Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: I. Woman
The Women Fo’k
James Hogg (1770–1835)
O, SAIRLY 1 may I rue the day
  I fancied first the womenkind;
For aye sinsyne I ne’er can hae
  Ae quiet thought or peace o’ mind!
They hae plagued my heart an’ pleased my e’e,        5
  An’ teased an’ flattered me at will,
But aye for a’ their witcherye,
  The pawky things I lo’e them still.
      O the women fo’k! O the women fo’k!
        But they hae been the wreck o’ me;        10
      O weary fa’ the women fo’k,
        For they winna let a body be!
I hae thought an’ thought, but darena tell,
  I ’ve studied them wi’ a’ my skill,
I ’ve lo’d them better than mysell,        15
  I ’ve tried again to like them ill.
Wha sairest strives, will sairest rue,
  To comprehend what nae man can;
When he has done what man can do,
  He ’ll end at last where he began.
      O the women fo’k, etc.
That they hae gentle forms an’ meet,
  A man wi’ half a look may see;
An gracefu’ airs, an’ faces sweet,
  An’ waving curls aboon the bree;
An’ smiles as soft as the young rosebud,        25
  And een sae pawky, bright, an’ rare,
Wad lure the laverock frae the cludd,—
  But, laddie, seek to ken nae mair!
      O the women fo’k, etc.
Even but this night nae farther gane,
  The date is neither lost nor lang,        30
I tak ye witness ilka ane,
  How fell they fought, and fairly dang.
Their point they ’ve carried right or wrang,
  Without a reason, rhyme, or law,
An’ forced a man to sing a sang,        35
  That ne’er could sing a verse ava.
      O the women fo’k! O the women fo’k!
        But they hae been the wreck o’ me;
      O weary fa’ the women fo’k,
        For they winna let a body be!        40
Note 1. The air of this song is my own. It was first set to music by Heather, and most beautifully set too. It was afterwards set by Dewar, whether with the same accompaniments or not, I have forgot. It is my own favorite humorous song, when forced to sing by ladies against my will, which too frequently happens; and, notwithstanding my wood-notes wild, it will never be sung by any so well again.—THE AUTHOR. [back]

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