It is said that, as he wandered the streets of the City, an ancient jackbird cycled three times above him, then came to rest upon Sam's shoulder, saying: "Are you not Maitreya, Lord of Light, for whom the world has waited, lo, these many years–he whose coming I prophesyed long ago in a poem?" "No, my name is Sam," he replied, "and I am about to depart the world, not enter into it Who are you?" "I am a bird who was once a poet. All morning have I flown, since the yawp of Garuda opened the day. I was flying about the ways of Heaven looking for Lord Rudra, hoping to befoul him with my droppings, when I felt the power of a weird come over the land. I have flown far, and I have seen many things, Lord of Light." "What things have you seen, bird who was a poet?" "I have seen an unlit pyre set at the end of the world, with fogs stirring all about it. I have seen the gods who come late hurrying across the snows and rushing through the upper airs, circling outside the dome. I have seen the players upon the ranga and the nepathya, rehearsing the Masque of Blood, for the wedding of Death and Destruction. I have seen the Lord Vayu raise up his hand and stop the winds that circle through Heaven. I have seen all-colored Mara atop the spire of the highest tower, and I have felt the power of the weird he lays–for I have seen the phantom cats troubled within the wood, then hurrying in this direction. I have seen the tears of a man and of a woman. I have heard the laughter of a goddess. I have seen a bright spear uplifted against the morning, and I have heard an oath spoken. I have seen the Lord of Light at last, of whom I wrote, long ago: Always dying, never dead; Ever ending, never ended; Loathed in darkness, Clothed in light, He comes, to end a world, As morning ends the night. These lines were writ By Morgan, free, Who shall, the day he dies, See this prophecy." The bird ruffled his feathers then and was still. "I am pleased, bird, that you have had a chance to see many things," said Sam, "and that within the fiction of your metaphor you have achieved a certain satisfaction. Unfortunately, poetic truth differs considerably from that which surrounds most of the business of life." "Hail, Lord of Light!" said the bird, and sprang into the air. As he rose, he was pierced through by an arrow shot from a nearby window by one who hated jackbirds. Sam hurried on.