Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
333. The Laird o’ Cockpen
Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766–1845)
THE LAIRD o’ Cockpen, he’s proud and he’s great
His mind is ta’en up wi’ things o’ the State:
He wanted a wife, his braw house to keep;
But favour wi’ wooin’ was fashious 1 to seek.
Down by the dyke 2-side a lady did dwell;        5
At his table-head he thought she’d look well—
McClish’s ae 3 daughter o’ Clavers-ha’ Lee,
A penniless lass wi’ a lang pedigree.
His wig was weel pouther’d 4 and as gude as new;
His waistcoat was white, his coat it was blue;        10
He put on a ring, a sword, and cocked hat,—
And wha could refuse the Laird wi’ a’ that!
He took the grey mare, and rade cannily, 5
And rapped at the yett 6 o’ Clavers-ha’ Lee:
‘Gae tell Mistress Jean to come speedily ben,—        15
She’s wanted to speak to the Laird o’ Cockpen.’
Mistress Jean was makin’ the elder-flower wine:
‘And what brings the Laird at sic a like time?’
She put aff her apron and on her silk goun,
Her mutch 7 wi’ red ribbons and gaed awa doun.        20
And when she cam’ ben he bowed fu’ low;
And what was his errand he soon let her know.
Amazed was the Laird when the lady said ‘Na’;—
And wi’ a laigh 8 curtsey she turn’d awa’.
Dumfounder’d was he; but nae sigh did he gi’e,        25
He mounted his mare, and rade cannily;
And aften he thought as he gaed through the glen,
‘She’s daft 9 to refuse the Laird o’ Cockpen!’
And now that the Laird his exit had made,
Mistress Jean she reflected on what she had said;        30
’Oh, for ane I’ll get better its waur 10 I’ll get ten,
I was daft to refuse the Laird o’ Cockpen.’
Next time that the Laird and the lady were seen,
They were gaun arm-in-arm to the kirk on the green;
Now she sits in the ha’ like a weel-tappit hen,        35
But as yet there’s nae chickens appeared at Cockpen.
Note 1. Troublesome. [back]
Note 2. Stone wall. [back]
Note 3. One. [back]
Note 4. Powdered. [back]
Note 5. Cautiously. [back]
Note 6. Gate. [back]
Note 7. Cap. [back]
Note 8. Low. [back]
Note 9. Mad. [back]
Note 10. Worse. [back]


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