Thursday, November 20, 2014

tim'rous beastie

This is supposed to depict a field mouse looking out of its nest. It's a corrugated-cardboard etegami-collage for my father-in-law, in honor of his Scottish roots and because he is a great fan of Robert Burns, widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. The verse comes from Burns' oft-quoted poem To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough. I've posted the first stanza below, in Burns' original Scots, and the same stanza rewritten in standard English. You can find the complete version of both by clicking this link to Simple English Wikipedia.

(original Scots) 

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' murdering pattle. 

(standard English) 

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.