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Robert Burns

Posted by Jane on November 07, 2000

In Reply to: Robert Burns posted by Bruce Kahl on November 07, 2000

Wow, thanks Bruce. And I presume the John Steinbeck novel, "Of Mice and Men"
derives its name from the same poem?
: : Does anyone have any idea how or where this phrase originated?

: "To a Mouse" by Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796):
: The best-laid plans o' mice an' men
: Gang aft a-gley,
: An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain
: For promised joy.

: Here is the whole poem:

: To a Mouse, On Turning up Her Nest with a Plough
: by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
: Wee sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
: O, what a 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, 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!
: An' bleak December's winds ensuin'
: Baith snell an' keen!

: Thou saw the fields laid bare and 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.

: 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!

: 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 promised joy.

: Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
: The present only toucheth thee:
: But, oh! I backward cast my e'e
: On prospects drear!
: An' forward , tho' I canna see,
: I guess an' fear!