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 IT WASNA HIS WYTE

by Charles Murray
Read by Peter D. Wright

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                            It wasna his wyte he was beddit sae late
                            An' him wi' sae muckle to dee,
                            He'd the rabbits to feed an' the fulpie to kame
                            An' the hens to hish into the ree;
                            The mason's mear syne he set up in the closs
                            An' coupit the ladle fu' keen,
                            An' roon the ruck foun's wi' the lave o' the loons
                            Played "Takie" by licht o' the meen.
                            Syne he rypit his pooches an' coontit his bools,
                            The reed-cheekit pitcher an' a',
                            Took the yirlin's fower eggs fae his bonnet, an' fegs,
                            When gorbell't they're fykie to blaw ;
                            But furth cam' his mither an' cried on him in,
                            Tho' sairly he priggit o wait -
                            "The'll be nae wird o' this in the mornin', my laad" -
                            But it wasna his wyte he was late.
 
                            "Och hey ! " an' "Och hum ! " he was raxin himsel'
                            An' rubbin' his een when he raise,
                            An' faur was his bonnet, an' faur was his beets
                            An' fa had been touchin' his claes ?
                            Ach ! his porritch was caul', they'd forgotten the saut,
                            There was owre muckle meal on the tap.
                            Was this a' the buttermilk, faur was his speen,
                            An' fa had been bitin' his bap ?
                            His pints wasna tied, an' the backs o' his lugs
                            Nott some sma' attention as weel -
                            But it wasna as gin it was Sabbath, ye ken,
                            An' onything does for the squeel.
                            Wi' his piece in his pooch he got roadit at last,
                            Wi' his beuks an' his skaalie an' sklate,
                            Gin the wag-at-the-wa' in the kitchie was slaw -
                            Weel, it wasna his wyte he was late.
 
                            The fite-fuskered cat wi' her tail in the air
                            Convoyed him as far as the barn,
                            Syne, munchin' his piece, he set aff by his leen,
                            Tho' nae very willin', I'se warn'.
                            The cairt road was dubby, the track throu' the wid,
                            Altho' maybe langer was best,
                            But when loupin' the dyke a steen-chackert flew oot,
                            An' he huntit a fyle for her nest.
                            Syne he cloddit wi' yowies a squirrel he saw
                            Teetin' roon frae the back o' a tree,
                            An' jinkit the "Gamie," oot teeming his girns -
                            A ragie aul' billie was he.
                            A' this was a hinner : an' up the moss side
                            He ran noo at siccan a rate
                            That he fell i' the heather an' barkit his shins,
                            Sae it wasna his wyte he was late.
 
                            Astride on a win'-casten larick he sat
                            An' pykit for rosit to chaw,
                            Till a pairtrick, sair frichtened, ran trailin' a wing
                            Fae her cheepers to tryst him awa'.
He cried on the dryster when passin' the mull,
                            Got a lunt o' his pipe an' a news,
                            An' his oxter pooch managed wi' shillans to full -
                            A treat to tak' hame till his doos.
                            Syne he waded the lade an' crap under the brig
                            To hear the gigs thunner abeen,
                            An' a rotten plumped in an' gaed sweemin' awa'
                            Afore he could gaither a steen.
                            He hovered to herrie a foggie bee's byke
                            Nae far fae the mole-catcher's gate,
                            An' the squeel it was in or he'd coontit his stangs -
                            But it wasna his wyte he was late.
 
                            He tried on his taes to creep ben till his seat,
                            But the snuffy aul' Dominie saw,
                            Sneckit there in his dask like a wyver that waits
                            For a flee in his wob on the wa' ;
                            He tell't o' his tum'lie, but fat was the eese
                            Wi' the mannie in sic an ill teen,
                            An fat was a wap wi a spainyie or tag
                            To hands that were hard as a steen ?
                            Noo, gin he had grutten, it's brawly he kent
                            Foo croose a' the lassies would craw,
                            For the mornin' afore he had scattered their lames,
                            An' dung doon their hoosies an' a',
                            Wi' a gully to hooie tho', soon he got ower
                            The wye he'd been han'led by fate,
                            It was coorse still an' on to be walloped like thon,
                            When it wasna his wyte he was late.
 
                            It's thirty year, said ye, it's forty an' mair,
                            Sin' last we were licket at squeel :
                            The Dominie's deid, an' forgetten for lang,
                            An' a' oor buik learnin' as weel.
The size o' a park - wi' the gushets left oot -
                            We'll quess geyan near, I daur say :
                            Or the wecht o' a stot, but we wouldna gyang far
                            Gin we tried noo, the coontin' in "Gray."
                            "Effectual Callin' " we canna rin throu'
                            Wha kent it aince clear as the text,
                            We can say " Man's Chief En' " an' the shorter " Commands,"
                            But fat was the " Reasons Annexed ? "
                            Oor heads micht be riddels for a' they haud in
                            O Catechis, coontin' or date,
                            Yet I'll wauger we min' on the mornin's lang syne
                            When it wasna oor wyte we were late.

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