” To a Mouse ” , on turning her up in her Nest with his Plough, November 1785.

A Poem written by Robert Burns, and was included in the Kilmarnock volume and all of the Poet’s later other editions, such as the Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect [ Edinburgh Edition ] According to legend, Burns was ploughing in the fields and accidentally destroyed a mouse’s nest, which it needed to survive the winter. In fact, Burn’s brother Gilbert claimed that the Poet composed the poem while still holding his plough.

The Original Scots { 1st Verse }

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a pannic’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 prattle!

English translation { 1st Verse }

Little, cunning, cowering , timourous beast,

Oh, what a panic is in your breast!

You need not start away so hasty,

With bickering prattle,

I would loath to run and chase you,

With murdering paddle.

{ 7 more verses }

Artwork – Calligraphy – Irene Higgenbotham.