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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
343. Come Under My Plaidie
 
Hector MacNeil (1746–1818)
 
 
‘COME under my plaidie, the night’s gaun to fa’;
Come in frae the cauld blast, the drift, and the snaw:
Come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me,
There’s room in’t, dear lassie, believe me, for twa.
Come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me,        5
I’ll hap 1 ye frae every cauld blast that can blaw:
Oh, come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me!
There’s room in’t, dear lassie, believe me, for twa.’
 
‘Gae ’wa wi’ your plaidie, auld Donald, gae ’wa!
I fearna the cauld blast, the drift, nor the snaw;        10
Gae ’wa wi’ your plaidie; I’ll no sit beside ye,
Ye may be a gutcher, 2 auld Donald, gae ’wa.
I’m gaun to meet Johnnie—he’s young and he’s bonnie;
He’s been at Meg’s bridal, fu’ trig 3 and fu’ braw: 4
Oh, nane dances sae lightly, sae gracefu’, sae tightly;        15
His cheek’s like the new rose, his brow’s like the snaw.’
 
‘Dear Marion, let that flee stick fast to the wa’;
Your Jock’s but a gowk, 5 and has naething ava;
The hale 6 o’ his pack he has now on his back:
He’s thretty, and I am but threescore and twa.        20
Be frank now and kindly: I’ll busk 7 ye aye finely,
To kirk or to market there’ll few gang sae braw;
A bien 8 house to bide in, a chaise for to ride in,
And flunkies to ’tend ye as aft as ye ca’.’
 
‘My father’s aye tauld me, my mither an a’,        25
Ye’d mak’ a gude husband, and keep me aye braw:
It’s true I lo’e Johnnie—he’s gude and he’s bonnie,
But, wae’s me! ye ken he has naething ava.
I ha’e little tocher: 9 you’ve made a good offer:
I’m now mair than twenty—my time is but sma’;        30
Sae, gi’e me your plaidie, I’ll creep in beside ye,
I thocht ye’d been aulder than threescore and twa.’
 
She crap in ayont him, aside the stane wa’.
Where Johnnie was list’nin, and heard her tell a’;
The day was appointed: his proud heart it dunted, 10        35
And strack ’gainst his side as if bursting in twa.
He wandered hame weary: the night it was dreary;
And, thowless, 11 he tint 12 his gate ’mang the deep snaw:
The owlet was screamin’; while Johnnie cried, ‘Women
Wad marry Auld Nick if he’d keep them aye braw!’        40
 
Note 1. Wrap. [back]
Note 2. Grandfather. [back]
Note 3. Neat. [back]
Note 4. Fine. [back]
Note 5. Fool. [back]
Note 6. Whole. [back]
Note 7. Dress. [back]
Note 8. Comfortable. [back]
Note 9. Dowry. [back]
Note 10. Throbbed violently. [back]
Note 11. Enfeebled. [back]
Note 12. Lost. [back]
 

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