Intangile Tigers by C.J. Dennis

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The mysterious Jamberoo tiger has been slain at last.  It turned out to be a large cat.

There's a moral in this: tho' I own that the preaching
   Of moral and maxim in season and out
Grows stale; yet these days of depressions far-reaching
   Demand any means to put worry to rout.
So in that menagerie now populated
   By home-coming chickens and wolves upon mats
Consider, when finally doubt's dissipated
   How often our tigers turn out to be cats.

Three-fourths of our troubles some Frenchman has told us,
   But seldom occur.  Tho' the ills of the mind
Loom forth as fierce tigers while doubts yet unfold us,
   They turn into cats once we've put them behind.
How often the dread of some darkened tomorrow
   Has ruined today; till, at Time's urgent call,
Tomorrow's false fears become yester's small sorrow --
   Innocuous cats, and not tigers at all.

So, here is the moral -- just take it or leave it.
   It doesn't much matter, you'll scorn it, no doubt.
Yet here is a truth and, if men don't receive it
   I've still done my duty in pointing it out.
False troubles, false tigers engender false fearing;
   So use the grey matter close under your hat
And, as you fare forth thro' life's dark forests peering,
   Go armed against tigers -- but still expect cats.

First published in The Herald, 9 March 1933

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 9, 2013 7:46 AM.

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