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Poem by Anonymous

Scornfu' Nancy

[This humorous and once popular song appears in the first edition of the Orpheus Caledonius, along with the music, in 1725. It is, however, of much earlier date, as Ramsay, in his Miscellany, marks it as one, even in his day, of an unknown age. Gay, the poet, selected the air (which goes by the name of Nancy's to the greenwood gane,) for one of his songs, beginning, "In war we'e nought but death to fear."]

Nancy's to the greenwood gane,
     ⁠To hear the gowdspink chatt'ring,
And Willie he has follow'd her,
     ⁠To gain her love by flatt'ring:
But a' that he could say or do,
     ⁠She geck'd and scorned at him;
And aye when he began to woo,
     ⁠She bade him mind wha gat him.

What ails you at my dad, quoth he,
     ⁠My minny, or my auntie?
With crowdy-mowdy they fed me,
⁠     Langkale and ranty-tanty:
With bannocks of good barley-meal,
     ⁠Of thae there was right plenty,
With chapped stocks fu' butter'd weel;
     ⁠And was not that right dainty?

Although my father was nae laird,
⁠     ('Tis daffin to be vaunty,)
He keepit aye a good kale yard,
⁠     A ha'-house, and a pantry;
A guid blue-bonnet on his head,
⁠     An o'erlay 'bout his craigie;
And aye until the day he died
⁠     He rade on guid shanks-naigie.

Now wae and wonder on your snout,
⁠     Wad ye ha'e bonnie Nancy?
Wad ye compare yoursel' to me,
     ⁠A docken to a pansie?
I ha'e a wooer o' my ain,
⁠     They ca' him souple Sandy,
And weel I wat his bonnie mou'
⁠     Is sweet like sugar-candy.

Wow, Nancy, what needs a' this din?
⁠     Do I no ken this Sandy?
I'm sure the chief o' a' his kin
     ⁠Was Rab the beggar randy;
His minny Meg upo' her back
⁠     Bare baith him and his billy;
Will ye compare a nasty pack
     ⁠To me, your winsome Willie?

My gutcher left a good braidsword,
     ⁠Though it be auld and rusty,
Yet ye may tak' it on my word,
⁠     It is baith stout and trusty;
And if I can but get it drawn,
     ⁠Which will be right uneasy,
I shall lay baith my lugs in pawn,
⁠     That he shall get a heezy.

Then Nancy turn'd her round about,
     ⁠And said, Did Sandy hear ye,
Ye wadna miss to get a clout;
⁠     I ken he disna fear you:
Sae haud your tongue and say nae mair,
     ⁠Set somewhere else your fancy;
For as lang's Sandy's to the fore,
     ⁠Ye never shall get Nancy.


Anonymous's other poems:
  1. The Guard-Chamber
  2. Blenheim
  3. The Monks of Kilcrea
  4. The Banshee
  5. The Bells of Fletching

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