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Two Uncollected Poems

Spleen

Sunday: this satisfied procession
Of definite Sunday faces;
Bonnets, silk hats, and conscious graces
In repetition that displaces
Your mental self-possession
By this unwarranted digression.

Evening, lights, and tea!
Children and cats in the alley;
Dejection unable to rally
Against this dull conspiracy.

And Life, a little bald and gray,
Languid, fastidious, and bland,
Waits, hat and gloves in hand,
Punctilious of tie and suit
(Somewhat impatient of delay)
On the doorstep of the Absolute.

1910

In Respect of Felines

Dear Madam,
Thank you for your letter. I am grieved to find
That in respect of felines you are so confused in mind.

You would be qualified to criticise me if you had
Perceived the truth that no one Cat is wholly good or bad.

At least, of all the Cats between Mousehole and John o’Groats,
You can’t say, some of them are sheep and other Cats are goats.

For even the nicest tabby that was ever born and weaned
Is capable of acting, on occasion, like a fiend.

And even my toughest characters, who gloat in doing harm,
Are not entirely destitute (admit it, please) of Charm.

And all my Cats with one accord disclaim the title ‘pets,’
Which is only suitable to parrots, Pekes and marmosets.

I trust that on consideration you may come to see
The strength of my contention.
Yours truly,
T. S. E.

1940