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Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.
But the Kitten, how she starts, Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts! First at one, and then its fellow Just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now — now one
Now they stop; and there are none —
What intenseness of desire
In her upward eye of fire!
With a tiger-leap half way
Now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then
Has it in her power again:
Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian Conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art,
Far beyond in joy of heart.
Were her antics played in the eye
Clapping hands with shout and stare,
What would little Tabby care
For the plaudits of the Crowd?
Over wealthy in the treasure
Of her own exceeding pleasure!
'Tis a pretty Baby-treat;
Chirp and song, and murmurings,
With us openly abide,
All have laid their mirth aside.
Where is he that giddy Sprite,
Made such wanton spoil and rout,
Hung with head towards the ground,
Bound himself, and then unbound;
Prettiest Tumbler ever seen!
Light of heart, and light of limb,
What is now become of Him?
Lambs, that through the mountains went
Frisking, bleating merriment,
When the year was in its prime,
They are sobered by this time.
Save a little neighbouring Rill,
That from out the rocky ground
Strikes a solitary sound.
Vainly glitters hill and plain,
Yet, whate'er enjoyments dwell
Of the silent heart which Nature
That almost I could repine
That your transports are not mine,
That I do not wholly fare
Even as ye do, thoughtless Pair!
And I will have my
Spite of melancholy reason,
Will walk through life in such a way That, when time brings on decay,
Now and then I may possess
Hours of perfect gladsomeness.
Pleased by any random toy;
By a kitten's busy joy,
I would fare like that or this,
Keep the sprighty soul awake,
Even from things by sorrow wrought,
Spite of care, and spite of grief,
To gambol with Life's falling Leaf.