Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
There ’s Nae Luck about the House
By Jean Adam (1704–1765)
AND are ye sure the news is true?
  And are ye sure he ’s weel?
Is this a time to think of wark?
  Ye jauds, fling by your wheel.
Is this a time to think o’ wark.        5
  When Colin ’s at the door?
Gie me my cloak! I ’ll to the quay
  And see him come ashore.
  For there ’s nae luck about the house,
    There ’s nae luck ava;        10
  There ’s little pleasure in the house,
    When our gudeman ’s awa.
Rise up and mak’ a clean fireside;
  Put on the muckle pot;
Gi’e little Kate her cotton gown,        15
  And Jock his Sunday coat:
And mak’ their shoon as black as slaes,
  Their hose as white as snaw;
It ’s a’ to please my ain gudeman,
  For he ’s been long awa’.        20
There ’s twa fat hens upon the bauk, 1
  Been fed this month and mair;
Mak’ haste and thraw 2 their necks about,
  That Colin weel may fare;
And mak’ the table neat and clean,        25
  Gar ilka thing look braw;
It ’s a’ for love of my gudeman,
  For he ’s been long awa’.
O gi’e me down my bigonet, 3
  My bishop satin gown,        30
For I maun tell the bailie’s wife
  That Colin ’s come to town.
My Sunday’s shoon they maun gae on,
  My hose o’ pearlin blue;
’Tis a’ to please my ain gudeman,        35
  For he ’s baith leal and true.
Sae true his words, sae smooth his speech,
  His breath ’s like caller 4 air!
His very foot has music in ’t,
  As he comes up the stair.        40
And will I see his face again?
  And will I hear him speak?
I ’m downright dizzy with the thought,—
  In troth, I ’m like to greet. 5
The cauld blasts o’ the winter wind,        45
  That thrilled through my heart,
They ’re a’ blawn by; I ha’e him safe,
  Till death we ’ll never part:
But what puts parting in my head?
  It may be far awa’;        50
The present moment is our ain,
  The neist we never saw.
Since Colin ’s weel, I ’m weel content,
  I ha’e nae more to crave;
Could I but live to mak’ him blest,        55
  I ’m blest above the lave: 6
And will I see his face again?
  And will I hear him speak?
I ’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought,—
  In troth, I ’m like to greet        60
Note 1. cross-beam (baulk). [back]
Note 2. wing. [back]
Note 3. linen cap. [back]
Note 4. fresh. [back]
Note 5. weep. [back]
Note 6. the rest. [back]

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