61. OOR TIB
Nae mither's heart was e'er
As mine's, an'
a' because I ha'e
wee bit lass-a restless fay,
An' that's nae fib-
Although my heart gets mony a fley
Frae oor wee Tib.
Frae morn till gloamin'
shrouds the skies
merry prattlin' tongue ne'er lies;
Aye apein' something weemin-wise,
Wi' dolls for weans.
She aften fills me wi' surprise
At what she kens.
Gin ane should tummel aff a
An' wi' a dunt
fa' on the flair,
'Twill only earn it ten times mair
O' kisses gaun,
An' mak' the ithers wish, I'm shair,
That they had fa'en.
There's ane o' her bairns is
made o' wid;
is solid, strong, an' guid,
The hair's black pent, the checks are rid;
But legs an' airms
She tint withoot the loss o' bluid
Or childish charms.
For Tib ne'er heeds the sair
the loss pits nae restriction;
In fact, it's my sincere conviction
That dire misfortune
Mak's mither-love a rare addiction,
'Thoot ony courtin'.
Anither was a gaucy maid,
Wi' fluffy locks an' waxen head;
An' "sleepit"-least that's what Tib said-
Whene'er she telt it.
Alas! the heatin' that she ga'ed
The features meltit.
The nose was meltit clean
flettened sair was mou' an' jaw;
The glessie een
Wi' awesome stare looked doon on a'
The sorry scene.
Anither bairn that she's
A whiley, is a
fine plump wean.
o' yer skranky skin-an'-bane
Is shapit frae a bit delaine,
An' stuffed wi' rags.
An' when she tak's her
She has a
"pram." ye needna doot-
The stuill tirned up lined wi' a cloot
Is a' she needs.
An' though fu' laich she has to loot
She never heeds.
Gin it should hap, as whiles
something may upset the stuill
An' gi'es the weans an unco spill
Upon the stairs,
She lifts them wi' a mither's skill
An' dauts their sairs.
She mak's a shoppie o' her
An' ser's it wi'
a pawky air;
whiles till my sides are sair
At what she says;
But she ne'er kens-I wadna dare
To show my face.
Come nicht oor Tib's a braw
goonie on she's ready;
But ere she nestles in her beddie,
She cuddlin' clings
Aroond his neck and kisses daddy,
While mammy sings.
When soond asleep she looks
mither's sang becomes a prayer,
Beseechin' Him on hie to spare
Oor bonnie lass,
An' guard her wi' a Faither's care
Till life shall pass.
62. A'BODY'S BAIRN
A'body's bairn's the
the wide, wide warld.
It's skin can match the driven snaw,
It's the bonniest bairn that ever you saw.
It's checks-there never were sic twa
For roses red an' lilies white
An' cherries a' their charms unite
On cheeks an' lips bewitchin' ye,
Their simple beauty titchin' ye.
An' ye needna expec' to get paurdon ye ken,
If ye dinna pey heed noo to what I am sayin'.
That you wi' yours an' us wi' oors,
An' them wi' theirs wi' truth declares
That a'e body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
In a' the wide, wide warld.
A'body's bairn's the
the wide, wide warld.
For when ye've heard, as I'm maistly sure,
Some score o' mithers a' declare
That nae ither bairn is half sae fair,
It sune grows plain that a'e is a';
For ilk ane thinks they've the whitest craw;
Nae ither's as big or braw or bonnie,
As oor wee Meg, Jean, Bob or Johnnie.
It may ha'e hair or nane at a',
Red, black or white coonts nocht ava;
The een may be big an' filled wi' winder
Or be like holes brunt wi' a cinder;
It's nose may be bent a wee up or doon,
It may aye lauch or may aye froon;
But to somebody's e'e it'll be mair worth
Than a'thing else on this braid earth,
For a'e body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
In a' the wide, wide warld.
63. A WELCOME HAME
Oor Postie lad is hame
Safe an' soond
at hame again-
through the war withoot a scaur,
An' oh, we're glad he's hame again.
It's three lang years sin'
he gaed awa',
doon the bag when he heard the ca',
He shouthered his gun an' he mairched awa',
Oor ain brave Postie Laddie, O.
At Magersfontein, where oor brave lads fell,
Shot doon wi' a fearfu' blast frae hell,
'Mang the few that were left the tale to tell
Was oor gallant Postie Laddie, O.
For seventeen 'oors on that
field o' death
a' free frae the deadly skaith;
The sicht he'll mind till his deein' breath-
God bless oor Postie Laddie, O.
The ranks o' oor noble Highland Brigade
Were thin wi' the awfu' gaps death made,
An' mony an earnest prayer was said
For oor bonnie Postie Laddie, O.
For some weeks after the
couldna' dae ocht but sit fu' ticht
Till the gaps were filled an' a' made richt,
An' wae was oor Postie Laddie, O.
Brave Wauchope, an' their comrades a',
Wha in the slaughter chanced to fa',
Were laid to rest i' the land faur awa'
But spared was oor Postie Laddie, O.
Then Hector Macdonald he
mairched them faur owre Afric's sand -
Till at Koodoosberg they made a stand,
An' bothered the enemy sairly, O.
For though the cavalry were gey late
('Twas here we lost young Freddy Tait),
The Highland Brigade were obstinate,
An' stuck to their posts fu' rarely, O.
An' a' this fecht was for
juist the wily Boers to draw
Frae Kimberley, an' bring them awa',
An' let French in to relieve it, O.
The Boers fell readily into the trap,
An' focht the ground fierce every stap,
An' when the news fell like a clap
They scarcely could believe it, O.
'Twas then the Cronje hunt
Oor ain loved
Bobs he hatched the plan,
An' weel he kent that every man
Wud dae his best to help him, O.
For days they marched, nor did complain,
They thirsted to wipe oot Majuba's stain,
Their dearest bluid they vowed they'd drain
To capture or to skelp him, O.
Auld Cronje skilfully did
The troops that
did his movements shade,
But 'mong the troops were the Highland Brigade,
Wha followed him helter skelter, O.
At last he cam' to Paardeberg,
An' vainly a "parley" tried to beg,
But eh! he got an awfu' fleg,
An' in the river took shelter, O.
They howkit holes i' the
to stem the victor's tide,
An' through oor ranks they tried to glide,
In troth they werena' blately, O.
But aye we drove them back again,
To force oor lines they tried in vain;
Though many a braw young lad was slain
We kept up the siege fu' stately, O.
An' then Macdonald took up
his brave lads ga'e a glance,
Then ordered, "Highland Brigade advance,"
A' danger they were scornin', O.
Oot owre the veldt, whaur scarce a blade
O' grass was seen, nor kindly shade
To shelter gi'e; oor braw Brigade
They marched at early mornin', O.
Ere half the distance had
let go a deadly blast-
They kent that this move meant the last-
Their grup o' hope grew slender, O.
For fifteen oors on the open plain
Oor brave lads lay in cauld an' rain;
But God be praised, 'twas not in vain,
Next mornin' the Boers surrendered, O.
To Bloomfontein, then
guns an' transports a' were lost,
An' mair than a'e guid life it cost
Through some folks bunglin' sairly, O.
The Highland lads cam' up owre late,
The Boers were aff wi' joy elate,
An' took their stance anither gate,
Nor stood to fecht richt fairly, O.
At Driefontein and River
Rennoster-ye'll min' o't yet-
Their share a' fechtin' they did get,
Nor thocht they'd got their sairin', O.
At Retif Nek they cuist aff care,
For Prinsloo and five thoosan' mair
O wily Boers they captured there,
An' ga'e them a' their fairin', O.
Then Wittibergen dearly won-
A fecht richt on frae sun to sun;
Then five days' mairch to Heilbron,
The hale transport we nicked them, O.
For man oor movement was sae quick
The Boers ne'er thocht we could be slick,
They bolted juist as if Auld Nick
Had wi' his lang horn pricked them, O.
Then Harrismith held up
their stores, an' guns, an' lands-
The country scarcely understands
Hoo brave Macdonald did it, O.
But it was dune, as I ha'e said,
Nor loss o' precious life was made,
But we may thank the braw Brigade,
An' ye may say I said it, O.
Then followed mony a weary
O' what folks
micht ca' "sodgers' play"-
That's mairchin' till the mornin' grey
The wearifu' nicht has ended, O.
They huntit high, they huntit low,
Owre hunners a' miles withoot strikin' a blow,
An' a' because oor shifty foe
Ne'er ony place defended, O.
Then Kitchener quietly as a
system o' block-hoose
An' close an' closer drew the noose.
Success his method attended, O.
An' sma' an' sma'er the enemy dwined,
To fecht they werena sair inclined,
Till in a'e surrender the hale lot join'd,
An' the driech job it was ended, O.
Oor laddie, of coorse, had
juist to wait
the poo'rs wad fix the date
To let him gang his ain dear gate,
An' airt his way to Dumfarlin, O.
Syne swith the 'oors an' days they flew,
An' near an' nearer hame he drew,
An' in his dear wife's airms sae true
He clean forgot a' his haurlin', O.
The postmen a' turned oot in
An' sang wi' joy
their mate to see,
early shook his airm agee
They were sae fond to meet him, O.
They hadna a graund triumphal car
Nor trophy brocht hame frae the war,
But they had something better far-
They had loyal hearts to greet him, O.
An' through the toon they
rode wi' pride;
doon the sodger's cheek did glide;
An' many an e'e was wet beside
Wi' draps o' dew o' gladness, O.
The pipers played a welcome hame
An' gin he'd been a man o' fame,
An' troth they werena sair to blame,
Though some folks thocht it madness, O.
We're gled oor lad is hame
Safe an' soond
at hame again;
through the war withoot a scaur,
An' oh, we're glad he's hame again.
It's no sae awfu' lang sin' syne
Thae schule days o' my ain,
Some thretty years or sae, but, man,
Whaur's a' oor schule mates gane?
Some sleep aneath the muils, while sone
Are faur in foreign lands,
An' some ha'e risen high in life
An' prood in honour stands.
An' some, alas! I'm wae to
little did we think yon time
What's come to pass this day.
Na, na, we thochtna o' the seed
That we were sawin' then,
Nor fashed oor heids aboot the time
When we'd be grewn men.
The mem'ry o' thae days are
As deeds o'
An' mony a
time my mind rins owre
Some o' the pranks we'd play.
Hoo, when the snaw was on the grund,
We never were content
Until we marshalled a' oor lads
An' doon to Dickie's went.
Ye talk o' "weel-facht
fields o' war,"
ocht to seen us close,
Wi' snaw for ammunition
We pelted at oor foes.
We werena aye victorious,
For whiles we got oor licks,
But what although? if dour we focht,
We were accounted "bricks."
We fairly cowed a' Spittal's
An' ga'e them
many a nailin',
Although they fortified themselves
Ahint their muckle railin'.
But wi' true-born invaders' cheek
Richt in the gate we ga'ed,
An' chased them oot an' up the road,
We werena easy fleyed.
The Maister had a daur owre
An' yet I needna
If richt we did
we got his smile,
wrang, we kent what wey.
For "Sam," his faithfu' henchman,
Wi's three weel-burnt taes,
Oor palmies het; I feel it yet
Across thae lang, lang days.
Hoo prood we were when
thocht oorsel's nae mawkin,
When we wad get the maister's word
To staund an' watch the talkin'.
We'd strut across the flair an' watch
Withoot a thocht o' salary,
An' wap the tawse at some puir sowl
For talkin' in the gallery.
Some names crood roond my
pen th' noo,
we kent each ither,
Sic like as "Tadger," "Chow," an' "Bounce,"
Names ne'er kent by oor mither.
An' "Missie" to an' "Davie Dites,"
An' "Jessie," " Poof" an' "Peichle,"
An' "Daw" an' "Dad" an' "Dumpy Doup,"
An' "Bulsher," "Rat" an' "Dreichle."
An' then the games we used
"leave-time" or at "skellin',"
Like "Teenie-Orrie," "Save the Craw,"
Aye gi'ed us plenty yellin'.
Then "Plunkie," "Dykie," "Ringie" too,
An' then the "Cuddies' Funkin',"
"Hurley-burley" an' the rest,
To tell is mair than tongue can.
"Roonders," "Trip," "Cross
Tig" an' "Spy,"
"Fit-an'-a-half" an' "Spanish,"
"Koo-k," an' then ye vanish.
A guid game ca'd "Au-boo,"
"Horse an' riders," "Dummie's trade,"
The "Butcher an' the Soo."
An' ilka game juist had its
A' werena aye in
But hoo or why
gin ye should speir
cudna gi'e a reason.
But "Bools an' Plunkers" had their time,
An' then were laid awa',
Then "Peeries" wad be a' the go
Until they ga'e the sta'.
The "Peeries" were a varied
The "Wummers" had a pickle saut
In whilk the neb was beddit.
Some traivelled faur while they were gaun,
Some "howkit a grave an' lay";
I dinna see the laddies try
Thae "Peenie" games the day.
The time wad come when every
Wad ha'e a
chowin' towe to mak' the balls
Aye had its slice a' fun.
Gin it should hap that tow was scarce,
That didna trouble bring,
Paper or "raivlins" made a wad,
Or taised a wee bit string.
Then "haws" an' "spoots" wad
mak' a bid
oor hale attention,
Though trouble whiles resulted frae
The use a' this invention.
For gin ye got on cheek or neck
A haw-stane weel directit,
Some worry wad be brewin' gin
The "spooter" was detectit.
'Twas maistly aye gey quiet,
whiles there was a racket,
Sic like as when an auld wife cam'
An' said we broke her "backit."
An' aince I mind an awfu' scene
That ne'er was seen before,
A'e young yin had the cheek to gie
The maister chat-an' swore.
I saw the maister's broo
An' ane a' us
To bring the
Juist to see if he'd repent.
His faither held him owre the desk,
The maister makin' play
Wi' "Sam" across his trousers, eh
I'll ne'er forget yon day.
But there, there, I maun
e'en say halt,
fancies crood in fast,
An' I cud gang on writin' mair
O' mem'ries o' the past.
Like when Pete Muffle ran awa'
An' never daured come back,
Or Jock Macelly played the "skech"
For three weeks at a tack.
Or when the "aivications"
An' some auld
folks were there
see the wonders we had done
On "specimens" fu' rare.
Or pentit maps o' foreign lands,
On "Lord's Prayers" brawly printit,
Or the "Beatitudes" in style
That weeks o' labour hinted.
But juist a'e word afore I
May God wha
minds us a',
kindly doon on a' thae folk
At hame or faur awa'.
An' when at last we close oor een
On a' this wae an' dule,
Maybe we'll meet some ane we kent
When we were at the schule.
65. MINNIE'S WEE MAN
Kent ye ever sic a bairn,
Aft he gars me sweat;
Up an' doon an' in an' oot,
Never aff his feet.
Cheery, steerie, lauchin' wild,
Guileless as can be,
Kindest love frae Heaven above
Keeks frae oot his e'e.
Ne'er a bannet on his head,
Huh! he disna mind
A' his wealth o' sunny hair
Fluffin' i' the wind.
Cheeks aglow wi' hardy health,
Een alowe wi' glee;
Ne'er his marra' ye can find
Or his equal see.
Oot an' in amang the weet
Like a drookit moose,
Lauchin' at the plashin' rain,
Winna keep the hoose.
Catchin' at the muckle draps
In his wee bit han',
Lickin' them oot o' his loof,
Minnie's ain wee man.
Rakin' a' the clerts up,
Packin' them fu' ticht,
Ne'er a sowl daur titch it,
Else they're no richt;
Gushel-makin's rare sport,
Sune the gutter's filled,
Then his glee is at its hicht
Sailin' boats intilled.
When his dad comes hame at
Ere he tak's
He's to kiss
an' cuddle him,
wi' faither's glee;
When he's sleepin' in his crib,
Mony a braw life's plan
Is laid oot by the auld folk
For Minnie's wee man.
Bairnies aft get blamed for
Castles in the
wad we wish it werena sae,
Wi' hope the heart it fills,
An' better faur wi' joy to sup
Than brood owre fancied ills.
66. A'E YEAR AULD
A king cam' to oor hoose
A twal'month the day,
An' ever sin' syne
He has held full sway;
He's maister an' mistress,
Yet a' his commands
Are gi'en wi' a nod
On a wag o' his haunds.
This wad maist mak' ye think
That he hadna a tongue,
But, my certies! he has,
An' he's strong i' the lung;
But he speaks in a language
That winna staund spellin',
The same kind, they say,
That the angels excel in.
His laughter is sunshine
To mither an' me,
An' happy's the glint
O' his bonnie blue e'e.
'Twad gledden yer heart
To see him on my knee,
As he rides a cock-horse
The "white leddy" to see.
His mither she ca's him
Her jewel an' king,
An' then in-his praises
Some queer rhymes she'll sing;
He's the "brawest" an' "best,"
But atween you an' me,
There's nae ither e'e
But a mither's can see.
But whiles I maun tell
There's a split in the camp,
For his mither whiles ca's him
A sautin or scamp;
But, losh! the next meenit
She'll lift him an' kiss him,
An' ask for her Faither
In Heaven to bless him.
Frae mornin' till nicht
He's aye in a steer,
An' some o' his pranks
Are auld farrant an' queer;
For breakin' new toys
Or touslin' the cat,
There ne'er was anither
Cud lick him at that.
There's times o'd again
He'll sit quiet as a moose,
An' watch ilka thing
That's gaun on i' the hoose;
Wi' his haund on his pow,
An' his look faur awa',
I winder aft what
He'll be thinkin' ava'.
His mither's richt gled
When he's aff to his bed,
An' on the saft pillow
His wee head is laid;
A blessin' she breathes
As she covers him in-
An' prays far his sake
To the wise God abune.
O' a' the weans I ever saw,
An' I ha'e seen fu' mony,
There's nane at hame or faur awa'
A match for oor wee Johnnie.
He's like a lammie fu' o' fun,
His face is unco bonnie,
His hair's like clippens aff the sun,
His mither's heart's in Johnnie.
His cheeks are red, his een
as a polonie,
pearly teeth keek frae his mou',
A roguish look has Johnnie.
His skin's as pure's the driven snaw,
He's like a braw peony,
His daddie thinks he has nae flaw,
He's awfu' fond o' Johnnie.
Nae winder that the chield
He cudna weel
He'll ha'e a
share whate'er ye're at,
A healthy ga' has Johnnie.
It maitters nae what diet ye're at,
Awa' gaes ceremonie,
His ain wee chair is at yer fit,
An' on it's little Johnnie.
Frae early morn he's in a
I'll gi'e my
nae anither wink I fear
When waukened up is Johnnie.
He's up at aince an' on the flair,
He'll gallop like a pownie,
A waggonette made o' a chair
Is hauled aboot by Johnnie.
Whate'er his mither has to
She's shair to
ha'e a cronie,
steerin' parritch-nae gainsay
He'll help his mum will Johnnie.
He'll ha'e some meal upon a stuil,
An' "tugar" if there's ony,
An' lick it clean up every muil,
A through-gaun laud is Johnnie.
He wadna dae for parliment,
He's bothered wi' dysphony,
An' yet he'll wage an argument,
A wilfu' chap is Johnnie.
The cat an' him wage deadly strife,
She claws wi' acrimonie,
Syne ben the hoose she rins for life,
Fast huntit up by Johnnie.
For ane sae young, I'm
feared to say'd,
weel kent by the polis,
The blue-coat mak's na him afraid,
But then there is this solace-
Whene'er they say, "Come on wi' me,"
He'll gang an' never tairry,
'Twas only juist the ither day
He marched awa' wi Hairry.
His "mum" an' him they
whiles fa' oot,
say he's juist a nonny,
But losh! ere lang, I ha'e nae doot,
She'll kiss an' cuddle Johnnie.
She'll pack him in his credlie-ba,
An' sing to him fu' bonnie,
An' linkit wi' her sang ana'
She'll breathe a prayer for Johnnie.
68. OOR JAMIE
Ech, man, but I'm sweatin',
I've juist ha'en a tussle
Wi' oor little Jamie
I've danced an' I've sung till I'm dry as a
To oor little
He's the king
o' guid fellows, o' men he's the wale,
He's a voice like a mavis, his lungs never
An' if ye can
bear it I'll tell ye a tale,
An' it's a' aboot oor little Jamie.
He speirs unco questions wad
puzzle a priest,
oor little Jamie-
nails on the stars?" was ane gar'd me say wheesht
To oor little Jamie.
"What wey hiv I whuskers?" an' "Whaur's a' the
That should ha'e
been growin' on that place that's bare?"
"If my teef hasna growed yet?" I leuch, I
at oor little Jamie.
He speired at me "What wey the cat had a tail?"
He's a "niccar" is Jamie;
An' then "What it was that it used for a
He's a siccar
oor ain never had kitlins at a'
While Johnny M'Gibbon's had fower an' drooned
Of coorse o' the
sex he kens naething ava-
He's a pawky wee pester is Jamie.
He speired "Whaur the hens
got the eggs that they lay?"
He's a "taster" is Jamie;
An' as shair as I live, I kentna what to say-
He's the maister is Jamie.
I'm fairly bambaized wi' the questions he
An' o' my
richt reason I sometimes ha'e fears,
For I think that there's mair than at first
questions o' oor little Jamie.
The ither nicht waukrife he
cudna get slept-
wee little Jamie;
he row'd an' he tummled, then close to me crept,
Did oor little Jamie.
But steerin' he happened to see the bricht
To speir some
queer questions he sune did begin-
"Wha lichts it?" "An' wha is'd that hauds it
Were twa o'
the queries o' Jamie.
O Faither in heaven, wha looks doon owre a',
Look kindly on Jamie;
An' spare him to us, dinna tak' him awa',
We lo'e little Jamie.
That he may be kept guid, I'll hope aye an'
May he choose
the richt path in life's stormy way,
An' when the nicht's shadows shall darken the
"Come Hame" ye'll
can say to oor Jamie.
Naebody's laddie's a laddie I ken,
He staunds in a corner, his head hingin' doon,
His hair owre his een, an' a glunch on his
He's broken a
cup, an' he's in deep disgrace.
I juist ha'e come in frae my
wark i' the toon,
see i' the corner this wee glunchin' loon.
"What wee laddie's that?" at his mither I
"He's shairly a
stranger, an' disna bide here!
"He's gey like a laddie that
maist aye I see
Meetin' his dad comin' hame to his tea;
But it canna be him, for he sooks na his thoom,
But lauchs aye, while this ane daes naething
His mither, meanwhile, had been sortin' the
An' to keep in
her smile she scarcely was able,
But tryin' to look as if she wasna' carin',
She said, "Man I think he's some gangeril's
The pitcher aye gangs aince owre aft to the
E'en roses are
no always sweet to the smell,
An' so the wee man burstit oot wi' a sob,
"I'm no, 'oo ten fine, I'm daddie's wee Bob!"
"What? Are you my wee Bob?
Then come on to me;
Come an, heestye fast, an' get up on my knee,
I've been wonderin' whaur my wee Bobbie could
That he wasna oot
welcomin' me to my tea."
Eh! faithers an' mithers
there's naething sae fine
As the love o' the weans, roond yer hearts they
An' may the
kind Faither wha looks doon on a',
Aye spare them to us, an' no tak' them awa'.
70. NEVER LEET BUT LAUGH
When I was but a laddie,
at the schule,
through lows'ness o' my tongue,
Got ca'd a muckle fule;
My mither, fu' a' sayin's odd,
Wad pawky lay them aff,
An' say a wink's as guid's a nod-
Sae never leet but laugh.
A'e day the maister said to
"Wha put wax on my
Of coorse the
chairge was laid to me-
He grabbed me by the hair,
I took the "stendies" on my loofs
A dizzen an' a half;
But he was wrang, the silly coof-
Huh! never leet but laugh.
I min' when I began to coort
The lass that's noo my wife,
My bashfu'ness made me the sport
O' frien's wha plagued my life.
They said that I was awfu' green,
An' naething but a cauf;
But I wad slyly wink my een
An' never leet but laugh.
Noo a' you buddies mind this
An' save yersels
this warld's an unco schule,
Baith tryin' an' perplexin'.
Keep weel yer tongue, I coonsel ye,
Gi'e care a passin' waif;
A nod's as guid's a wink ye'll see,
An' never leet but laugh.