Bec’s Birth-Day Nov. 8, 1726
This day, dear Bec, is thy nativity;
Had Fate a luckier one, she'd give it ye.
She chose a thread of greatest length,
And doubly twisted it for strength:
Nor will be able with her shears
To cut it off these forty years.
Then who says care will kill a cat?
Rebecca shows they're out in that.
For she, though overrun with care,
Continues healthy, fat, and fair.
As, if the gout should seize the head,
Doctors pronounce the patient dead;
But, if they can, by all their arts,
Eject it to the extremest parts,
They give the sick man joy, and praise
The gout that will prolong his days.
Rebecca thus I gladly greet,
Who drives her cares to hands and feet:
For, though philosophers maintain
The limbs are guided by the brain,
Quite contrary Rebecca's led;
Her hands and feet conduct her head;
By arbitrary power convey her,
She ne'er considers why or where:
Her hands may meddle, feet may wander,
Her head is but a mere by-stander:
And all her bustling but supplies
The part of wholesome exercise.
Thus nature has resolved to pay her
The cat's nine lives, and eke the care.
Long may she live, and help her friends
Whene'er it suits her private ends;
Domestic business never mind
Till coffee has her stomach lined;
But, when her breakfast gives her courage,
Then think on Stella's chicken porridge:
I mean when Tigerhas been served,
Or else poor Stella may be starved.
May Bec have many an evening nap,
With Tiger slabbering in her lap;
But always take a special care
She does not overset the chair;
Still be she curious, never hearken
To any speech but Tiger's barking!
And when she's in another scene,
Stella long dead, but first the Dean,
May fortune and her coffee get her
Companions that will please her better!
Whole afternoons will sit beside her,
Nor for neglects or blunders chide her.
A goodly set as can be found
Of hearty gossips prating round;
Fresh from a wedding or a christening,
To teach her ears the art of listening,
And please her more to hear them tattle,
Than the Dean storm, or Stella rattle.
Late be her death, one gentle nod,
When Hermes, waiting with his rod,
Shall to Elysian fields invite her,
Where there will be no cares to fright her!
Jonathan Swift's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Bec’s Birth-Day Nov. 8, 1726 by Jonathan Swift )
- The Bridge From The Other Side, Is It Poetry
- Car Wars, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Rumor has it., Harold R Hunt Sr
- When the angels come, Harold R Hunt Sr
- No more bullets, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Memories, Yovanni Emmanuel
- When the Dawn Comes, Fatima Nusairat
- The Cat Lady, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Night Owl, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Loving you, Harold R Hunt Sr
Poem of the Day
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- Heather Burns
- Christina Georgina Rossetti
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)