Death comes to all of us, or old or young,
To some too soon, and some mayhap too late.
No form of flesh evades the common fate;
No man may live a dying world among.
And ha, the Tom Cat of the tortoise hide,
Though sleek and glossy in his days of flesh,
Could not escape the snare or miss the mesh
Of death: though nine-lived, yet, alas, he died.
But whether slain with brickbats or with kicks,
Boots nothing now when he is dead and gone.
His body lies unburied, and his wan
Striped ghost forever mauls beside the Styx.
And those who see -the process of decay
Of that dead Tom cat that has lain and lies
In King-street gutters, pause and moralise,
And hold their noses hard, and walk away.
But in the darkness of the middle night,
Pale Aldermen behold the Tom Cat’s ghost
With red mouth gibbering from the tall bed post,
And green eyes glaring with a deadly light.
So that they feel while fear is in their hair,
‘Which stands erect upon their empty heads,
That they shall rise no more from off their beds.
But lie forever fixed beneath the glare
Of those terrific eyes. And so from fat
To learn they grow as any pantaloon:
So by good lack they may fade out right soon,
And a glad city bury that Tom Cat.