IT'S THE CODE : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


By Duane Schwingel

Once upon a New Year's Evening, while I pondered, disbelieving,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten code,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping in a panic mode.

"A Pollyanna," I muttered, "tapping now at my abode-
How I wish he'd hit the road."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in that bleak December,
And each separate dying ember would use up my firewood load.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the broken code--

For the rare and bug-free language the programmers named "The Code"-
Nameless now, so I've been told.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors, tales forbode;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"Tis some Polly now entreating entrance here at my abode-
How I wish he'd hit the road."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly some forgiveness I am owed;
For the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my stocked abode,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"

--here I opened wide the door;--
Darkness there, and nothing more

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no programmer dared to hold
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only thing there spoken was the whispered phrase, "The Code!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the phrase, "The Code!"

Merely this, and nothing more.

Back in my abode I'm turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, louder now at my abode.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, let this mystery explode-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explode;--
'Tis the wind at my abode"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of old;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched there inside my abode-
Perched upon a bust of Yourdon just inside my stocked abode-
How I wish he'd hit the road.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it showed.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly road-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Millennium road!"
Quoth the Raven, "It's The Code."

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning-little relevancy showed;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird perched there in his abode-
With such a name as "It's The Code."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the Yourdon bust, spoke only
That one phrase, as if his soul in that one phrase he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered-not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have hit the road-
On the morrow he will leave me, and my hopes will soon erode."
Then the bird said, "It's The Code."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is just what it has been told,
Caught from some sad Polly Master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden showed-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden showed
Of 'always-It's The Code."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, bust, and abode;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of goad
Meant in croaking "It's The Code."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my inner mode;
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee-by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite-respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of The Code!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this broken Code!
Quoth the Raven, "It's The Code."

"Doomer!" said I, "thing of evil!"-prophet still, if bird or devil!-
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed to my abode,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted-tell me truly, do not goad-
Is there any silver bullet?-tell me - tell me, do not goad!"
Quoth the Raven, "It's The Code."

"Doomer!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us-by that God whom Heavens showed-
Tell this poor remediator, if, this side of the equator
There exists a silver bullet that will help us fix The Code?
Where exists the silver bullet that will help us fix The Code?
Quoth the Raven, "It's The Code."

"Be that phrase our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Millennium road!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust and hit the road!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from my abode!"
Quoth the Raven, "It's The Code."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the yellowed bust of Yourdon just inside my stocked abode;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming sheds a glow in my abode;
And my soul, from out those glowings that encompass my abode
Shall remember-It's The Code!

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-- Ashton & Leska (, August 05, 1999


This gem spotted just now on csy2k ! ;^)

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 05, 1999.

Bravo! Thanks! Loved it!

-- mommacares (, August 05, 1999.


-- Hardliner (, August 05, 1999.

I loved it! Then again, I wrote it. :) With a little help from Eddie Allen Poe.

I also met Ed Yourdon at a conference in Chicago last year, and am honored that my parody is posted in his forum... You folks are much more gracious than csy2k too!

-- Duane Schwingel (, August 05, 1999.

Duane, warm welcome to TB2K, TimeBomb2000,
the forum Ed Yourdon founded:
This forum is intended for people who are concerned about the impact of the Y2000 problem on their personal lives, and who want to discuss various fallback contingency plans with other like-minded people ... 

As Ed is delightfully gracious, intelligent, and generous, so this Forum started with auspicious hope, wit and good manners. If you look in the archives, closer to the beginning (scroll *way* down the threads), you'll find troll-less amazing in-depth discussions about every aspect of Y2K ramifications.

We have some wonderful talented posters, reporters, researchers, linkers, writers, poets, and limerickers, & hi-cooers. Thrilled to add your spooky take! There *have* been several, uh, visionary imaginings about future scenarios after Y2K hits. They're in the archives ;^)

Hope you enjoy perusing and decide to visit us often, posting when the temptation to add 2 expert "s and common sense bites. There is much more comradery here than csy2k!

3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 05, 1999.

Superb Duane, superb!

-- Andy (, August 05, 1999.

Ashton & Leska,

Thank you for rescuing this gem from the murky depths of csy2k!


This is a wonderful have done Poe proud. Hmmm...leaves me wondering just how that gentleman would write The Telltale Heart of Y2K. Please do visit this forum again.

-- RUOK (, August 05, 1999.


This is wonderful! Your capacity to bring so much of Poe himself back to life is just amazing!

More! More!

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (, August 06, 1999.

Terrific, Duane,

I have a "devil's eye" for scansion and very much admire your rhythmic fidelity. About 98% accurate, just like Edgar Allen Poe's. I guess 98% is enough for poetry. I hope it's enough for remediation.

Thanks for your submission. I never thought I'd see anything much better than last week's 'Y2K DesperateDerata,' but you have topped it by a wide margin.


Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate. --- Dante Alighieri (Inferno II)


-- (, August 06, 1999.


Not many speak to both halves of the brain. You do, and your talents are not only welcome here, but sadly needed.

A true "Troll" only has half a brain, and thus music, art and poetry are beyond them and they appear very confused in such presence, if they appear at all.

Your peotry has already created at least two threads that exemplify what this forum used to be all about.

Yes, Duane, please stay. And, please continue.

And Hallyx,

How about a translation for the illiterati (like me) among us?

-- Hardliner (, August 06, 1999.

I tried to find "Y2K DesperateDerata" can anybody give me a link?

-- Duane Schwingel (, August 06, 1999.

Oh how great it is to see

the airwaves full of poetry

(well I've been out of action)

-- dick of the dale (, August 06, 1999.

that was great! may i mail it my family members? pretty please?

-- sarah (, August 07, 1999.

Why soitinly!

-- Duane Schwingel (, August 07, 1999.

If you liked "It's The Code" you'll love this (w/music) 001CIP

-- (linker@linking.links), August 07, 1999.

For Duane @}->--

Y2K DesperateDerata

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 07, 1999.

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