A peculiar dream I had
In which I dreamt I woke
And wandered a house aflame,
Whose fires were hot yet hurtless
Like those of Ariel or Daniel
Yet wondrous like those and fearful.
As I wandered in this marvel-sweven
And faerie-wonder, I was met
By fur, ferocity of great scale,
A cat, my cat, Leonidas!
The cowardly cat, he who
By day is scared of all,
He who of the postman is afraid,
Who my Mother’s footsteps fears,
He who is filled by all with dread
And scarpers off, and the carpet tears:
Yet here coolly, in spite of heat,
He curled upon a sofa,
Beckoning me, saying, “Come.”
I trepidated up to him, who spoke
Of marvellous things and mysteries
In tongues half known, by me misunderstood.
He concluded by counting ten,
Whereon I woke. O, what can it mean?
What senses did his speeches carry?
What significances had his figures?
Did he tell the secrets of the cosmos starry?
Did he want biscuits? Gave he of futures augurs?
I am a Pharaoh, a Nebuchadnezzar,
Plagued with interpretation,
O, for a Daniel, a Joseph, a dream-reader,
To make the fuzzy clear, the strange familiar!