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Ernestine Northover Ernestine Northover Female, 71, United Kingdom (12/7/2005 1:22:00 PM)

This poem is by Sir John Betjeman 1906 - 1984. He was our Poet Laureate.
I think Mary would enjoy this one, but anyone else as well.

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 the 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 Autumns 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 stair
And gnaw the marrows hanging there.
It is enjoyable to taste
These items ere they go towaste,
But how annoying when one finds
That other mice with pagan minds
Come into 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
And 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 it's 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 being 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.

I hope you all enjoy this read. Love Ernestine XXX

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  • Rookie Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/10/2005 2:14:00 AM) Post reply
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    Really fits the season, Ernestine! Thanks for sharing it. Best, Wayne

  • Rookie Mary Nagy (12/8/2005 9:24:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    You're right..........I do love it Ernestine! I had never heard of him......I'll have to look him up. Great poem. Sincerely, Mary

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    • Rookie Ernestine Northover (12/13/2005 4:01:00 PM) Post reply

      Hi Mary, He isn't actually on PH, he was, but they had to take his poems off because of Royalty charges, such a shame as he was so talented. You may find him on some other poetry site. If I can find a ... more

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