[Byron Society home page] [Other works by Danny] [Event]

The Budgie

by Danny "Don Juan" Henrey

Once upon a lav. seat dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many an old and heinous transgression of Byronic law —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my privy door —
‘’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my throne room door —
      Only this and nothing more.’

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December —
Or perhaps ’twas mid-September, for my long johns lay ’pon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly had I sought to borrow
Some lonely solace in my sorrow — sorrow for my rhymes of yore,
For the dark and prickly satires, mildewed and rotten to the core,
      With which the Byronists I bore.

And the silken, sad, sinister cowl of my fav’rite purple towel
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I sat repeating
Lines of mine that spoke in bleating of ovine crimes upon the moor,
Lines of mine the mind unseating, whilst tapping at my privy door
      Raps there came a dozen more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; on my throne I crouched no longer:
‘Whate’er thou art,’ I quoth, arising, ‘your pity I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
That my courage you’re quite sapping, tapping at my closet door,
So I know not quite what’s happ’ning.’
Here I opened wide the door:—
      Blackness there and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before:
Th’infernal din in me rankled, so with my bags about my ankles
The chamber keys did I jingle, and from its hinges the portal tore,
That I might snare at last the loveless thing that tapped upon my door,
      With meddlesome furore.

The gate upon the flagstones stuck, and, with many a squawk and cluck
In there stepped a paunchy Budgie, wearing a frilly pinafore.
Its eye was yellow, feathers too, and ’pon my visage glowered down,
With frightful leer and scornful frown: ‘What will you here, small herbivore?’
I cried: yet perched he just on Quinton’s bust above my privy door —
      Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

And in my soul there grew a sense of monstrous fault and vile offence,
Against the Byron Soc., who in my verse I slandered to a flaw,
Even though my taunts deserving, like Steve, whose ghastly lines unnerving
Flow into untold reams unswerving, enough to clog all Afric’s shore;
So that I asked the Budg’rigar, ‘And shall I never rhyme the more?’
      Chirped the Budgie, ‘Nevermore.’

‘No more of Chris’s windy writing, more soporific than exciting,
Wherein his misfits classical raise but a sneer and grudging snore;
Might I in purple ink dismiss, nor ne’er again might take amiss
Charlotte S, the scholar-miss, whose lines a kind of semaphore
Of obscure learning are?’ I cried — from forth the Budgie’s beaky maw
      Heard I nought but, ‘Nevermore.’

The Budgie fixed me with its eye, so that I felt with fatal sigh,
I would with fearsome shudder die; quoth I, ‘such poetry I’ll pen no more;
To jibe at Jenny’s welded verse, or Piers’ financial instruments terse,
Or Dee’s French fancies will I curse;’ and, more than this, I then forswore
To leave unharmed the dark Manhattan lines that Karen does adore —
      Clucked the Budgie, ‘Nevermore.’

Thus I pondered, weak and weary, still upon that midnight dreary,
How my harsh words and contumely now burned into my bosom’s core;
As I pondered, sadly sobbing, at my claret softly lapping,
On my shoulder gently crapping, crapping from my privy door,
High above me perched the Budgie, and yet his song this burden bore —
      Quoth the Budgie, ‘Nevermore.’