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Good-Nature to Animals

The man of Mercy (says the Seer)
Shows mercy to his beast;
Learn not of churls to be severe,
But house and feed at least.

Shall I melodious prisoners take
From out the linnet’s nest,
And not keep busy care awake,
To cherish every guest?

What, shall I whip in cruel wrath
The steed that bears me safe,
Or ’gainst the dog, who plights his troth,
For faithful service chafe? …

Let thine industrious silk-worms reap
Their wages to the full,
Nor let neglected dormice sleep
To death within thy wool.

Know when the frosty weather comes,
’Tis charity to deal
To wren and redbreast all thy crumbs,
The remnant of thy meal.

Tho’ these some spirits think but light,
And deem indifferent things;
Yet they are serious in the sight
Of CHRIST, the King of kings.

Christopher Smart

For questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare

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