The MOUSE's PETITION,*
[Page 39][Page 40]
The MOUSE's PETITION,** To Doctor PRIESTLEY. Found in the TRAP where he had been confin'd all Night.
Parcere subjectis, & debellare superbos.
1 OH! hear a pensive captive's prayer,
2 For liberty that sighs;
3 And never let thine heart be shut
4 Against the prisoner's cries.
5 For here forlorn and sad I sit,
6 Within the wiry grate;[Page 38]
7 And tremble at th' approaching morn,
8 Which brings impending fate.
9 If e'er thy breast with freedom glow'd,
10 And spurn'd a tyrant's chain,
11 Let not thy strong oppressive force
12 A free-born mouse detain.
13 Oh! do not stain with guiltless blood
14 Thy hospitable hearth;
15 Nor triumph that thy wiles betray'd
16 A prize so little worth.
17 The scatter'd gleanings of a feast
18 My scanty meals supply;
19 But if thine unrelenting heart
20 That slender boon deny,
21 The chearful light, the vital air,
22 Are blessings widely given;
23 Let nature's commoners enjoy
24 The common gifts of heaven.
25 The well taught philosophic mind
26 To all compassion gives;
27 Casts round the world an equal eye,
28 And feels for all that lives.
29 If mind, as ancient sages taught,
30 A never dying flame,
31 Still shifts thro' matter's varying forms,
32 In every form the same,
33 Beware, lest in the worm you crush
34 A brother's soul you find;
35 And tremble lest thy luckless hand
36 Dislodge a kindred mind.
37 Or, if this transient gleam of day
38 Be all of life we share,
39 Let pity plead within thy breast
40 That little all to spare.
41 So may thy hospitable board
42 With health and peace be crown'd;
43 And every charm of heartfelt ease
44 Beneath thy roof be found.
45 So when unseen destruction lurks,
46 Which men like mice may share,
47 May some kind angel clear thy path,
48 And break the hidden snare.
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About this text
Title (in Source Edition): The MOUSE's PETITION, Found in the TRAP where he had been confin'd all Night.
Themes: advice; moral precepts; God; animals; virtue; vice
Genres: lament; advice
References: DMI 32683
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Barbauld, Mrs. (Anna Letitia), 1743-1825. Poems. London: printed for Joseph Johnson, 1773, pp. 37-40. vi,138p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T236; OTA K019955.000) (Page images digitized by New York Public Library.)
The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.
Other works by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (née Aikin)
- An ADDRESS to the DEITY. ()
- CHARACTERS. ()
- CORSICA. ()
- DELIA, AN ELEGY. ()
- The GROANS of the TANKARD. ()
- HYMN I. ()
- HYMN II. ()
- HYMN III. For EASTER-SUNDAY. ()
- HYMN IV. ()
- HYMN to CONTENT. ()
- HYMN V. ()
- The INVITATION: To MISS B—. ()
- ODE to SPRING. ()
- On a LADY's WRITING. ()
- ON THE Backwardness of the SPRING 1771. ()
- ON THE DEATH OF MRS. JENNINGS. ()
- THE ORIGIN OF SONG-WRITING. ()
- OVID to his WIFE: Imitated from different Parts of his TRISTIA. ()
- SONG II. ()
- SONG III. ()
- SONG IV. ()
- SONG V. ()
- SONG VI. ()
- [SONG] I. ()
- A Summer Evening's Meditation. ()
- To a LADY, With some painted FLOWERS. ()
- To MISS R—, On her Attendance on her Mother at BUXTON. ()
- To MRS. P—, With some Drawings of BIRDS and INSECTS. ()
- To WISDOM. ()
- VERSES on MRS. ROWE. ()
- VERSES written in an Alcove. ()