About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, June 10, 2013

1829: in memoriam of a twisting tom(cat)

An essaysist known only as "S." wrote a wistful yet jolly article for the June 1829 Pocket Magazine in which he remembered his worthy companion:  "I have had every reason to rejoice at the frequent visits of the rats and mice to my dormitory," he tells us, "for they introduced me to a being in whose friendly attentions I could confidently look for consolation. This friend was no other than My CAT, whose agility and ability, displayed in destroying the devourers, induced me to give him the title of Twisting Tom; and who never failed to greet me with his faithful purrings on my return home."  Alas, Tom did not wake up one morning, and so S. repaired to St. James' Park, there to write
Tom's Epitaph
The dearest friends must part, 'tis true,
No one can doubt of death;
And if I fondly think of you,
While I have life and breath,
Who has a right to say I'm wrong,
Or take the virtues from
My kind old friend of purring song,
My trusty, twisting Tom?

The rats and mice, when I'd no slice
For you and me to dine,
Have oft for you made dinner nice,
While Humphrey's Duke gave mine.
And whether rich, or poor, I came,
Thou gav'st me greeting home;
And shall I then forget thy fame,
My trusty, twisting Tom?

No, never be it said, that I,
Who once had friends in store,
That at my wants and woes would fly
And open every door;—
Can e'er forget the loss of one
Who always wish'd I'd come;
And prove till Death his dart had thrown,
My trusty, twisting Tom!

Though now forlorn and lost I tread,
With wandering steps and slow;
And where to-night may lay my head,
Scarce feel a care to know;—
Yet mindful of thy alter'd state,
No longer doom'd to roam,
I almost wish myself thy fate,
My trusty, twisting Tom!

By “S.” in The Pocket Magazine of Classic and Polite Literature (London: James Robins & Co.) Vol I (June 1829), pp. 241-245.

1 comment:

parlance said...

Lovely poem - I love the ending. He doesn't even care where he sleeps that night, for grieving his cat's death.