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66 And grant
They reached the Senate, where the Rats were met, To see what cheeses should be soonest eat; The tempting piles the lesser vermin saw, And their mouths watering washed away their awe. “ Behold!" they cried, “how fleshless we have grown, “ And be that cheese—that Gloucester cheese our own!” « Base Levellers !” cried a Rat; “ ungrateful ones, 66 That cheese is destined for our younger sons." Forgive our prayer !" the Mice appalld, replied;
that Stilton on the other side.” “ Blaspheming Reprobates! that cheese is theirs " Who serve the Great Rat with their weekly prayers. The Mice were shocked—“That Cheshire, Noble Rats," “We keep in case of danger from the cats.'
Enough!" the Mice replied, with fainting voice; “ Give what you please, we leave to you the choice.” “ To us—'tis right—'tis wise"—the Rats return; “Our love for Mice you have not now to learn ! “We have done all we could the times to meet, 6 We've taken off the duty upon meat. “ We've lowered the price of butter long ago, “ And cream is now scarce taxed at all-you know. “Three Rats too highly paid we did discard “ Last week; we've just reduced the daily guard ! " In short, we have done all within the law “ To meet your wishes ;—Gentlemen, withdraw.” “ Sir Rats!" replied a Mouse, “ though this be true, “ Alas! with meat we, Mice, have nought to do.
you desire ?
“ Or taxed or free, to us a baseless dream “ The hope of butter, or the thought of cream ; “ As for the rest, you must, I think, perceive “ You do your Lordships—not poor Mice—relieve !" The Rats waxed wondrous wrath at this reply, And some suggested that the Mice should die; But on one hand—the creatures, though so small, Were strong in numbers nor would tamely fall. And on the other—when in due controul, The plagues were vastly useful on the whole. "Twas not the case where force is wisely shown, We can't in all times give for bread a stone. The Rats most sagely therefore checked their ire, And answered, “ Well! what is it “ We've done our best--nor can contend with Fate, " And all this cheese is wanted for the state; “ You would not steal it !"_“Steal it, Sirs !” replied The · little Hampden’ on the starving side. 66 Steal it !--Alas! it is not we who steal “ From the fat larders of the Public weal ; “But just to quite convince us nothing there “ To our distress--the public wants may spare ; “ Grant us the right these stores that we collect “ Nay-not to eat-but, like yourselves-inspect. “Oh! could we send our delegates, no doubt “ Some crumb of comfort they would ferret out; “For Rats, I fear---how kind soe'er this House, “ Take views for Mice quite different from a Mouse !"
On this a Rat in a many a war well known,
Dupes--dreamers-drivellers_dunces---demagogues--“ Think you the Rats to humbug, and enlist 'em “ Against the glories of the present system. “What raised this happy nation to its height? “What brought such phalanxed heroes to the fight? “What--when our valour won returning ease“ Heaped all our treasuries with such loads of cheese? “ What made us grow so famous and so fat ? 66 What fired the nations with the name of Rat? “What favoured virtue? What subjected vice ? “ What--but our mode of representing Mice? “ Never in all my studies through the page “Which lights the present, by a former, age “Seemed any Rats thus lucky in inventing “ The noble system of Mouse-representing.”
He ceased--and warming with the glorious theme,
whiskers in a bowl of cream.
Amid the “hears” of the applauding House, Replied the weak voice of our hungry Mouse: “ Your reasoning may for Rats indeed suffice; “But 0, great Sir! you quite forget the Mice !"
Our hour is past—and I must bear
The fate thou canst not soothe-alone:
The green moss from the stone;---
But tell me not in crowds to prove
How vain is all that Pride would claim;
Is never found in Fame;
Yet fain my heart would seek show
It was not all unworthy thine,
And Fame were sweet if thou could'st know
Thy memory made it mine.
And yet it soothes—since thou didst form
Thy nest upon so rude a tree,
Can only fall on me!
Away the lyre !--it hath no strain
In which a love like ours should speak ; But we may never meet again,
For hearts-like ties-will break; And I would fain that thou should'st see That mine-till broken is with thee!