A Poem by Anonymous

I sat one night beside a blue-eyed girl,
The fire was out, and so, too, was her mother;
A feeble flame around the lamp did curl,
Making faint shadows, blending in each other:
‘Twas nearly twelve o’clock, too, in November;
She had a shawl on, also, I remember.

Well, I had been to see her every night
For thirteen days, and had a sneaking notion
To pop the question, thinking all was right,
And once or twice had made an awkward motion
To take her hand, and stammer’d, cough’d, and stutter’d,
But, somehow, nothing to the point had utter’d.

I thought this chance too good now to be lost;
I hitched my chair up pretty close beside her,
Drew a longbreath, and then my legs I cross’d,
Bent over, sighed, and for five minutes eyed her:
She looked as if she knew what next was coming,
And with her feet upon the floor was drumming.

I didn’t know how to begin, or where,
I couldn’t speak, the words were always choking;
I scarce could move, I seem’d tied to the chair,
I hardly breathed, ’twas awfully provoking!
The perspiration from each pore came oozing,
My heart, and brain, and limbs their power seem’d losing.

At length I saw a brindle tabby cat
Walk purring up, inviting me to pat her;
An idea came, electric-like at that,
My doubts, like summer clouds, began to scatter,
I seized on tabby, though a scratch she gave me,
And said, “Come, Puss, ask Mary if she’ll have me.”

‘Twas done at once, the murder now was out;
The thing was all explain’d in half a minute.
She blush’d, and, turning pussy-cat about,
Said, “Pussy, tell him ‘yes'”; her foot was in it!
The cat had thus saved me my category,
And here’s the catastrophe of my story.