The cockatrice as vulgarly received
2Is against nature by a cock conceived,
3Whose eggs a toad doth to perfection bring,
4Whence comes the basilisk, the serpent’s king.
5If this fierce animal doth first see you,
6Prepare, my friend, to bid this world adieu.
7But if you see him first, you are secure,
8If with this
crystal you yourself immure.
9The visual beams which issue from his eyes
10Reverberates his poison so he dies.
11So Perseus with his sister’s shining shield
Made proud Medusa and the Gorgons yield.
13Sin is this cursed killing cockatrice:
14If you discover its deceits it dies,
15But if you don’t, nought but the splendent shield
Of faith will make this hellish monster yield.
17Then with the Christian armor arm you,
18And all the powers of Hell shall never harm you.
19But O let me dispose my thoughts so well,
20That I may crush this
embryon in the shell.
21Yet if I do to sinful motions yield,
22Be thou to me, dear God,
a sun and shield.
23Then, as enslaved to sin and death I lie,
24I’ll on the
brazen serpent cast mine eye,
25Who conquered death and Hell on