25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 21

Harvest Festival

THE church's little hungry mouse

Could find no snub throughout her house.

With care she sought the whole night through Nibbling a hassock full of dust-- The wooden chips it held must do To satisfy her lust.

Her tiny clinging noiseless feet Traversed each ancient well worn stone, She and the clock with ticking beat Moved in the empty church alone, The empty church that seemed their owa.

But when the grinding clock struck eight

As the last echo ceased to roll, The sound of clanging at the gate Sent mouse a-scamper to her hole.

She dared not move, but oh she smelt Fragrance beyond her wildest dreams, Apples and grapes, corn that had felt The living sunlight's golden beams.

Flowers, tawny brown chrysanthemum; And rusty bracken touched with frost, Turnips and swedes, and purple plums, • All in a careless luxury tossed For busy hands to decorate God's house, wherein a mouse most wait.

And people came the livelong day, To bring their gifts, and praise, and pray. Safe in her hole beneath the wall The church mouse marked them, one and all Keeping their Harvest Festival.

She held herself so still and quiet, But how her little heart ran riot, And sang within, of golden corn, And blessed the day that she was born.

And as the mighty organ voiced The song of man and bird and beast, She, too, a lowly thing, rejoiced

That in her church was spread a feast.

So came the night, the kindly night With quietness, and touched the wall, And freed the mouse for her delight And bid her hold high festival.