Poem of the day

To a Mouse
On turning her up in her nest with his plough, November 1785
by Robert Burns(1759-1796)

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie,
Oh, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou needna start awa’ sae hasty,
⁠               Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin and chase thee,
⁠               Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

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

I doubtna, 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,
⁠               And never miss ’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin’!
And naething now to big a new ane
⁠               O’ foggage green,
And bleak December’s winds ensuin’,
⁠               Baith snell and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,
And weary winter comin’ fast,
And cozie here, beneath the blast,
⁠               Thou thought to dwell,
Till, crash! the cruel coulter passed
⁠               Out through thy cell.

That wee bit heap o’ leaves and stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned out for a’ thy trouble,
⁠               But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
⁠               And cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice and men
⁠               Gang aft a-gley,
And lea’e us naught but grief and pain,
⁠               For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, och! I backward cast my e’e
⁠               On prospects drear!
And forward, though I canna see,
⁠               I guess and fear.

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