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James Chapman Craig


Nae mither's heart was e'er sae gay
As mine's, an' a' because I ha'e
A wee bit lass-a restless fay,
An' that's nae fib-
Although my heart gets mony a fley
Frae oor wee Tib.

Frae morn till gloamin' shrouds the skies
Her merry prattlin' tongue ne'er lies;
Aye apein' something weemin-wise,
Wi' dolls for weans.
She aften fills me wi' surprise
At what she kens.

Gin ane should tummel aff a chair,
An' wi' a dunt fa' on the flair,
'Twill only earn it ten times mair
O' kisses gaun,
An' mak' the ithers wish, I'm shair,
That they had fa'en.

There's ane o' her bairns is made o' wid;
The trunk is solid, strong, an' guid,
The hair's black pent, the checks are rid;
But legs an' airms
She tint withoot the loss o' bluid
Or childish charms.

For Tib ne'er heeds the sair affliction
On love, the loss pits nae restriction;
In fact, it's my sincere conviction
That dire misfortune
Mak's mither-love a rare addiction,
'Thoot ony courtin'.

Anither was a gaucy maid,
Wi' fluffy locks an' waxen head;
An' "sleepit"-least that's what Tib said-
Whene'er she telt it.
Alas! the heatin' that she ga'ed
The features meltit.

The nose was meltit clean awa',
The e'ebroos disappeared ana',
An' flettened sair was mou' an' jaw;
The glessie een
Wi' awesome stare looked doon on a'
The sorry scene.

Anither bairn that she's ha'en
A whiley, is a fine plump wean.
Nane o' yer skranky skin-an'-bane
Thin skalliwags,
Is shapit frae a bit delaine,
An' stuffed wi' rags.

An' when she tak's her bairns oot,
She has a "pram." ye needna doot-
The stuill tirned up lined wi' a cloot
Is a' she needs.
An' though fu' laich she has to loot
She never heeds.

Gin it should hap, as whiles it will,
That something may upset the stuill
An' gi'es the weans an unco spill
Upon the stairs,
She lifts them wi' a mither's skill
An' dauts their sairs.

She mak's a shoppie o' her chair,
An' ser's it wi' a pawky air;
I lauch whiles till my sides are sair
At what she says;
But she ne'er kens-I wadna dare
To show my face.

Come nicht oor Tib's a braw wee leddy,
Her cosie goonie on she's ready;
But ere she nestles in her beddie,
She cuddlin' clings
Aroond his neck and kisses daddy,
While mammy sings.

When soond asleep she looks maist fair,
The mither's sang becomes a prayer,
Beseechin' Him on hie to spare
Oor bonnie lass,
An' guard her wi' a Faither's care
Till life shall pass.


A'body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
In a' the wide, wide warld.
It's skin can match the driven snaw,
It's the bonniest bairn that ever you saw.
It's checks-there never were sic twa
For roses red an' lilies white
An' cherries a' their charms unite
On cheeks an' lips bewitchin' ye,
Their simple beauty titchin' ye.
An' ye needna expec' to get paurdon ye ken,
If ye dinna pey heed noo to what I am sayin'.
That you wi' yours an' us wi' oors,
An' them wi' theirs wi' truth declares
That a'e body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
In a' the wide, wide warld.

A'body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
In a' the wide, wide warld.
For when ye've heard, as I'm maistly sure,
Some score o' mithers a' declare
That nae ither bairn is half sae fair,
It sune grows plain that a'e is a';
For ilk ane thinks they've the whitest craw;
Nae ither's as big or braw or bonnie,
As oor wee Meg, Jean, Bob or Johnnie.
It may ha'e hair or nane at a',
Red, black or white coonts nocht ava;
The een may be big an' filled wi' winder
Or be like holes brunt wi' a cinder;
It's nose may be bent a wee up or doon,
It may aye lauch or may aye froon;
But to somebody's e'e it'll be mair worth
Than a'thing else on this braid earth,
For a'e body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
In a' the wide, wide warld.


Oor Postie lad is hame again,
Safe an' soond at hame again-
Richt through the war withoot a scaur,
An' oh, we're glad he's hame again.

It's three lang years sin' he gaed awa',
He laid doon the bag when he heard the ca',
He shouthered his gun an' he mairched awa',
Oor ain brave Postie Laddie, O.
At Magersfontein, where oor brave lads fell,
Shot doon wi' a fearfu' blast frae hell,
'Mang the few that were left the tale to tell
Was oor gallant Postie Laddie, O.

For seventeen 'oors on that field o' death
He lay a' free frae the deadly skaith;
The sicht he'll mind till his deein' breath-
God bless oor Postie Laddie, O.
The ranks o' oor noble Highland Brigade
Were thin wi' the awfu' gaps death made,
An' mony an earnest prayer was said
For oor bonnie Postie Laddie, O.

For some weeks after the terrible blicht
They couldna' dae ocht but sit fu' ticht
Till the gaps were filled an' a' made richt,
An' wae was oor Postie Laddie, O.
Brave Wauchope, an' their comrades a',
Wha in the slaughter chanced to fa',
Were laid to rest i' the land faur awa'
But spared was oor Postie Laddie, O.

Then Hector Macdonald he took command,
An' mairched them faur owre Afric's sand -
Till at Koodoosberg they made a stand,
An' bothered the enemy sairly, O.
For though the cavalry were gey late
('Twas here we lost young Freddy Tait),
The Highland Brigade were obstinate,
An' stuck to their posts fu' rarely, O.

An' a' this fecht was for naething ava,
But juist the wily Boers to draw
Frae Kimberley, an' bring them awa',
An' let French in to relieve it, O.
The Boers fell readily into the trap,
An' focht the ground fierce every stap,
An' when the news fell like a clap
They scarcely could believe it, O.

'Twas then the Cronje hunt began,
Oor ain loved Bobs he hatched the plan,
An' weel he kent that every man
Wud dae his best to help him, O.
For days they marched, nor did complain,
They thirsted to wipe oot Majuba's stain,
Their dearest bluid they vowed they'd drain
To capture or to skelp him, O.

Auld Cronje skilfully did evade
The troops that did his movements shade,
But 'mong the troops were the Highland Brigade,
Wha followed him helter skelter, O.
At last he cam' to Paardeberg,
An' vainly a "parley" tried to beg,
But eh! he got an awfu' fleg,
An' in the river took shelter, O.

They howkit holes i' the river side,
An' thocht to stem the victor's tide,
An' through oor ranks they tried to glide,
In troth they werena' blately, O.
But aye we drove them back again,
To force oor lines they tried in vain;
Though many a braw young lad was slain
We kept up the siege fu' stately, O.

An' then Macdonald took up his stance,
An' owre his brave lads ga'e a glance,
Then ordered, "Highland Brigade advance,"
A' danger they were scornin', O.
Oot owre the veldt, whaur scarce a blade
O' grass was seen, nor kindly shade
To shelter gi'e; oor braw Brigade
They marched at early mornin', O.

Ere half the distance had been passed
The Boers let go a deadly blast-
They kent that this move meant the last-
Their grup o' hope grew slender, O.
For fifteen oors on the open plain
Oor brave lads lay in cauld an' rain;
But God be praised, 'twas not in vain,
Next mornin' the Boers surrendered, O.

To Bloomfontein, then Sanna's Post,
Whaur guns an' transports a' were lost,
An' mair than a'e guid life it cost
Through some folks bunglin' sairly, O.
The Highland lads cam' up owre late,
The Boers were aff wi' joy elate,
An' took their stance anither gate,
Nor stood to fecht richt fairly, O.

At Driefontein and River Vet,
An' Rennoster-ye'll min' o't yet-
Their share a' fechtin' they did get,
Nor thocht they'd got their sairin', O.
At Retif Nek they cuist aff care,
For Prinsloo and five thoosan' mair
O wily Boers they captured there,
An' ga'e them a' their fairin', O.

Then Wittibergen dearly won-
A fecht richt on frae sun to sun;
Then five days' mairch to Heilbron,
The hale transport we nicked them, O.
For man oor movement was sae quick
The Boers ne'er thocht we could be slick,
They bolted juist as if Auld Nick
Had wi' his lang horn pricked them, O.

Then Harrismith held up their hands,
Wi' a' their stores, an' guns, an' lands-
The country scarcely understands
Hoo brave Macdonald did it, O.
But it was dune, as I ha'e said,
Nor loss o' precious life was made,
But we may thank the braw Brigade,
An' ye may say I said it, O.

Then followed mony a weary day
O' what folks micht ca' "sodgers' play"-
That's mairchin' till the mornin' grey
The wearifu' nicht has ended, O.
They huntit high, they huntit low,
Owre hunners a' miles withoot strikin' a blow,
An' a' because oor shifty foe
Ne'er ony place defended, O.

Then Kitchener quietly as a moose,
Began his system o' block-hoose
An' close an' closer drew the noose.
Success his method attended, O.
An' sma' an' sma'er the enemy dwined,
To fecht they werena sair inclined,
Till in a'e surrender the hale lot join'd,
An' the driech job it was ended, O.

Oor laddie, of coorse, had juist to wait
Until the poo'rs wad fix the date
To let him gang his ain dear gate,
An' airt his way to Dumfarlin, O.
Syne swith the 'oors an' days they flew,
An' near an' nearer hame he drew,
An' in his dear wife's airms sae true
He clean forgot a' his haurlin', O.

The postmen a' turned oot in glee,
An' sang wi' joy their mate to see,
An' early shook his airm agee
They were sae fond to meet him, O.
They hadna a graund triumphal car
Nor trophy brocht hame frae the war,
But they had something better far-
They had loyal hearts to greet him, O.

An' through the toon they rode wi' pride;
Tears doon the sodger's cheek did glide;
An' many an e'e was wet beside
Wi' draps o' dew o' gladness, O.
The pipers played a welcome hame
An' gin he'd been a man o' fame,
An' troth they werena sair to blame,
Though some folks thocht it madness, O.

We're gled oor lad is hame again,
Safe an' soond at hame again;
Richt through the war withoot a scaur,
An' oh, we're glad he's hame again.


It's no sae awfu' lang sin' syne
Thae schule days o' my ain,
Some thretty years or sae, but, man,
Whaur's a' oor schule mates gane?
Some sleep aneath the muils, while sone
Are faur in foreign lands,
An' some ha'e risen high in life
An' prood in honour stands.

An' some, alas! I'm wae to say,
Ha'e wandered faur astray,
Eh! little did we think yon time
What's come to pass this day.
Na, na, we thochtna o' the seed
That we were sawin' then,
Nor fashed oor heids aboot the time
When we'd be grewn men.

The mem'ry o' thae days are fresh
As deeds o' yesterday,
An' mony a time my mind rins owre
Some o' the pranks we'd play.
Hoo, when the snaw was on the grund,
We never were content
Until we marshalled a' oor lads
An' doon to Dickie's went.

Ye talk o' "weel-facht fields o' war,"
Ye ocht to seen us close,
Wi' snaw for ammunition
We pelted at oor foes.
We werena aye victorious,
For whiles we got oor licks,
But what although? if dour we focht,
We were accounted "bricks."

We fairly cowed a' Spittal's schule,
An' ga'e them many a nailin',
Although they fortified themselves
Ahint their muckle railin'.
But wi' true-born invaders' cheek
Richt in the gate we ga'ed,
An' chased them oot an' up the road,
We werena easy fleyed.

The Maister had a daur owre us,
An' yet I needna say,
If richt we did we got his smile,
If wrang, we kent what wey.
For "Sam," his faithfu' henchman,
Wi's three weel-burnt taes,
Oor palmies het; I feel it yet
Across thae lang, lang days.

Hoo prood we were when fortune smiled,
We thocht oorsel's nae mawkin,
When we wad get the maister's word
To staund an' watch the talkin'.
We'd strut across the flair an' watch
Withoot a thocht o' salary,
An' wap the tawse at some puir sowl
For talkin' in the gallery.

Some names crood roond my pen th' noo,
By which we kent each ither,
Sic like as "Tadger," "Chow," an' "Bounce,"
Names ne'er kent by oor mither.
An' "Missie" to an' "Davie Dites,"
An' "Jessie," " Poof" an' "Peichle,"
An' "Daw" an' "Dad" an' "Dumpy Doup,"
An' "Bulsher," "Rat" an' "Dreichle."

An' then the games we used to ha'e
At "leave-time" or at "skellin',"
Like "Teenie-Orrie," "Save the Craw,"
Aye gi'ed us plenty yellin'.
Then "Plunkie," "Dykie," "Ringie" too,
An' then the "Cuddies' Funkin',"
"Hurley-burley" an' the rest,
To tell is mair than tongue can.

"Roonders," "Trip," "Cross Tig" an' "Spy,"
"Fit-an'-a-half" an' "Spanish,"
"French-an'-English," "Racin'-base,"
"Koo-k," an' then ye vanish.
"Haupin'-Davie," "Tally-ho,"
A guid game ca'd "Au-boo,"
"Horse an' riders," "Dummie's trade,"
The "Butcher an' the Soo."

An' ilka game juist had its time,
A' werena aye in season,
But hoo or why gin ye should speir
I cudna gi'e a reason.
But "Bools an' Plunkers" had their time,
An' then were laid awa',
Then "Peeries" wad be a' the go
Until they ga'e the sta'.

The "Peeries" were a varied lot,
Some "strecht," some "shuttle-nebbit,"
The "Wummers" had a pickle saut
In whilk the neb was beddit.
Some traivelled faur while they were gaun,
Some "howkit a grave an' lay";
I dinna see the laddies try
Thae "Peenie" games the day.

The time wad come when every ane
Wad ha'e a "bootrie-gun,"
An' chowin' towe to mak' the balls
Aye had its slice a' fun.
Gin it should hap that tow was scarce,
That didna trouble bring,
Paper or "raivlins" made a wad,
Or taised a wee bit string.

Then "haws" an' "spoots" wad mak' a bid
An' claim oor hale attention,
Though trouble whiles resulted frae
The use a' this invention.
For gin ye got on cheek or neck
A haw-stane weel directit,
Some worry wad be brewin' gin
The "spooter" was detectit.

'Twas maistly aye gey quiet, the schule,
Though whiles there was a racket,
Sic like as when an auld wife cam'
An' said we broke her "backit."
An' aince I mind an awfu' scene
That ne'er was seen before,
A'e young yin had the cheek to gie
The maister chat-an' swore.

I saw the maister's broo gang up,
An' ane a' us was sent
To bring the laddie's faither,
Juist to see if he'd repent.
His faither held him owre the desk,
The maister makin' play
Wi' "Sam" across his trousers, eh
I'll ne'er forget yon day.

But there, there, I maun e'en say halt,
For fancies crood in fast,
An' I cud gang on writin' mair
O' mem'ries o' the past.
Like when Pete Muffle ran awa'
An' never daured come back,
Or Jock Macelly played the "skech"
For three weeks at a tack.

Or when the "aivications" cam',
An' some auld folks were there
To see the wonders we had done
On "specimens" fu' rare.
Or pentit maps o' foreign lands,
On "Lord's Prayers" brawly printit,
Or the "Beatitudes" in style
That weeks o' labour hinted.

But juist a'e word afore I close,
May God wha minds us a',
Look kindly doon on a' thae folk
At hame or faur awa'.
An' when at last we close oor een
On a' this wae an' dule,
Maybe we'll meet some ane we kent
When we were at the schule.


Kent ye ever sic a bairn,
Aft he gars me sweat;
Up an' doon an' in an' oot,
Never aff his feet.
Cheery, steerie, lauchin' wild,
Guileless as can be,
Kindest love frae Heaven above
Keeks frae oot his e'e.

Ne'er a bannet on his head,
Huh! he disna mind
A' his wealth o' sunny hair
Fluffin' i' the wind.
Cheeks aglow wi' hardy health,
Een alowe wi' glee;
Ne'er his marra' ye can find
Or his equal see.

Oot an' in amang the weet
Like a drookit moose,
Lauchin' at the plashin' rain,
Winna keep the hoose.
Catchin' at the muckle draps
In his wee bit han',
Lickin' them oot o' his loof,
Minnie's ain wee man.

Rakin' a' the clerts up,
Packin' them fu' ticht,
Ne'er a sowl daur titch it,
Else they're no richt;
Gushel-makin's rare sport,
Sune the gutter's filled,
Then his glee is at its hicht
Sailin' boats intilled.

When his dad comes hame at nicht,
Ere he tak's his tea,
He's to kiss an' cuddle him,
Fond wi' faither's glee;
When he's sleepin' in his crib,
Mony a braw life's plan
Is laid oot by the auld folk
For Minnie's wee man.

Bairnies aft get blamed for biggin'
Castles in the air,
Aulder bairns aften build
Fairy mansions there.
Nor wad we wish it werena sae,
Wi' hope the heart it fills,
An' better faur wi' joy to sup
Than brood owre fancied ills.


A king cam' to oor hoose
A twal'month the day,
An' ever sin' syne
He has held full sway;
He's maister an' mistress,
Yet a' his commands
Are gi'en wi' a nod
On a wag o' his haunds.

This wad maist mak' ye think
That he hadna a tongue,
But, my certies! he has,
An' he's strong i' the lung;
But he speaks in a language
That winna staund spellin',
The same kind, they say,
That the angels excel in.

His laughter is sunshine
To mither an' me,
An' happy's the glint
O' his bonnie blue e'e.
'Twad gledden yer heart
To see him on my knee,
As he rides a cock-horse
The "white leddy" to see.

His mither she ca's him
Her jewel an' king,
An' then in-his praises
Some queer rhymes she'll sing;
He's the "brawest" an' "best,"
But atween you an' me,
There's nae ither e'e
But a mither's can see.

But whiles I maun tell
There's a split in the camp,
For his mither whiles ca's him
A sautin or scamp;
But, losh! the next meenit
She'll lift him an' kiss him,
An' ask for her Faither
In Heaven to bless him.

Frae mornin' till nicht
He's aye in a steer,
An' some o' his pranks
Are auld farrant an' queer;
For breakin' new toys
Or touslin' the cat,
There ne'er was anither
Cud lick him at that.

There's times o'd again
He'll sit quiet as a moose,
An' watch ilka thing
That's gaun on i' the hoose;
Wi' his haund on his pow,
An' his look faur awa',
I winder aft what
He'll be thinkin' ava'.

His mither's richt gled
When he's aff to his bed,
An' on the saft pillow
His wee head is laid;
A blessin' she breathes
As she covers him in-
An' prays far his sake
To the wise God abune.


O' a' the weans I ever saw,
An' I ha'e seen fu' mony,
There's nane at hame or faur awa'
A match for oor wee Johnnie.
He's like a lammie fu' o' fun,
His face is unco bonnie,
His hair's like clippens aff the sun,
His mither's heart's in Johnnie.

His cheeks are red, his een are blue,
He's plump as a polonie,
His pearly teeth keek frae his mou',
A roguish look has Johnnie.
His skin's as pure's the driven snaw,
He's like a braw peony,
His daddie thinks he has nae flaw,
He's awfu' fond o' Johnnie.

Nae winder that the chield is fat,
He cudna weel be bony,
He'll ha'e a share whate'er ye're at,
A healthy ga' has Johnnie.
It maitters nae what diet ye're at,
Awa' gaes ceremonie,
His ain wee chair is at yer fit,
An' on it's little Johnnie.

Frae early morn he's in a steer,
I'll gi'e my testimonie,
There's nae anither wink I fear
When waukened up is Johnnie.
He's up at aince an' on the flair,
He'll gallop like a pownie,
A waggonette made o' a chair
Is hauled aboot by Johnnie.

Whate'er his mither has to dae
She's shair to ha'e a cronie,
Be't steerin' parritch-nae gainsay
He'll help his mum will Johnnie.
He'll ha'e some meal upon a stuil,
An' "tugar" if there's ony,
An' lick it clean up every muil,
A through-gaun laud is Johnnie.

He wadna dae for parliment,
He's bothered wi' dysphony,
An' yet he'll wage an argument,
A wilfu' chap is Johnnie.
The cat an' him wage deadly strife,
She claws wi' acrimonie,
Syne ben the hoose she rins for life,
Fast huntit up by Johnnie.

For ane sae young, I'm feared to say'd,
He's weel kent by the polis,
The blue-coat mak's na him afraid,
But then there is this solace-
Whene'er they say, "Come on wi' me,"
He'll gang an' never tairry,
'Twas only juist the ither day
He marched awa' wi Hairry.

His "mum" an' him they whiles fa' oot,
She'll say he's juist a nonny,
But losh! ere lang, I ha'e nae doot,
She'll kiss an' cuddle Johnnie.
She'll pack him in his credlie-ba,
An' sing to him fu' bonnie,
An' linkit wi' her sang ana'
She'll breathe a prayer for Johnnie.


Ech, man, but I'm sweatin', I've juist ha'en a tussle
Wi' oor little Jamie
I've danced an' I've sung till I'm dry as a whussle
To oor little Jamie.
He's the king o' guid fellows, o' men he's the wale,
He's a voice like a mavis, his lungs never fail;
An' if ye can bear it I'll tell ye a tale,
An' it's a' aboot oor little Jamie.

He speirs unco questions wad puzzle a priest,
Does oor little Jamie-
"Wha nails on the stars?" was ane gar'd me say wheesht
To oor little Jamie.
"What wey hiv I whuskers?" an' "Whaur's a' the hair
That should ha'e been growin' on that place that's bare?"
"If my teef hasna growed yet?" I leuch, I declare,
Leuch hearty at oor little Jamie.

He speired at me "What wey the cat had a tail?"
He's a "niccar" is Jamie;
An' then "What it was that it used for a nyell?"
He's a siccar ane Jamie.
An' "Whey oor ain never had kitlins at a'
While Johnny M'Gibbon's had fower an' drooned twa?"
Of coorse o' the sex he kens naething ava-
He's a pawky wee pester is Jamie.

He speired "Whaur the hens got the eggs that they lay?"
He's a "taster" is Jamie;
An' as shair as I live, I kentna what to say-
He's the maister is Jamie.
I'm fairly bambaized wi' the questions he speirs,
An' o' my richt reason I sometimes ha'e fears,
For I think that there's mair than at first sicht appears
In the questions o' oor little Jamie.

The ither nicht waukrife he cudna get slept-
Puir wee little Jamie;
An' he row'd an' he tummled, then close to me crept,
Did oor little Jamie.
But steerin' he happened to see the bricht mune,
To speir some queer questions he sune did begin-
"Wha lichts it?" "An' wha is'd that hauds it abune?"
Were twa o' the queries o' Jamie.

O Faither in heaven, wha looks doon owre a',
Look kindly on Jamie;
An' spare him to us, dinna tak' him awa',
We lo'e little Jamie.
That he may be kept guid, I'll hope aye an' pray,
May he choose the richt path in life's stormy way,
An' when the nicht's shadows shall darken the day,
"Come Hame" ye'll can say to oor Jamie.


Naebody's laddie's a laddie I ken,
He staunds in a corner, his head hingin' doon,
His hair owre his een, an' a glunch on his face;
He's broken a cup, an' he's in deep disgrace.

I juist ha'e come in frae my wark i' the toon,
An' see i' the corner this wee glunchin' loon.
"What wee laddie's that?" at his mither I speir;
"He's shairly a stranger, an' disna bide here!

"He's gey like a laddie that maist aye I see
Meetin' his dad comin' hame to his tea;
But it canna be him, for he sooks na his thoom,
But lauchs aye, while this ane daes naething but gloom."

His mither, meanwhile, had been sortin' the table,
An' to keep in her smile she scarcely was able,
But tryin' to look as if she wasna' carin',
She said, "Man I think he's some gangeril's bairn."

The pitcher aye gangs aince owre aft to the well;
E'en roses are no always sweet to the smell,
An' so the wee man burstit oot wi' a sob,
"I'm no, 'oo ten fine, I'm daddie's wee Bob!"

"What? Are you my wee Bob? Then come on to me;
Come an, heestye fast, an' get up on my knee,
I've been wonderin' whaur my wee Bobbie could be,
That he wasna oot welcomin' me to my tea."


Eh! faithers an' mithers there's naething sae fine
As the love o' the weans, roond yer hearts they entwine;
An' may the kind Faither wha looks doon on a',
Aye spare them to us, an' no tak' them awa'.


When I was but a laddie, young
An' thochtless at the schule,
I aft, through lows'ness o' my tongue,
Got ca'd a muckle fule;
My mither, fu' a' sayin's odd,
Wad pawky lay them aff,
An' say a wink's as guid's a nod-
Sae never leet but laugh.

A'e day the maister said to me,
"Wha put wax on my chair?"
Of coorse the chairge was laid to me-
He grabbed me by the hair,
I took the "stendies" on my loofs
A dizzen an' a half;
But he was wrang, the silly coof-
Huh! never leet but laugh.

I min' when I began to coort
The lass that's noo my wife,
My bashfu'ness made me the sport
O' frien's wha plagued my life.
They said that I was awfu' green,
An' naething but a cauf;
But I wad slyly wink my een
An' never leet but laugh.

Noo a' you buddies mind this rule
An' save yersels frae vexin'-
For mind this warld's an unco schule,
Baith tryin' an' perplexin'.
Keep weel yer tongue, I coonsel ye,
Gi'e care a passin' waif;
A nod's as guid's a wink ye'll see,
An' never leet but laugh.

 Return to Poems of James Chapman Craig


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