Friday, July 23, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

I've been hip deep in cat lately.  Okay, so that's pretty obvious based on my last post (and several of the posts before that).  Yesterday I really had plans to work on my book.  Really.  No really, I did.  Then my back went out and I ended up laying on the couch all day.  And wouldn't you know it, the cable went out Wednesday night and it's still not back.  This of course meant yesterday was spent reading and watching videos.

In honor of this day of doing practically nothing from my list of things to do, I thought I'd share the poem from which we get the phrase, 'the best laid plans of mice and men'...  (Sorry, but it's in an old language - Gaelic or Old English I think.)

To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough
by Robert Burns

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!

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

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
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 an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd 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 art blest, compar'd 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!

If you go to the site where I got this, it has definitions for all the strange words. For instance 'gang aft agley' - strictly interpreted - means 'go oft awry'. 

Anyway, my best laid schemes got shot into pieces yesterday.  How did your plans for the day go?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my plans are always loftier than what I'm capable of. So if I can do a portion of what I set out to do, I'm happy!
    Great poem, though I had to struggle through some parts. What a dialect, sweet.