A mouse springs to mind

It’s not a sunny day, but it is warm.  As usually on these humid days, I am off out of the place for a bit of exercise.  I thought we would have a bit of poetry and for some reason or other the old Robbie Burns came to mind.  I do love his poetry, but its a long time since I read any.   When you first read his words, it’s difficult to get the feel for the language because it is very ‘Scottish’, but after a while this does become a lot easier.  The words then begin to flow and you do  truly  appreciate the  beauty and wisdom!

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!

Video by peigimccann

poem from here

My latest poem is on Bookstains (it’s called ‘Bloodrush’

6 thoughts on “A mouse springs to mind

  1. This is so beautiful. Thank-you for including the words. That helped. I like hearing poets read their poems because they pause at places I don’t see. I like animals so this one touches my heart. They are so tiny, mice are. I learn so much here. Thank-you.

  2. You are so right Leslie! I don’t know who the narrator was but the accent and the way they pronounced the words surely must have been near the way Burns intended. What a romantic language! Loved the little mouse too. It says a lot about the thoughtfulness of Burns to write a poem about ithis little field mouse:)

  3. I remember in English lit class struggling with the accent. How nice it is to now be able to pull up a video with correct pronunciation! I like mice too…so small but full of purpose.

    1. The video does definitely help, especially if you read along whilst the reader is narrating. I’m very fond of Burns and the way his language is actually part of the charm of the poem. Video and audio is making poetry much more accessable I think. I enjoyed the Butler Yeats poem – read by the poet himself:)

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