Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Monday, June 25, 2012

Robbie Burns: To A Mouse

 
A sculpture of a mouse in the garden of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway
 
 
TO A MOUSE
ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER, 1785
by: Robert Burns (1759-1796)
      I
       
      EE, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
      Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!
      Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
      Wi' bickering brattle!
      I was be laith to rin an' chase thee,
      Wi' murd'ring pattle!
       
      II
       
      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!
       
      III
       
      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,
      And never miss't!
       
      IV
       
      Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
      Its 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!
       
      V
       
      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.
       
      VI
       
      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!
       
      VII
       
      But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
      In proving foresight may be vain:
      The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
      Gang aft a-gley,
      An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
      For promis'd joy!
       
      VIII
       
      Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
      The present only toucheth thee:
      But och! I backward cast my e'e,
      On prospects drear!
      An' forward, tho' I cannot see,
      I guess an' fear!
"To a Mouse" is reprinted from English Poems. Ed. Edward Chauncey Baldwin & Harry G. Paul. New York: American Book Company, 1908.

 Source:
 http://www.poetry-archive.com/b/to_a_mouse.html



 Portrait of Robert Burns 
 Robert Burns by Alexander Nasmyth
(By permission of the National Galleries of Scotland) 



No comments: