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99. To a Louse

 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 Jeany, 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!

Poem by Robert Burns
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