I have posted so often on this night – usually by including To a Mouse in the post. I love Burns’ understanding that we – humans and non-human animals – are fellow mortals. It is an understanding also apparent in this poem, from 1789.
The Wounded Hare
Inhuman man! curse on thy barb’rous art,
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!
Go live, poor wand’rer of the wood and field!
The bitter little that of life remains:
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
To thee a home, or food, or pastime yield.
Perhaps a mother’s anguish adds its woe;
The playful pair crowd fondly by thy side;
Ah! helpless nurslings, who will now provide
That life a mother only can bestow!