And now in my collection comes the prize:
A lion's mane, a voice, and serpent's eyes
Are just the wonders' start. Yes, please do
Gather close around and get the best view;
It really is a wonder to behold.
Would you believe, madame or sir, that this
Gaunt abomination on its mattress
Made of pebbles and its pillow of sod...
Would you believe it used to be a god?
Would you believe its wrath flung far and wide
Gave thunder its voice? That those who denied
Its majesty, its power, or its might
Were cast naked into the bitter night,
Or, shod as nature ordered, made to pass
Through the sun-baked stalks of the needle grass
Where vipers lie awaiting with their fangs?
That the deep and dull groans of hunger pangs
Of those who cursed its name could still be heard
A mile from its temple? Not a word -
Your smirk belies your disbelief too well.
'Tis clear mere words are too simple a spell,
But can you so well disbelieve your eyes?
Look in its face and see its head now rise.
My introduction done I take my leave,
Let me know when you part if you believe.
A warning, though (and this I hope you mark):
This beast's bite can far more than match its bark.
So tease it with your questions; enrage it;
Ask it why it made the bars which cage it;
There's many a good hour I have spent
Laughing at its squirming embarrassment
When it racks its brains to try and recall
The things it knew so well before its fall...
So tease it, hound it, make it beg for fish,
Make ugly faces, do just as you wish,
But between you and it the bars must stay
If you wish to be whole walking away.
It's your own risk, you promise not to sue.
And now, enjoy. I tip my hat. Adieu!