I was walking once upon the road,
When my eyes did see,
Fork the dusty path in two,
A great and mighty tree.
And in this tree there did sit
A black and stately Crow,
But on another branch across from him
A Dove of ivory glow.
The Crow did look with shining eyes
Just above its beak,
But then it was to my surprise,
The Crow began to speak!
And it spoke to me in oily tones,
"Hello, how do you do?
Are you lost, perhaps, upon the road,
In need of a friend or two?"
My reply was nearly breathless, "Yes,
I am lost as lost can be.
Ever which way (if you can say)
Should I take from the tree?"
The crow did shift with cheerful glee,
Upon his hardy branch,
But on the other side of the mighty tree,
The dove did further blanch.
"Of course, of course!" said the Crow,
Remaining ever bold,
"Take the path upon your left,
And I can promise gold.
Riches beyond your wildest dreams
Are found along the way,
All the prizes of the earth
Upon this path do stay."
Tempted by his glossy words,
Consider it did I,
But as I stood there lost in deeper thoughts,
The Dove I did hear sigh.
"True, great wealth does await you,
Down the left-most bend,
But may I pose a certain risk:
What about the end?
The path is sickly sweet with gold,
But listen to my plea,
The road down there ends with death,
Pain of high degree."
"He lies!" shrieked the Crow,
His feathers all a mess,
(And I must say, unlike before)
Of stately he was less.
His eyes now burnt with fire,
Hot as the setting sun,
And of his old and kinder words,
He was more than rather done.
"Do not listen to that ugly thing!"
The Crow began to scream,
"He knows nothing of which he speaks!
He lives within a dream!"
Frightened by this violent sound,
I turned my head to see,
The dove did look with loving eyes
And great tenderness on me.
"What are your thoughts?" I asked,
Much less ill at ease,
“If I should not take the road to the left,
Then what should I do, if you please?”
“I cannot lie to you,” said the Dove,
As if sensing my innermost need,
“The path to the right is no easy delight,
But the end glorious indeed.”
“You will be beaten, and you will be whipped,
With rods of the bloodiest steel,
And you will be spit upon by all of your foes,
Just to remind you that they’re real.”
“But those of the highest conviction,
Will e’er have nothing to fear,
For the prize that you’ll find at the end of the path,
Your eye will shed more than a tear.”
“After all the pain and suffering of life,
Awaiting for you there will be
A palace of gold and of love and of light,
Your home for eternity.”
The words of the Dove did ring in my head,
With a certain and sweet melody,
But as I turned my gaze back to the Crow,
He was glaring quite maliciously.
“Well then, the choice is yours,” he shot,
A growl in almost all of the words,
“The right or the left, which will it be?
The path of which of the birds?”