"To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church" is a 1786 Scots language poem by Robert Burns in his favourite meter, standard Habbie. The poem's theme is contained in the final verse:
O wad some Pow'r 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!
Standard English translation
Oh, would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!
To a Louse
More about this poem
Megan Coyer王佐良先生有Robert Burns的詩專書《彭斯詩選》北京：人民文學，1998，頁104~106 有此詩的翻譯。末段翻譯如下，還是有版本、標點等差異問題(比較上引的)：Probably composed in 1785, around the same time as To a Mouse, 'To a Louse' also addresses lower creation in order to wean a moral lesson for mankind.A particularly audacious louse has made its way onto the bonnet of a local beauty, Jenny, while she sits in church. The language Burns uses in addressing the louse is reminiscent of William Dunbar's flytings and is highly effective in rendering the unhygienic vermin as an unwelcome guest on so fine a lady.Jenny incorrectly believes that the winks and stares of the church congregation are in approbation of her 'gawze and lace' bonnet and vainly tosses her head.The poet humorously laments that if we had the power to see ourselves as others see us, such ridiculous displays could be prevented. The poem's linking of an observed experience, or exemplum, to a final maxim, or sententia, is typical of a Horatian satire.