Parodies of Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam #2: The Persian Cat’s version (Continued)

And the rest of the Rubaiyat of the Cat (Persian…of course), which I go to straightaway. For all other details I suggest you see the first post on this topic….

Impotent glimpses of the Game displayed
Upon the Counter—temptingly arrayed;
Hither and thither moved or checked or weighed,
And one by one back in the Ice Chest laid.

What if the Sole could fling the Ice aside,
And with me to some Area’s haven glide—
Were’t not a Shame, were’t not a shame for it
In this Cold Prison crippled to abide?

Some for the Glories of the Sole, and Some
Mew for the proper Bowl of Milk to come.
Ah, take the fish and let your Credit go,
And plead the rumble of an empty Tum.

One thing is certain: tho’ this Stolen Bite
Should be my last and Wrath consume me quite,
One taste of It within the Area caught
Better than at the Table lost outright.

Indeed, indeed Repentance oft before
I swore, but was I hungry when I swore?
And then and then came Cook—with Hose in hand—
And drowned my glory in a sorry pour.

What without asking hither harried whence,
And without asking whither harried hence—
O, many a taste of that forbidden Sole
Must down the memory of that Insolence.

Heaven, but the vision of a flowing Bowl;
And Hell, the sizzle of a frying Sole
Heard in the hungry Darkness where Myself,
So rudely cast, must impotently roll.

The Vine has a tough fibre which about
While clings my Being;—let the Canine flout
Till his Bass Voice be pitched to such loud key
It shall unlock the door I mew without.

Up from the Basement to the Seventh flat
I rose, and on the Crown of fashion sat,
And many a Ball unraveled by the way—
But not the Master’s angry Bawl of “Scat!”

Then to the Well of Wisdom I—and lo!
With my own Paw I wrought to make it flow,
And This was all the Harvest that I reaped:
We come like Kittens and like Cats we go.

Why be this Ink the fount of Wit?—who dare
Blaspheme the glistening Pen-drink as a snare?
A Blessing?—I should spread it, should I not?
And if a Curse—why, then upset it!—there!

A moment’s Halt, a momentary Taste
Of Bitter, and amid the Trickling Waste
I wrought strange shapes from Mah to Mahi, yet
I know not what I wrote, nor why they chased.

Now I beyond the Pale am safely Past.
O, but the long, long time their Rage shall last,
Which, tho’ they call to supper, I shall heed
As a Stone Cat should heed a Pebble cast.

And that perverted Soul beneath the Sky
They call the Dog—Heed not his angry cry;
Not all his Threats can make me budge one bit,
Nor all his Empty Bluster terrify.

They are no other than a moving Show
Of whirling Shadow Shapes that come and go
Me-ward thro’ Moon illumined Darkness hurled,
In midnight, by the Lodgers of the Row.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
The Backyard fence and heard great Argument
About it, and About, yet evermore
Came out with fewer fur than in I went.

Ah, me! If you and I could but conspire
To grasp this Sorry Scheme of things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits, and then
Enfold it nearer to our Heart’s Desire?

Tho’ Two and Two make four by rule of line,
Or they make Twenty-two by Logic fine,
Of all the figures one may fathom, I
Shall ne’er be floored by anything but Nine.

And fear not lest Existence shut the Door
On You and Me, to open it no more.
The Cream of Life from out your Bowl shall pour
Nine times—ere it lie broken on the floor.

So, if the fish you Steal—the Cream you drink—
Ends in what all begins and ends in, Think,
Unless the Stern Recorder points to Nine,
Tho’ They would drown you—still you shall not sink.

And That is All…


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