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The Eternal Feminine
by John Buchan
Read by Marilyn Wright

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John Buchan

                                    When I was a freckled bit bairn
                                    And cam in frae my ploys to the fire,
                                    Wi' my buits a' clamjamphried wi' shairn
                                    And my jaicket a' speldered wi' mire,
                                    I got gloomin' and glunchin' and paiks,
                                    And nae bite frae the press or the pan,
                                    And my auld grannie said as she skelped me to bed,
                                    'Hech, sirs, what a burden is man!'
                                    When I was a lang-leggit lad,
                                    At waddin's and kirns a gey cheild,
                                    I hae happit a lass in my maud
                                    And gone cauldrife that she micht hae beild,
                                    And convoyed her bye bogles and stirks,
                                    A kiss at the hindmost my plan;
                                    But a' that I fand was the wecht o' her hand,
                                    And 'Hech, sirs, what a burden is man!'
                                    When Ailie and me were made yin
                                    We set up in a canty bit cot;
                                    Sair wrocht we day oot and day in,
                                    We were unco content wi' oor lot.
                                    But whiles wi' a neebor I'd tak
                                    A gless that my heid couldna stan';
                                    Syne she'd greet for a week, and nae word wad she speak
                                    But 'Hech, sirs, what a burden is man!'
                                    She dee'd, and my dochter and me
                                    For the lave wi' ilk ither maun shift.
                                    Nae tentier lass could ye see;
                                    The wooers cam doun like a drift;
                                    But sune wi' an unco blae glower
                                    Frae the doorstep they rade and they ran,
                                    And she sigh to hersel', as she gae'd to the well
                                    'Hech sirs, what a burden is man!'
                                    She's mairrit by noo and she's got
                                    A white-heided lass o' her ain.
                                    White-heided mysel, as I stot
                                    Roond the doors o' her shouther I'm fain.
                                    What think ye that wean said yestreen?
                                    I'll tell ye, believe't if ye can;
                                    She primmed up her mou' and said saft as a doo,
                                    'Hech, sirs, what a burden is man!'

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