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For well I can mind me, when black Willie But we maun hae linen, and that maun Bell hae we,
Had Tibbie there just at the winning o't; Fat blew up the bargain, she kens well hersel,
Was the want o' the knack o' the spinning o't.
And now, poor'oman, for ought that I ken.
She never may get sic an offer again,
But pine awa' bit an' bit, like Jenkin's hen,'
And naething to wyte, but the spinning
But were it for naething but just this alane,
I shall yet hae a bout o' the spinning o't; They may cast me for calling me black at the bane,
But nae 'cause I shun the beginning o't. But be that as it happens, I care not a strae,
But nane of the lads shall e'er have it to say,
When they come to woo, she kens naething avae, 3
Nor has ony knack o' the spinning o't.
In the days they call yore, gin auld fouk had but won
To a surcoat hough-side4 for the winning o't,
Of coat raips, well cut to the cast of their bun,
And how get we that but by spinning o't?
How can we hae face for to seek a great fee,
Except we can help at the winning o't? And we maun hae pearlins, and mabbies, and cocks,
And some ither things that the ladies ca' smocks,
And how get we that, gin we tak nae our rocks,
An' rug what we can at the spinning o't?
'Tis needless for us to mak ony remarks,
Frae our mother's miscooking the spinn
She never kent ought o' the good o' the sarks,,
Frae this aback to the beginning o't. Twa three ells o' plaiden was a' that was sought.
By auld warld bodies, and that boot be bought,
For in ilka town siccan 3 things was na then wrought,
So little they kent o' the spinning o't.
In the first of the world, when Adam and Eve
Was station'd here at the beginning o't,
They never sought mair o' the spinning Their very first wark was to sew the fig o't.
WOO'D AND MARRIED AND A'.
Woo'd and married and a',
Married and woo'd and a';
The dandilly toast of the parish
Is woo'd and married and a'.
The wooers will now ride thinner,1
And by, where they wonted to ca';
'Tis needless to speer2 for the lassie,
That's woo'd and married and a'.
The girss 3 had na freedom of growing,
As lang as she wasna awa',
Nor in the town could there be stowing 4
For wooers that wanted to ca'.
For drinking, and dancing, and brulyies,'
And boxing and shaking of fa's,
The town was for ever in tulyies; 2
But now the lassie's awa'.
But had they but ken'd her as I did,
Their errand it wad hae been sma' ;
She neither kent spinning nor carding,
Nor brewing nor baking ava'.
But wooers ran all mad upon her,
Because she was bonny and braw,
And sae I dread will be seen on her,
When she's by hand, and awa'.
He'll roose3 her but sma' that has married her,
Now when he's gotten her a', And wish, I fear, he had miscarry'd her,
Tocher and ribbons and a'.
For her art it lay all in her dressing;
But gin her braws ance were awa', I fear she'll turn out of the fashion, And knit up her moggans 4 with straw.
For yesterday I yeed 5 to see her,
And O she was wonderous braw, Yet she cried to her husband to gie her An ell of red ribbons or twa.
He up, and he set down beside her
A reel, and a wheelie to ca'; 6 She said, Was he this gate to guide her? And out at the door and awa'.
Her mither says till her, Hegh, lassie,
He's wisest, I fear of the twa;
Ye'll hae little to put in the bassie, 1
Gin ye be backward to draw.
'Tis now ye should work like a tyger,
And at it baith wallop and ca',
As lang's ye hae youthhead and vigour,
And little anes and debt are awa'.
Sae swythe awa' hame to your hadding,
Mair fool than when ye came awa';
Ye maunna now keep ilka wedding,
Nor gae sae clean-finger'd and braw ;
But mind with a neiper1 you're yoked,
And that ye your end o't maun draw,
Or else ye deserve to be docked ;2
Sae that is an answer for a'.
Young luckie now finds hersell nidder'd,3
And wist na well what get to ca' ;4
But with hersell even consider'd,
That hamewith were better to draw,
And e'en tak her chance of her landing,
However the matter might fa';
Fouk need not on frets to be standing,'
That's woo'd and married and a'.
THE SPEECH OF A FIFE LAIRD
NEWLY COME FROM THE GRAVE.
[This characteristic Fifish speech, which after all has a considerable glimmering of common sense, first appeared in Watson's Collection, Part I., 1706.]
WHAT accident, what strange mishap
Awakes me from my heavenly nap?
What spirit? what godhead by the lave 3
Hath raised my body from the grave?
It is a hundred years almost,
Since I was buried in the dust,
And now I think that I am living,
Or else, but doubt, my brains are raving:
Yet do I feel-while as I study-
The faculties of all my body:
I taste, I smell, I touch, I hear,
I find my sight exceeding clear:
Then I'm alive, yea sure I am,
I know it by my corporal frame:
But in what part where I can be,
My wavering brains yet torture me.
Once I was called a great Fife Laird
I dwelt not far from the Hall-yard :
But who enjoys my land and pleugh,
My castle and my fine coal-heugh ;5
I can find out no living man,
Can tell me this, do what I can.
Yet if my mem'ry serves me well,
This is the shire where I did dwell;
This is the part where I was born,
For so beneath me stands Kinghorn,
And there about the Lowmond hill
Stands as it stood yet ever still;
There is Burntisland, Aberdore,"
I see Fife's coast along the shore
Yet I am right, and for my life,
O! but it's long and many a year,
This is my native county Fife :
Since last my feet did travel here.
I find great change in old Laird's places,
I know the ground but not the faces;
Where shall I turn me first about,
For my acquaintance is worn out?
O! this is strange, that even in Fife,
I do know neither man nor wife;
No earl, no lord, no laird, no people,
But Leslie and the Mark-Inch steeple.
Old noble Weemys, and that is all,
I think enjoy their father's hall.
For from Dunfermling to Fifeness
I do know none that doth possess
His grandsire's castles and his towers;
All is away that once was ours.
I'm full of wrath, I scorn to tarrie,
I know them no more than the fairie :
But I admire1 and marvel strange
What is the cause of this great change:
I hear a murmuring report
Passing among the common sort;
For some say this, and some say that,
And others tell I know not what ;
Some say the Fife Lairds ever rues,
Since they began to take the Lews:2
That bargain first did brew their bale,
As tell the honest men of Crail.
Some too ascribe their supplantation,
Unto the lawyers congregation.
No, this is but a false suppose,
For all things wyte's 3 that well not goes.
Be what it will, there is some source
Hath bred this universal curse;
This transmigration and earthquake
That caused the Lairds of Fife to break.
He that enthrones a shepherdling,
He that dethrones a potent king,
And he that makes a cottar laird,
The Baron's bairns to delve a yaird,
Almighty He that shakes the mountains,
And brings great rivers from small foun-
It is the power of His hand,
That make both lords and lairds have land.
Yet there may be, as all men knaws,
An evident and well seen cause,
A public and a common evil,
That made the meikle Master-devil
To cast his club all Fife throughout,
And lent each Laird a deadly rout.'
Mark then, I'll tell you how it was,
What way this wonder came to pass :
It sets me best the truth to pen,
Because I fear no mortal men.
When I was born at Middle-yard weight
There was no word of Laird or Knight:
The greatest stiles of honour than 3
Was to be titled the Good-man.
But changing time hath changed the case,
And puts a Laird in the Good-man's place.
For why? my gossip Good-man John,
And honest James, whom I think on,
When we did meet whiles at the hawking
We used no cringes but hands shaking:
No bowing, should'ring gambo-scraping,
No French whistling or Dutch gaping;
We had no garments in our land
But what were spun by the Good-wife's
No drap-de-berry, clothes of seal;
No stuff ingrained in cocheneal
No plush, no tissue, cramosee;
No China, Turkey, taffety;
No proud Pyropus, paragon,
Or chackarally, there was none :
No figurata or water-chamblet:
No bishop-satine, or silk-chamblet,
No cloth of gold, or beaver hats
We cared no more for than the cats:
No windy flourished flying feathers,
No sweet permusted shambo leathers,
No hilt or crampet richly hatched,
A lance, a sword in hand we snatched ;
Such base and boyish vanities,
Did not beseem our dignities:
We were all ready and complete,
Stout for our friends, on horse or feet;
True to our prince to shed our blood,
For Kirk and for our common good:
prietors tried take possession. of which a com- 3 Is blamed.
Such men we were, it is well known
As in our chronicles are shown.
This made us dwell into our land
And our posterity to stand:
But when the young laird became vain
And went away to France and Spain,
Rome raking, wandering here and there,
O! then became our bootless care:
Pride pufft him up because he was
Far travelled, and returned an ass.
Then must the Laird, the Good-man'soye1
Be knighted straight, and make convoy,
Coached through the streets with horses
Foot-grooms pasmented 2 o'er and o'er,
Himself cut out and slasht so wide
Even his whole shirt his skin doth hide.
Gowperd, 3 gratni zied, 4 cloaks rare pointed,
Embroidered laced, with boots disjointed,
A belt embost with gold and purle
False hair made craftily to curle;
Side breeks bebuttoned o'er the garters
Was ne'er the like seen in our quarters.
Tobacco and wine Frontinack,
Potato pasties, Spanish sack
Such uncouth food, such meat and drink,
Could never in our stomachs sink;
Then must the grandson swear and
And show himself the bravest bragger,
A'bon companion and a drinker,
A delicate and dainty ginker,
So is seen on't. These foolish jigs
Hath caused his worship sell his rigs.
My Lady, as she is a woman
Is born a helper to undo man;
Her Ladiship must have a share
For she is playmaker and mair ;
For she invents a thousand toys
That house and hold and all destroys,
As scarfs, sheproas, tuffs, and rings,
Fardings, facings, and powderings,
Rebats ribands, bands and ruffs,
Lapbends, shagbands, cuffs and muffs,
Folding outlays, pearling sprigs,
Atrys, vardigals, perewigs :
Hats, hoods, wires and also kells,
Washing-balls, perfuming smells:
French-gows cut out and double banded,
Jet rings to make her pleasant handed :
A fan, a feather, bracelets, gloves,
All new come-busks' she dearly loves :
For such trim bony baby-clouts
Still on the Laird she greets and shouts :
Which made the Laird take up more gear
Than all the lands or rigs could bear.
These are the emblems, that declares
The merchant's thriftless needless wares :
The tailor's curious vanitie,
My Lady's prodigalitie.
This is the truth that I discover ;
I do not care for feid or favour;
For what I was, yet still I am,
An honest plain true dealing man ;
And if these words of mine would mend
I care not by though I offend them.
Here is the cause most plainly shown,
That have our country overthrown.
It's said of old, that other's harms
Is often times the wise man's arms;
And he is thought most wise of all
That learns good from his neighbour's
It grieves my heart to see this age,
I cannot stay to act more stage:
I will ingrave me in the ground,
And rest there till the trumpet sound ;
And if I have said ought astray,
Which may a messon's2 mind dismay,
I do appeal before the throne
Of the great Powers three in One
The supream Sovereignity
The parliament of veritie,
And if you think my words offends You must be there, I'se make amends. 2 Cur, dog.