Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
It Was on a Morn when we Were Thrang
By Joanna Baillie (1762–1851)
IT was on a morn when we were thrang,
  The kirn it croon’d, the cheese was making,
  And bannocks on the girdle baking,
When ane at the door chapp’t loud and lang.
Yet the auld gudewife, and her mays sae tight,        5
  Of a’ this bauld din took sma’ notice I ween;
For a chap at the door in braid daylight
  Is no like a chap that’s heard at e’en.
But the docksy auld laird of the Warlock glen,
  Wha waited without, half blate, half cheery,        10
  And langed for a sight o’ his winsome deary,
Raised up the latch and cam’ crousely ben.
His coat it was new, and his o’erlay was white,
  His mittens and hose were cozie and bien;
But a wooer that comes in braid daylight        15
  Is no like a wooer that comes at e’en.
He greeted the carline and lasses sae braw,
  And his bare lyart pow sae smoothly he straikit,
  And he looket about, like a body half glaikit,
On bonny sweet Nanny, the youngest of a’.        20
“Ha, laird!” quo’ the carline, “and look ye that way?
  Fye, let na’ sic fancies bewilder you clean:
An elderlin man, in the noon o’ the day,
  Should be wiser than youngsters that come at e’en.
“Na, na,” quo’ the pawky auld wife, “I trow        25
  You’ll no fash your head wi’ a youthfu’ gilly,
  As wild and as skeig as a muirland filly:
Black Madge is far better and fitter for you.”
He hem’d and he haw’d, and he drew in his mouth,
  And he squeezed the blue bannet his twa hands between;        30
For a wooer that comes when the sun’s i’ the south
  Is mair landward than wooers that come at e’en.
“Black Madge is sae carefu’”—“What’s that to me?”
  “She’s sober and eydent, has sense in her noodle;
  She’s douce and respeckit”—“I carena a bodle:        35
Love winna be guided, and fancy’s free.”
Madge toss’d back her head wi’ a saucy slight,
  And Nanny, loud laughing, ran out to the green;
For a wooer that comes when the sun shines bright
  Is no like a wooer that comes at e’en.        40
Then away flung the laird, and loud mutter’d he,
  “A’ the daughters of Eve, between Orkney and Tweed O!
  Black or fair, young or auld, dame or damsel or widow,
May gang in their pride to the de’il for me!”
But the auld gudewife, and her mays sae tight,        45
  Cared little for a’ his stour banning, I ween;
For a wooer that comes in braid daylight
  Is no like a wooer that comes at e’en.

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