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How’s it that humility has
Escaped me—this wretched being
That i be made midsummer’s ass—
Aye, Titania’s vile thing.
Thinks, i, that this mortal grossness
Be hid behind roughcast cranny
Of one Snout in lime and stone dress.
Thinks, i, that such abundant fruit
From my wisdom borne—that all flesh
Be fed of it. Speak Belt’shazzar;
My lions are not men in rags,
Nay, i’m the lion; see my pride
(A lion mated with eagle and ass…
More ass than either pedigree)
Glyphed on Babylon’s mighty gates.
An odious flower savors
Sweet—my great city of the east.
So touts the proud Bottom ‘bout his
Babylon which many hands and
One mind languished to conspire,
And, if this edifice falters?
Puck, but made an ass of Bottom.
For is it not the Fates which spin
The Weaver’s rug, and its faults theirs?
Who, thus, would utter such folly:
“Bottom makes an ass of Bottom?”
On whom then would they cast their blame?
To the ass the Legion rallies
(Two thousand asses in the sea)
And bemoaned the Gad’renes their swine.

First published in the Spring issue of Glint (2010)