On returning home from a poaching trip to find a mouse in the pantry
WEE, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous mousie,
O, what a mess tha’s made o my housie!
Th’art right to start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
Were I not drunk, I’d rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!
All ma bread lies there in ruin
The oats across the floor are strewin!
My joint is mired, I’ll need a new ane
For Sunday lunch
T’is good I caught a hare for stewin’:
Not thine to munch
Tha has na take the cheese I set
In yonder trap, for thee to et
But a the things na mouse should touch
So say the books
An so I thank thee very much
As will the cooks
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving cunning may be vain;
The best-laid traps for 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!