To Mrs. Reynolds’ Cat

By John Keats

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 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 thy 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’dest on glass bottled wall.

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