Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
337. Wooed and Married and A’
Alexander Ross (1699–1784)
THE BRIDE cam’ out o’ the byre,
  And O, as she dighted 1 her cheeks,
‘Sirs, I’m to be married the-night,
  And ha’e neither blankets nor sheets–
Ha’e neither blankets nor sheets,        5
  Nor scarce a coverlet too;
The bride that has a’ thing to borrow,
  Has e’en right meikle 2 ado!’
    Wooed and married and a’!
    Married and wooed and a’!        10
    And was she na very weel aff
    That was wooed and married and a’?
Out spake the bride’s father
  As he cam’ in frae the pleugh,
‘O haud your tongue, my dochter,        15
  And ye’se 3 get gear 4 eneugh.
The stirk 5 stands i’ the tether,
  And our braw bawsint yade 6
Will carry hame your corn:—
  What wad ye be at, ye jade?’        20
Out spake the bride’s mither:
  ‘What, deil, needs a’ this pride?
I hadna a plack 7 in my pouch
  That night I was a bride.
My gown was linsey-wolsey,        25
  And ne’er a sark 8 ava;
And ye ha’e ribbons and buskin’s 9
  Mae 10 than ane or twa.’
Out spake the bride’s brither
  As he cam’ in wi’ the kye: 11        30
‘Puir Willie wad ne’er ha’e ta’en ye
  Had he kent ye as weel as I.
For ye’re baith proud and saucy,
  And no for a puir man’s wife;
Gin 12 I canna get a better        35
  I’se ne’er tak’ ane i’ my life!’
Out spake the bride’s sister
  As she cam’ in frae the byre;
‘Oh, gin I were but married,
  It’s a’ that I desire!        40
But we puir folk maun live,
  And do the best we can;
I dinna ken what I should want
  If I could get but a man!’
Note 1. Wiped. [back]
Note 2. Much. [back]
Note 3. You shall. [back]
Note 4. Property. [back]
Note 5. Steer. [back]
Note 6. Fine white-faced mare. [back]
Note 7. Four-pence Scots. [back]
Note 8. Chemise. [back]
Note 9. Ornaments. [back]
Note 10. More. [back]
Note 11. Cows. [back]
Note 12. If. [back]


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