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23Sep/04Off

Spread The Genius: The Nazgul

This was posted over at Groklaw from a comment left by a user and it was so damned genius that I had to put it up for folks intimidated and/or bored silly by the analysis of Groklaw. Once again, I love Creative Commons.

The Nazgul - A Derivative Work of the Intellectual Property of Edgar Allan Poe
~ by Alanyst

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I worked at SCO/Caldera,
Searching many quaint and curious printouts of forgotten source --
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my office door.
"Tis some co-worker," I muttered, "tapping at my office door --
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the sere September,
And each fragmentary member of my UNIX code lay on the floor.
Nervously I feared the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow
From old code surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the sinking score --
For the sinking, dwindling, stinking ticker telling our stock's score --
Profitless for evermore.

And my silly sad devotion to each frivolous court motion
Stalked me -- mocked me with forebodings heretofore I oft ignored;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"Tis some co-worker discussing business at my office door --
Some late-staying co-worker loitering around my door;
This it is, and nothing more."

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

Deep inside that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no CEO e'er dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was "Kevin?" quavered 'cross the floor.
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back to reach my door --
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the office turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely I know something's at my office window;
I will therefore let it in, though Custodial just cleaned my floor --
Let my heart be still a bit and let it in despite the floor --
'Tis a raven; nothing more."

Here I pushed the pane aside, when, with a quick and quiet glide,
In there stepped an awful Nazgul straight from Cravath, Swain & Moore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he,
But, with mien to frighten Hades, perched above my office door --
Perched upon a bust of Bill Gates just above my office door --
Perched and sat, and nothing more.

Then the ebony wraith beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the stern and solid stack of legal filings that it bore,
"Though thy manner be so regal, thou," I said, "art sure no eagle,
Ghastly grim and ghoulish Nazgul wandering from the Federal Court --
Tell me of thy client's case to argue there before the Court!"
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled, musing mainly, to hear lawyer speech so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning -- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was cursed with seeing wraith above his office door --
Wraith or ghoul upon the molded bust above his office door --
Speak such judgment: "Nevermore."

But the Nazgul, sitting lonely on that sculpted bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing farther then he uttered; not a paper then he fluttered --
Till I scarcely more than muttered: "Others settled suits before --
On the morrow he will leave me, as my stock has soared before."
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

Startled by the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy client who by some corporate giant
Was rendered docile and compliant by threatened barratry and torts --
Till the dirges of his revenue that baleful burden bore
Of "Never -- nevermore."

But the Nazgul still defying all my blathering and lying, Straight I wheeled my cushy chair in front of wraith and bust and door; Then, upon the leather sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous lawyer-- What this black, benighted, brooding being, ominous lawyer-- Meant in hissing, "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the shadow's silent figure burned into my greedy core;
This and more I sat divining, thinking of my public whining,
Tales of billion-dollar fining of the fiends of open source --
Recompense for the declining of our once-demanded source--
Monetizable no more.

Then, methought, the air grew heavy as I dwelt upon the bevy
Of our legal contradictions Groklaw dragged into the fore.
"Wraith," cried I, "thy client sent thee -- with these documents hath sent thee
Here to settle now, and by new contracts end this costly war!
Seal, oh seal this poisoned pact and settle now this costly war!"
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

"Counsel!" said I, "thing of Linux! -- robber then of long-lost Unix! --
Whether Torvalds sent, or Red Hat be with whom you have rapport,
FUD destroyers, still undaunted, seeing SCOSource still unwanted --
Of our IP by us vaunted -- tell me truly, I implore --
Is there -- is there SCO in Linux?--tell me--tell me, I implore!
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

"Counsel!" said I, "thing of Linux!--robber then of long-lost Unix!--
By that law that bends before us -- by that cash we both adore --
Tell this litigation lover if, before the case is over,
We shall be able to discover rights in reams of code galore --
In forty million man-hours find our rights in code galore."
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

"Be that our sign of parting, hippie fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting --
"Get thee back into the distant darkness of Armonk, New York!
Leave no subpoena as a token of the lie thy soul hast spoken!
Leave my pump-and-dump unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy sword from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

And the Nazgul, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid pasty bust of Bill above my office door;
And in gloom I sit defeated, crushed by lies that I repeated,
And the innocence I pleaded has been laughed down to the floor;
And the bankruptcy attorney lurking round my cellblock door
Shall release me -- nevermore!

This poem is released under a Creative Commons licensce.

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