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The cat went here and there And the moon spun round like a top, And the nearest kin of the moon The creeping cat looked up. Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon, For wander and wail as he would The pure cold light in the sky Troubled his animal blood. Minnaloushe runs in the grass, Lifting his delicate feet. Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance? When two close kindred meet What better than call a dance? Maybe the moon may learn, Tired of that courtly fashion, A new dance turn. Minnaloushe creeps through the grass From moonlit place to place, The sacred moon overhead Has taken a new phase. Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils Will pass from change to change, And that from round to crescent, From crescent to round they range? Minnaloushe creeps through the grass Alone, important and wise, And lifts to the changing moon His changing eyes.
Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 310.
- by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), "The cat and the moon", appears in Nine Poems, appears in The Wild Swans at Coole, first published 1918 [author's text checked 2 times against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Stanley Grill (b. 1953), "The Cat and the Moon", copyright © 1977 [ soprano and piano ], from Six Songs, no. 6, confirmed with an online score [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Timothy Hoekman , "The Cat and the Moon", 2009, published 2016 [ voice, violin, cello, and piano ], from Three Poems of William Butler Yeats, no. 3 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Nicholas Marshall (b. 1942), "The cat and the moon" [ medium voice and piano ], from Five Winter Songs [sung text not yet checked]
- by Robert Leon Rollin (b. 1947), "The cat and the moon" [ mezzo-soprano, flute, oboe, violoncello, and piano ], from Four Songs of Dreams and Love [sung text not yet checked]
- by Seymour J. Shifrin (b. 1926), "The cat and the moon" [ soprano and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by James Walter Wilson (b. 1922), "The cat and the moon", op. 54 no. ? [ soprano and piano ], from Upon Silence [sung text not yet checked]
- by James Walter Wilson (b. 1922), "The cat and the moon", op. 39 (Yeats songs) no. ? [ soprano and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le chat et la lune", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-09-19
Line count: 28
Word count: 152
Le chat allait par-ci par-là Et la lune tournoyait comme une toupie, Et le plus proche parent de la lune, Le chat rampant regardait en l'air. Le noir Minnaloushe fixait la lune, Car pour errer et gémir comme il voudrait La lumière pure et froide du ciel Troublait son sang animal. Minnaloushe court dans l'herbe, Levant son pied délicat. Danses-tu, Minnaloushe, danses-tu ? Quand deux parents proches se rencontrent Quoi de mieux qu'une invitation à danser ? Peut-être la lune pourrait-elle apprendre, Lassée de ces manières courtoises, Un nouveau pas de danse. Minnaloushe rampe dans l'herbe De place en place éclairées par la lune, Au dessus de sa tête la lune sacrée Est entrée dans une nouvelle phase. Minnaloushe sait-il que ses pupilles Passent d'une forme à l'autre Et que de rond à croissant, De croissant à rond elles varient ? Minnaloushe rampe dans l'herbe, Seul, important et sage, Et lève vers la lune changeante Ses yeux changeants.
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), "The cat and the moon", appears in Nine Poems, appears in The Wild Swans at Coole, first published 1918
This text was added to the website: 2015-12-29
Line count: 28
Word count: 158