Janet Hamilton Poems >>
Mysie, An Aul' Warl', But Ower True Story

She wrocht her wark an' never lintit,
Her wrangs to nane she ever mintit;
An' tho' they war baith grit an' sair,
O' them an' him she spake nae mair.


Sair browten't on him was her he'rt,
Folk thocht the twasum' ne'er wad pairt;
But sic is man, an' sic was Rabbie,
He brak' his troth an' marriet Babbie.


A widow woman, sair forfairn,
Was Mysie's mither—for her bairn
That mither pray't, wi' deein' breath,
She micht be biel't frae want an' skaith.


My gutcher sat by her bedside;
Said he, I'se for thy bairn provide;
Amang my ain she'll pick an' mell,
An' sune dae sum'thing for hersel'.


O! Mysie was a pleasant bairn—
Kin', canny, clever, gleg to learn;
An' weel she lo'ed the guid aul' carle,
That biel't her frae the caulrife warl'.


Whan juist saxteen she gat a place;
Her mensefu' gait an' bonnie face—
Her warkrife haun' an' couthie ways,
Sune gat frae a' aboot her praise.


The farmer's son, young Rabbie Steel—
A weel-faur'd, sleekit, pawkie chiel—
Sune wan her he'rt, an' hoo, gude kens,
Gat Mysie on his finger en's.


He swore he lo'ed her mair than life,
An' gif he made na' her his wife,
Wush'd that his richt haun' he micht tine,
Gif he his promise didna' min'.


An' then the upshot sune was seen,
Wi' pykeit chafts an' watery een;
Puir May was packit frae the hoose
By Rabbie's mither, snell an' douce.


An' sic a nicht whan she cam' hame—
Sae muckle greetin', sabbin', shame;
Wi' her nae tongue cou'd flyte a word,
Puir gaspin', tremilen, flutterin' burd.


For owks she grat maist day an' nicht;
Yet ere her bairnie saw the licht,
An' she had been twa months awa'—
Young Rab had weddit Babbie Law.


A towmond they had been thegither,
Whan ae day in cam Babbie's mither;
Said they, We're a' in grit alarm,
An' gutcher man cum' to the farm.


He bou'd to see ye, quo' the wife;
The doctors canna save his life;
Nor a' the skill they can comman'
Can heal the incume in his haun'.


The aul' man pray'd by his bedside;
Then Rabbie said, cou'd less betide
A he'rt sae fause, wi' tongue sae fair,
O! I ha'e wrang't puir Mysie sair.


But ye maun see to unnerstaun',
He rave the bucklin's aff his haun';
Tho' I forgat, Heaven keepit min',
O! my fause aith—leuk, there's the sign.


Sair swall't an' black as ony coal
Was that richt haun', but waur to thole;
His sair remorse for Mysie's wrang.
Fause loons, beware, sae en's my sang.