Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Rubáiyát of a Persian Kitten

Oliver Herford - The Rubáiyát of a Persian Kitten (1906)

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This kitten-based tribute to Khayyam (or maybe more accurately FitzGerald) is too light to be satirical and a bit too respectful to feel quite like a parody.  In any case its aim is fairly true:

They say the Early Bird the
         Worm shall taste.
Then rise, O Kitten! Wherefore,
                           sleeping, waste
The fruits of virtue? Quick!
                           the Early Bird
Will soon be on the Flutter - O
                           make haste!

Herford (1863–1935) was an writer and illustrator (British-born but American since age 12) who specialized in similar humorous books, mostly aimed at children.  Other titles include A Little Book of Bores, The Fairy Godmother-in-Law, A Bold Bad Butterfly and Overheard in a Garden.