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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Cat-Pie

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CAT-PIE.

While he is marked by vision clear
Who fathoms Nature's treasures,
The man may follow void of fear,
Who her proportions measures.

Though for one mortal, it is true,
These trades may both be fitted,
Yet, that the things themselves are two
Must always be admitted.

Once on a time there lived a cook
Whose skill was past disputing,
Who in his head a fancy took
To try his luck at shooting.

So, gun in hand, he sought a spot
Where stores of game were breeding,
And there ere long a cat he shot
That on young birds was feeding.

This cat he fancied was a hare,
Forming a judgment hasty,
So served it up for people's fare
Well spiced and in a pasty.

Yet many a guest with wrath was filled
(All who had noses tender):
The cat that's by the sportsman killed
No cook a hare can render.