(1759-1796 / Ayrshire / Scotland)

To A Mouse

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a 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,
What makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, 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' waste,
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 mony 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 art 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 dreaer!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

User Rating: 3,6 / 5 ( 64 votes ) 11

Comments (11)

An insightful creation written in persuasive expressions with conviction.......................................
'm truly sorry man's dominion, Has broken nature's social union, An' justifies that ill opinion, What makes thee startle At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, An' fellow-mortal! its' a great expression great 10+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Rember reading this poem in school, many years ago and the teacher had to explain most of the words as we had no idea what it meant. I understood the message in the poem but reading it again after 60 years I still dont kow what half of the words mean. I am not trying to put Rabi down as I am sure he was a genius and probably the best scottish poet ever.
Here the poet brings us to a different perspective. We see the ironies of life that face all.... great and small. So precious!
' The present only toucheth thee'.........wise mouse!
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