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Literature and Ideas

scarabee

n.

The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce

The same as scarabaeus.

            He fell by his own hand
                Beneath the great oak tree.
            He'd traveled in a foreign land.
            He tried to make her understand
            The dance that's called the Saraband,
                But he called it Scarabee.
He had called it so through an afternoon,
    And she, the light of his harem if so might be,
    Had smiled and said naught.  O the body was fair to see,
All frosted there in the shine o' the moon —
                    Dead for a Scarabee
And a recollection that came too late.
                        O Fate!
                They buried him where he lay,
                He sleeps awaiting the Day,
                        In state,
And two Possible Puns, moon-eyed and wan,
Gloom over the grave and then move on.
                    Dead for a Scarabee!

Fernando Tapple