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by Michael Shea

Pompilla’s Taunt

Let the A’rak’s web be woven
that ghostweb he was wont to weave
of souls torn from bodies cloven
by his fangs that all things cleave!

Let him stab and slay and tear them,
souls alive from bodies slain,
let him weave those ghosts and wear them– For one doth come to work him pain

Heap the smoking meat thous’t plundered!
Weave, oh A’rak! Weave it strong.
For such web can scarce be sundered,
and thou’lt need its shield ere long!

When thour’t clothed in Slaughter’s garment
wilt thou not be bravely clad?
Staunch the fabric spun from torment!
And bright the dies by victims bled!

But ‘ware that thou be not the garment
of one whose style outbraves thine own!
One who does not dread interrment
Where thy murdered prey have gone!

For howso thick thou be appareled
in thy web of woven woe
Thou mays’t find thyself ensnarled
At the onslaught of thy foe.

When the wing-song of her hunger
serenades thee from the sky,
and the bright barb of her anger
seeks thy life (thou knowest why!)

Then, Oh A’rak, thou mights’t cower
when thy shield becomes thy chain
and Pam-Pel in all her power
shall thee slay–at last!–again!

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