The Kilkenny Cats

Original Text: 
The Irish Poems of Alfred Perceval Graves 2nd edn. (1908): 57-58. del G735 A155 1918 v. 2 Fisher Rare Book Library
2    Before stockings or stays
3Were invented, or breeches, top-boots and top-hats,
4    You'd search the whole sphere
5    From Cape Horn to Cape Clear
6And never come near to the likes of our Cats
7    Och, tunder! och, tunder!
8    You'd wink wid the wonder
9To see them keep under the mice and the rats;
10    And go wild for half shares
11    In the phisants and hares
13Och! the Cats of Kilkenny, Kilkenny's wild Cats!
14    But the shame and the sin
15    Of the Game Laws came in,
16Wid the gun and the gin of the landlord canats;
17    And the whole box and dice
18    Of the rats and the mice
19Made off in a trice from our famishing Cats.
21    What would I or you?
22Is it lie down and mew till we starved on our mats?
24ŻàŻàŻàŻàSmall and great, great and small,
26Och! the Cats of Kilkenny, Kilkenny's wild Cats!
27    And that mortial night long
28    We should hark, right or wrong,
29To the feast and the song of them cannibal Cats,
31ŻàŻàŻàŻàTill the dawn of the day
32In fifty-three sharps, semiquavers and flats;
33ŻàŻàŻàŻàAnd when we went round
34ŻàŻàŻàŻàWid the milk-carts we found
36ŻàŻàŻàŻà(All the rest, bit and sup,
37ŻàŻàŻàŻàOf themselves they'd ate up)
38Only just the tip-ends of the tails of the Cats,

Notes

1] dacent: decent. Back to Line
12] Pats: nickname for Irishmen. Back to Line
20] bastes: beasts. Back to Line
23] faix: fegs! (exclamation). Back to Line
25] cravats: neck-ties. Back to Line
30] Gladiath'rin: making out like gladiators. Back to Line
35] sprats: little sea-fish. Back to Line
39] quare: queer. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
Rhyme: