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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 !

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

poem for a black cat

illustration in public domain, a. thomson

Half loving-kindliness, and half disdain,
Thou comest to my call serenely suave,
With humming speech and gracious gestures grave,
In salutation courtly and urbane:

Yet must I humble me thy grace to gain —
For wiles may win thee, but no arts enslave,
And nowhere gladly thou abidest save
Where naught disturbs the concord of thy reign.

Sphinx of my quiet hearth! who deignst to dwell
Friend of my toil, companion of mine ease,
Thine is the lore of Ra and Rameses;
That men forget dost thou remember well,
Beholden still in blinking reveries,
With sombre sea-green gaze inscrutable.

Graham R. Tomson, "To a Black Cat (Le Chat Noir)". From Concerning Cats: A Book of Poems by Many Authors, Rosamond Marriott Watson, Graham R. Tomson, ed., Arthur Thomson, illus. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1892) pp. 76-77.

This is a typically mannered, kind of talky late 19th-century American poem, but I do like the last four lines. I've often felt as I gazed into my cats' eyes that they contain some old mystery; it's sheer foolishness, they don't, but it's a fun fantasy.


Brian Bailey said...

I like it.

Anonymous said...

Lovely ... a black cat poem. My kitty, Molly, thanks you! kmcc

curator said...

And it was my very great pleasure, Brian and k!