To a Minoan Cat (A Wall Fresco of Ancient Crete)

You little Cretan cat, eager and still,
With body tense, with wide and steady gaze —
Look past the ferny tussock, look your fill!
Watch for a sign beyond the green fern-haze.
Beyond it is your prey, the pretty bird,
The little pheasant, clucking in the gorse.
He has not seen you come, he has not heard.
Two velvet steps — a spring — and he is yours!
Poor bird! And yet, my heart is all with you,
Hunting among the tussocks, in the dew,
Four thousand years ago, in windy Crete,
You little furry one, on velvet feet!
My heart’s with you, there’s no denying that.
I hope — I hope you caught him, little cat!