Stared, chuffed, hooted and chattered at
by Neanderthals and then Cameroons,
I fled into a temple and was affixed
for syncretic centuries at its summit.
I was an idol who entered a priest;
I was worshipped and then sacrificed.
I took on the bloodied skins of Brahma
and raged through the forests of Eurasia.
For my demise, Shiva waited patiently
while Vishnu hissed and hated me;
they maintained I had done some deed
the ibis and crocodile had trembled at.
So they sealed me in sarcophagi
and left me to the yawning years.
I know the innocently smirking Sphinx
is far, far older than we think.
(With hat tips to Coleridge.)