Mother Goose for Grownups/The Quixotic Quest of Three Blind Mice

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The Quixotic Quest of Three Blind Mice
by Guy Wetmore Carryl
This poem was published in Carryl’s 1900 anthology Mother Goose for Grownups, of poems that are parodies of Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

A maiden mouse of an arrogant mind
Had three little swains and all were blind.
The reason for this I do not know,
But I think it was love that made them so,
For without demur they bowed to her,
Though she treated them all with a high hauteur.
She ruled them, schooled them, frequently fooled them,
Snubbed, tormented, and ridiculed them:
Mice as a rule are much like men,
So they swallowed their pride and called again.

The maiden mouse of an arrogant mind
To morbid romance was much inclined.
The reason for this I have not learned,
But I think by novels her head was turned.
She said that the chap who dared to nap
One hour inside of the farmer’s trap
Might gain her, reign her, wholly enchain her,
Woo her, win her, and thence retain her!
Hope ran high in each suitor’s breast,
And all determined to stand the test.

The maiden mouse of an arrogant mind
Laughed when she saw them thus confined.
The reason for this I can’t proclaim,
But I know some girls who’d have done the same!
As thus they kept to their word, and slept,
The farmer’s wife to the pantry stept:
She sought them, caught them, carefully brought them
Out to the light, and there she taught them
How that chivalry often fails,
By calmly cutting off all their tails!

The maiden mouse of an arrogant mind
Treated her swains in a way unkind.
The reason for this is not complex:
That’s always the way with the tender sex.
With impudent hails she cried: “What ails
You all, and where are your splendid tails?”
She jeered so, sneered so, flouted and fleered so,
Giggled, and altogether appeared so
Lacking in heart, that her slaves grew bored,
And threw up the sponge of their own accord.

The maiden mouse of an arrogant mind
Watched and waited, and peaked and pined.
The reason for this, I beg to state,
Is summed up in the words Too Late!
The moral intwined is: Love is blind,
But he never leaves all his wits behind,
You may beat him, cheat him, often defeat him,
Though he be true with torture treat him:
One of these days you’ll be bereft,
You think you’re right, but you’ll find you’re left.