Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
12. To a Caty-Did
By Philip Freneau
  IN a branch of willow hid
Sings the evening Caty-did:
From the lofty-locust bough
Feeding on a drop of dew,
In her suit of green arrayed        5
Hear her singing in the shade—
  Caty-did, Caty-did, Caty-did!
  While upon a leaf you tread,
Or repose your little head
On your sheet of shadows laid,        10
All the day you nothing said:
Half the night your cheery tongue
Revelled out its little song,—
  Nothing else but Caty-did.
  From your lodging on the leaf        15
Did you utter joy or grief?
Did you only mean to say,
I have had my summer’s day,
And am passing, soon, away
To the grave of Caty-did:        20
  Poor, unhappy Caty-did!
  But you would have uttered more
Had you known of nature’s power;
From the world when you retreat,
And a leaf’s your winding sheet,        25
Long before your spirit fled,
Who can tell but nature said,—
Live again, my Caty-did!
  Live, and chatter Caty-did.
  Tell me, what did Caty do?        30
Did she mean to trouble you?
Why was Caty not forbid
To trouble little Caty-did?
Wrong, indeed, at you to fling,
Hurting no one while you sing,—        35
  Caty-did! Caty-did! Caty-did!
  Why continue to complain?
Caty tells me she again
Will not give you plague or pain;
Caty says you may be hid,        40
Caty will not go to bed
While you sing us Caty-did,—
  Caty-did! Caty-did! Caty-did!
  But, while singing, you forgot
To tell us what did Caty not:        45
Caty did not think of cold,
Flocks retiring to the fold,
Winter with his wrinkles old;
Winter, that yourself foretold
  When you gave us Caty-did.        50
  Stay serenely on your nest;
Caty now will do her best,
All she can, to make you blest;
But you want no human aid,—
Nature, when she formed you, said,        55
  “Independent you are made,
My dear little Caty-did:
Soon yourself must disappear
With the verdure of the year,”
And to go, we know not where,        60
  With your song of Caty-did.


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