BLACK CAT POEMS
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T. S. Eliot
The broad-backed hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.
Flesh-and-blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True
can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.
The hippo's feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.
The 'potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Church from over sea.
At mating time the hippo's voice
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Church, at being one with
The hippopotamus's day
Is passed in
God works in a mysterious way-
The Church can sleep and feed at once.
I saw the 'potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.
Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.
He shall be washed as white as
By all the martyr'd virgins kiss,
While the True Church remains below
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.
poems by T. S. Eliot