1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

E. R., "Stanzas to my Cat" The Literary Gazette (23 November 1822) 745.



In the following, I have endeavoured to rival the Cockney Bard of Pisa in a Parody on some stanzas from the Italian, which he has published in that precious compound of folly, blasphemy, and disloyalty, the Liberal; the article alluded to is Verses to a Country Maiden. Who has succeeded best in this species of burlesque, yourself and readers must determine.

I sing of no Maiden, I sing of my Cat!
Oh "she gets up betimes," quite quite in the morn,
Quite quite in the morn, when the day is scarce born;
But the light of her eyes makes you think it is dawn—
For, Oh! they're so goggling, so green, and so bright!

Then she jumps, the first thing, on a very high wall,
With one of "the springs" of her "fresh naked feet,"
"Naked feet, naked feet," so white and so fleet;
And the neighb'ring cats on the tiles she doth meet,
For they all like to see my most beautiful Puss!

Then she puts up her paw to "wash her sweet face,"
And her bosom so furry, so soft, and so white,
So soft and so white; 'tis "a beautiful sight,"
The Grimalkins gaze on her with "gentle delight,"
And she wags her tail at them, my sly little Puss!

But sometimes she sets up a terrible mew,
Which makes the cats cry, and the dogs also,
The dogs also: they run to and fro,
And then with the cats they give blow for blow,
You would think they all tried to see who could scratch best.

Then she eats and she drinks, and she goes home to bed
"Barefooted," and having no "laces and things,"
No "laces and things:" she purrs and she sings,
And on a soft cushion her body she flings,
And so my sweet Tabby "she passes her time!"

The expressions marked with inverted commas are copied from the Cockney model of simplicity.