The Constitution of the United States (A Limerick Cycle)
Preamble and Article I
The Union we hereby decree
Shall be Just, Blessed, Tranquil, and Free.
We establish, ordain it,
And herein explain it,
Presuming you all will agree.
The power for all Legislating,
Resolving, and also Debating,
Inheres in the Senate
And the Representat-
ives, as we’re herein designating.
Representatives each State supplies
Proportionally to its size.
(There’s provision for Slaves
And for Indian braves,
But that language no longer applies.)
Representatives serve for the space
Of two years, then must run a new race.
If one of them dies
Their Governor supplies
Us another to serve in his place.
The Vice President, please take note,
Presides o’er the Senate, sans vote
Unless there’s a tie
When his “nay” or his “aye”
Will determine which side gets to gloat.
Each State gets two Senators per,
An ample amount, to be sure.
When impeachments are tried
Senators must decide;
For conviction, two-thirds must concur.
How elections are run is for States
To decide – unless Congress dictates;
But at least once per year
Congressmen must appear
In assembly, on such-and-such dates.
Each House shall adjudge its Returns
And Elections, and such-like Concerns,
Set Rules of Proceedings
And Journal its Meetings –
But may not untimely adjourn.
Congressmen all shall be paid
As set forth in the laws that they’ve made;
Unless one’s been awful
It shall be unlawful
T’ arrest him while plying his trade.
A Bill that both Houses proclaim,
The President ponders the same.
If he signs it, it’s law;
Or, should he find a flaw,
He may send it, unsigned, whence it came.
Should Congress disdain his objection
And muster two thirds of each Section
Their votes for to cast
Then the law may be passed
Despite Presidential rejection.
To borrow, tax, coin, fix, and lay,
To define, to declare, and to pay,
As to commerce and war
And to sundry things more:
This defines the Congressional sway.
As for things that the Congress can’t do,
There occur to us only a few:
As, lay duties excessive
Or taxes progressive;
Noble Titles they’ll have to eschew.
(To be Titled would surely be pleasant,
But simply won’t do at the present
For here is the thing:
Having had, once, a King,
We prefer to be ruled by a Peasant.)
But remember, a State’s not a Nation
And may enter no Confederation
Nor coin money, wage war,
Nor lay Imposts; nor,
As to contracts, impair obligation.
… to be continued.
Image: Fireworks in Iceland (yes, Iceland, sorry all you patriots and fans of thoroughgoing consistency), posted by Flickr user Vala Run under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY) license.