Robert William Service
The Cat With Wings - Poem by Robert William Service
You never saw a cat with wings,
I'll bet a dollar -- well, I did;
'Twas one of those fantastic things
One runs across in old Madrid.
A walloping big tom it was,
(Maybe of the Angora line),
With silken ears and velvet paws,
And silver hair, superbly fine.
It sprawled upon a crimson mat,
Yet though crowds came to gaze on it,
It was a supercilious cat,
And didn't seem to mind a bit.
It looked at us with dim disdain,
And indolently seemed to sigh:
"There's not another cat in Spain
One half so marvelous as I."
Its owner gently stroked its head,
And tickled it with fingers light.
"Ah no, it cannot fly," he said;
"But see - it has the wings all right."
Then tenderly from off its back
He raised, despite its feline fears,
Appendages that seemed to lack
Vitality - like rabbit's ears.
And then the vision that I had
Of Tabbie soaring through the night,
Quick vanished, and I felt so sad
For that poor pussy's piteous plight.
For though frustration has it stings,
Its mockeries in Hope's despite,
The hell of hells is to have wings
Yet be denied the bliss of flight.
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