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A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Descriptive Songs/The Mouse's Petition

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For other versions of this work, see The Mouse's Petition.

21. The Mouse's Petition.

Oh, hear a trembling pris'ner's prayer,
For liberty that sighs;
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the suffrer's cries;
For here forlorn and sad I sit,
Within this wiry grate,
And tremble at th' approach of morn,
Which brings impending fate.

If e'er thy breast with freedom glow'd,
And spurn'd the oppressor's chain,
Oh, do not then with tyrant force
A free-born mouse detain;
Oh, do not stain with guiltless blood
Thy hospitable hearth,
Nor triumph that thy wiles betray'd
A prize so little worth.

The scatter'd gleanings of a feast
My little meals supply;
But if thine unrelenting heart
That slender boon deny,
The cheerful light, the vital air,
Are blessings widely giv'n;
Let Nature's children all enjoy
The common gifts of Heav'n.

The tender sympathising heart
To all compassion gives,
Casts round the world its glance of love,
And feels for all that lives.
Then hear a trembling pris'ner's prayer,
For liberty that sighs;
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the suff'rer's cries.

Mrs. Barbauld.