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Poem by Joanna Baillie


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It fell on a morning whan we were thrang,
⁠     Our kirn was gaun, our cheese was making,
     ⁠And bannocks on the girdle baking,
That ane at the door chapt loud and lang.
⁠     But the auld gudewife and her Mays sae tight,
Of this stirring and din took sma' notice, I ween
⁠     For a chap at the door, in braid day-light,
Is no like a chap when heard at e'en.

Then the clocksey auld laird of the warlock glen,
⁠     Wha stood without, half cow'd, half cheerie,
⁠     And yearn'd for a sight of his winsome dearie,
Raised up the latch and came crousely ben.
⁠     His coat was new and his o'erlay was white,
And his hose and his mittens were coozy and bein;
⁠     But a wooer that comes in braid day-light,
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.

He greeted the carlin' and lasses sae braw,
     ⁠And his bare lyart pow he smoothly straiket,
     ⁠And looked about, like a body half glaiket,
On bonnie sweet Nanny the youngest of a'.
     ⁠"Ha ha!" quo' the carlin, "and look ye that way?
Hoot! let na sic fancies bewilder ye clean;
     ⁠An elderlin man i' the noon o' the day,
Should be wiser than youngsters that come at e'en."

"Na na!" quo' the panky auld wife, "I trow,
⁠     You'll fash na' your head wi' a youthfu' gilly,
⁠     As wild and as skeigh as a muirland filly,
Black Madge is far better and fitter for you
     ⁠He hem'd and he haw'd and be screw'd in his mouth,
And he squeez'd his blue bonnet his twa hands between,
⁠     For wooers that come when the sun's in the south,
Are mair aukwart than wooers that come at e'en.

"Black Madge she is prudent."Ч"What's that to me?"
     ⁠"She is eident and sober, has sense in her noddle,
⁠     Is douse and respeckit."Ч"I care na a boddle.
I'll baulk na' my luive, and my fancy's free."
     ⁠Madge toss'd back her head wi' a saucy slight,
And Nanny ran laughing out to the green;
⁠     For wooers that come whan the sun shines bright,
Are no like the wooers that come at e'en.

Awa' flung the laird and loud muttered he,
⁠     "All the daughters of Eve, between Orkney and Tweed, O,
⁠     Black and fair, young and old, dame, damsel and widow,
May gang wi' their pride to the deil for me!"
     ⁠But the auld gudewife and her Mays sae tight,
For a' his loud banning cared little, I ween;
     ⁠For a wooer that comes in braid day-light,
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.



Joanna Baillie


Joanna Baillie's other poems:
  1. Hooly and Fairly
  2. Fee him, Father
  3. A Reverie
  4. Verses Written in February, 1827
  5. Lines to a Parrot


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