Far in the introspective East
A meditative Memphian Priest
Would solve--such is the Sage's curse--
The riddle of the Universe.
Thought, turning round itself, revolved,
How was this puzzling World evolved?
How came the starry sky to be,
The sun, the earth, the Nile, the sea?
And Man, most tragi-comic Man,
Whence came he here, and where began?
Communing with the baffling sky,
Who twinkled, but made no reply,
He brooded, till his heated brain
Grew fairly addled with the strain.
For in that dim, benighted age
Philosopher and hoary sage
Had not yet had the saving grace
To teach the Schools that Time and Space,
And all the marvels they contain,
Are but the phantoms of the brain.
But that profound Egyptian Seer
Maybe--who knows?--came pretty near;
When, after days of strenuous fast,
He hit the startling truth at last;
And on select, mysterious nights,
Veiled in occult, symbolic rites:
He taught--that once upon a time--
To disbelieve it were a crime--
The World's great egg--refute who can,
That meditates on Life and Man--
While deafening cacklings spread the news--
Was laid by an Almighty Goose.
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