About the Poem
This was written while in the Society for Creative Anachronism, for the Barony of Bonwicke (Lubbock, TX). Unfortunately, I could not make it to the event, so not many have heard this one....until now.
Ode To A Sneeze
|by Alastair Adamson|
From the mountains of the north
Riding winter's storm
Came a beast of dubious worth:
A great and baneful Wyrm.
Wings of leather slowly beat
Racing with the sun.
Liquid flame streams down
Coating all with searing heat;
Life and nature now undone
He searches for another town.
How did such a thing emerge
From the bowels of the earth?
Did Heaven send us this scourge
To curb our unruly mirth?
For many years his ugly head
Lay silent, as our grand-sires told
Us of its cruel and vicious acts
When the child-less king was dead.
Wyrm then came (e'en then 'twas old)
And made, for virgins, pacts.
Four and seventy peasant girls died
When there came a mighty man,
He the Wyrm would thus defy;
He hatched a shrewd and crafty plan.
But the nobles quaked in fear
And terror shook each knee
Each thinking that he might succeed;
For they knew the Wyrm would sear
The townships they once did flee
And thence did find a desperate need.
They knew of the Wyrm's coming,
They knew of his dreaded flight;
They knew of the villages burning,
They saw fire-spouts in the night.
Every noble then made haste
To secure his treasured land
Ere the coming of the fire.
Wyrm above craved the taste
Of slender maidens soon at hand;
A chance to vent his fearsome ire.
The Barony of Bonwicke furiously flew
To prepare the snare ere the duel.
(The man had dug a pit; they knew
That he would serve as dragon fuel!)
And at this pit they set their bait:
A peasant girl, white as milk,
And barrels of spice, a tonne or two.
There in his pit the man did wait
Experienced in dragons and their ilk,
Although his kills, they numbered few.
The Wyrm to earth then did go
As pepper was floated on the breeze.
The man made his gallant show
The moment that the Wyrm did sneeze.
The fiery blast engulfed the man
The second that he left his pit,
His moment in the hands of Fate.
The man fried in his roasting pan
As a pig upon a spit.
The girl the Wyrm did satiate.
Northward then the Wyrm flew
Everything according to plan.
On he flew with pact anew.
Next year there'd be another man.
A townsman, with toothy grin,
Removes the smoking ashes.
(He does exactly as he's told.)
Festivities, the Dragon-Dance, begin
As his equipment joins the other stashes
Now five and seventy, all told.