Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns was a mere scamp of a young man (age 26) when he accidentally destroyed the home of a young field mouse while plowing. The incident troubled Burns to the extent that he took the time to craft and record (pen to paper) remarks to the mouse in which he paid homage to the delicate connections found in nature. Burns recognized the needs of the mouse, who had only to live and function in the present, and compared them with his own existence which took in a problematic past and an unknowable future. There is quite a bit of sadness and despair in the poem.
I first became aware of this piece while taking an English literature course in college - and I thank Professor Ann Slanina for leading me to it. To a Mouse has always been one of my favorites, and I enjoy revisiting it every few years. The original Scottish version follows.
To a Mouse
by Robert Burns