"Lament for St. Floradora" was a poem written by Sister M. Floradora while teaching at Saint Sandra's College (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 78). The author admits the Alexander Pope-inspired style and both she and Dr. Bustard exchange letters on its meaning in the Compositor.

Word List

  • Swain: A young man or boy in service; (poetic) A rural lover; a male sweetheart in a pastoral setting[1].
  • Smite: To strike down or kill with godly force[2].
  • Crag: A rocky outcrop[3].
  • Shag: Matted material; rough massed hair, fibers etc[4].
  • Dale: A valley, many times in an otherwise hilly area[5].
  • Thrum: A hum or vibration[6].
  • Heath: A tract of level uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation[7].
  • Dinky: Tiny and cute; small and attractive[8].
  • Grot: Any unpleasant substance or material; a miserable person[9].
  • Welkin: The sky, the upper air; the heavens[10].
  • Scunge: Muck, scum, dirt, dirtiness[11].
  • Hibernus: Wintry; of or pertaining to winter[12].
  • Snudge: A miser; a sneaking fellow[13].
  • Glebe: Turf; soil; ground; sod[14].
  • Eke: To increase; to add to, augment, lengthen[15].
  • Grebe: Any of several waterbirds with strong, sharp bills, and lobate toes[16].
  • Craw: The stomach of an animal[17].
  • Clorabel: Either a variant of Clarabel or an echo of chlor, a Greek word meaning greenish-yellow (e.g. chlorine)[18].  "John possibly saw a humorous point in this, but I think he just wanted to avoid a close echo with the name of his heroine.  It sounds like another of those generic shepherdess names from pastoral poetry. If it were Florabel it would mean ‘beautiful flower.’[19]"
  • Sottish: Alcoholic, drinking heavily; drunk; foolish, stupid, senseless[20].
  • Sedge: A plant; perennial, endogenous herbs, often growing in dense tufts in marshy places[21].


  1. Wiktionary: swain
  2. Wiktionary: smite
  3. Wiktionary: crag
  4. Wiktionary: shag
  5. Wiktionary: dale
  6. Wiktionary: thrum
  7. Wiktionary: heath
  8. Wiktionary: dinky
  9. Wiktionary: grot
  10. Wiktionary: welkin
  11. Wiktionary: scunge
  12. Wiktionary: hibernus
  13. Wiktionary: snudge
  14. Wiktionary: glebe
  15. Wiktionary: eke
  16. Wiktionary: grebe
  17. Wiktionary: craw
  18. Wiktionary: Chlor
  19. Correspondence with Charles Bowen.
  20. Wiktionary: sottish
  21. Wiktionary: sedge