To a Louse
by Robert Burns
Ha! Wh'are 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, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner!
How dare ye set your 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 shoals and nations;
Where horn nor bane ne'er dare unsettle
Your thick plantations.
Now haud ye there, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rels, snug an' tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right
Till ye've got on it,
The very tapmost tow'ring height
O Miss's bonnet.
My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump and gray as ony 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 surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flannen toy;
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
But Miss's fine Lunardi! fie,
How daur ye do't?
O Jenny, dinna toss your 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 mony a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
And ev'n devotion!