Monday, January 25, 2010

to a mouse


Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair
Robert Burns (25 january 1759-1796)


today is the anniversary of the birth of the scottish bard rabbie burns. someday I would like to attend burns night (burns nacht), the celebration of his life and poetry often held on or near this day. despite the fact that the traditional fare for these celebrations is haggis (which was probably designated as the national dish of scotland after robert burns immortalized it in his poem address to a haggis (1787)), what attracts me to the celebration is the notion of spending an evening where his poems and songs are performed live. I expect I'd be skipping the haggis, along with not eating 'cute' animals, I also don't eat foodstuffs made from organs (and what is haggis but a concoction of all sorts of well, I don't really want to go there...). however, I would be happy to partake in other aspects of the evening, such as being 'piped' into the fête by bagpipes, indulging in a toast or two of scotch whiskey, basking in the beauty of the bard's words, and being surrounded by scores of men in kilts.

it goes with out saying my favorite burns poem is to a mouse. there are quite a few vids of the poem floating around, however this version by peigi mccann and david sibbald (who incidentally also performs the poem) does a lovely job illustrating many of the 'lessons' of burns' bit of mouse medicine. I hope you enjoy the vid!


the best known stanza of the poem is:

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!

or if you prefer standard english would have it as:

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leaves us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

photo: notch (may 2007 - october 2009), my dearly departed mousie, photo taken april 2009

13 comments:

Colette Amelia said...

cute pic of the wee laddie...even though he is vermin!

Love the poem and am with you on the organs and scottish delicacy and kilts!

California Girl said...

enjoyed this very much. visited the thatched cottage of Robt Burns in Ayrshire many years ago. I was raised, in part, by a Scottish lady who was born in nearby Prestwick. She loved to quote Burns and tell stories about Robert the Bruce.

My favorite line of Burns is,
"Oh wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursilfs as ithers see us."

Roy said...

I have a bottle of 15-year-old Laphroaig (a single malt Scotch whiskey from the Hebridean island of Islay, for the uninitiated) for holidays and other special occasions. Burns Night is definitely a special occasion, and I'll be having a wee dram tonight to celebrate the genius of Auld Robbie. Slainte!

Megan said...

Ha! Was just at Roy's.

Scotch whisky has no 'e'. That's an Irish affectation. ;)

mouse (aka kimy) said...

colette - vermin!!!!! never! bite your tongue!

cg - that rabbie he did give us so many gifts:
Oh wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursilfs as ithers see us --BEAUTIFUL

roy- slàinte mhòr agad!

megan - thanks for the correction - or should I say tapadh leat! I must confess I'm not a whisky or a whiskey drinker....give me a guinness or a glass of wine, but for burns nacht I'll raise a whisky!

ArtSparker said...

I like the quaker mouse, in his modest grey and white.

Ronda Laveen said...

I'll raise me cup to him and the "Mouses" too!

Tom said...

cutie Notch!

translation, please!

Betty said...

Happy Burns Night!
California Girl - I love that quote, but didn't know it was attributed to Burns.

Kim - I've just eaten haggis. My first cat, when I was a very little girl, was named Haggis. (I've no idea why my Dad chose that name for her - she was a tiny little tuxedo, with facial markings like a highwayman's mask.)
You can imagine the cognitive dissonance when I tuck into my dinner on Burns Night.

willow said...

What else did I expect from Ms. Mouse on Burns Night?

Steve said...

I always liked this poem, though I can't really understand the verbal version too well! (It's like watching "Trainspotting" all over again.)

John Hayes said...

Love the photo--& I like Burns' poetry quite well; I think his heart was in the right place!

Merle Sneed said...

Beautiful to hear, but I have to confess that I only understood half o what the reader spoke.