To A Louse
On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet, At Church
HA! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho', faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.
Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunned by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit fit upon her-
Sae fine a lady?
Gae somewhere 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 shoal and nations;
Whaur horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.
Now haud you there, ye're out of sight,
Below the fatt'rels, snug and tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it-
The verra tapmost, tow'rin height
O' Miss bonnet.
My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' grey as ony groset;
O for some rank, mercurial rozet;
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you a sic a hearty dose o't
Wad dress you droddum.
I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit dubbie boy,
But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't?
O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blasie's makin:
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin.
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An; foolish notion;
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'eus,
An ev'n devotion.
This has been a favorite of mine for about forty-five years, and there may even be a message in there for us.