To Mrs. Reynolds's Cat
Cat! who hast past thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d? – how many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green and prick
Those velvet ears – but prythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me – and upraise
Thy gentle mew – and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists –
For all the wheezy asthma – and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nicked off – and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter’dst on glass bottled wall.