THE PERSIAN CAT 201
understood perfectly, although I could not write the words, or give their meaning save in poor approximation. These fragments, then, are the shapes which those he read have finally taken in passing again through my brain :—
' But if I found a man that could believe
In what he saw not, felt not, and yet knew,
From him I should take substance, and receive Firmness and form relate to touch and view; Then should I clothe me in the likeness true
Of that idea where his soul did cleave I'
He turned a leaf and read again:—
' In me was every woman. I had power
Over the soul of every living man, Such as no woman ever had in dower—
Could what no woman ever could, or can;
All women, I, the woman, still outran, Outsoared, outsank, outreigned, in hall or bower.
' For I, though me he neither saw ncr heard, Nor with his hand could touch finger of mine,
Although not once my breath had ever stirred A hair of him, could trammel brain and spine With rooted bonds which Death could not untwine—'
Or life, though hope were evermore deferred.'
Again he paused, again turned a leaf, and again began :—
For by his side I lay, a bodiless thing;
I breathed not, saw not, felt not, only thought,
And made him love me—with a hungering After he knew not what—if it was aught Or but a nameless something that was wrought
By him out of himself; for I did sing
1A song that had no sound into his soul;
I lay a heartless thing against his heart,
Giving him nothing where he gave his whole
Being to clothe me human, every part:
That I at last into his sense might dart,
Thus first into his living mind I stole.