The Beetle Winds His Horn

by Daniel Rabuzzi

(Inspired by a plate in Jacob Hoefnagel's Archetypa, 1592;
and William Collins' "Ode to Evening," 1748, lines 11-14:
"...where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As often he rises 'midst the twilight path
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum...")

To me! To me! Tarrah!
Rally, my thimble troops
We dwarrel and derrayne,
For the bats and birds challenge us to war!

Brave Euminius, saddle up your harness,
Gossamer-turned of spider-thread.
Come Sperander, make slug-haste slowly,
Beautiful Pandiflora, we ride to aid
           Sir Pigwiggen
In his quest for Gloriana in
           Far Fayrie.
Elephantine though the wren be to us
And the bat and all his relations,
We shall stab with hornet-sting,
Laugh at their empty miserations!

To me, to me! Tarrah!

Anemone glamour, poison fleur-deluce,
Filaments of sunset, to wicked use
To blind the thrush and maim the colley.

Garb yourselves in frittilary armour,
Wield pismire jaws for scimitars,
Calidore lead the way on your many feet.

To me, to me! Tarrah!

We march to worst the bats and birds,
To reach the amaranth-throne,
Day-lilied in Fairy-Home.


Daniel Rabuzzi Daniel studied folklore and fairytales in Norway. He searches still for the King Under the Mountain, the Queen in the Wood, to ask them just one small favor -- for the gift that came for a time to Smith of Wootton Major and others so fortunate. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Shimmer, Sybil's Garage, Abyss & Apex, Scheherezade's Bequest, ChiZine, and Mannequin Envy. Chizine Publications brought out his first novel, The Choir Boats, in summer 2009 with a launch at Worldcon in Montreal. He blogs on speculative fiction and art at Lobster & Canary. His favourite fruit is the tomato -- the little golden apples of the sun, the wolf-peach, nightshade's gentler cousin, carmineous delight.

Illustration: 'Thé des Nuages' by Roseau

Back to Table of Contents