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Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Marilyn Wright

Ye've heard hoo the deil, as he wauchel'd through Beith,
Wi' a wife in ilka oxter and ane in his teeth,
When someone cried oot, "Will ye tak' mine the morn?"
He wagged his auld tail while he cocked his horn,
But only said Imph-m! That useful word Imph-m,
Wi' sic a big mouthfu' he couldna say - ay!
When I was a laddie langsyne at the schule,
The maister aye ca'd me a dunce and a fule;
For a' that I said, I could ne'er understan'
Unless when he bawl'd, "Jamie, haud oot er han'!"
Then I gloom'd and said Imph-m, I glaunch'd and said Imph-m,
I wisna ower proud, but ower dour to say - ay!
Ae day a queer word, as lang nebbit's himsel',
He vow'd he would thrash me if I widna spell.
Quo' I, "Maister Quill," wi' a kin o' a swither,
"I'll spell ye the word if ye'll spell me anither:
Let's hear ye spell Imph-m, that common word Imph-m,
That auld Scotch word Imph-m, ye ken it means - ay!"
Had ye seen hoo he glower'd, hoo he scratched his big pate,
An' shouted, "Ye villain, get oot o' my gate!
Get aff to yer seat, ye're the plaque o' the schule!
The deil o' me kens if maist rogue or fule!"
But I only said Imph-m, that common word Imph-m,
That auld farran' Imph-m, that stan's for an - ay!
An' when a brisk wooer, I courted my Jean -
O Aron's braw Isaacs the pride an' the Queen -
When 'neath my grey plaidie wi' heart beatin' fain,
I speired in a whisper if she'd be my ain,
She blushed and said Imph-m, that charming word Imph-m,
A thousan' times better and sweeter than -ay!

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