Friday, June 8, 2007

To a Mouse by Robert Burns

To a Mouse

Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry Man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave 'S a sma' request:
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wast,
An' weary Winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald.
To thole the Winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
--Robert Burns

Here's another Burns Scotts dialect poem. Sorry to have it so close to the other one, but I don't have my list of poem ideas with me on vacation, and I have to remember what was there. This poem, besides the great line Helena quoted in her comment on last week's poem, "Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim'rous beastie," which is the perfect description for a cornered fieldmouse, has the oft quoted "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley," or, as it's commonly translated, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

I had thought about posting the poem, Sabrina Fair from John Milton today, since we watched the movie Sabrina tonight (the 1995 version with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond). the trouble is, that I looked up the poem, and other than a line or two here and there, I found that I didn't like the poem. I decided that no matter how famous or appropriate, if I didn't like the poem, I wouldn't post it here, so there.

1 comment:

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