ark afloat.jpg (17633 bytes)
Catholic-Animals
THE ARK

A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals

 

Selections From The Ark Number 215 - Summer 2010

THE MOUSE’S PETITION

Found in the TRAP where he had been confin’d all Night.

[1733] Edition. Later editions added to ‘confin’d’: ‘by [her friend] Doctor Priestly for the sake of making experiments with different kinds of air’. The poet was not against all scientific experiments per se, but questioned to right to use animals in them.

Barbauld suggests here that compassion should be engendered either by the belief in Pythagorean metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, from humans to animals, or else by the fact that this may be all the life animals have to enjoy.


 Parcere subjectis, & debellare superbos, Virgil.
[‘to spare the underdog, and pull down the proud’, from Aeneid VI. 851]

OH ! hear a pensive captive’s prayer,
For liberty that sighs ;
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the prisoner’s cries.

For here forlorn and sad I sit,
Within the wiry grate ;
And tremble at th’ approaching morn,
Which brings impending fate.

If e’er thy breast with freedom glow’d,
And spurn’d a tyrant’s chain,
Let not thy strong oppressive force
A free-born mouse detain.

Oh! do not stain with guiltless blood
Thy hospitable hearth ;
Nor triumph that thy wiles betray’d
A prize so little worth.

The scatter’d gleanings of a feast
My scanty meals supply ;
But if thine unrelenting heart
That slender boon deny,
The chearful light, the vital air,
Are blessings widely given ;
Let nature’s commoners enjoy
The common gifts of heaven.

The well taught philosophic mind
To all compassion gives ;
Casts round the world an equal eye,
And feels for all that lives.

If mind, as ancient sages taught,
A never dying flame,
Still shifts thro’ matter’s varying forms,
In every form the same,

Beware, lest in the worm you crush
A brother’s soul you find ;
And tremble lest thy luckless hand
Dislodge a kindred mind.

Or, if this transient gleam of day
Be all of life we share,
Let pity plead within thy breast,
That little all to spare.

So may thy hospitable board
With health and peace be crown’d ;
And every charm of heartfelt ease
Beneath thy roof be found.

So when unseen destruction lurks,
Which men like mice may share,
May some kind angel clear thy path,
And break the hidden snare.

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, née Aikin
1743-1825.

Return to:
Number 215 - Summer 2010

Home Page
Animal Art, Paintings and Drawings
Archive
The Ark Table of Contents
Comments on Topical Issues
Debate - Discussion
Library
Letters
Links
Membership Page
Poetry
Prayers
Programs
Selected Articles and Reports

Who We Are
Catholic Concern for Animals - USA

For a sample copy of The Ark and all membership details, and for questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at Catholic Concern for Animals deborahjark@aol.com

| Home Page | Announcements | Archive | Ark Table of Contents | Comments on Topical Issues  | Debate - Discussion | Library | Letters | Links | Poetry | Prayers | Programs | Selected Articles and Reports | Who We Are |

Catholic Concern for Animals - Providing Christian education, research, study, instruction, teaching, theology, forum and publications concerning animal rights, welfare, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, Bible, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion as they relate to bioethics, vivisection, animals, creature, creatures, hunting, pets, factory farming, fur, creation, conservation, environment, rodeos, bullfighting, cockfighting, cruelty, lifestyle, ethics, St. Francis, Aquinas, Vatican, vegan, vegetarian, veganism, vegetarianism, environment, ecosystem, The Ark, ark


This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting all-creatures.org.
Since date.gif (991 bytes)