Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Diary of a Church Mouse
Here among long - discarded cassocks, damp stools, and half-split open hassocks,
Here where the Vicar never looks, I nibble through old service books.
Lean and alone I spend my days behind this Church of England baize.
I share my dark forgotten room, with two oil-lamps and half a broom.
The cleaner never bothers me, so here I eat my frugal tea.
My bread is sawdust mixed with straw, my jam is polish for the floor.
Christmas and Easter may be feasts for congregations and for priests,
And so may Whitsun, all the same, they do not fill my meagre frame.
For me the only feast at all, is the Autumn's Harvest Festival.
When I can satisfy my want with ears of corn around the font.
I climb the eagle's brazen head, to burrow through a loaf of bread.
I scramble up the pulpit star, and gnaw the marrows hanging there.
It is enjoyable to taste, these items ere they go to waste.
But how annoying when one finds that other mice with pagan minds.
Come into the church my food to share, who have no proper business there.
Two field mice who have no desire, to be baptized, invade the choir.
A large and most unfriendly rat, comes in to see what we are at.
He says he thinks there is no God, yet he comes.... it's rather odd.
This year he stole a sheaf of wheat, (it screened our special preacher's seat).
And prosperous mice from fields away, come in to hear the organ play.
And under cover of its notes, eat through the altar's sheaf of oats.
A Low Church mouse, who thinks that I am too papistical, and High.
Yet somehow doesn't think it wrong, to munch through Harvest Evensong.
While I, who starve the whole year through, must share my food with rodents who.
Except at this time of the year, not once inside the church appear.
Within the human world I know such goings-on could not be so.
For human beings only do, what their religion tells them to.
They read the Bible every day and always, night and morning pray.
And just like me, the good church mouse.
Worship each week in God's own house.
But all the same, it's strange to me.
How very full the church can be, with people I don't see at all, except at Harvest Festival.
This isn't Harvest Festival time, but thought you might enjoy this poem from John Betjeman.
Winter is a time to keep warm and read, all your favorite books again, then read as many new one's that you can get your hands on.