To a Louse
On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church
by Robert Burns
Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlan ferlie!
Your impudence protects you sairly:
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gawze and lace;
Tho' faith, I fear ye dine but sparely,
On sic a place.
Ye ugly creepan, blastet wonner,
Detested, shunn'd, by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her,
Sae fine a Lady!
Gae somewere else and seek your dinner,
On some poor body.
Swith, in some beggar's haffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi'ither kindred, jumping cattle
In shoals and nations;
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle,
Your thick plantations.
Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rels, snug and tight,
Na faith ye yet! Ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it,
The vera tapmost towrin height
O' Miss's bonnet.
My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' gray as onie grozet:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum!
I wad na been surpriz'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblens some bit duddie boy,
On 's wylecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi, fye!
How daur ye do't?
O Jenny, dinna toss ye're head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin,
Thae winks and finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin!
O wad some pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
And ev'n devotion!