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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 !

Sunday, March 02, 2014

catch the screeking rat

Here's a 16th-century poem in which a loving admirer thinks how great it would be if he could be his lady's cat.

The Lover,
Whose Mistresse feared a Mouse, 
declareth that he would become a Cat 
if he might have his desire.

IF I might alter kind,
What, think you, I would be?
Not Fish, nor Foule, nor Fle, nor Frog,
Nor Squirrel on the Tree;
The Fish, the Hooke, the Foule
The lymed Twig doth catch,
The Fle, the Finger, and the Frog
The Bustard doth dispatch.

The Squirrel thinking nought,
That feately cracks the nut;
The greedie Goshawke wanting prey,
In dread of Death doth put;
But scorning all these kindes,
I would become a Cat,
To combat with the creeping Mouse,
And scratch the screeking Rat.

I would be present, aye,
And at my Ladie's call,
To gard her from the fearfull Mouse,
In Parlour and in Hall;
In Kitchen, for his Lyfe,
He should not shew his hed; 
The Pease in Poke should lie untoucht
When shee were gone to Bed.

The Mouse should stand in Feare,
So should the squeaking Rat;
All this would I doe if I were
Converted to a Cat.

Attributed to George Turberville (English, circa 1540-1597) in Concerning Cats: A Book of Poems by Many Authors, Rosamund Marriott Watson, ed. (F. A. Stokes Company, 1892) pp. 36-7.

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