have it!
David, affidavit, davit,
To abjure, to perjure, caliph, sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.
Liberty, librarian, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopold, towed and vowed,
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover, clover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, police, and lice.
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple label,
Petal, penal, canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.
Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it".
But it is not hard to tell
Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall,
Muscle, muscular, goal, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion
Worm sand storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous, glamour,
Has the "a" of drachm and hammer,
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but desert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants,
Hoist in lieu of flags, left pennants
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
"Solder, soldier! blood is thicker" quoth he,
"than liqueur or liquor",
Making, it is sad bat true, in bravado much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close but close,
Paradise, rise, rose and dose,
say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle;
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Valentine, meandering, but mean,
Serpentine but magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny
You say mani-(fold) like many
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel pray does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure-trove,
Treason hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance, Ribald
Rhymes (but Piebald doean't) with nibbled.
Phaeton, pagan, gnat ghat, gnaw,
Lien, phthisic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet.
Brood, stood, roof, rock, school, wool, stool,
Worcester, Boleyn foul, ghoul and impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling,
Hearse, hear, hearken year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the "z" - (a gentle hint).
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don't mention.
Sounds like pores, pause, pours sand paws
Rhyming with the pronoun yours,
Nor are proper names included;
Though I often heard, as you did
Unfly rhymes to unicorn,
Yes you know them Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy cnd comely,
I dont want to speak of Cholmondeley
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than Mc Leod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolloy, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism and scheme,
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh.
But you surely must not say,
Piquet rhymes witn sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents?. How pallid,
How uncouth, he couchant looked,
When for Portsmouth I hab booked,
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite.
Paramour, enamoured flighty,
Acquiesce and obaequies.
Pleae,, don't monkey with the geyser,
Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb glumly.
Worsted, worsted, crumbly dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, breathed, fan,
Wan, Sedan and artisan,
The "th" will surely trouble you
More than s - r - ch or w -,
May then these phonetic gems,
Thomas, thyme, theresa, Thames,
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em -
Wait - I've got it - Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight - you see it.
With and forthwith, One has voice,
One has not, you make your choice,
Shoes goes, does. Now first say finger
Then say - singer, ginger, linger;
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze ad gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry, fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath,
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use,
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite and unite,
Reefer does not rhyme with deafar,
Feoffer does and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George ate late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,
Tour but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas,
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it,
Bonafide, alibi -
Cyrate, dowry and awry.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but Malaria,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and cleam,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
With alien, compare Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
Rally with ally, yes, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay,
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess - it is not safe.
We say calves, volves, half, but Ralph,
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device and eyrie,
Pace but preface, and grimace,
Phlegm, Phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass,
Boss, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust joust, and scour but scourging;
Ear but earn, and ere end wear
Do not rhyme with "here" but heir!
Mind the "o" of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saws and sauce,
Also soft, lose, clothe and cross,
Pudding, puddle, putting, Tutting?
Yes, at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent,
Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, desmesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid, vapour,
S of news (compare news paper).
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ, like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers,
0nce but nonce, toll, doll but roll,
Polish, polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation - Think or Psyche -
Is a paling, stout and spikey,
Won't it like you lose your wits
Writing "groats" and laying grits?
It's a dark abyss of tunnel,
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwhale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict,
Don't you think so, reader rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with "enough",
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, sough, teugh?
Riocough has the sound,of cup ...
My advice is give it up!