"Et Viz!" With a crook'd finger the old man did point
Toward a cage, draped strangely with a black damask
From which, a hissing coo did sound
And from which, an occasional crimson-emerald feather did fall.
Intrigued, I did stand and take notice at once
And motioned to see what was there in this cage
Seated in this strange store, this very strange shop
That one would probably forget ever existed
If one passed it by on such a forgettable street
Yet here I was, anxious and awaiting
Of what my eyes were to be quick to tell my brain --
And behold! Lifted, did the ancient storekeep,
With his hobbling and crook'd gait just so
The shroud of mystery, black though faded to a dull brown
That had long covered this strange cage
From which a hissing coo did sound every then and now.
And see! Yes I saw, indeed I did, a bird of beauty peculiar
In fact it made me laugh at first, for it was
None other than a Cockatrice, fabulous Greek bird-serpent
Imported, conveniently enough, from the Persian folk
Who were a tad anxious to give it away to a plucky new owner.
Still, I took in it's luxurious plumage, nearly Eden-like in its loveliness
With varying shades, of blodd-stained cirmson and glowing emerald
With its eyes that glowed a fluorescent Foxfire green-yellow
And the delicate coo thence followed by a trill or his...
And thus spoke the storekeep: "A murder, this bird be!
Look at you straight, and turn you to stone it shall!"
And thus spoke I: "Bah! A fairytale you tell."
And thus bought I, this lovely bird, and took it with me
And I look at it now, it's eyes that same Foxfire, it's plumage intact;
It eats its food and sheds a feath, and it makes me ever wonder
How curious this world is, and how many people are in it
And how few of them are able to hear a Cockatrice crow in the morning...
Should you ever be here, to hear it's startling song,
I shall in the sense the ancient storekeep did to me...
"Ay, lad, see that there? See it?"
And you shall probably say what I then said to him --
"What do you mean, man?"
To which I shall point, with a finger like so, and say: "Et Viz!"