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hae we,


ing o't.


For well I can mind me, when black Willie But we maun hae linen, and that maun

Bell Had Tibbie there just at the winning o't; And how get we that but by spinning Fat blew up the bargain, she kens well o't? hersel,

How can we hae face for to seek a great Was the want o' the knack o' the spinn

Except we can help at the winning o't? And now, poor 'oman, for ought that I ken. And we maun hae pearlins, and mabbies, She never may get sic an offer again,

and cocks, But pine awa' bit an' bit, like Jenkin's hen,' And some ither things that the ladies ca' And naething to wyte, but the spinning smocks, o't.

And how get we that, gin we tak nae our

rocks, But were it for naething but just this alane,

An' rug what we can at the spinning o't? I shall yet hae a bouto' the spinning o't; They may cast me for calling me black at 'Tis needless for us to mak ony remarks, the bane,

Frae our mother's miscooking the spinnBut nae 'cause I shun the beginning o't. ing o't: But be that as it happens, I care not a She never kent ought o' the good o' the strae,

sarks, But nane of the lads shall e'er have it to Frae this aback to the beginning o't. say,

Twa three ells o' plaiden was a' that was When they come to woo, she kens nae- sought. thing avae, 3

By auld warld bodies, and that boot? be Nor has ony knack o' the spinning o't. bought,

For in ilka town siccan 3 things was na then In the days they call yore, gin auld fouk

wrought, had but won

So little they kent o' the spinning o't. To a surcoat hough-side4 for the winning o't,

In the first of the world, when Adam and Of coat raips, well cut to the cast of their Eve bun,

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.

leaves, A pair of grey hoggers 5 well clinked benew, An' syne gaed to try the spinning o't. Of nae ither littó but the hue of the ewe, When Adam he delved, and mother Eve Wi' a pair of rough rullions 7 to scuff thro' span, the dew,

There was naething like pride and like Was the fee they sought at the beginn- gentry than ; ing o't.

But now there's eneugh 4 baith in woman

an' man,

Which could not be buts the spinning o't.

1 Die a maid.

5 Coarse stockings 2 Blame.

without feet. 3 At all.

6 Colour, dye. 4 An overcoat reaching ? Shoes made of un

the hams or heels. tanned leather.

I Lace



and head-
• Needed, required.

3 Such.
4 Enough.
5 Without.

my reel,

With spinning I hae a far happier life, For drinking, and dancing, and brulyies," Than Mary, the Queen, I'll warrant you And boxing and shaking of fa's, o't ;

The town was for ever in tulyies ; ? For she seldom lived free o' trouble or But now the lassie's awa'.

strife, For she kent nae the art o’the spinning But had they but ken'd her as I did,

Their errand it wad hae been sma'; o't. 'Tis a trade that is honest, and ancient,

She neither kent spinning nor carding, an' true,

Nor brewing nor baking ava'. Whoever can spin, they need never to rue,

But wooers ran all mad upon her,

Because she was bonny and braw, It gains claes to the back, and meat to the

And sae I dread will be seen on her, mou, Sae I'll never gie o'er the spinning o't.

When she's by hand, and awa'. I've naething to mind but my rock and He'll roose 3 her but sma' that has married

her, When I gang to try the spinning o't;

Now when he's gotten her a', Then fouk 'll say that young Nanny spins And wish, I fear, he had miscarry'd her,

Tocher and ribbons and a'. weel, And is chief o' kin frae the beginning For her art it lay all in her dressing ; o't.

But gin her braws ance were awa', Sae I'll hae a man, fatever betide,

I fear she'll turn out of the fashion, The weather is cauld, an' I canna abide, And knit up her moggans 4 with straw. For I've siller eneugh now to mak me a

For yesterday I yeed 5 to see her, bride,

And O she was wonderous braw, That I hae got hy the spinning o't.

Yet she cried to her husband to gie her

An ell of red ribbons or twa.

He up, and he set down beside her WOO'D AND MARRIED AND A'. A reel, and a wheelie to ca';6


She said, Was he this gate to guide her? Woo'p and married and a',

And out at the door and awa'.
Married and woo'd and a';
The dandilly toast of the parish

Her neist road was hame till her mither, Is woo'd and married and a'.

Who speer'd at her now, How was a'; The wooers will now ride thinner, '

She says till her, Was't for nae ither And by, where they wonted to ca';

That I was married awa', 'Tis needless to speer? for the lassie,

But gae and sit down to a wheelie, That's woo'd and married and a'.

And at it baith night and day ca', The girss 3 had na freedom of growing,

And hae the yarn reel'd by a cheelie,7 As lang as she wasna awa',

That ever was crying to draw?
Nor in the town could there be stowing 4
For wooers that wanted to ca'.

1 Brawls.

5 Went. Quarrels.

6 A spinning wheel to I Fewer. 3 Grass.

3 Praise. 4 Accommodation. 4 Over-sleeves. 7 Little boy or girl.



? Inquire.

Her mither says till her, Hegh, lassie, But mind with a neiper you're yoked, He's wisest, I fear of the twa ;

And that ye your end o't maun draw, Ye'll hae little to put in the bassie,' Or else ye deserve to be docked ;2 Gin ye be backward to draw.

Sae that is an answer for a'. 'Tis now ye should work like a tyger, And at it baith wallop and ca',

Young luckie now finds hersell nidder'd, 3 As lang's ye hae youthhead and vigour,

And wist na well what get to ca';4 And little anes and debt are awa'.

But with hersell even consider'd,

That hamewith were better to draw, Sae swythe awa' hame to your hadding, And e'en tak her chance of her landing,

Mair fool than when ye came awa'; However the matter might fa'; Ye maunna now keep ilka wedding, Fouk need not on frets to be standing,'

Nor gae sae clean-finger'd and braw ; That's woo'd and married and a'.


THE SPEECH OF A FIFE But in what part where I can be,

My wavering brains yet torture me.

Once I was called a great Fife Laird NEWLY COME FROM THE GRAVE. I dwelt not far from the Hall-yard :

But who enjoys my land and pleugh, [This characteristic Fifish speech, My castle and my fine coal-heugh ;5 which after all has a considerable

I can find out no living man, glimmering of common sense, first ap- Can tell me this, do what I can. peared in Watson's Collection, Part I., Yet if my mem'ry serves me well, 1706.]

This is the shire where I did dwell ;

This is the part where I was born, What accident, what strange mishap

For so beneath me stands Kinghorn, Awakes me from my heavenly nap?

And there about the Lowmond hill What spirit? what godhead by the lave 3

Stands as it stood yet ever still ; Hath raised my body from the grave ?

There is Burntisland, Aberdore, 6 It is a hundred years almost,

I see Fife's coast along the shore
Since I was buried in the dust,

Yet I am right, and for my life,
And now I think that I am living,
Or else, but4 doubt, my brains are raving : 10! but it's long and many a year,

This is my native county Fife :
Yet do I feel-while as I study-

Since last my feet did travel here. The faculties of all my body :

I find great change in old Laird's places, I taste, I smell, I touch, I hear,

I know the ground but not the faces ; I find my sight exceeding clear:

Where shall I turn me first about, Then I'm alive, yea sure I am,

For my acquaintance is worn out ? I know it by my corporal frame:

'Neighbour, mate. 4 What way to turn. I Meal basin. 3 Past others.

2 Whipped.

5 Coalpit. 2 Haste. 4 Without

3 Snubbed.

6 Aberdour.


O! this is strange, that even in Fife, A public and a common evil,
I do know neither man nor wife ;

That made the meikle Master-devil No earl, no lord, no laird, no people, To cast his club all Fife throughout, But Leslie and the Mark-Inch steeple. And lent each Laird a deadly rout." Old noble Weemys, and that is all,

Mark then, I'll tell you how it was, I think enjoy their father's hall.

What way this wonder came to pass : For from Dunfermling to Fifeness It sets? me best the truth to pen, I do know none that doth possess

Because I fear no mortal men. His grandsire's castles and his towers; When I was born at Middle-yard weight All is away that once was ours.

There was no word of Laird or Knight : I'm full of wrath, I scorn to tarrie, The greatest stiles of honour than 3 I know them no more than the fairie : Was to be titled the Good-man. But I admire' and marvel strange

But changing time hath changed the case, What is the cause of this great change : And puts a Laird in the Good-man's place. I hear a murmuring report

For why? my gossip Good-man John, Passing among the common sort ; And honest James, whom I think on, For some say this, and some say that, When we did meet whiles at the hawking And others tell I know not what ;

We used no cringes but hands shaking : Some say the Fife Lairds ever rues, No bowing, should'ring gambo-scraping, Since they began to take the Lews : 2 No French whistling or Dutch gaping; That bargain first did brew their bale, We had no garments in our land As tell the honest men of Crail.

But what were spun by the Good-wife's Some too ascribe their supplantation,

hand : Unto the lawyers congregation.,

No drap-de-berry, clothes of seal ; No, this is but a false suppose,

No stuff ingrained in cocheneal
For all things wyte's 3 that well not goes. No plush, no tissue, cramosee ;
Be what it will, there is some source No China, Turkey, taffety ;
Hath bred this universal curse ;

No proud Pyropus, paragon,
This transmigration and earthquake Or chackarally, there was none :
That caused the Lairds of Fife to break. No figurata or water-chamblet :
He that enthrones a shepherdling, No bishop-satine, or silk-chamblet,
He that dethrones a potent king,

No cloth of gold, or beaver hats
And he that makes a cottar laird,

We cared no more for than the cats : The Baron's bairns to delve a yaird, 4 No windy flourished flying feathers, Almighty He that shakes the mountains, No sweet permusted shambo leathers, And brings great rivers from small foun- No hilt or crampet richly hatched, tains,

A lance, a sword in hand we snatched ; It is the power of His hand,

Such base and boyish vanities, That make both lords and lairds have land. Did not beseem our dignities : Yet there may be, as all men knaws, We were all ready and complete, An evident and well seen cause,

Stout for our friends, on horse or feet ;

True to our prince to shed our blood, 1 Wonder.

prietors tried For Kirk and for our common good : 2 The island of Lewis, take possession. of which a com- 3 Is blamed. + Kitchen garden.


I Blow.


3 For then. pro

pany of Fife

Such men we were, it is well known Rebats ribands, bands and ruffs,
As in our chronicles are shown.

Lapbends, shagbands, cuffs and muffs, This made us dwell into our land

Folding outlays, pearling sprigs, And our posterity to stand :

Atrys, vardigals, perewigs : But when the young laird became vain Hats, hoods, wires and also kells, And went away to France and Spain, Washing-balls, perfuming smells : Rome raking, wandering here and there, French-gows cut out and double banded, O! then became our bootless care : Jet rings to make her pleasant handed : Pride pufft him up because he was A fan, a feather, bracelets, gloves, Far travelled, and returned an ass. All new come-busks' she dearly loves : Then must the Laird, the Good-man'soye? | For such trim bony baby-clouts Be knighted straight, and make convoy, Still on the Laird she greets and shouts : Coached through the streets with horses Which made the Laird take up more gear four,

Than all the lands or rigs could bear. Foot-grooms pasmented ? o'er and o'er, These are the emblems, that declares Himself cut out and slasht so wide The merchant's thriftless needless wares : Even his whole shirt his skin doth hide. The tailor's curious Gowperd,3 gratnizied, 4 cloaks rare pointed, My Lady's prodigalitie. Embroidered laced, with boots disjointed, This is the truth that I discover ; A belt embost with gold and purle

I do not care for feid or favour ; False hair made craftily to curle ;

For what I was, yet still I am, Side breeks bebuttoned o'er the garters An honest plain true dealing man ; Was ne'er the like seen in our quarters. And if these words of mine would mend Tobacco and wine Frontinack,

them Potato pasties, Spanish sack

I care not by though I offend them. Such uncouth food, such meat and drink, Here is the cause most plainly shown, Could never in our stomachs siņk ;

That have our country overthrown. Then must the grandson swear and It's said of old, that other's harms swagger,

Is often times the wise man's arms; And show himself the bravest bragger, And he is thought most wise of all A'bon companion and a drinker,

That learns good from his neighbour's A delicate and dainty ginker,

So is seen on't. These foolish jigs It grieves my heart to see this age,
Hath caused his worship sell his rigs. I cannot stay to act more stage :
My Lady, as she is a woman

I will ingrave me in the ground,
Is born a helper to undo man;

And rest there till the trumpet sound ; Her Ladiship must have a share

And if I have said ought astray, For she is playmaker and mair ;

Which may a messon's? mind dismay, For she invents a thousand toys

I do appeal before the throne That house and hold and all destroys, Of the great Powers three in One As scarfs, sheproas, tuffs, and rings, The supream Sovereignity Fardings, facings, and powderings, The parliament of veritie,

And if you think my words offends

You must be there, I'se make amends. I Grandchild

3 Puffed. 2 Liveried.

4 Quilled.
* New-fashioned dresses.

» Cur, dog.

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