The Mouse's Petition (Benjamin Cooke)

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  • (Posted 2021-05-25)  CPDL #64528:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2021-05-25).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 358 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: The Mouse's Petition
Composer: Benjamin Cooke
Lyricist: Anna Barbauld
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1795
Description: A setting of part of Barbauld's Petition "to Dr Priestley, found in the trap where he [viz. the mouse] had been confin'd all night", an early work criticising scientific experiments on animals.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Oh, hear a pensive prisoner's prayer
For liberty that sighs;
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the wretch's cries.

If e'er thy breast with freedom glowed,
And spurned a tyrant's chain,
Let not thy strong oppressive force
A free-born mouse detain!

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

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