Friday, June 10, 2016

Burns me up

Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, wrote some very thoughtful words about the horrible little critter we call a louse.  One's a louse, a headful of them is lice.

Image result for robert burns to a mouse
Robt. Burns (1759 - 1796)
It just proves that in the old days, poets didn't write all the time about how their love was like a red, red rose. (Although he wrote that one, too!) This poem was called "To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church," and the deal was that Burns was sitting in church not paying as much attention to the pastor as he was to the little cootie prancing across a lady's hat.  If you would care to read the entire poem, here ya go.

Burns recognizes that the louse is "impudent," and just pays no attention to the fact that he is walking on the hat of an upright, high-tone, important lady.

As he says in the final stanza:

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!

Of course, that's in the Scots language, not spoken so much anymore outside of certain sections of West Virginia.  In modern English, Burns was saying:

And 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!

In other words, If God could give us the ability to see "us" through "their" eyes, we could save a lot of the time we now spend fretting about what to wear and how to walk and to what to devote our time and our thoughts.  

Ringo Starr, asked about how it was to be a Beatle All Those Years Ago, pointed out that of the millions and billions who saw and heard and loved that band, he and John, George, and the other one whose name I can't recall right this second, were the only ones in the whole wide world who did not get to see The Beatles. 

Yes, it's good to stop and think now and then how others must see us. But one thing I have learned is, when you really think about what others think of you, that's when you realize they probably aren't.

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