Little lassie Silly Sally
did but only dilly-dally
in the sylvan silver valley
till she came upon the play
of the Wild Hunt in twilit day
near the rounded mounds of the Fae.
Seeing little Silly Sally,
Oberon said, “My dear, shall we
take a turn about my valley?”
And Sally, being so Silly
kicked up her frills, like a filly,
and said gladly, “Oh, sir, will we?”
Thereafter came the wild laughter
as Silly Sally followed after,
thinking herself none the dafter
than any pretty princess told
in fairytale whose telling’s old
as pouch of leaves for fairy gold.
Silly Sally took to saddle
aft Oberon, and her prattle
was such that he had to paddle
her backside hard after an hour,
for his mood began soon to sour
upon the way to his tower.
“My sweet lord!” Silly Sally cried,
“why smart my innocent backside
as a cow’s harsh leathery hide?”
Oberon cursed lil Sally then
so should she ever speak again
it was in but clucks of a hen.
“A truer voice was never heard,”
he said, “for a girl like a bird
who clucks with each unwelcome word.”
Into his tower gone at last
as twilight flicker-faded fast
into the night, so black and vast.
Once within the tall tower fort
Silly Sally was brought to court
where the Fae made much merry sport
of her Silly mad-addled head
and sleepy eyes, as if abed
while she served them their wine and bread.
Sally had been really silly
to take the ride to the hill she
knew was shunned by both brave billy
and every kid and nanny
that grazed near that grassy span the
village men called quite uncanny.
For though Sally was yet Silly
and had the sense of a gilly
with all its petals plucked, still she
should have known better than so dare
the King of spirits bright and fair;
she should have ran away from there.
Now she was in the Fairy Hall
where fairies that were big and small
gathered at King Oberon’s call
to feast until the rooster’s cry
when darksome night should fade and die
so the Dawn may retake the sky.
“T’will be done at the rising sun,”
Sally vowed, “then I’ll run and run
to the priest, or at least a nun.”
But Sally did not reckon Time
when in the magic Fairy clime
where the sun did but slowly climb.
For hours she served the fickle Fae,
cleaning after them in their play
while wearied wan along the way,
hoping the night to end anon
as the party went on and on
and the years passed afore the Dawn.
Oberon called to her at last
before the night had fully passed
and, smirking vastly, he thus asked,
“Dear, was my favour worth my fee?
Think long next time when you are free
and you come upon the Seelie.”
Suddenly, the King frowned at her
and she asked what was the matter
as his head turned, like a ratter.
“Why do people call you ‘Silly’?”
he asked. “For it sounds like ‘Seelie’,
yet it cannot be so, really.”
Sally glared at him, voice chilly
as she explained the word “Silly”
to him, her tone sharp and steely.
“It means that one is blessed true,
or lucky by chance, and chosen too,
which is much luckier than you!”
“It is no blessing anymore,”
Oberon said with a frown, “nor
has it been since the times of yore.”
Silly Sally shook her small fist
and gave him a kick, then she hissed.
“Back to Faerie! Back to the mist!
“I am most blessed among all those
among the sylvan icemelt floes
and the field’s golden barley rows
for here I am, revealed to all,
as does a doe at the buck’s call—
Titania, without equal!”
Sally threw off her girly guise
to reveal herself to all eyes
that dared to see contrariwise.
Resplendent in her wings and dress
and russet in each twisted tress,
she was their Queen, all would confess.
“I swore return,” she declared,
“and would forsake you if you erred
once more in life, and you so dared
to take another woman here
to our home within the last year
of our long estrangement, my dear.”
“And so no longer I will be
known to you among the Seelie,
but will be Unseelie till thee
flee this lovely sylvan valley
and make home some other alley
of eldritch place— do not dally!
“If thou cross me I will kill thee,
if thou mock me I will spill thee
as a crimson river will thee
thus bleed upon thy valley
while I stalk thee as an owl free
with talons to disembowel thee.”
With booming voice, she sent them all
away from that great Faerie hall
and bound them in a mighty thrall
so Oberon, King of the Fae,
could not rule by bright light of day
his kingdom till he changed his way.
Titania did not dally
but went out into the valley
to take in the air and tally
the times she had chastised her spouse
throughout the years, from house to house,
scolding the old abusive louse.
Remembering made her rally
her temper unto a sally
of magic in that green valley,
aiming at the tower till she
blew it all down, willy-nilly:
no one hence hath called her “Silly”.
Silly— originates in the word “seely”, which meant fortunate, lucky, or blessed. Reminds of the word “Seelie”, as in the good fairy court, and “Unseelie”, the bad fairy court. Could mean good luck and bad luck brought about by fairies