Sunday, April 28, 2013

Smart - Poetry

For the rest of this series, click on the 'Poetry' link at the bottom of the post.

Our next poem is from a man named Christopher Smart, who is described as a 'relgious mystic'.  The title is 'To Jeoffry His Cat'.

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of Godin the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbor.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons, he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is the term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in his goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neigher will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.

I'm guessing that non-cat people would hate this poem.  I'm a cat person myself, so I rather like it.  The numbered list is especially eye-catching.  I'm not sure how much devotion to God such actions are, but I certainly can't dispute them either.
'For he is of the tribe of Tiger/For the Cherub Cat is the term of the Angel Tiger.'  These phrases certainly do seem to be of a mystic bent.  I'll have to tell this to my kitties and see if they seem pleased or not.  I hope that they will 'purr in thankfullness'.

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