Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
T. Gray
 
CXX. On a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes
 
'TWAS on a lofty vase's side, 
Where China's gayest art had dyed 
  The azure flowers that blow, 
Demurest of the tabby kind, 
The pensive Selima, reclin'd,         5
  Gazed on the lake below. 
  
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd: 
The fair round face, the snowy beard, 
  The velvet of her paws, 
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,  10
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes— 
  She saw, and purr'd applause. 
  
Still had she gazed, but 'midst the tide 
Two angel forms were seen to glide, 
  The Genii of the stream;  15
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue 
Through richest purple, to the view 
  Betray'd a golden gleam. 
  
The hapless Nymph with wonder saw: 
A whisker first, and then a claw  20
  With many an ardent wish 
She stretch'd, in vain, to reach the prize— 
What female heart can gold despise? 
  What cat's averse to fish? 
  
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent  25
Again she stretch'd, again she bent, 
  Nor knew the gulf between— 
Malignant Fate sat by and smiled— 
The slippery verge her feet beguiled; 
  She tumbled headlong in!  30
  
Eight times emerging from the flood 
She mew'd to every watery god 
  Some speedy aid to send:— 
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd, 
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard—  35
  A favourite has no friend! 
  
From hence, ye Beauties! undeceiv'd 
Know one false step is ne'er retriev'd, 
  And be with caution bold: 
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes  40
And heedless hearts is lawful prize, 
  Nor all that glisters gold! 
 
 
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