My Kitten, I love on your face to gaze,
And to mark your merry gambols;
My brother speaks with incessant praise
Of the dog who shares his rambles;
He tells me that wise and learned men
On a dog have verses written:
I wish I possessed a poet's pen,
For your sake, my playful Kitten!
You will not always be wild and gay -
You will fill a trustful station,
And our household stores by night and day
You will guard from depredation;
You will bravely combat a mouse or rat,
With the love of glory smitten,
And lose, in the steady and sober cat,
The tricks of the heedless Kitten!
A dog may plunge in a summer brook,
Or with active bound spring o'er it;
But the winter hearth has a tranquil look
When a cat is stretched before it.
And the readers, I trust, of my simple lays,
Will applaud what I have written,
And own that the joys of their earliest days
Were linked with a sportive Kitten!
-- Forrester, Mark. Forrest's Illustrated Juvenile Keepsake. Boston: William Guild, 1850, p. 63