Wee Willie Winkie rins through the toun,
Upstairs and doonstairs in his nicht-goun,
Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,
'Are the weans in their bed, for it's noo ten o'clock?'
'Hey, Willie Winkie, are ye comin' ben?
The cat's singin' grey thrums to the sleepin' hen,
The dog's spelder'd on the floor, and disna gi'e a cheep,
But here's a waukrife laddie that winna fa' asleep!'
Onything but sleep, you rogue! glow'ring like the mune,
Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spune,
Rumblin', tumblin' round about, crawlin' like a cock,
Skirlin' like a kenna-what, waul'nin' sleepin' fock.
'Hey, Willie Winkie - the weans in a creel!
Wambling aff a bodie's knee like a verra eel,
Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravelin' a' her thrums -
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!'
Wearit is the mither that has a stoorie wean,
A wee stumpie stoussie, that canna rin his lane,
That has a battle aye wi' sleep before he'll close an ee -
But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me.
Footnote: A song this week for the bairns – it started life
as a poem by William Miller of Parkhead, Glasgow in the 19th
century. Willie Winkie is supposed to be a kindly fairy who helps to
send children to sleep.