BLACK CAT POEMS
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The Pope and the Net
WHAT, he on whom our voices unanimously ran,
Made Pope at our last Conclave? Full low his life began:
earned the daily bread as just a fisherman.
So much the more his boy minds book, gives proof of mother-wit,
Becomes first Deacon, and then Priest, then Bishop: see him sit
No less than Cardinal ere long, while no one cries "Unfit!"
But someone smirks, some other smiles, jogs elbow and nods head:
Each winks at each: "I-faith, a rise! Saint Peter's net, instead
Of sword and keys, is come in vogue!" You think he blushes red?
Not he, of humble holy heart! "Unworthy me!" he sighs:
"From fisher's drudge to Church's prince--it is indeed a rise:
So, here's my way to keep the fact for ever in my eyes!"
And straightway in his palace-hall, where commonly is set
Some coat-of-arms, some portraiture ancestral, lo, we met
His mean estate's reminder in his fisher-father's net!
Which step conciliates all and some, stops cavil in a trice:
"The humble holy heart that holds of new-born pride no spice!
He's just the saint to choose for Pope!" Each adds "'T is my advice."
So, Pope he was: and when we flocked--its sacred slipper on--
To kiss his foot, we lifted eyes, alack the thing was gone--
That guarantee of lowlihead,--eclipsed that star which shone!
Each eyed his fellow, one and all kept silence. I cried "Pish!
I'll make me spokesman for the rest, express the common wish.
Why, Father, is the net removed?" "Son, it hath caught the
poems by Robert Browning