'Twas Murder by degrees —
A Thrust — and then for Life a chance —
The Bliss to cauterize —
The Cat reprieves the Mouse
She eases from her teeth
Just long enough for Hope to tease —
Then mashes it to death —
'Tis Life's award — to die —
Contenteder if once —
Than dying half — then rallying
For consciouser Eclipse —
F485 (1862) J762
This poem just doesn't work for me. The first stanza starts well enough with its metaphorical language about love and pain and the the bliss that cauterizes the "Thrust" of pain. But then we get the tired cliché (perhaps it wasn't tired in 1862, though) about the cat playing with the mouse. The final stanza says it's better to die once than twice.
|Mouse about to get mashed
The take-away from this poem? Why get your hopes up only to have them dashed?
One odd thing about his poem is the line about the cat mashing the mouse to death. It just makes a weird visual in my head.
**Note: A commenter does a much better job than I did with this poem. (It was late, I was grumpy...)