In days of yore, as Ancient Stories tell,
A King in love with a great Princess fell.
Long at her feet submiss the Monarch sigh'd,
While she with stern repulse his suit denied.
Yet was he form'd by birth to please the fair,
Dress'd, danc'd, and courted, with a Monarch's air;
But Magic Spells her frozen breast had steel'd
With stubborn pride, that knew not how to yield.
This to the King a courteous Fairy told,
And bade the Monarch in his suit be bold;
For he that would the charming Princess wed,
Had only on her cat's black tail to tread,
When straight the Spell would vanish into air,
And he enjoy for life the yielding fair.
He thank'd the Fairy for her kind advice.-
Thought he, 'If this be all, I'll not be nice;
Rather than in my courtship I will fail,
I will to mince-meat tread Minon's black tail.'
To the Princess's court repairing strait,
He sought the cat that must decide his fate;
But when he found her, how the creature stared!
How her back bristled, and her great eyes glared!
That tail, which he so fondly hop'd his prize,
Was swell'd by wrath to twice its usual size;
And all her cattish gestures plainly spoke,
She thought the affair he came upon, no joke.
With wary step the cautious King draws near,
And slyly means to attack her in her rear;
But when he thinks upon her tail to pounce,
Whisk-off she skips-three yards upon a bounce-
Again he tries, again his efforts fail-
Minon's a witch-the deuce is in her tail.-
The anxious chase for weeks the Monarch tried,
Till courage fail'd, and hope within him died.
A desperate suit 'twas useless to prefer,
Or hope to catch a tail of quicksilver.-
When on a day, beyond his hopes, he found
Minon, his foe, asleep upon the ground;
Her ample tail hehind her lay outspread,
Full to the eye, and tempting to the tread.
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