To a Mouse
by Robert Burns
Scottish poet and songwriter, Burns is best known today for the latter and, in particular, for his Auld Lang Syne, generally sung in Britain upon the occasion of New Year. This appeared, along with such other lyrics as O My Loves Like a Red, Red Rose, Ye Banks and Braes and Scots wha hac, in the selection of Scottish tunes Burns collected and contributed to: the Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice (1793-1818). Other of his songs are also collected in another compendia, The Scots Musical Museum (1787-1803).
As a poet Burns worked with simple concepts, but applied them across a number of forms. He wrote and published satires, scenes of rustic life, epistles to friends, epigrams and nature poems, both in a composite poetic form made up of a number of Scottish dialects and in English. In poems such as The Cotter's Saturday Night and To a Mountain Daisy he uses both Scottish dialect and English together. His poems were published in the Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786).
To a Mouse
(On Turning her up in her Nest with the Plough)
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!