To Mrs Reynold’s Cat

Cat! who hast past thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d – how many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears – but pr’ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me – and upraise
Thy gentle mew – and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists –
For all the wheezy asthma – and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nicked off – and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter’dst on glass-bottled wall.

by John Keats (1795-1821)

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