On Seeing a Mouse

Run across the Road in January

Communicated by Mrs Porden

Stay little tim’rous beastie, stay;
Nor bicker wi sick speed away;
For I, like some relentless fae,
 Seek not they life,
To scatter want, distress, and wae
 ’Mong weans and wife.

At this bleak season o’ th’ year;
When snows are deep, and frost severe,
Does hunger fore thee out to speer
 Thy scanty fare?
Or is’t the folks at home to cheer,
 That’s now thy care?

It may be in some cozy biel,
They’re waiting for their stinted meal,
Whelk aiblins ye’ll be forc’d to steal
 Frae barn or byre;
And in the act Death’s tortures feel,
 Frae Cats or wire.

Ere nature’s bound in icy chains,
Or feather’d Sangsters cease their strains
Or Belles or Beaux wi Muffs and canes,
 Abroad appear;
Ye shud exert your nib’ling pains,
 For winter drear.

When Fahrenheit’s saxteen degrees
Aneath the point where fluids freeze,
Ye shud na hae sic tow to teaze,
 Sae far frae hame;
Whare may be sits, but ill at east,
 Your sullen dame.

If sic be your untoward fate,
I wot ye’ll nae be lag nor blate;
For nature’s laws, just oporate
 On mice like men;
Besides it’s now becoming late,
 The clock’s struck ten.

Come then ye daft and thriftless crew
And in this mousely mirror view
Yoursel’s displayed in colours true
 Wi aw your pride;
Wi boasted human reason too,
 Your steps to guide.

O man to many ills a prey
Wi tot’ring steps and haffats gray,
To close in want lif’s chequer’d day,
 Is sad indeed,
For eild alane soon wears away
 The brittle thread.

Then learn, ere hirplin eild appears,
Where Friendship oft a coldness wears,
That fills the aged e’en wi Tears,
 The heart wi woe;
To live so, that the closing years
 Nae lack may know.