S.’s first recorded poem; date of composition 1802–05, probably about 1804 (for arguments that the poem dates from 1811 see Nora Crook, ‘Shelley’s earliest poem?’, N&Q ccxxxii (1987) 486–90). S.’s sister Hellen called it ‘a very early effusion of Bysshe’s, with a cat painted on the top of the sheet… but there is no promise of future excellence in the lines, the versification is defective’ Hogg i 14). She added that it ‘evidendy had a story, but it must have been before I can remember. It is in Elizabeth’s hand-writing, copied probably later than the composition of the lines [the watermark is 1809], though the hand-writing is unformed’ (i 21). The phrase ‘hold their jaw’ (line 30), mentioned by Hellen S. as ‘classical at boys’ schools and … a favourite one of Bysshe’s’ (ibid.), could date from S.’s entry to Sion House Academy in 1802, but rather suggests Eton in 1804–05. At Christmas 1804 S. was 12, Elizabeth S. 10, and Hellen S. 5. A note added in another hand to Elizabeth’s original watercolour sketch and transcript in CHPL, ‘Percy Bysshe Shelley written at 10 years of age to his Sister at School’ (SC iv 816), has no likely authority. Nothing is known of the tabby cat; and S.’s MS is lost.