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The Phoenix

In ancient Greece and Rome legends were told
Of a flaming bird that never grows old.
The Persians called it Simorgh, Egyptians Bennu,
Throughout the ages, the stories grew.

Russians dubbed you Firebird, Chinese Fenghuang,
As you traveled the world your songs were sang.
In his Naturalis Historia, Pliny the Elder wrote of you;
Pope Clement I and Herodotus mentioned you too.

Every five hundred years you were reborn;
Child of the Sun, by love forlorn.
A solitary creature, unique and alone;
Ruler of beasts like a queen on a throne.

Not immune to damage, you could be slain;
Yet no creature on earth could be your bane.
On the moment of death you burst into flame,
Purging yourself of all defeat and shame.

Risen from the ashes, brilliantly glowing;
Your mighty power renewed and growing.
Immune to whatever defeated you last;
As your form emitted a fiery blast.

Men call you mere legend, no more than fable;
As they nod sagely at their conference table.
Yet ever and anon a man abruptly bursts into flame;
No reason or explanation that mortals can name.

"Spontaneous combustion" is the term they use,
To describe the mysterious cases they peruse.
Yet perhaps the "wise men" know not what they say;
And the noble Phoenix lives on to this day.

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The Phoenix