- The Motor Bus
"The Motor Bus" is a
macaronicpoem by Alfred Denis Godley (1856 - 1925).
The mixed English-Latin text makes fun of the difficulties of
Latin declensions. It takes off from puns on the English words "motor" and " bus", ascribing them to different declensions in Latin, and conjugating them.
At the time of writing Godley, a distinguished Classical scholar, was resident at Oxford University. The poem traditionally commemorates the introduction of a motorised omnibus service in the
cityof Oxford(Corn and High are the colloquialnames of streets in the centre of the city where several Colleges of the University are located), thereby shattering the bucolic charm of the horse-drawn age. It has since also been cited in the context of the recent introduction of larger vehicles (including "bendy" buses).
The poem owes its continuing popularity to the large number of pupils who had to learn Latin as a compulsory
subjectfor University entrance (not just Oxford and Cambridge) in the United Kingdom. [ [http://irelandsotherpoetry.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!28AE47B7A265791B!120.entry Ireland's Other Poetry: An Unfashionable Poet: A D Godley ] ] Most of them will have used a "primer" in which Latin nouns were "declined" (the correct declensions written out), for example, servus, serve, servum, servi, servo, servo (depending upon the order in which the cases - nominative, accusative, dative, etc. - were cited). The poem provides leavening to what is a very dry subject for most school pupils.
:What is this that roareth thus?:Can it be a Motor Bus?:Yes, the smell and hideous hum:Indicat Motorem Bum!:Implet in the Corn and High:Terror me Motoris Bi::Bo Motori clamitabo:Ne Motore caedar a Bo---:Dative be or Ablative:So thou only let us live:---:Whither shall thy victims flee?:Spare us, spare us, Motor Be!:Thus I sang; and still anigh:Came in hordes Motores Bi,:Et complebat omne forum:Copia Motorum Borum.:How shall wretches live like us:Cincti Bis Motoribus?:Domine, defende nos:Contra hos Motores Bos!
The poem is quoted by
Dorothy L. Sayersin her well-known essay "The greatest single defect of my own Latin education".
* recited by
David W. Solomons
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Motor Bus Society — The Motor Bus Society (MBS) is a United States based non profit organization formed by a voluntary association of persons who share an interest in buses and bus transportation in North America and, in particular, the history of the same. Founded… … Wikipedia
Kowloon Motor Bus — KMB redirects here. For the record label, see KMB Jazz. Infobox Company company name=Kowloon Motor Bus company logo= company type=Bus Company (Public, SEHK: 0062, Transport Int l) foundation=Sir Tang Shiu kin (鄧肇堅)William Louey Sui Tak (雷瑞德)Choy… … Wikipedia
China Motor Bus — Company Limited Type Public SEHK: 0026 Industry Public transport (formerly), Properties Founded 1924 … Wikipedia
Kowloon Motor Bus Fleet Numbering — Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) of Hong Kong maintains a system to code their fleet.: Note: All the length specified in this section, including in the following leading paragraph, is only norminal. An Olympian 11m is not, and never exactly 11000mm long… … Wikipedia
Kowloon Motor Bus Fleet — A historic list of buses operated by Kowloon Motor Bus since 1933: NOTOC =Daimler= NOTE: All Daimler buses have been retired. *1949 1983 Daimler A (CVG5 26ft), D1 D150, (65 buses were withdrawn by 1973, before introduction of fleet numbering… … Wikipedia
Bus (disambiguation) — Besides designating the vehicle, bus may refer to:Abbreviation* An abbreviation for the Bank of the United States * An abbreviation for a business route of a highwayPeople* Jerome Bettis, a retired American football player nicknamed The Bus *… … Wikipedia
Motor Coach Industries — Type Private company Industry Transportation Founded 1933 Headquarters … Wikipedia
Bus transport in the United Kingdom — Buses play a major role in the public transport of the United Kingdom, as well as seeing extensive private use.History The horse bus era The first omnibus service in the United Kingdom was started by John Greenwood between Pendleton and… … Wikipedia
The Omnibus Corporation — (also Omnibus Corporation of America) was formed in 1925 and acquired control of Fifth Avenue Coach Company and the Chicago Motor Coach Company with John D. Hertz as chairman. In 1953 it purchased Yellow Drive It Yourself from General Motors… … Wikipedia
The Amazing Race 9 — Season run February 28, 2006 – May 17, 2006 Filming dates November 7, 2005 – December 3, 2005 No. of episodes 12 Winning team B.J. Averell Tyler MacNiven Continents visited … Wikipedia