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Even though they're pests, he feels bad for disturbing their home—especially since it took so much work to create. He uses this scenario to think about how even when we think we've got it all figured out, sometimes the Universe has a different idea of how things should go. From Monty Python to Steinbeck , there's still a lot of significance to Burns' well-written epiphany. Burns also gets kind of an ironic shoutout by way of the mice in A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If you were to drop this quote at a dinner party, would you get an in-unison "awww" or would everyone roll their eyes and never invite you back?

Robert Burns - To A Mouse - Poem

Here it is, on a scale of Maybe a little. But postulating on the human experience just means you're a smarty pants, and everyone should be impressed at your knowledge of Scottish poets. All rights reserved. Quotes Shmoop will make you a better lover An' naething, now, to big a new ane, O' foggage green! An' bleak December's winds ensuin, Baith snell an' keen!

This Quote Is From

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! Thy 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!

Quote Details: Robert Burns: The best laid schemes - The Quotations Page

Little, silky, cowering, timid beast, Oh, what a panic is in your breast! You need not start away so hasty With bickering prattle! I would be loath to run and chase you, With murdering paddle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union, And justifies that ill opinion Which makes you startle At me, your poor, earth-born companion And fellow mortal! I doubt not, sometimes, that you may steal; What then?

Poor beast, you must live! An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves Is a small request; I will get a blessing with what is left, And never miss it. Your small house, too, in ruin! Its feeble walls the winds are scattering! And nothing now, to build a new one, Of coarse green foliage! And bleak December's winds coming, Both bitter and piercing! You saw the fields laid bare and empty, And weary winter coming fast, And cozy here, beneath the blast, You thought to dwell, Till crash!


The cruel plough passed Out through your cell. That small heap of leaves and stubble, Has cost you many a weary nibble! Now you are turned out, for all your trouble, Without house or holding, To endure the winter's sleety dribble, And hoar-frost cold. But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often askew, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!

Still you are blessed, compared with me!

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The present only touches you: But oh! I backward cast my eye, On prospects dreary! And forward, though I cannot see, I guess and fear! The novel The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon also draws its title from this line, and so do the novel of the same name by Canadian author Terry Fallis and the film series based on it.