Rough Scan
THE ORRA LOON AND OTHER POEMS







TIPPERTON

The first nicht at Tipperton
=I cou'dna steek an ee,
For ferlies in the caff-bed
=Widna let me be.

The second nicht at Tipperton
=I cou'dna sleep ava,
For muckle, scraggy rottans
=Gued rattlin' up the wa'.

The third nicht at Tipperton
=I lay upon the fleer.
Fin mornin' cam', says I, 'My man,
=There's horny-gollachs here!'

O fare ye weel, Tipperton!
=And fare ye weel, my fee!
The Deevil tak' ye, Tipperton,
=And droon ye in the sea!







I WADNA BE AN ORRA LOON

_I wadna be an orra loon_
=_For a' the warld's gear!_
_I wadna be an orra loon,_
=_I'd raither stick te lear!_

Pu'in' neeps, wi' hackit han's,
=Scrapin' dubs and sharny kye,
Howkin holes te beery nowt,
=Reddin' midden-drains forbye.

Dichtin' moose-wobs aff the riggin',
=Spittin' wyvers fae ma mou',
Ficherin' wi' a futlie-beelin',
=Scrubbin' hard a skirlin' soo.

Drivin' fat nowt te the market,
=Wi' a breem-buss for a staff,
Blawin', pyoochin', hachin', sneezin',
=Fullin' chaumer-beds o' caff.

Hyowin' lang and dreich neep-dreels,
=Yarkin on ahin' the grieve,
Wishin' I were Mains or Hilly,
=Never rowein' up a sleeve.

Warslin' sair wi' sheaves and thrissles,
=Sweirin' like the crack o' doom,
Sittin' by the kitchie-fire
=Powkin' stobbies fae ma thoom.

Cuttin' green-corn for the milkers,
=Blaudin' a' the gweed scythe-blade,
Till the grieve, gane gyte wi' fury,
=Sweirs he'll droon me in the lade.

Reistit on a load o' rakins
=That gangs deistin' ower the stanes,
Mebbe tummlin' heelster-gowdie,
=Brakkin' baith ma collar-banes.

Booet twa-faul ahin' the deevil,
=Haivin' tatties in a scull,
Wi' ma frostet fingers dirlin'
=Like the shakkers o' a mull.

Bidein' in a cauldrife chaumer
=Faur there's nocht but caun'le-licht,
Wauken't wi' the rottans rattlin'
=In the riggin' o' the nicht.

Loupin' lang afore the mornin',
=Lang afore the scrauchin' cock,
Sittin' in the deid o' winter,
=Steerin' brose at sax o'clock.

_I wadna be an orra loon_
=_For a' the warld's gear!_
_O, I wadna be an orra loon,_
=_I'd raither stick te lear!_







FIN I CAM' HAME TE NEDDERTON

Fin I cam' hame te Nedderton
=Upon a Monday nicht,
Says Mistress Broon, 'Gae milk the kye-
=Their aidders will be ticht.'

The first coo that I cam' till
=Was lyin' in the sta'.
Says I, 'Get up, auld Sweernis!'
=Bit she wadna rise ava.

O Blackie is a canny coo,
=Wi' mony a bonnie pap!
But a' that I could rug and tug,
=She wadna gie a drap!

I gaed up te Sklaverdads,
=But wow! she glowered at me!
Says I, 'Gweed faith, my bonnie lass,
=I think I'll lat ye be!'

Fin I sat doon by Fitie's side
=My hert was like te brak,
And lang ere I had milkit her
=I lay upon my back!

Through amang the feeders
=A rottan gid a squeal!
I left ahin' my milkin-pail,
=And a' my wuts as weel!

O faither, faither, tak' me hame!
=I carena for my fee!
O faither, faither, tak' me hame,
=And a better bairn I'll be!







THE WADDIN'

I gaed te a waddin' at Mains o' Kincree,
The bride and the bridegroom were bonnie to see,
But the dance in the barn-'twas sic a like spree!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Wee Jockie was fiddler and three-quarters foo,
And the fooer he got the fleeter they flew,
Till the nowt in the byre made a hullabaloo!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Auld Mains himsel'-I thocht he'd gane gyte-
Was swirlin' aroon in a swither o' swite,
Till he a' but took leave o' his swalla-tailt cwite.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And skelpin' on as gin first in the race
Gaed braw Mistress Jean wi' her flounces o' lace,
And her ribbons gaed flafferin' in Tipperton's face.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And wee Meggie Broon fae Mains o' Drumdockit
Was jist like a horsie that hisna been yokit,
Her jaud o' a mither was never sae gockit!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Kirsty MacWhapple-she's owre sixty-twa -
Flappit and scraucht like a hen amon' snaw,
Till her intimmers rattled like naething ava!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And loupin' aboot like a puddock mon' seggs,
Gaed auld Jean Fite wi' the minister, fegs!
As prood as a chucken fin raxin' its legs.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And, Gweed forgie me, but auld Geordie Rannie,
A crabbit, rheumaticky vratch o' a mannie,
Was warse than ma granmither's twa-year-auld nanny!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Hilly's gude-wife was swuppert and swack,
Though bathered for lang wi' a stoon in her back,
And her littlins o' leggies gaed clickity clack.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And knipein on wi' his mither-in-law,
Gaed reid-heidit Geordie McFarlane Macraw,
And his swalla-tailt cwite was a scutter an' a'.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

The mullart o' Byth was in unca gweed fettle,
And steamed like the spoot o' ma granmither's kettle.
And aye as he loupit his teeth gid a raittle.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Braid Geordie Wabster fae Mains o' Philorth
Was jist like a stirk latten oot te the furth,
And his beardie was shakkin' for a' it was worth!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And strappin' Kate Bell fae Howe o' Blacksleed,
In her holipied stockin's and gartens o' reid,
Was kickin her heels te the tap o' her heid.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And lang Jamie Lowe, hallarackit and hallach,
Gaed dancin' aboot on the taes o' Jean Tulloch,
Till Jeannie gid Jamie a glower like a gollach.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Sweet Tibbie Tocher was lookin' gey braw
Till ane o' her slippers gaed fustlin' awa',
And the hole in her tae wisna bonnie ava!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

Hilly gaed roon' wi' Tipperton's Bess,
'Hey, Hilly!' she cried, 'tak' care o' ma dress!
And the pints o' yer fuskers are kittlin' ma face!'
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And little Jock Pom, a toosht o' a craitur,
Danced wi' big Bella for want o' a better,
And aye as he tyauv'd he got hetter and hetter.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

The bow-leggit vricht was blawin' sae sair
That the wart on his nose wi' its tuftie o' hair
Was like te tak' souchin' awa' in the air.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And wallopin' roon' in her gran'mither's frock,
Gaed wee Jeannie Gatt and Wullickie's Jock,
Like twa little piggies tied up in a pyock.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

And waggin' his heid like a saxpenny rattle,
Bill Urquhart, the grieve, made a soun' like a battle,
Till I houpit a wyver wid mak' for his thrapple.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

They hookit and clickit and capert and whirlt,
And hoocht and scraicht and keckelt and skirlt,
Till riggin' and rafters loupit and dirlt!
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!

I tyauved awa' hame by the licht o' the starn,
And as I gaed ower by the hill o' Whitecyarn
On the wings o' the blast cam' the soun' fae the barn.
=O I'll never gang back te a waddin' again!







THE ORRA LOON

_The fairmer winna ken but what I'm jist a glaikit loon_
_That disna ken a doit aboot a muckle fairm-toon,_
_But fegs! he'll gie his lugs a shak and glower wi' ilka ee_
_Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree._

I'll swipe the greep and bed the kye and keep them braw and clean,
And toosle oot their bonnie tails till ilk ane's like a queen;
I'll gie them bits o' ile-cake and some treacle on their strae,
And aye a sheaf o' corn fin it comes to Hogmanay;
And Mains will say that siccan kye he never thocht te see,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

The coggie will be winkin' lang afore the aidder's teem,
The piggie in the milk-hoose will be brimmin' ower wi' reem,
The butter will be yalla like the buttercups that growe
On the roadside up by Hilly's or the skellach in the howe,
And the kebbucks will be sweeter than the honey o' the bee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

I'll sup ma chappit-tatties, stovies, yavel-broth and kail,
Skinley, saps and yirnt-milk, and mair than I can tell;
On Pess-day I'll get twa big hard-boiled eggs instead o' saps,
On Friday fin the van comes I'll hae bonnie curran-baps,
And fyles the cadger-cairtie will bring herring fae the sea,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

Fin a' the rucks are thackit, and the rakeins in as weel,
I'll set me doon afore a basin fu' o' meal-and-ale,
But I winna sup owen muckle, for in a'thing there's a mids;
At Eile I'll help the kitchie-lass te thump the dreepin' sids,
And I'll get a bowl o' sowans, and maybe sautie-bannocks tee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

A Whitsunday or Martinmas will never daur te pass
But I will buy some ferlie for the eident kitchie-lass-
A pun o' sugar-candy or a hankey made o' silk,
Or a muckle hairy coconut that's brimmin' fu' o' milk-
But mony a term will come and gang afore I sub ma fee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

I'll sit upon the reaper like King Geordie on his throne,
Raxin' wi' the tilter and never giein' a groan;
I'll toss the reeslin' hay in coles that winna nod and geck
Or stan' like auld Macwhapple wi' a grauvit roon his neck,
For I'll set them up as siccar as the wart on Meggie's ee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

Fin I gang te a hyowin-match at Muirton on Whitewell
I winna plant an antrin neep on tramp ma neibour's dreel;
And gin I'm maybe putten te the moss at Skelmanae
Te set the peats in rickles on a bonnie simmer's day,
I winna licht a pipe instead o' working for ma fee,
Fin I am aince the orna loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

I'll mairch amang the tansies, be there never sic a horde,
And hack their yalla heids aff wi' a lang hyeuck for ma sword;
And fin I pu' the berries I will fustle a' the time,
For fustlin' is a skeely art and never spoilt a wime,
And Mains will hae mair jeely-pigs than ever he did see,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

Fin I gang up te Aikey whaur the horses stan' in raws,
And the hagglin' o' the dealers mak's ye think o' squabblin craws,
I winna spen' ma siller on the shoudin-boats an' swings,
Or on leein' gipsy limmers wi' their fingers fu' o' rings,
Nor lat sleek and wily chaip-johns rin awa' wi' half ma fee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

I'll set the stooks sae siccar that they winna tummle doon
Though the daft win gars ma luggit-bonnet flap fae aff ma croon.
I'll big ma cairt o' sliddery sheaves and big it fine an square,
I'll haud the corners braw weel oot, and never turn a hair,
And ma load will never look jist like a craw's nest on a tree,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

Fin I gang te a plooin-match at Kirkton or Whitewell
I winna stump about as gin I were auld Mains himsel,
And say te sic an sic an ane that Geordie's daein' gran',
That Jamie wad dae better gin his horses warna thrawn,
Though a' the time I mithna ken a feerin' fae a flee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

Fin the digger gars the tatties stot and splutter fae the dreel
Ye winna see me stanin' like a fish-wife wi' her creel;
Fin corn sheaves gang bummin' through Jeems Calder's thrashin-mull
I'll haul awa' the blawin' caff in a beezer o' a scull,
And crack the ugly rottans wi' a spad and muckle glee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

Fin I'm rowein' oot the muck and tummle ower a sharny neep
And lat the coupit barra skliter ben the skliddery greep,
I winna say that Sklaverdads flang out her orra leg
And gart that barra skite like fut Meggie daes a gleg,
For that wad be as muckle as te say it wasna me,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

It mithna aye be Mains's wyte fin he's nae in gweed bin,
For wives are unca gear at times and like te raise a din,
So fin Mains is nyattery nyattery and as crabbit as a wife
That canna get the fire te licht or tines her tattie-knife,
I winna fling ma tapner doon and sweir I'll hae ma fee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

I'll gar flaggit fleer and riggin' dance and caper te 'Drumblair,'
'The Smith's a Gallant Fireman' or 'The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre,'
Or aiblins wile some sweeter tune that steals into the min',
'The Sangs My Mither Used to Sing,' or 'Auld Lang Syne,'
While Mistress Mains sits sabbin' wi' the cattie on her knee,
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

The servant-lass at Pittendree-she whistles mony a lay,
I hear her tweetle-tweetlin' as I pass there ilka day,
So I'll buy a stane o' butternuts fin I gang te the toon
Te gie the servant lassie for te keep her tweetle doon,
For crawin' hens and fustlin quines are things that mauna be
Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree.

_It's jist a fortnicht noo or I maun leave the Memsie Skweel,_
_Gweed fa' the sonsie wifie that has tried to learn me weel!_
_I'll mebbe think upon her wi' a tear-drap in my ee_
_Fin I am aince the orra loon at Mains o' Pittendree._







THIS NICHT AS I LIE DOON TE SLEEP

This nicht as I lie doon te sleep,
Fae badgerin' bodies, Lord, me keep.
Deil tak' the hindmost o' them a'!
And bless the lad that's far awa'.

Lang Sandy Lowe is gweed aneuch,
A brawer lad ne'er held the pleuch,
Nor tried te pree ma bonnie moo:
Forgie 'im, Lord, fin he is foo.

O keep me far fae fustlin' Jock,
Wha's maistly tint his wuts, peer stock!
And Tam wha chaws the Bogie Roll-
Gweed Lord, his breath I canna thole!

Bless Geordie Wabster, honest chiel,
That gangs te kirk-ye ken him weel,
But och! at meal-an-ale or spree
Fae Geordie's feet deliver me!

Lat brimstane fa' on Futtratdane
Whaur yokie Jamie lies his lane!
He toosled a' ma yalla hair
Fin danderin' hame fae Aikey Fair.

This nicht as I lie doon te sleep,
Fae a' sic bodies, Lord, me keep.
Deil tak' the hindmost o' them a'!
And bless the lad that's far awa.







O JAMIE, MAN, YE'RE UNCA BLATE

As we cam hame te Bodychell,
O sair wi' love ma hert did swell!
And sair I langed te change ma state,
But Jamie, man, ye're unca blate!

Ye spak o' naething a' the wye
But stots and stirks and hummie kye,
And Angus bulls and gweed nowts' maet.
O Jamie, man, ye're unca blate!

Ye leggit on alang the road
Like Hilly's nag withoot a load,
As gin ye'd tint the verra date.
O Jamie, man, ye're unca blate!

Says I, 'It's caul'.'  Says you, 'Ay is't.'
Say I, 'I'm tired, lat's tak' a rist.'
Says you, 'It's gettin' raither late.'
O Jamie, man, ye're unca blate!

I said, 'Isn't that a bonnie meen?'
But och! ye stottert ower a stane,
And near-han' broke the timmer gate!
O Jamie, man, ye're unca blate!

I speirt gin ee believed in love,
And twice loot fa' ma worsit glove.
Deil tak' ye for a muckle skate!
O Jamie, ye're byordnar blate!

Fin we cam hame te Bodychell
The cock wis crawin' like a bell,
But feint a scrauch gid ee for Kate!
Od man, ye're maist byordnar blate!







JOCK TODD

Ower in a sta' at Mains o' Tipperton,
Faur girss grew green and beast an' body threeve,
A fite-haired sheltie steed, sae aul' an' stiff
Wi' a' the hard an' wullin wark he'd vrocht
That Mains was sweer te lat the craitur pine.
But oot the gude-wife spak' ae Fiersday's nicht-
"Dobbin maun live," said she to her guid-man,
"And sorra fa' the han' that blauds a hair
O' the beastie that for twenty 'ear an' mair
Hurled baith you an' me alang the road
Te Rathen Kirk an' bonnie Faithlie Toon,
An' never trippit ower a stane or shied
At buss or boodie in the gloamin' licht!"

To groom aul' Dobbin's hair wi' brush an' kaim,
Gie him his corn an' hay, a starnie girss,
An' bed him weel wi' warm barley strae,
Was now the wark o' Jock, the orra loon,
A hubberin' haiflin in fite moleskin breeks,
Wi' twa reid cheeks like aipples on a tree,
His stiff, reid, stibbly hair weel happit ower
Wi' a muckle dam-brod kep withoot a snoot,
An' hingin' fae the gushet o' his mou'
A meerschaum pipe that aften bleert his een.
A dourer chiel in Buchan ne'er wis bred.

"Fut wye keep sic a carcase o' a beast!"
Thocht young Jock Todd.  "It's nocht but skin an' bane!
It canna work nae mair, an' warst o' a',
The mair it eats the thinner aye it growes.
Cursed be aul' Skin-an-banes!  An' cursed Jock Todd!
Gin he gie gweed bruised corn te sic a corpse,
A tett o' hay is a' the craitur's worth.
Hey D-d-dobbin!  Up ye b-b-brute!
Get up, d'ye hear, ye rickle!  Feint a grain
O' T-t-t-t-tipperton's gweed corn
Gangs ower yer wissened thrapple efter this!"

Simmer came roon and Tipperton bade Jock
Tedder aul' Dobbin in a green girss park,
An' syne at gloamin' lead him hame again.
So ilka day the orra loon was seen,
Wi' wall-tams wuppit roon his moleskin breeks,
Ruggin' the sheltie up an' doon the brae,
The tow oot ower his shooder, pechin' hard,
An' every noo-'n an his swuppert tongue
Gid wallop roon sic maist onchancy words
As gart the fleggit teuchats on the knowe
Gang skirlin' aff the rigs o' Tipperton,
For Dobbin's legs that aince, in better times,
Gid bickerin' ben the road, were sweer an' stiff,
And scarce cou'd move alang the steeny grun'.

"Fut sorra gars the like o' Tipperton,
Wha'd grudge the verra bledder o' his soo,
Hing sic a dwamlin' carcase roon my neck!"
And aye the mair his dour brain vrocht it ower
The fiercer grew the rage in Jock's young breest,
For weel he heard an' sa' the servant-quines,
Cursed be the clypin, kecklin', reid-faced jauds!
Fae Ardlaw Mains te Kirkton and Newseat,
And doon the howe te bonnie Bodychell,
And ower by Nethermill and Wasterton
As far as Overton and gweed Claystiles,
Winkin' an' lachin laich ahin' his back,
As Jock gid stumpin' roon' the Mintlaw games
Like some aul' fairmer at a feein' mart,
Or steed amang the tents on Aikey Brae,
Wi' worsit monkey reestit on his kep,
Glowerin' at a' the ferlies in the Fair.
And doon at Memsie, faur on Sunday nicht
The lads foregaithered for an 'oor or twa,
Tipperton's loon was chirstened "Dobbin-Jock."

At lang length, fin the warmer wither cam',
Dobbin lay oot a' nicht, and young Jock Todd
Gaed twice a day te shift the tedder ower
Te faur the gweed girss blades grew rank an' green.

Ae day as Jock gaed shoudin' up the road
Te shift the sheltie's stance, his canny legs
Keepin' a calm soouch for well they kent
The shorter was the yokin' at the neeps
Gin they took routh o' time te come an' gang,
Richt in the nyeuck o' ane o' Fitie's parks
Steed Fitie's orra loon.  "Hey, Dobbin-Jock!
An' foo's yr bonnie bride doon in yon howe?"
Never a work spak Jock.  Fae the aul' mairch dyke
He whuppit aff a lang tyeuch branch o' breem,
And comin' doon te faur aul' Dobbin steed,
He shiftet ower the baikie, syne steed still
Till Dobbin's heid bent doon te taste the girse.
"Ye b-b-bloody b-b-brute!" cried Jock,
As roon' the hin'-legs wi' the soople breem
He smote the livin' carcase.  Dobbin reared
An' tuggit at the tedder.  Roon' danced Jock
The fite froth hotterin' fae his hubberin' mou',
Lashin' the sheltie's back-bane, ribs an' wame,
Till want o' win' gart Jock gie up sic wark
An' tak the hamewarth road.  Aul' Dobbin steed,
Wi' heavin' flanks an' nostrils reid an' wide,
Watchin' the young loon spangin' ower the park,
And never touched a single blade o' girss
Till worsit monkey an' fite moleskin breeks
Hid gane their wye oot ower the tap o' the hill.

Neist day Jock shortened Dobbin's tedder-tow
For sair it gaed against the young loon's grain
Te see him blaud sae mony blades o' girss.
"It's robbin' God Almichty up abane!
It's nobbin' Tipperton; It's robbin' me!
Ay me, Jock Todd, wha never steers my brose
Or meelicks doon aul' Tipperton's fite breed
But I maun pay for't wi' a gweed day's darg!
But this aul' dwinin' backbane o' a beast
Dis naething a' day lang but eat gweed girss
An' gars my weary legs an' blistert feet
Staucher oot ower the hill by Puddockhole
Fin I cou'd weel be daein' better wark!"

Syne doon he sat upon a big, roon stane,
For Tipperton hid gane te Faithlie Toon,
An' fustled twa three orra bits o' sangs
Learned lang syne afore he left the skweel;
And every noo-'n-an he gaithered up
A clod or stane an' flung't at Dobbin's heid,
And never missed his mark, for weel-a-wite!
Fin he was but a laddie at the skweel
There wisna mony that cou'd beat Jock Todd
At castin' stanes at body, bird, or beast.

Day efter day the tedder shorter grew,
Till Dobbin like a bare-ribbed skeleton
Scarcely cou'd stan' for want o' gweed green girss
That aye hid keepit weel baith back an' wame.

And noo for 'oors he lay upon the grun',
Min'in' nae doot on mony a Sunday morn
Fin he gaed trottin' doon the aul' Muir Road
Wi' sax-fit Jeems waggin' his weel-faurt beard
At Kirsty's cankert neeps an' howe-back'd stirks,
Or the sweer souter's crookit tattie-dreels
Bleezin' wi' yalla skellach.  "Wife," says he,
"That clean dings a'!  The souter' s unca sweer
Te boo his back.  But, Gweed be here, fut's this!
Aul' Hilly stappin' through his clean-lan' park!
Nae gweed'll come o' glowering at his craps
On the Sabbath day, an' him an elder tee.
Forbye, gude-wife, imph, weel, I'se warrant ye,
Gin he wid dander ower by Tipperton
He'd see sic rigs o' barley, bere, an' aits,
As never reesled ower his caul'-clay grun'!
Fine mornin', Hilly!  Dobbin, come awa!'

Aul' Dobbin slowly heistit up his heid
As young Jock Todd cam' fustlin' ower the hill
Wi' baith his thooms aneth his gallases
And pleased wi' a' the ongyangs in his min'.
He'd stachered lang aneuch oot ower the braes
Te shift this crin't aul' carcase o' a shelt!
Hairst was at han', an' curse aul' Tipperton!
He cou'dna hae Jock Todd at sic a time
Fleein' his howes an' knowes te sort a shelt
That scarce cou'd stan' upon its dwamlin' legs,
An' ate sae little girss that, sure as death!
It gart him greet te see the craitur pine.
The breet wid be a hantle better deid!
Fut wye nae leave him teddered faur he wis!
Better a finger aff than waggin' on!

Aul' Dobbin warsled up.  The orra loon,
Wi' baith his han's aneth his jacket-tail,
Gaed stumpin' roon' an' roon the hungry shelt,
Fustlin' "The Barn-yards o' Delgatty."
Syne up he pu'ed the baikie fae the grun',
An', makin' on te shift the sheltie's stance,
Ca'd it doon siccar in the hole again,
An' sair astonished at his soople wits
Gaed stappin' slowly hamewarth ower the park,
Leavin' aul' Dobbin teddered on his stance
Wi' nae ae single blade te weet his moo'.
The sheltie nychered.  Jock begood te rin.

Neist mornin' cam', but never cam' Jock Todd
Doon the green howe te faur aul' Dobbin lay,
Sairly forfochen, ruggin' at the tow
An' raxin' oot his birstled lips an' mou'
Te taste the fine sweet-smelling fresh green girss
That lay ayont his reach.  The orra loon,
Wi' wime weel-stappit fu' o' water-brose,
For Jock's gweed stamack did the wark o' twa,
Gaed aff stravaigin' in the aul' Shag road,
Lookin' for nests amang the whins an' breem,
Or howkin' oot the arnuts wi' his knife,
An' chawin' green soorocks, for the day was warm.

Neist day the orna loon cam' ower the hill.
Aul' Dobbin heard him fustlin' lang afore
His dam-brod bonnet keekit ower the knowe,
And warsled up on te his dwamlin' legs,
Houpin the baikie wid be shiftit ower
Te far the green girss grew.  Young Jock Todd
Cam' widin' slowly doon the lang green howe,
Chawin' a green girss blade.
Syne raxin' doon te faur the baikie steed
He lifted up a clod an' gait it crack
Against the shelt's bane ribs, for "curse the brute!
'Twisna his wyte for stairvin' sic a corpse!"
He turned awa.  Aul' Dobbin steed an' watched
Till jock gaed ower the hill, syne laid him doon
Straucht oot on the bare grun, for weel he kent
That never mair wid Tipperton's green girss
Weet his dry lips, and slowly closed his een.

Twa mornin's efter, doon the lang green howe
Cam' young Jock Todd, an' fan' the beastie deid.
He touched him wi' his fit, liftet a leg,
And loot it fa' again.  "Ay, sure aneuch,
The breet wis stark stane deid."  Jock Todd sat doon.
Wi' baith his elbucks restin' on his knees,
His een fixed on the corpse, like some aul' craw
Bidein' its mornin's feast, an' nae ae thocht
Gaed through his dour an' weel-contentit min'.







0CH AY!  THE ORRA LOON!

_Och ay_!  _The orra loon_!
_Och hon_!  _The orra loon_!
_Till a' the warld is deid or gweed,_
_We'll aye lo'e the orra loon_!

Wha weers moleskins lang and ticht?
Ca's the corters oot o' sicht?
Gies his lugs an antrin dicht?
Och ay!  The orra loon!

Wha is't likes te smoke and sweir?
Kens a stirkie fae a steer?
Reads the P'leece News a' the 'ear?
Och ay!  The orra loon!

Wha kicks Blackie wi' his tae?
Blaws up puddocks wi' a strae?
Thinks na o' the Judgment Day?
Och ay!  The orra loon!

Wha wid never blink an ee
Though the Kirk fell in the sea,
And Mains amang the midden-bree?
Och ay!  The orra loon!

_Och ay_!  _The orra loon_!
_Och hon_!  _The orra loon_!
_Till a' the warld is deid or gweed,_
_We'll aye lo'e the orra loon_!







GRANNY'S CHAIR

Weel, folks, we're met thegither te dispose o' muckle gear.
And first there comes the furniture.  Noo, fut for granny's cheer?
A pound, say ye, Sanhole?  That's richt!  Ee ken braw weel fut's gweed!
This airm-chair will look like new gin aince it's pintit reid.
Fut are ye glowerin' at, Jock Todd?  And you, wee Meggie Mutch?
Jist mak' it thirty, noo, Fitestripe!  It wunna teem yer pooch!
And braw ye'll be fin sittin' on't fin aince the denner's dane,
And drawin' at yer cuttie that ye got fae Aiberdeen.
Twa pound!  Gweed losh, preserve me! but this cheer maun be gey gweed
Afore ee're biddin' for't, Jean Gowe!  An foo's yer mither's heid?
For ony sake, stan' back, Tam Lowe!  Ye're hidin' a' the folk
Wi' that great muckle croon o' yours, wad full a tattie-pyock!
Twa pound I'm bid!  Jist tak' a look!  Fower legs as gweed as new,
That wad stan' up against the weicht o' Hully's fattest coo!
A back wad mak' ye sit jist like a sodger on parade,
Gin he were sittin' like, ye ken.  A seat as saft's a bed
O' Mains o' Carna's caff.  Fut's that ye're sayin', Mains?  Twa ten!
Man, bit ye're loupin'!  I've nae doot yon bonnie turkey-hen
Will look gey braw at Ardlaw Show.  Noo, for a bid, Jean Broon!
I hear ye're gyaun te mairry Jock MacGhee, the foreman loon
At Nethermull.  Fut's that ye're sayin'?  No, ye're nae!  Weel, weel!
Ye'll gyaun a gey lang road afore ye meet a bonnier chiel.
Fut's that?  Twa fifteen?  Thank ye.  Noo, aul' Jeems, pit on a croon!
Ye wunna?  Na, bit ee'll tak' oot yer shelt an' hobble doon
The Strichen road, and bide a' day in bonnie Faithlie Toon,
Till ilka bawbee's gane, and yer gude-wife wites up till twa,
And syne gyauns furth and gets ye streekit oot in Meggie's sta'!
Is that a bid ye're giein' me, Blackie?  No?  Well, dinna stan'
And shak' yer orra lugs as gin ye warna beast nor man!
And fut's adee wi you, Jeems Fite?  Ye're haudin' sic a wark!
A forkie doon yer neck?  Dyod, man, ye'll need te change yer sark!
Twa fifteen's bid!  Ye dinna tell me I maun knock it doon
For twa fifteen!  A cheer as braw as Mistress Tyler's goon!
Three pound, I'm bid!  Three pound!  Three pound!  Tam, turn't roon' aboot,
And lat them see't baith back and front.  My fegs, withoot a doot,
It's the finest cheer that iver steed for sale at ony roup!
Ay, ay, ye're lachin', Sandy Tough!  Bit faith, I'd gar ye loup,
Gin I were at yer lug, ma mannie!  Crackit, div ye say?
Of coorse it's crackit!  Gweed be here!  Fut sorra wad ye hae
For jist three pound?  A horse an' cairt?  Forbye, this airm-cheer's
As auld's the Hull o' Mormon', man, and ten pound's nae ower dear.
I widna winner though Prince Chairlie aince sat on't himsel'!
Three five, I'm bid!  Three ten!  Three fifteen!  Thank ye, Mistress Bell.
Faith, but we're gettin' on!  Gweed losh!  Is that you, Mistress Sim?
I didna think te see you here!  An foo's the bairnie's wime?
A bittie better?  Gweed be praised!  An' foo's the hummle-coo?
Twins, did ye say?  Dyod, umman, bit that blecks aul' Wastie's soo!
Jist tak' a thocht, noo, Mistress Sim, and pit five shillin's on!
Fower pound I'm bid!  At jist fower pound!  Going!  Going!  Gone!







NEDDERTON

O Nedderton's a bonnie toon,
=An' stan's upon the brae!
I cam' hame te Nedderton
=Upon a Wednesday.

I hidna been at Nedderton
=A week but barely ane,
Fin oot spak Geordie Anderson,
=Says, 'Lass, ye're skin an' bane.'

O Nedderton's a bonnie toon,
=An' stan's upon the knowe!
An' siccan kye as Nedderton's
=I'se warrant there's but fyow.

I hidna been at Nedderton
=A week but barely twa,
Fin oot spak Geordie Anderson,
=Says, 'Lass, ye're nae sae sma'.'

O Nedderton's a bonnie toon,
=An' stan's upon the hull!
An' half a hunner corn rucks
=Gang bummin' through the mull.

I hidna been at Nedderton
=A week but barely three,
Fin oot spak Geordie Anderson,
=Says, 'Lass, I think ye'll dae.'

O Nedderton's a bonnie toon,
=An' stan's upon the Meer!
I'll wed Geordie Anderson
=Gin Marti'mas were here.







AS I CAM' OWER TE NEDDERTON

As I cam' ower te Nedderton,
=Upon a Sunday nicht,
As I cam' ower te Nedderton,
=Fut made ma feet sae licht?
"'Twis mebbe jist ma Sunday sheen!"
=Says I te Jock McKnight.

Fin I ca'd in at Nedderton,
=I thocht it wisna me,
Lachin' i' the fire-licht,
=Wi' Jean Gowe upon ma knee.
Na!  I kent it wisna me!

As I cam' hame fae Nedderton,
=Upon a Sunday nicht,
I keest awa ma bonnie brooch-
=Fut gart it shine sae bricht?
"Twis mebbe jist a saxpence!'
=Says I te Jock McKnicht.







A BAIRNIE GREETIN'

A bairnie greetin',
=A laddie at skweel,
Fee't loon workin',
=Daein' richt weel:

Foreman at Hilly's,
=A fine strappin' chiel,
Fairmer o' Wasterton,
=Laird as weel:

A grown man coortin',
=A young wife's feel,
An auld man greetin' -
=A weel coupit creel!







JOCKIE

Jockie in the mornin'
Ower at Pickerstane,
Crawlin' fae the blankets
Rubbin' baith his een;
Wamlin' on the canvas,
Tyauvin' wi' his breeks,
Fummlin' for the buttons,
Raxin' baith his cheeks.

Jockie at the table
Wi' a muckle speen,
Gobblin' doon his porridge
Cauler than a stane;
Splashin' in the basin,
Sparkin' a' the wa',
Jockie never touchin'
Neck or lugs ava'.

Jockie wi' his byeuckies
Slung across his back,
Rinnin' doon te Memsie
Faur he'll get a whack;
Bools in baith his pooches,
Tae-caps kickit dane,
Nae a figure coontit,
Spellin's never seen.

Jockie in the corner
Lookin' unca glum,
Chawin' at his skalie,
Mummlin' ower a sum;
Gleyin' at the wifie
Writin' wi' the chack,
Makin' mou's an' faces
Richt ahin' her back.

Jockie in the playgrun'
'Tween ane o'clock and twa,
Munchin' scones an' treacle,
Kickin' at the ba';
Turnin' bonnie cairt-wheels,
Stan'in' on his heid,
Fechtin' Wullie Wabster,
Till his nose rins reid.

Jockie sittin' gapin'
At the hingin' map,
Thinkin' o' the paitrick
Nestin' near the slap;
Listenin' to the story
O' Sir Robert Clive,
Winnerin' gin the Roosian's
Cleckit fower or five.

Jockie wi' his byeuckies
Slung across his back,
Lyterin' hame fae Memsie,
Supper disna mak;
Glowerin' in at gorblins
Pu'in' puddock steels,
Puddlin' in the burnie,
Grabbin' oot the eels.

Speakin' to the foalie
Raxin' ower the yett,
Chasin' flappin' butteries
Till he's dreepin' het;
Climmin' ower the palin'
Tearin' a' his breeks,
Tellin' mither efter,
'They've been torn for weeks.'

Jockie creepin' upstairs,
Back o' nine o'clock,
Face as lang's a poker,
Coontin' oot his trock;
Warslin' 'neath the blankets,
Never giein' a cheep,
Curled like a buckie,
Jockie fast asleep.







NAE NOWT FOR ME

Nae nowt for me;
For, aince I leave the Memsie skweel,
I'll be a strappin' foreman chiel',
And drive a bonny weel-matched pair,
Big fite horses wi' silken hair,
And milk-fite manes ahingin' doon
Fae their smooth curved necks like a bridal goon,
And fine lang tails te swipe the glegs
Fae their snaw-fite flanks and their clean straucht legs.

Ahin' the ploo' I'll step alang,
Fustlin' clear some weel-kent sang,
While my beauties, ruggin' steady,
Cock their lugs, aye sure and ready,
And gleamin' in the clear blue sky
Hungry sea-mews wheel and cry,
And ilka furr rins straucht and clean
Fae Tyrie burn te Pickerstane.

Ower at a' the neibour toons-
Puddockhole and Westerton's,
Nethermill, Newseat, Whitewell,
Overton and Bodychell-
The foreman lads will stan' aboot
Watchin' my twa fites steppin' oot
Alang the firm clean-lan' grun',
While their taikle glints in the mornin' sun.

And, on the holy Sabbath day,
As he gangs slowly doon the brae,
Aul' Mains will lean oot ower his gig
Te look alang the weel-plooed rig,
Syne haudin' tichter Dobbin's rein,
Stroke his new-trimmed beard and syne
Start te sing like a risin' lark,
Praisin' the Lord for sic bonnie wark.

I'll buy a dandy brush and kame
Te groom them weel at lowsin-time.
I'll rub them doon wi' a clout that's saft,
And feed them on bruised-corn fae the laft,
Swaddish neeps and bran and hay,
Linseed cake and winlins o' strae;
And baith my beauties will lie and sleep
On fresh clean beddin' twa feet deep.

And when the great clear yalla meen
Hings ower the tap of Pickerstane,
I'll lie and dream o' my weel-matched pair,
Big fite horses wi' silken hair,
And milk-fite manes ahingin' doon
Fae their smooth curved necks like a bridal goon,
And fine lang tails te swipe the glegs
Fae their snaw-fite flanks and their clean straucht legs.







THE FIRST WEEK AT WASTERTON

The first week at Wasterton
=It was baith saft and weet.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
='Pit moggens on yer feet.'

The second week at Wasterton
=It rained baith thick and thin.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
='Try flannen neist yer skin.'

The third week at Wasterton
=It rained withoot deval.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
='Ye're hoastin' wi' the caul."

The fourth week at Wasterton
='Twas jist as weet's the neist.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
='There's something in yer breist.'

The fifth week at Wasterton
='Twas like the tither fower.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
="I doot ye wunna cower."

The sixth week at Wasterton
=It was baith wind and rain.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
='Yer breath ye mauna hain.'

The seventh week at Wasterton
=It was baith rain and mist.
Said a' the lads o' Wasterton,
='Ye'd better rope yer kist.'

O fare ye weel, Wasterton!
=The mist fa's laich and clear,
And the bonnie lads o' Wasterton
=I can nae langer hear.

O fare ye weel, Wasterton!
=I'll come again te fee
Fin the fite horse rins on Mormond Hill.
=And that will never be.







THE REVEREND PATRICK HIRPLEHAME

This nicht as I lie doon to sleep,
Forfochen wi' my wanderin' sheep,
Lord! gie Thy servant strength to pray
For antrin yowies gane astray.

Tak' tint o' Jeems o' Memsie Cairns
Wha comes to kirk wi' wife and bairns,
For O gweed Lord! 'tween Thee and me,
He likes gweed draps o' barley-bree.

O stap a thorn in Hilly's side!
The Dell has filled him fu' o' pride
Sin' e'r he bocht his mither's craft,
And vrocht the ladle in the laft.

And O gweed Lord! gin't be Thy wull,
Gar Kirsty Fite o' Nethermull
Come aftener to Thy Holy Place,
For sairly she's in want o' grace.

Last Fiersday's nicht, as sure's my name's
The Reverend Patrick Hirplehame,
I heard her speakin' till a dyeuck
Sic words as arena in Thy Byeuck.

And whan I veesit at her hoose,
Whaur aye she sits and cracks sae croose,
For a' that I can look or say,
There's feint a crack 'boot maskin' tay.

Great Lord of Hosts!  O pity thou
Thy beadle, Maister Weellum Gowe;
O's wits 'tis said he wants but twa,
But, Lord, Thou kens he's nane ava.

And whan great Gabriel blaws his trump,
And gars aul' Jeems Macwhapple jump,
Though tears, O Lord, rin doon his cheeks,
Believe nae word that Jeemsie speaks.

And Kirstin Ann-I warn Thee weel-
Whan she comes pechin' wi' her creel,
And hirples up Thy gowden stair,
Lord, she'll fin' fau't wi' a' thing there.

O gie me patience, Lord, to thole
The trumpet blasts o' Puddockhole,
Wha sings-as sure's the Deil's alive-
Till a' my hale kirk's like to rive.

And aye he's maistly half a stave,
And sometimes mair, ahin' the lave,
And tak's nae coont o' sense nor rime-
Lord veesit him in Thy gweed time!

And as the wind blaws widdered leaves,
O drive afore Thee Geordie Grieves!
For wi' his snores I'm sairly vexed
Whan I expound Thy Holy Text.

And tak' gweed note o' Meggie Broon,
Wha kicks her heels and claws her croon,
And reesles pandrops in a pyock-
Confound her, Lord, and a' her trock!

And O, Gweed Lord, I near forgot
To mention sleekit Weellum Scott,
Wha stole the cabbage fae my yaird-
The deevil tak' his ill-faurt beard!

Now bless my yowies, ane an' a',
And gie Thy servant, Lord, a ca'
To some big kirk faur I could dae
A hantle better wark for Thee.

And when I meet Thee face to face
In Thine eternal dwelling-place,
Remember Thou Thy servant's name-
The Reverend Patrick Hirplehame.







THERE'S A FAIRMER THAT I KEN O'

There's a fairmen that I ken o'
=An' he's jist fut he should be,
For he disna gyang te mart an' roup
=Te taste the barley-bree,
But dells his gairden-grun'
=Till the swite draps fae his beard,
For the dockens aye growe heichest
=In a Buchan fairmer's yaird.

The servant lads-they lo'e him weel,
=They aye get halesome maet,
Nae yavel broth! but pork an' beef,
=An' dumplins steamin' het;
An' fyles a roastit turkey
=Wi' stuffin' but an' ben,
For there's naething they like better
=Than the stappin' o' a hen.

An' fin the wither's weety,
=He tak's them a' in by,
Faur they a' get cups o' warm tay,
=An' buttered scones forbye:
He disna hain the bottle
=Fin there's hairstin' te be dane,
An' he nivver keeps them workin'
=By the reid licht o' the meen.

And O the chaumer's bonnie!
=For there's pintit on the wa's
Horsies, dyeucks an' grumphies
=A' rinnin' roon in raws:
There's a gweed aul'-fashioned sofa
=Faur the foreman can lie doon,
Twa airm-chairs wi' cushions,
=An' a humpty for the loon.

O this fairmer that I ken o'
=Is an elder o' the kirk,
An' pits as muckle in the plate
=Wad buy a growein' stirk.
His name I canna tell ye,
=He's a man I nivver met
In a' the land o' Buchan,
=For-he's nae born yet!







JOCK SCOTT

Here lies Jock Scott,
=A wily craw,
What thocht te jink
=The mortal law,
Death nabbit me
=At ninety-twa.

I keest ma corn
=Ower stanes and clods,
But gweed be here, man!
=Fut's the odds,
Fin aince ye're happit
=Ower wi' sods?

'Ho! ho! Jock Scott,'
=Cried Nicky Cloots,
'O antrin things,
=I hae ma doots,
Ye dinna ken
=The ins and oots!'

'Rax ower the tyangs,
=My merry men a',
And gar the muckle
=Bellaws blaw,
Till reid het lowes
=Licht up my ha'.

For aul' Jock Scott
=O' Futtratfen,
Comes doon this day
=To my dark den.'
'Gweed Lord,' cried Jock,
='I didna ken!'

The smorin' reek
=Cam' yoamin' oot,
Gaed swirlin' roon'
=Aul' Nicky's snoot,
Jock Scott's a waster
=Noo, I doot!

Nae mair I neither
=Heard nor sa',
But something shapit
=Like a craw,
Gaed flafferin' ower
=The kirkyaird wa'.







BEERY ME OWER AT PETERHEID

Beery me ower at Peterheid!
=But howk a hole the maist o' a hunner' feet
Te haud ma shiverin' banes and ma hert like leed
=Fae the caul' dreich weet.

Beery me ower at Peterheid!
=But growe on the tap a muckle scentit rose
Te haud awa the smell o' the herrin' heid
=Fae ma scunnert nose.

Beery me ower at Peterheid!
=But mak' ma coffin o' finest polisht oak,
For braw maun I be fin I am lyin' deid
=Amang gentry folk.







GEORDIE WABSTER

Weel, Geordie Wabster,
=Fut excuse the day?
Please, sir, please, sir,
=It wis ma muckle tae!
For comin' doon by Meerton,
=Wi' naether hose nor sheen,
A muckle loupin' puddock
=Gait me stotter ower a stane.

I doot, Geordie Wabster,
=That wunna tell!
Please, sir, please, sir,
=I didna hear the bell!
For I trampit on a bees' byke
=Nae far fae Nedderbogs,
And I cou'dna hear the clapper
=For the bizzin' in ma lugs.

Losh, Geordie Wabster,
=Fut's this te me noo!
Please, sir, please, sir,
=It wis the grunny soo!
For I wis barely roadit,
=Fin oot ma mither cam'-
'Rin, Geordie, for the fusky,
=Aul' Stinker's ta'en a dwam!'

Hoots, Geordie Wabster!
=Are ee gyaun gyte?
Please, sir, please, sir,
='Twis a' ma mither's wyte!
For she hid a maist byordnar caul'
=This mornin' fin she rose,
And she cou'dna get ma porridge steert
=For dichtin' at her nose.

I doot, Geordie Wabster,
=I doot ye're tellin' lees!
Please, sir, please, sir,
='Twis mither's new cheese!
For it connacht a' ma stamack,
=And it cam' te sic a heicht,
I wis rowein' like a bowie
=In the riggin' o' the nicht.

Gweed be here, Geordie!
=This wunna dae ava!
Please, sir, please, sir,
=I widna like te blaw,
But the verra morn's mornin'
=I'll wauken wi' the cock,
And come skelpin' doon te Memsie
=Fin it's ringin' aucht o'clock.

A' richt, Geordie,
=Ye'll be in time the morn?
Ay sir, as sure's the boodie's
=Watchin' Hilly's corn.
And please, sir, please, sir,
=That's nae lee ava!
We'll lat that flea, Geordie,
=Stick te the wa'!







WHISPERS

Hey, Tam!
Ay, Jock!
Gie's a bittie-
I'll trock.

Trock fut?
Bools-look!
A' richt,
Tak' a sook.

Tom Brown!
Yes, miss.
Come here!
Feich aliss!







THE PROPOSAL

Ye'll get hens that'll keckle a' winter,
=Birns o' reid-kamed cocks,
Hame-ower turkeys that gobble,
=And reid-luggit bubbly-jocks;

Rich ream-bannocks and butter,
=Sweet-milk kebbucks o' cheese,
And honey as clean as yer een, lass,
=Fae three muckle skeps o' bees;

The best biggit hoosie in Buchan
=That sits on the tap o' the brae,
And sheets o' my mither's great-granny's-
=Od, lassie, fut mair wad ye hae!







O FIN HILLY COMES A-COORTIN'

O fin Hilly comes a-coortin',
=It's weel the bawbee rowes!
But fin Hilly's cowert the coortin',
=O it's ticht the tedder growes!

He'll hain the gweed fite siller,
=And aye hae nane te spare,
But he wunna hain the bairnies-
=He'll be wantin' sax or mair.

He'll grudge the tattie parin's,
=And girn aboot the meal.
Gin ye buy an antrin ferlie
=He'll tak' a fyle te cweel.

And gin ye gie yer hens
=A starnie corn for a treat,
Wow!  He'll sweir that siccan ongyauns
=Wid gar ony fairmer greet!

But fin it comes te hairstin',
=He'll ca' ye Muggsie-Wugs,
And wile ye te the forkin'
=Till the swite rins ower yer lugs!

An' fin ye faul' yer han's at nicht,
=Gey weariet wi' the wark,
It's-'Umman, hiv ye time te shue
=A button on ma sark?'

Or-'Govie Dick, ma gallases
=Are gey the waun o' wear!
Cou'd ye pit a bittie lastic on?
=For, fegs, they're afa' dear!'

And in the deid o' winter,
=Fin ye're trauchlin' on twa-faul',
Wi' rheumatics in yer hinch-bane,
=And snocherin' wi' the caul',

He'll dauner but and ben the hoose
=Wi' muckle clorty sheen,
An' connach a' yer canvas
=That wis shinin' like a preen.

Ay, he'll dauner but and ben the hoose,
=And scutter oot an' in,
For aye the tither jilp o' tay
=Te haud him in gweed bin.

O fin Hilly comes a-coortin'
=It's weel the bawbee rowes!
But, fin Hilly's cowert the coortin',
=O it's ticht the tedder growes!

Fin Hilly's cowert the coortin',
=O it's ticht the tedder growes!
And fae yokin-time till beddin'-time
=Ye've nivver time te lowse!







THE EIDENT LOON

The lave o' the men were awa' at the moss,
=And Hilly hid gane te the Toon,
While up ower the hill, in the five-acre park,
=Wi' a lang-shaftet hyeuck was the loon.
He'd hackit the tansies, an' thristles as weel,
=For the maist o' an 'oor an' mair,
So fa cou'd hae blamed him for takin' a rest
=Fin his han's an' his airms were sair!

But faur was his pipe?  Baderation! 'twas ower
=In his jacket that hung on the weer,
But he soon warsled up wi' a pech and a tyauve-
=For it wisna as gin he was sweer-
And gaed spangin' awa' wi' lang moleskinned legs,
=Fustlin' 'the Laird o' Drumblair,'
Till he cam' te the palin' and took fae his pooch
=The meerschaum he'd won at the Fair.

Wi' his jacket weel ower the tap o' his heid
=Te haud the blufferts awa',
He scartit the spunk wi' a tremblin' han',
=And a' hert that was thumpin' an' a';
And now the fite reek comes yoamin' oot
=Till it's like te bleer his een,
But, ach! he's tint the lid o' his pipe
=That he won at the Fair yestreen.

By the time that he'd gotten't his pipe had gane oot,
=For a' his scutter an' tyauve;
He flypit his pooches but a' he cou'd fin'
=Was a spunk wi' the heid broken aff.
There was Fitie's five men nae far fae the Shag!
=The thristles an' tansies cou'd wite!
But aince he cam' back foo he'd hack an' he'd whack,
=And gar thristles an' tansies skite!

He reesled awa' wi' his pipe in his han',
=As swuppert and swack as a hare,
For his legs wanna tired wi' his efterneen's wark,
=Though his han's an' his airms were sair.
Jist ower at the Shag he fell in wi' a byke,
=An' sin' honey is kent te be sweet
He walloped the bizzers wi' bonnet an buss
=Till they a' lay deid at his feet.

He's dichtit his han's on his moleskin breeks-
=And noo he's ower at the men.
He's gotten his spunks an a news forbye,
=For its wearisome workin' yer lane.
At lang length he's back, well restit an' a',
=But faur had he left his hyeuck?
Was't up at the palin'?  Or doon by the yett?
=Or ower in the thristly nyeuck?

He hackit awa' for a meenit or twa,
=But och! the tansies were tyeuch!
And the great muckle thristles were dour as cou'd be!
=And the blade nae near sharp aneuch!
Ay, that was the maitter!  The blade wis blunt!
=He'd need te rin hame for the stane,
'It's a peety,' he said, laich in te himsel',
='Still an' on it wid better be dane!'

Wi' the hyeuck ower his shooder he dandered awa',
=Fustlin' 'The Cock o' the North'-
An eident mole was raisin' a heap
=So he powkit it oot te the furth:
And was that ane o' Wasterton's shargers o' stirks
=Blaudin' the clean-land park?
Though it hinnert him, still he wid better mak' sure,-
='Twas the scare-craw daein' its wark!

Fin he cam' te the steadin' nae stane cou'd he get,
=But the scythe-strake did as weel-
Though it maybe took langer-and noo for the troch
=Te gie his dry gullet a sweel!
And wha shou'd be there but the kitchie-lass Kate
=For a fracht o' water te bile-
Gin the peer, trachled lassie was on for a news
='Twas but kindness te lyter a fyle!

But lauchin' an' daffin' maun come te an en',
=And he's takin' oot ower the knowes-
He scutteret a meenit te fasten his pints,
=For they lookit as gin they wid lowse:
And as lang as he min't he wid better haud ower
=Te see gin the watrence was clean:
'There mithna be muckle adee wi't of course,
=Still-an-on it wid better be dane'!

He was hinnert a fylie wi' coontin' the nowt,
=Te see gin the forty was there.
There was forty-ane!  He gaed ower them again-
=Dyod! he'd coontit the aul' grey meer!
And jist as he made for comin' awa',
=A hare loupit oot at his feet,
And afore he cou'd hurl his tansy-hyeuck
=It was half-roads ower te Newseat.

He lookit his watch-A quarter te five!
=Fegs! faur hid the efterneen gane?
He leggit alang wi' his hyeuck in his han',
=And a warrior's look in his een.
He's back in the park!  Wi' dreepin' sark,
=He gait thristles an' tansies flee,
And fin sleekit aul 'Hilly cam' ower the knowe-
='That loon's a worker!' says he.







THE RUINS OF ROME

Imph ay!
Hoot awa'!
Aul' Rome
Blecks a'!

Aye stan'in'?
Na, sits!
Muckle o't?
Jist bits!

Bits o' biggins?
Imph, na!
Bits an' bittocks,
That's a'!







THE MORAY CRAW

O gin my banes were nae sae aul'
=I'd wing my way to Seatie's toon,
And nae a feather I wid faul',
=And nae ae fit I'd dauchle doon

Till I was 'mang the tattie-shaws,
=Faur man nor boodie widna see
My aul' legs stiterin' ben the raws,
=My aul' nib weet wi' tattle bree.

It's there I'd bide the hale day lang,
=Syne reist upon the roddin-tree,
And nae a sowl wid see me gang,
=But jist the canny meen and me.

And there I'd sit and steek my een,
=But lang e'er Fitie's reid cock craws,
I'd dodder ower to faur the meen
=Comes teetin' through the tattie-shaws.

O Buchan's bare and bleak and caul'!
=Langhillock's warmer for my feet!
But gin my banes were nae sae aul'
=I'd tak' the straucht road to Newseat!







BUCHAN - 1917

Buchan!  Ye're bare an' bleak an' cauld like the coast around ye,
=Wi' its auld grey rocks.
Nae a tree or a burn or a hull or a buss tae hap ye
=Fae the winter's shocks!

But ye're nae sae bare an' bleak an' cauld as the plain o' Flanders,
=Wi' its shell-scarred skull.
And och!  I wad rise and rin te whaur the fish-wife wanders,
=And the hungry gull.







WHEN YOU AND I WERE LADDIES

We pu'ed black-heidit tirlie-tods to fecht oor Waterloos,
And scrambled in the Sinclair wids for eggs o' cushiedoos,
And mony a dunt an fa' we got that never brought us dool,
When you and I were laddies on the road to Memsie school.
We howkit oot the arnuts wi' a roosty-bladet knife,
And aften chawed the soorocks just to keep us baith in life,
For there were sae mony ferlies and sae mony things te dae
That we coudna hurry hame to skirly, kail on rabbit-bree.
We lytered by the Tyrie burn to catch a spreckelt troot,
And gin we didna catch ane we were jist as braw withoot,
But mony a wiggly-wriggly eel we catched aneth a stane,
And fyles we got a bandy, but aftener we got nane.
We slung stanes at the tinkler doon in yon auld quarry-hole,
Till the mannie cam' and chased us, for 'twis mair than he could thole.
He wore a tartan jacket and we thocht it unca queer
That sic an orra tinkler man shou'd hae sic bonnie gear.
We clamb the cyarn at Memsie and wondered how't cou'd be,
That sic a muckle heap o' stanes could ever come to be,
Till, mind, oor Granny tauld us that a giant ca'd MacWhaap
Cam' stappin' ower to Faithlie wi' the stanes a' in his lap.
He was twal thoosan' yairds an' mair fae his heels up to his croon,
So he never sa' the wee bit hull o' Mormon' sae far doon,
And his feet cam' up against it wi' sic an afa ding
That he tumbled heelster-goudie and broke his apron string.
We sa' bleed-thirsty futtrats that wid sook ye te the bane,
And we aften sa' a boodie, faur a boodie there was nane;
But we never sa' a spittin' puddock sittin' on a stool
When you and I were laddies on the road to Memsie school.
When the winter was sae frosty that the cauld cam' dirlin' through
Braw moggins and gweed hummle-dods, we glowered in at the mou'
O' the smiddy faur big brawny Joe gart sock and coulter ring,
And watched the fleein' sparks and thocht him greater than a king.
We had nae use for hose and sheen when Simmer days cam roon,
But skelpit on wi' barfit feet and legs a' burned broon,
And gin we got a clyte and broke a muckle tae and grat,
Oor Mither said, 'Ye glaikit loons, ye're nane the waur o' that!'
And fyles we rowed oor girds and fyles played 'lashie' wi' the bools,
Or walloped up the 'cattie' till the sweat ran aff in pools,
And fyles we hid a fecht on twa, and whan ye bled my nose
I hurried hame howlin' to my Mither and my brose.
Dae ye mind the nicht that we pu'ed oot aul' Geordie's gweed moletrap
That he hid set sae canny-like five yairds fae the slap,
Syne pat a docken-reet in't and steed it up on en'?
Dae ye mind the dunts and wallops whan Geordie cam' te ken?
But, brither, na, ye canna mind, for mony a cushie-doo
Gaed flappin oot o' the Sinclair wids that's never there the noo.
Hill Sixty was a waesome place and brocht us nocht but dool-
And it's lang sin' we were laddies on the road to Memsie School.







GEORDIE GREEN

_O sair it gars me greet te tell_
_Fut aince te Geordie Green befell!_
It cam' aboot that Geordie Green,
The orra loon at Pickerstane,
Was hyeuckin' tansies in a park,
Weariet nae doot wi' siccan wark,
Fin he begood te licht a pipe
That he had bocht fae Sandy Flipe,
The foreman-billy at Newseat,
Faur tatties growe like Geordie's feet.

Auld Tammas, a pure Angus bull,
Was quietly browsin' on the hull,
Till Geordie 'gan te puff awa',
Fin, losh! he raised his heid an sa'
The lowe fae Geordie's gweed pipe-bowl,
The reid, reid lowe o' Bogie Roll!

Like arrow fae the archer's bow,
Like Hielander agen the foe,
Like crashin' drum fae oot a mull,
Or torrent ragin' doon the hull,
Like thunder fae the cloods abane,
Auld Tammas made for Geordie Green!

Geordie gapit like a dyeuck,
Loot fa' his pipe, flang doon his hyeuck.
His legs took tent, aince set in motion
They gaed as gin they'd gotten lotion,
For Geordie Green was swack and fleet,
Though handicappit wi' his feet,
Had won first prizes at the shows,
Twice in his sheen and thrice in's hose;
And now his een gaed rollin' roon',
His shooders heistet up an doon,
His stubbly hair steed up on en',
His moleskins reesled but and ben,
Ilk airm was like a waavin' wing,
His showdin' body like a swing,
And flappenty-flipperty-flipperty-flap,
His lugs gait a' the midgies wap,
Swite cam' tearin' doon his cheeks,
A button flew fae aff his breeks-
Sic a race it was atween
Tammas and young Geordie Green!

'Cursed be the day,' gasped Geordie Green.
'That I cam' hame te Pickerstane?
And cursed the pipe withoot a lid
That's brocht misfortune on my heid!
And cursed the leein' gipsy quine,
Wha' on Aikey Brae lang syne,
Tauld me I wad surely be
A livin' man at ninety-three!
For noo the verra Deil's ahin' me
In shape o' beast that's like te win me!'

Geordie lookit ower his shooder,
Tammas cam' like burstin' pooder!
His moo' was like a foamin' river,
His nostrils like a ragin' fivver,
His heid was like a batterin'-ram.
Geordie nearly took a dwam,
Trippit ower a muckle docken
That gart him stot and set him rockin'
Like a shippie oot at sea
When storms are ragin' heavily,
Till thud! he tummled doon for deid!
Tammas cam' at sic a speed
He loupit clean ower Geordie's heid!

Geordie warsled te his feet,
Winnerin' gin he shou'dna greet,
His nose ran reid, his teeth were scatter'd,
His moleskin-knees were torn and tatter'd,
While Tammas, roarin' oot like thunder
At makin' sic an afa' blunder,
Sa' peer Geordie tyauvin' up,
Lowered his heid and gid a loup-
Geordie landet on his feet
In the Shag Road by New Seat!

Tammas stood richt sair dumfoundered
And sa' aince mair that he had blundered.
'Did tak' my bonnie Angus face
For helpin' Geordie in the race!'

Tammas lumpit on ahin',
Geordie got his second win',
Tammas het and hetter grew,
Geordie fleet and fleeter flew
Up the Shag Road like a deer,
Faur boodies chased him last New Year.
The gamie, stan'in' wi' his tyke,
Salmon-loupit ower the dyke,
Dog-hips dirled fae the tree,
Coveys whirred alang the lea,
The tinker sittin' on a stane
Lookit up and rubbed his een,
Blackie, twistin' up her tail,
Danced awa' like drivin' hail,
Seatie's foalie tossed his heid
And bickered nyicherin' ower the mead.

Now they're roon' the cotter-hoose,
Geordie pechin' like a goose
That's laid twa eggs instead o' ane.
Tammas tearin' on ahin';
Ben the road wi' fleein' feet,
Knockin' doon the cotter-geet,
Garrin' Fitie's yalla rooster
Flee like feathers fae a bowster;
Ower the yett intae the park,
Geordie leavin' half his sark
Stickin' on the barbit-weer-
Sic a race and sic a steer
Wasna seen for mony a year!

Wastie's peacock 'gan te cry,
Black cloods gaithered in the sky,
Craws gaed fleein' hame te reist,
Tammas looked like frothin' yeast,
While doon the postie's road like fury
Geordie flew te South Techmuiry,
Faur the burnie rins sae wide,
Took it at a single stride,
Nearly bauchlin' baith his queets,
Tinin' baith his faither's beets
In the middle o' the burn;
Tammas could 'a cursed and sworn,
Tossed the ring fae aff his nose,
Geordie trippin' ower his hose
Gid a maist unearthly yell
('Twas heard as far as Bodychell).
Sheets o' lichtnin' blazed abane,
Thunder rattled in atween,
Rain cam' thrashin', splashin' doon,
Tammas sklitered on his croon,
And bellowed louder than the thunder
That gart the black cloods split asunder.

On they splattered past Whiterashes,
Geordie gaspin' at the flashes,
Through the park and ower the dyke,
Fleggin' Simmers' yelpin' tyke,
Doon the brae and through the wids,
Geordie weet as sowen-sids,
Roon' the shop at Memsie corner,
Makin' hard for Percyhorner,
Jinkin' ben te Nethermull,
And ower the brig and up the hull,
Until they cam' te Pickerstane,
Faur, truth te tell, peer Geordie Green
Gaed loupin' in the aul' mull-dam-
And oot o' there he never cam'.
Tammas looked and cam' awa',
Mutterin' slowly, 'Hoot awa'!
Geordie Green's nae man ava!'







CAW! CAW! CAW!

"Caw! Caw! Caw!"
Said an aul' dane craw,
As he dichtit his nib on a docken,
"I'm wearin' awa',
But I carena a straw,
For I've tastet the tattles o' Buchan!"