THE WOOD-MOUSE - Julia Ward Howe Poems

 
 

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THE WOOD-MOUSE

D' ye know the little Wood-Mouse,
    That pretty little thing,
That sits among the forest leaves,
    Beside the forest spring?

Its fur is red as the red chestnut,
    And it is small and slim;
It leads a life most innocent
    Within the forest dim.

'T is a timid, gentle creature,
    And seldom comes in sight;
It has a long and wiry tail,
    And eyes both black and bright.

It makes its nest of soft, dry moss,
    In a hole so deep and strong ;
And there it sleeps secure and warm,
    The dreary winter long.

And though it keeps no calendar,
    It knows when flowers are springing;
And waketh to its summer life
    When Nightingales are singing.

Upon the boughs the Squirrel sits,
    The Wood-Mouse plays below;
And plenty of food it finds itself
    Where the Beech and Chestnut grow.

In the Hedge-Sparrow's nest he sits
    When its Summer brood is fled,
And picks the berries from the bough
    Of the Hawthorn over-head.

I saw a little Wood-Mouse once,
    Like Oberon in his hall,
With the green, green moss beneath his feet,
    Sit under a Mushroom tall.

I saw him sit and his dinner eat,
    All under the forest tree;
His dinner of Chestnut ripe and red,
    And he ate it heartily.

I wish you could have seen him there;
    It did my spirit good,
To see the small thing God had made
    Thus eating in the wood.

I saw that He regardeth them --
    Those creatures weak and small;
Their table in the wild is spread,
    By Him who cares for all!