Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TIGRESS, by FLOYD DELL

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THE TIGRESS, by            
First Line: Tigress, tigress, burning bright
Last Line: Why, you're just a kitten, after all!
Subject(s): Animals; Blake, William (1757-1827); Tigers

Tigress, tigress, burning bright
In the forests of the night—
(Professor, pray forgive the ways
Of irreverent paraphrase;
And go find something else to do—
This song is not addressed to you!)
Lovely tigress, full of fright
In the forests of the night,
In the jungles of delight—
Looking left and looking right,
Ready to take sudden flight—
Don't be so afraid, poor beastie!
I won't touch you; or at least I
Won't until you've well got over
These first tremblings, and discover
There's no need to run to cover!
I won't hurt you: why so scary,
Timid-bold, alert and airy—
Pretty creature, why so wary?
Perhaps you think I mean to catch you,
Take you home, and keep and watch you,
Hold and chain you, bind and tame you,
Clip your claws, and feed and name you!
Well—am I so much to blame, you
Lovely darling, if I do
All those terrible things to you?
You are here beneath my hand—
You are mine, do you understand?
If you didn't want to be netted,
Why did you come here to be petted?
But who would have thought, a while ago,
That you would lie here, purring so,
Against my knee, beneath my hand?
Chained to me with an iron band—
Or a silken leash, it's all the same!—
Claws well clipped, knowing your name,
Ready to follow my beck and call—
Why, you're just a kitten, after all!

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