We can imagine that the narrative persona of this poem is similar to Burns himself.

The humour is derived from the mock outrage in the opening stanzas, and the casual conversational voice. This humour make the reader feel complicit in the speaker’s secret – as if sitting with him in church, watching the progress of the louse, even if poor Jenny is blissfully unaware of its presence.

As a result, when the moral arrives in the conclusion of the poem, the message is far more understandable for the reader because he has so directly shown his opinion of the ridiculousness of social pretension.