Oh, would some power the gift give us to see ourselves as others see us...

Body: 

To a Louse, On Seeing one on a Lady's Bonnet at Church

Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlan 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, creepan, 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;
Whare 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, towrin height
O' Miss's bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' grey as onie 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 surpriz'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On's wylecoat;
But Miss's 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 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 monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
And ev'n Devotion!

Robert Burns

Oh, would some power the gift give us to see ourselves as others see us!

I can't believe....yes I can....that I remembered such a wonderful line from a tiny book with a colorful woven binding I found in a trunk stored in my grandmother's attic so many years ago. I remembered the line and made it a prayer which, abundantly answered, freed me from many a blunder and foolish notion and changed the path of my life. Imagine my surprise now on searching it out that it was at the end of an admonishment to a louse! Well, if the shoe fits....

I thought someone might appreciate the aim of the poem or, if not, enjoy the humor and puzzle of reading it as it was written by the Scottish poet.

Oh yes Bede to bring to our mind both Robbie and Louise and wish her dear,
"Auld Lang Syne"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne
And there's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand to thine
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne
For auld lang syne

That famous line was issued to a louse.....who knew? Thanks ladies for some cheer (and for straining my brain in the wee hours of the morning)......love those lilting tones and the puzzle of "translating'. - Surviving

I think this can easily result in too much self consciousness. Id rather people look at me disapprovingly, while my simple mind is blissfully unaware of their thoughts.

Your comment is the perfect response for this poem. I suppose it was more merciful for the poet to address the louse than the lady wearing the bonnet in seemingly blissful unawareness. (But I think her winks and finger-ends tell us she knows.)

As to seeing ourselves, I think self-examination is invaluable and evaluating the feedback we get from others is a good way to do it. The self consciousness that seems harmful to me is the uncertainty and fearfulness of discovery/exposure and being put on the spot. It causes us to become protective, secretive, equivocating. Then good self consciousness is to be aware of what we're saying and doing and its effect on others. Being aware of ourselves causes us to be aware of others and encourages humility and sensitivity.

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