Select Poems by John Keats


To A Cat

CAT!  who hast pass'd 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 pry'thee 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 nick'd 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.

John Keats, 1820

Transcribed and formatted exactly as printed in the first Modern Library (Random House, Inc.) edition of The Complete Poetical Works of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.