To a Louse
written in 1785
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, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner, How daur 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; Whaur 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 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 sic a hearty dose o't, Wad dress your droddum. I wad na been surpris'd to spy You on an auld wife's flainen toy; Or aiblins some bit dubbie boy, On's wyliecoat; But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye! 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 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'e us, An' ev'n devotion!