Vachel Lindsay

(November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931 / Springfield, Illinois)

The Mysterious Cat


A chant for a children's pantomime dance, suggested by a picture painted by George Mather Richards.


I saw a proud, mysterious cat,
I saw a proud, mysterious cat
Too proud to catch a mouse or rat—
Mew, mew, mew.

But catnip she would eat, and purr,
But catnip she would eat, and purr.
And goldfish she did much prefer—
Mew, mew, mew.

I saw a cat—'twas but a dream,
I saw a cat—'twas but a dream
Who scorned the slave that brought her cream—
Mew, mew, mew.

Unless the slave were dressed in style,
Unless the slave were dressed in style
And knelt before her all the while—
Mew, mew, mew.

Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
Mew . . . mew . . . mew.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Peter Harter (6/10/2007 4:11:00 PM)

    Love this poem

    There is a wild recording of Vachel Lindsay reading this:

    http: //writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Lindsay.html (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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