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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 !

Monday, February 27, 2017

a cat is "an idol of the market place"

thanks reusableart.com

I couldn't pass up the chance to share this curious treat:  another poem found in Coal and Candlelight and Other Verses.

Decorum and the butcher's cat
Are seldom far apart
From dawn when clouds surmount the air,
Piled like a beauty's powdered hair,
Till dusk, when down the misty square
Rumbles the latest cart

He sits in coat of white and grey
Where the rude cleaver's shock
Horrid from time to time descends,
And his imposing presence lends.
Grace to a platform that extends
Beneath the chopping-block. 

How tranquil are his close-piled cheeks,
His paws, sequestered warm!
An oak-grained panel backs his head
And all the stock-in-trade is spread,
A symphony in white and red,
Round his harmonious form.

The butcher's brave cerulean garb
Flutters before his face,
The cleaver dints his little roof
Of furrowed wood; remote, aloof,
He sits superb and panic proof
In his accustomed place. 

Threading the columned County Hall,
Midmost before his eyes,
Alerter dog and loitering maid
Cross from the sunlight to the shade,
And small amenities of trade
Under the gables rise;

Cats of the town, a shameless crew,
Over the way he sees
Propitiate with lavish purr
An unresponsive customer,
Or, meek with sycophantic fur,
Caress the children's knees. 

But he, betrothed to etiquette,
Betrays nor head nor heart;
Lone as the Ark on Ararat,
A monument of fur and fat,
Decorum and the butcher's cat
Are seldom far apart.

-- Eden, H. Parry. (1918). Coal and candlelight and other verses. London: J. Lane. 52-54.

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