Saturday, 23 February 2013

To a Mouse

Just felt like sharing the poem "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns of whom we spoke about a few classes back.

This is the poem in modern English:

To a mouse

Small, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,
O, what a panic is in your breast!
You need not run away so quickly
Squeaking with alarm!
I would not want to run and chase you,
With a murdering spade.

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 don't doubt that sometimes you may steal;
What then? Poor beast, you must live!
An oocasional ear of twenty-four bundles
Is a small request;
I'll get a blessing with what's left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
It's fragile walls the winds are blowing!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of thick green grass!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both harsh and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel ploughshare past
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us naught but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches thee:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

Read out loud version:

You can have a look at all of his works here:

There's the original and modern english version for each of his poems.

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