And for those of you who enjoy Greek mythology...
Leo: A Yellow Cat
By Margaret Pollock Sherwood
If to your twilight land of dream-
Drifting with all your shadow host-
sunlight comes, with sudden gleam
And you lift veiled eyes to see
Slip past a little golden ghost,
a sense of springing flowers,
Of nesting birds, of lambs reborn,
Of spring astir in quickening hours,
blades of Demeter's corn;
For joy of that sweet glimpse of sun,
Oh, Goddess of unnumbered dead,
Give one soft
touch-if only one-
To that uplifted, pleading head!
Whisper some kindly word, to bless
A wistful soul who understands
That life is but one long caress
Of gentle words and gentle hands.
Leo to His Mistress (An Answer)
By Henry Dwight Sedgwick
Dear Mistress, do not grieve for me
Even in such sweet poetry.
Alas! It is
too late for that,
No mistress can recall her cat.
Eurydice remained a shade
Despite the music Orpheus played;
And pleasures here outlast, I guess,
Your earthly transitoriness.
You serious denizens of Earth
nothing of Elysian mirth;
With other shades I play or doze
And wash, and stretch, or rub my nose.
I hunt for
mice, or take a nap
Safe in Iphigenia's lap.
At times I bite Achilles' heel
To learn if shadow heroes squeal,
And should he turn to do me hurt,
I hide beneath Cassandra's skirt.
But should he smile, no creature bolder,
I lightly bounce upon his shoulder,
Then leap to fair Electra's knee
Or scamper with Antigone.
I chase the
rolling woolen ball
Penelope has just let fall,
Or crouch when Meleager's cheer
Awakes the shades of trembling
I grin when Stygian boys, beguiled,
Stare after Helen, Ruin's child;
Or should these placid pastimes
I play with Cerberus's tail.
At last I purr and spit and spatter
When kind Demeter fills my platter.
And yet, in spite of all of this,
I sometimes yearn for earthly bliss,
To hear you calling "Leo!"
The glorious sun awakens men;
Or hear your "Good night, Pussy" sound
When starlight falls on
Then, in my struggles to get free,
I almost scratch Persephone.
Go to next page: The Rainbow Bridge