Most queer—although most excellent a change!
Shades of the prison-house, ye disappear!
My fettered thoughts have won a wider range,
And like my legs, are free;
No longer huddled up so pitiably:
Free now to pry and probe, and peep and peer,
And make these mysteries out.
Shall a free-thinking chicken live in doubt?
For now no doubt undoubtedly I am:
This problem's very heavy on my mind,
And I'm not one to either shirk or sham;
I won't be blinded, and I won't be blind.
Now let me see:
First, I would know how did I get in there?
Then, where was I of yore?
Besides, why didn't I get out before?
Here are three puzzles (out of plenty more),
Enough to give me pip upon the brain!
But let me think again:
How do I know I ever was inside?
Now I reflect, it is I do maintain
Less than my reason, and beneath my pride,
To think that I could dwell
In such a paltry miserable cell
As that old shell.
Of course I couldn't! How could I have lain,
Body and beak, and feathers, legs and wings,
And my deep heart's imaginings,
I meet the notion with profound disdain;
It's quite incredible; since I declare
(And I'm a chicken that you can't deceive,)
What I can't understand, I won't believe.
Where did I come from, then? Ah! where, indeed?
This is a riddle monstrous hard to read.
I have it! Why, of course,
All things are moulded by some plastic force
Out of some atoms somewhere up in space.
Fortuitously concurrent anyhow:—
That's plain as is the beak upon my face.