Jubilate Agno

Greg at My Life as a Fischer has a sidebar link to Ten Cat-mandments. They reminded me quite a bit of a poem by an 18th century poet (whom some called a madman), Christopher Smart, “Jubilate Agno” (Rejoice in the Lamb), which is over 1200 lines long! He adapted the exhalted form of the responsive readings in the Anglican Church liturgy to write, in part, about an ordinary subject, his cat, Geoffrey. I have excerpted some of this fantastic poem. I have yet to find it in its entirety, on the Web or elsewhere:

Jubilate Agno

For I will consider my Cat Geoffrey.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.

***

For having done duty and received blessings he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For second he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For third he works it upon stretch with the forepaws.
For fourth he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifth he washes himself.
For sixth he rolls upon wash.
For seventh he fleas himself that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighth he rubs himself against a post.
For ninth he looks up for his instructions.
For tenth he goes in quest of food.

***

For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent which in goodness he suppresses.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.

***

For every house is incompleat without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.

***

For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

***

For God has blessed him in the variety of his movement.
For tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.

***