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Verses on a Cat

[Of the following pieces the "Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire", the
Poems from "St. Irvyne, or The Rosicrucian", "The Posthumous Fragments
of Margaret Nicholson" and "The Devil's Walk", were published by Shelley
himself; the others by Medwin, Rossetti, Forman and Dowden, as indicated
in the several prefatory notes.]

VERSES ON A CAT.

[Published by Hogg, "Life of Shelley", 1858; dated 1800.]

1.
A cat in distress,
Nothing more, nor less;
Good folks, I must faithfully tell ye,
As I am a sinner,
It waits for some dinner _5
To stuff out its own little belly.

2.
You would not easily guess
All the modes of distress
Which torture the tenants of earth;
And the various evils, _10
Which like so many devils,
Attend the poor souls from their birth.

3.
Some a living require,
And others desire
An old fellow out of the way; _15
And which is the best
I leave to be guessed,
For I cannot pretend to say.

4.
One wants society,
Another variety, _20
Others a tranquil life;
Some want food,
Others, as good,
Only want a wife.

5.
But this poor little cat _25
Only wanted a rat,
To stuff out its own little maw;
And it were as good
SOME people had such food,
To make them HOLD THEIR JAW! _30


Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Volume 1

    Volume 2 - Early Poems 1814-1815

    Poems Written in 1816

    Poems Written in 1817

    Poems Written in 1818

    Poems Written in 1819

    Poems Written in 1820

    Poems Written in 1821

    Poems Written in 1822

    Volume 3

    Volume 3 - Juvenilia

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