A Psalm of Mice
What the heart of the young mouse said to the psalmist
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but a baited trap!—
For the mouse is dead that slumbers,
hibernating: winter's nap.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the traps about this house—
"'Welcome death,' quoth the rat"
Was not spoken of the mouse.
Not engorgement, and not starving,
Is our destined foodie way:
But to hoard, that each tomorrow
Find us stashing more away.
Tails are long, and ears are twitching,
And our tummies, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled burning engines,
Rumble for that cheese we crave.
In the eaves and in the rafters,
Scavenging with other mice,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a rodent with a life.
Trust no housewife, howe'er pleasant!
Let the cats by her hand be fed!
Sneak, —sneak into pantry cupboards!
Sugar below, and oatmeal o'erhead!
Lives of great mice all remind us:
We can crawl in spice racks, dine,
and departing, leave behind us
paw prints in the flakes of thyme.
Paw prints, that perhaps another,
Scurrying o'er life's countertop,
A forlorn and mangy brother
Seeing, may do a belly flop!
Let us, then, though small and furry,
With a heart for any fate,
ever braver, ever sneaky,
learn to steal that mouse trap bait.
This poem is a parody of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life".