``To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
``For dolts that can't or won't determine
``What's best to rid us of our vermin!
``You hope, because you're old and obese,
``To find in the furry civic robe ease?
``Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking
``To find the remedy we're lacking,
``Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!''
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.
An hour they sat in council,
At length the Mayor broke silence:
``For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
``I wish I were a mile hence!
``It's easy to bid one rack one's brain --
``I'm sure my poor head aches again,
``I've scratched it so, and all in vain
``Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!''
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
``Bless us,'' cried the Mayor, ``what's that?''
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
`Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
``Anything like the sound of a rat
``Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!''