Cat On a Night of Snow

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Cat, if you go outdoors you must walk in the snow.

You will come back with little white shoes on your feet,

little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet.

Stay by the fire, my cat, lie still, do not go.

See how the flames are leaping and hissing low.

I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite,

so white and so smooth, so spherical and so sweet —

stay with me, Cat. Outdoors the wild winds blow.

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Outdoors, the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night,

strange voices cry in the tree, intoning strange lore,

and more than cats move, lit by our eye’s green light,

on silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar —

Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might,

and things that are yet to be done. Open the door!

— Elizabeth Coatsworth

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