The poem prompted by the expression “Poor as a church mouse”.
Funny poem about what life in a church might be like for a hungry mouse!
I thought this poem very apt as September Is after all Harvest Festival time.
Diary of a Church Mouse
By John Betjeman
Here where the Vicar never looks
I nibble through old service books.
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.
For me the only feast at all
Is Autumn’s Harvest Festival.
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.
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.
A large and most unfriendly rat
Comes in to see what we are at.
And prosperous mice from fields away
Come in to hear the organ play,
And under cover of its notes
Ate through the altar’s sheaf of oats.
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.