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					         “To A Mouse”
                  By: Robert
                        Robert Burns was born in January 1759 and died in 1796.
                       Burns often wrote poetry, however he did not make his living
                         through writing. He supported himself by farming and he
                                 gained most of his fame after his death.
                         For the poem, “ To A Mouse”, the inspiration came from
                       when he was working in the field and he disturbed a mouse’s

"Robert Burns Biography." Robert Burns Biography. Web. 07 Feb. 2011.
                   “To A Mouse”
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,                        Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!                             An' weary winter comin fast,
Thou need na start awa sae hasty                               An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Wi bickering brattle!                                          Thou thought to dwell,
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,                          Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Wi' murdering pattle.                                          Out thro' thy cell.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion                                 That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has broken Nature's social union,                              Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
An' justifies that ill opinion                                 Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
Which makes thee startle                                       But house or hald,
At me, thy poor, earth born companion                          To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' fellow mortal!                                             An' cranreuch cauld.
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;                       But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!                       In proving foresight may be vain:
A daimen icker in a thrave                                     The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
'S a sma' request;                                             Gang aft agley,
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,                               An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
An' never miss't.                                              For promis'd joy!
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!                              Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!                         The present only toucheth thee:
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,                           But och! I backward cast my e'e,
O' foggage green!                                              On prospects drear!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,                             An' forward, tho' I canna see,
Baith snell an' keen!                                          I guess an' fear!

"To a Mouse." The World Burns Club. 2004. Web. 07 Feb. 2011.
“To A Mouse” Paraphrase
Small, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,                        You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
O, what a panic is in your breast!                             And weary winter coming fast,
You need not start away so hasty                               And cozy here, beneath the blast,
With hurrying scamper!                                         You thought to dwell,
I would be loath to run and chase you,                         Till crash! the cruel plough past
With murdering plough-staff.                                   Out through your cell.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion                                 That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has broken Nature's social union,                              Has cost you many a weary nibble!
And justifies that ill opinion                                 Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Which makes thee startle                                       Without house or holding,
At me, thy poor, earth born companion                          To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And fellow mortal!                                             And hoar-frost cold.

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;                     But Mouse, you are not alone,
What then? Poor beast, you must live!                          In proving foresight may be vain:
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves                              The best laid schemes of mice and men
Is a small request;                                            Go often askew,
I will get a blessing with what is left,                       And leaves us nothing but grief and pain,
And never miss it.                                             For promised joy!

Your small house, too, in ruin!                                Still you are blest, compared with me!
It's feeble walls the winds are scattering!                    The present only touches you:
And nothing now, to build a new one,                           But oh! I backward cast my eye,
Of coarse grass green!                                         On prospects dreary!
And bleak December's winds coming,                             And forward, though I cannot see,
Both bitter and keen!                                          I guess and fear!

"To a Mouse." The World Burns Club. 2004. Web. 07 Feb. 2011.
                           “To A Mouse”
                The small smooth coated shy timid creature, do not be afraid, there is no need to scamper and
                scuttle away making such a noise of fear. I am very sorry that because we as men have to
                plough the land and terrorize you. I can understand why you being so small an animal is
                scared. But mouse I want to tell you that I am your friend and can understand how you feel. I
                understand you have to take a few grains of corn to keep yourself alive. One or two small
                grains out of twenty four sheaves will not be missed by me. Your little nest has been
                destroyed and blown away by the wind and shelter to protect you from the stormy December
                winds which are cold and biting. Poor little mouse you have saw the fields bare and there is no
                food left. And winter will be here soon you would be cozy and comfortable in your nest if I
                hadn't destroyed it with my plough. Your little house must have taken you a long time to make.
                Now you have been turned out for all your efforts to brave the winter's sleety dribble and
                severe hoar frost. But my little friend you are not alone with your troubles perhaps it is just as
                well that we only know what is happening minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. No
                matter how well you planned for the future your plan may have to be altered to suit the new
                circumstances, if may be painful to do all this but if we are to survive we have to make the
                best out of any set back. But mouse if it is any comfort to you I too have many problems but
                my problems are much more serious than yours. We as humans can look and think either
                backwards or plan for the future. As I look forward I can only make a guess at what might
                happen. At the thought of what might happen I am afraid and I dread of a bleak future for me

Derek. "Paraphrasing of To a Mouse." World Burns Club. 2004. Web. 7 Feb. 2011.
  Diction of the Poem
The poem uses formal, concrete and vivid language. Even
though the poet is talking to a mouse, he still uses formal
words and structure. The wording of the poem allows the
reader to picture how the poet feels and what the situation is
“ I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union”
-Burns is using formal language to show his remorse to the
The tone of the poem is             The mood in the poem is
sympathetic. The speaker            also sad. I feel the author is
feels sorry for the mouse. He       trying to make the reader
feels bad for destroying the        realize what a bad thing he
mouse’s shelter. But towards        has done to the mouse. At
the end of the poem, the            the end of the poem, the
speaker starts to realize that      speaker is then in turn
he has it worse off and he          speaking of more sadness,
starts to feel sorry for himself.   but towards the speaker’s
                                    situation, making the
                                    audience feel sad for him.
 Rhetorical Situation
Robert Burns is speaking to the mouse in
the beginning of the poem. When the
mood of the poem starts to change, Burns
realizes he is not only talking to the
mouse, but he can also apply this to his
own life as a farmer. You can imply that
the speaker is Robert Burns, when he
uses the pronoun I.
Figurative Language
The poem does not contain many
similes and metaphors, it does
however have personification in some
Example of Personification:
   “…the winds are scattering!”
Overall, the poem itself does not have
a lot of usage of figurative language.
Robert Burns creates vivid images by
using bold words.
Example of Imagery:
   - “…winter’s sleety dribble,”
   -”An’ bleak December…”
Rhyme Scheme:
The poem has some repetition, but like
the figurative language, it does not
contain a lot.
        I ; An’ ; Thy
Structure of the Poem
         Burns uses the six-line stanza in
         rime couée, a favorite with him.
         It’s a old stanzaic form used
         often in Renaissance Scottish
         verse. The first three lines
         develop the idea in each stanza,
         reinforcing    the    logic    by
         maintaining line length and using
         the rhyming triplet.
"To a Mouse." The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Web. 08 Feb. 2011.

The poem itself was very hard to comprehend. The
language that the poem was written in was hard to
tell what the poet was trying to say. It helped to have
a English Version of the text to see the point the
author was trying to get across. The poem was very
sad in depressing together, there weren’t a lot of
happy points.

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