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Poems of Goethe

CAT-PIE.

WHILE he is mark'd by vision clear

Who fathoms Nature's treasures,
The man may follow, void of fear,

Who her proportions measures.

Though for one mortal, it is true,

These trades may both be fitted,
Yet, that the things themselves are two

Must always be admitted.

Once on a time there lived a cook

Whose skill was past disputing,
Who in his head a fancy took

To try his luck at shooting.

So, gun in hand, he sought a spot

Where stores of game were breeding,
And there ere long a cat he shot

That on young birds was feeding.

This cat he fancied was a hare,

Forming a judgment hasty,
So served it up for people's fare,

Well-spiced and in a pasty.

Yet many a guest with wrath was fill'd

(All who had noses tender):
The cat that's by the sportsman kill'd

No cook a hare can render.

                                1810.