Cat And Lady ~ Paul Verlaine

Last Word To A Dumb Friend

Kitty Fisher by Nathaniel Hone, oil on canvas, 1765 National Portrait Gallery London

Kitty Fisher by Nathaniel Hone, oil on canvas, 1765
National Portrait Gallery London

Cat and Lady

They were at play, she and her cat,
And it was marvellous to mark
The white paw and the white hand pat
Each other in the deepening dark.

The stealthy little lady hid
Under her mittens’ silken sheath
Her deadly agate nails that thrid
The silk-like dagger points of death.

The cat purred primly and drew in
Her claws that were of steele filed thin:
The devil was in it all the same.

And in the boudoir, while a shout
Of laughter in the air rang out,
Four sparks of phosphor shone like flame.

Paul Verlaine
Translated from the French by Arthur Symons