To A Man - the mousies riposte

To A Man - the mousies riposte

A Poem by alanwgraham
"

My attempt tae turn Robert Burns poem 'To a mouse' on it's heid

"

To a Man - the mousie’s riposte


Muckle, ower daft, hard-nekit, craiturs  

O what an maistery's in thy features

I ken that mony are feart o’ mice

But mousie traps are nae sae nice

 

I’m truly sorry mousie’s span's

Aboot tae slither doon the pan

And justifies yer ill opinion

Ye hae o’ us, yer wee’est minion

 

But think on it, all earth-born mortals

Each ane will tread the murky portals

O’ certain, self-imposed extinction

There’s few acquitted wi’ distinction

 

You’ve brocht us tae a sorry pass

Just tarry lang, afore the glass

Ye’ll see the culprit o’ oor doom

Afore the final curtains loom

 

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion

Has broke oor web  o’ social union

and no' excuse that fricht ye gie us

in oor wee hoose a'neath the grass

 

The mair ye think and mak’ yer plans

Ye'll glaikit turn, and ken that man’s

shuir demise will nae dout come

tae a’ o’ us, an  no just  some


now you’re the heidy yin about

ye hae the wit, ye hae the clout

Oor ane wee heids devoid o’ guile

A’ mousies dae is nibble an smile


Still, I am blessed compared wi thee

This moment only toucheth me

Into the future I can not keek

and see that you'll be up the creek

 

Ane thing I ken, we’re oot o luck

an' thanks tae man we're truly f*cked!


 

I'll gie ye a puckle words ye micht nae ken!

gie- give, puckle - small amount, ye - you, micht - might, nae - not, ken - know


A few mair!

muckle - big, neckit -necked, feart - afraid, brocht - brought, glaikit - stupid, glass -mirror, heids-heads

heidy - brainy, ane -one, dae-do, aneath-beneath, f*cked- that's old english!


Note: The above poem is intended to turn Burn's wonderful and prophetic poem 'To a Mouse' on its head and give what the wee mousie might have said. I have focused on certain sections of the poem.


To a mouse


Wee, sleekit, cowrin, 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’ murdering 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!


I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ requet;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!


Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly 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’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.


That wee bit heap o’ leaves and stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!


But Mousie, 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 cannot see,
I guess an’ fear!


 

 

 

 


 

© 2020 alanwgraham


My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Thats pure dead gallus Alan, ah never did put much clout behind burns and his moose and Rabbie Bruce' spider. Painting them as the good guy and no even sharin their royalties wi their subject matter. Its basically animal cruelty.
But yo gie them a fine voice in your own inimitable style.
Ps, that would be minty table style if predictive text had its way 😀

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

Thanks again for your witty reply Lorrie I'm glad you found this - naebody else kens whit i'm on abo.. read more
Lorry

6 Months Ago

Maybe a bit of karma going on there Alan, and never underestimateyour audience. Ive been told that a.. read more



Reviews

Very nice, Alan. You have crafted a piece with the same charms as Burn's piece, which is a favorite of mine. High marks for that. It's a wonderful challenge to reprise or contrast master works in your own language. I've done that a number of times with my friend Sheila on WC and on my own, and enjoyed it each time.

Best regards,

Rick

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

3 Months Ago

Many thanks Rick for your kind review. This wasn't easy for me and it took some research to find sui.. read more
Rick Puetter

3 Months Ago

Well, everything goes well wi' a wee dram of single malt. I also found it amusing that you taught p.. read more
Thanks Margie. I'm quite proud of this and thought it would be too presumptious to meddle with Burns To a mouse. It's my favourite poem and he had the foresight from the time of the American and French Revolutions to see how 'mans dominion has broken nature's social union.' You did well to make sense of this.
Take care .
Alan


Posted 3 Months Ago


I am impressed with your ability to incorporate SO MUCH into one posting! This is like cultural immersion for me, & soon after I read Wild Rose's piece stating "dialect" shouldn't be banned from schools. I could definitely hear your dialect in reading this & it's very enjoyable to hear it. I didn't know the original poem, so I had to read it slowly to fully understand, then same for yours. I loved your blowing the original poem out of the water. It reminds me of how at Chernobyl, all these years later, it's the varmints that have been able to come back from the disaster, so what does that tell you about who will be running this planet once the humans destroy everything we need to thrive? *wink! wink!* Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Months Ago


[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Gee
It's taken me 27 years to get to grips with the Scottish lingo, my wife being from Ayrshire. She used recite some of Burns' writings to me in the early stages of our relationship and I didn't have a clue as to what she was on about,
Such a good write, loved it.
Good morning Alan


Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

4 Months Ago

I'm glad you found something in this gee. And guid morn tae you. Of course without Burns poem for in.. read more
You've excelled yourself here Alan, not only giving us a new poem, but also the Burns original and even a glossary so us poor sassanachs can translate it. Your wee mousie definitely had the upper hand. I love the dialect and had to work hard with my pronunciation, but your glossary really helped. Love the humour contained in your lines. I wish you well on Burns night reciting your offering. Bound to go down as well as the drink will on that evening. Bravo.

Chris

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

4 Months Ago

Thanks Chris - you did well! I must say i was quite pleased at how this turned out. When I had the i.. read more
Christine Anne Shaw

4 Months Ago

An excellent effort and on Burns night I am sure it will be fully appreciated Alan by the people gat.. read more
I absolutely love this delightful repartee between your and Burn’s stellar poetic works- mouse responding to man and mouse wins in wit! Amazing feat of language and sharp Scottish humor. Beautifully crafted, worded, rhymed, cadenced- your “wee mousie” wins our hearts with his intellect and feistiness. A Master Class piece of work and an admonition to the human race-3rd verse gives a well-earned bell toll. Kudos my friend!

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

4 Months Ago

Apologies Annette for my tardy reply. My wife had just retired and we had a short break away. I had .. read more
Ya know the wee beasties in ma loft all wear string vests tartan tammie and see you Jimmy wigs. They all wear Doc Martin's and have nightly caelidhs around this time. Except fa the one's that have blue lights on thar heed and black and white bands around that caps ya ken. Now what was a speakin aboot? Ah this wee poem thing. Its braw right enough. Just now, by the way

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

You've had a few drams too many I fear Ken. Thanks for these words of wisdom. I think ye've maybe ma.. read more
I am sitting here with my head frozen staring at the screen thinking how bloody brilliant this just was LOL! I am not the strongest at catching all of the old scottish. But I could hear the brogue come thru very well:) this was not what I was expecting when I clicked on it but I am glad I did

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

Thanks Robert. Sometimes you get an idea and you're not sure if it will run. I must admit I'm quite .. read more
[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Nev

this wee gem had mae pissing mesen ya ken.. very shrewed ya are... Seasons Best to thee Alan & true :)

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

Apologies Neville, somehow I missed this. You've made a decent attempt at God's own language. I wish.. read more
Nev

5 Months Ago


Bless ya n truly.... n back at thee..
Thats pure dead gallus Alan, ah never did put much clout behind burns and his moose and Rabbie Bruce' spider. Painting them as the good guy and no even sharin their royalties wi their subject matter. Its basically animal cruelty.
But yo gie them a fine voice in your own inimitable style.
Ps, that would be minty table style if predictive text had its way 😀

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

Thanks again for your witty reply Lorrie I'm glad you found this - naebody else kens whit i'm on abo.. read more
Lorry

6 Months Ago

Maybe a bit of karma going on there Alan, and never underestimateyour audience. Ive been told that a.. read more

First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

233 Views
12 Reviews
Rating
Added on November 28, 2019
Last Updated on January 25, 2020

Author

alanwgraham
alanwgraham

Scotland, United Kingdom



About
Married with three kids, I retired early from teaching physics but have always enjoyed mountains. In my forties I experienced a manic episode which kick-started a creative urge. I've written a novel .. more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..


Heaven Heaven

A Poem by Light🌟