Gang Aft Agley

The poem "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough" By Robert Burns, has been circling in my mind for days now. I remember going over this poem in High School when we read the book "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, but it never seemed so relevant to my life as it does now. I'm posting the translated version of the poem, because the original is in old English, that is hard to depict what is going on. But there's a phrase in the poem - "Gang aft agley" that through translation means the best laid plans, often go awry. I think that is brilliant. The poem itself is brilliant, but it's this phrase that to me, has the most meaning. So here's the poem. Also, I realize that the whole month of October has nothing of my own posted. I have been working on a few things, I just need to photograph them and get 'em up. Stay posted.

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

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little 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 grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
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 bit 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 little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
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!

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