Reflection on "To A Mouse"

Written by Gritfish

Reflection on "To A Mouse"

To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up in Her Nest With The Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, 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.

Robert Burns,1785


Response, 215 Years Later


Why, gentle and prescient poet Burns,
Do your artful phrases, words and turns,
Cause our aching hearts such painful churns
  Of melancholy?
It's that 'th' murd'ring pattle' defines,
  Yet, man's industry.


Truly repentant recognition
Of Nature's broken social union
Caused by man's ill-thought dominion
  Should make us startle
As man delivers mass extinction
  To Earth's portal!

Gritfish, © 2000
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