Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

And now, a little culture...

The Ferret

by Jon Copeland (with profuse apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over a crossword puzzle of modern knowledge and forgotten lore,
While I struggled with word matching, suddenly there came a scratching,
Or perhaps someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my puzzle surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken sad uncertain Rustling of each yellow curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came scratching,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word,
Lenore?, This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word,
"Lenore!" Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a scratching, something louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something lurking,
For I hear a faint low “urking”, so I must be brave and this mystery explore.
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore.
"Tis the wind, and nothing more."

Open here I flung the portal, and beheld a tiny mortal,
In stepped a prancing ferret, a clown and threat no more.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with frenzied haste, dashed madly about the floor.
And leaped upon the lounge chair, just inside my chamber door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this sable ferret beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the masked and fuzzy features of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
And not the ghastly, grim, and ancient raven from the poem before.
I saw the creature tense, so I threw it a treat upon the floor."
Quoth the ferret, "Feed me more!"

Much I marvelled this yokel weasel to hear discourse so vocal,
Though its answer was demanding, no politeness did it bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with hearing a ferret by his chamber door,
Bird or beast perched upon the chair by his chamber door,
Demanding extra treats, "Feed me more!"

But the weasel, sitting lonely on that cushioned chair, spoke only
That one phrase, as if his soul in that one phrase he did outpour.
Nothing further then he spoke; in the air his muzzle poked;
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the ferret said, "Feed me more!"

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,---
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Feed me--- feed me more!"

But the ferret still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of weasel, and chair and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what passed awhile before --
This comic, fuzzy, creature came prancing on my floor,
Demanding, "Feed me more!"

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the ferret, whose beady eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, “Feed me more!”

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath
Sent thee respite---respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the ferret, "Feed me more!"

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if rat or devil!
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore:
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me I implore!"
Quoth the ferret, "Feed me more."

"Be that word our sign of parting, rat or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting—
Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black turd as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the chair beside my door!
Take thy muzzle from out my heart, and take thy form beside my door!"
Quoth the ferret, "Feed me more."

And the ferret, sometimes “urking”, but mostly silently lurking,
Between the bed sheets or perhaps underneath upon the floor;
And his eyes greenly gleaming with the thoughts of devious scheming.
As my flashlight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
After capturing the little heathen, he’s caged and quickly dreaming,
Of future crimes and adventures on the bedroom floor.
I cannot help but smile, because tomorrow we’ll play this game once more!


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