As all Scots know, it’s Rabbie Burns Day…

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in they breastie!
Thou need na’ start awa sae hasty wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee, wi’ murdering rattle!

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, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? Poor beastie, thou maun live
A daimen icker in a thrave ‘s a sma’ reuest;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ tha lave an’ never miss’t!

Thy wee-bit house, too, in ruin!
It’s sily wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane, o’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s win’s ensuing, baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ corie 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 monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble, but house or hald,
To there the winter’s sleety dribble, an’ cranreuch cauld!

But mouse, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, for promis’d joy!

Still thou are blest, compared 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!

~Robert Burns~ Scotland’s National Bard

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