To the mouse the maiden did say “I fear you not, but please go away.”
To the maiden the mouse did say “Why do you fear me not on this fine day?”
To the rodent’s query she made reply “No silly fear-ridden girl am I.”
“Where other girls will jump and squeal, I’ll smash you flat beneath my heel.”
With such a threat upon the air, the mouse reared up and then it stared.
“I will depart a moment hence, if you’ll allow me recompense.”
“If I can guess what scares you so, then I may stay and you will go.”
To the mouse’s plan the girl agreed, although she did not see the need.
“Your quest is vain, you silly rat, for I fear no man nor fowl nor asp.”
To this the loquacious rodent replied “It terrifies you that we all must die.”
“My life is short upon this earth, and though longer you have scarce more worth.”
“In a hundred years, to give or take, t’will be forgotten what you make.”
“Whether a book you wrote or a child you bore, it is as nothing on eternity’s shore.”
“Look on me here, upon your floor, and see your death yet at your door.”
“For though you’re not afraid of me, you’re terrified of what you see.”
At this remark the girl did call, and clamber upon her table tall.
“Oh help, oh help, a mouse is here! I’d squash it flat, if not for fear!”

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