Our Strange Language

When the English tongue we speak,
Why is "break" not rhymed with "freak"?
Will you tell me why it's true,
We say "sew" but likewise "few",

And the fashioner of verse
Cannot cap his "horse" with "worse"?
"Beard" sounds not the same as "heard",
"Cord" is different from "word";

"Cow" is cow but "low" is low,
"Shoe" is never rhymed with "foe";
Think of "hose" and "dose" and "lose",
And of "goose" and also "choose";

Think of "tomb" and "bomb" and "comb",
"Doll" and "roll" and "some" and "home",
And since "pay" is rhymed with "say",
Why not "paid" and "said" I pray?

We have "blood" and "food" and "good",
"Mould" is not pronounced like "could";
Wherefore "done" but "gone" and "lone"?
Is there any reason known?

No in short, it seems to me
Sound and letters disagree.

--E.L. Sabin


comments powered by Disqus