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The brisk young lad

Language: English

The pawky auld carle came o'er the lea,
W'mony good-eens and days to me,
Saying, gudewife, for your courtesie,
Will ye lodge a silly poor man?

The night was cauld, the carle was wat,
And down ayont the ingle he sat;
My doughter's shouthers he 'gan to clap,
And cadgily ranted and sang.

O wow! quo' he, were I as free
As first when I saw this countrie,
How blythe and merry wad I be!
And I wad ne'er think lang.

He grew canty, she grew fain,
But little did her auld minny ken
What thir slee twa together were saying,
When wooing they were sae thrang.

And O! quo' he, were ye as black
As e'er the crown o' my daddie's hat,
'Tis I wad lay you by my back,
And awa wi' thee I'd gang.

And O! quo' she, were I as white,
As e'er the snaw lay on the dyke,
I'd cleid me braw, and lady like,
And awa wi' thee I'd gang.

Between the twa was made a plot;
They raise a wee before the cock,
And wylily they shot the lock,
And fast to the bent they're gane.

Up in the morn the auld wife raise,
And at her leisure put on her claise;
Syne to the servant's bed she gaes,
To speir for the silly poor man.

She gaed to the bed where the beggar lay,
The strae was cauld, he was away;
She clapt her hands, cry'd, dulefu' day!
For some o' our gear will be gane.

Some ran to coffer, and some to kist,
But nought was stown that cou'd be mist;
She dance'd her lane, cry'd praise be blest!
I have lodg'd a leal poor man.

Since naething's awa', as we can learn,
The kirn's to kirn, and milk to yearn,
Gae but the house, lass, and waken my bairn,
And bid her come quickly ben.

The servant gaed where the doughter lay,
The sheets were cauld, she was away,
And fast to her gudewife 'gan to say,
She's aff wi' the silly poor man!

Mean time, far hind owr the lea,
Fu' snug in a glen, where nane cou'd see,
The twa in kindly sport and glee,
Cut frae a new cheese a whang.

The prieving was gude, it pleas'd them baith;
To lo'e her for ay he gave her his aith:
Quo' she, to leave thee I will be laith,
My winsome Gab'lunzie man.


Pawky = cunning
Auld carle = a name for an old man
Ayont = beyond
Ingle = fire-place
Shouthers = shoulders
Cadgily = cheerfully
Canty = merry
Fain = joyful
Minny = mother
Thir = these
Slee = sly
Thrang = intimate, familiar
Cleid = clothe
Wee = little
Bent = open field, open country
Claise = clothes
Syne = then
Spear = ask, enquire
Dulefu' = sorrowful
Gear = riches, goods of any kind
Stown = stolen
Lane = herself alone
Leal = honest
Kirn = churn
Yearn = curdle
Gae but the house = go towards the outer part or end of the house
Bairn = child
Ben = to the inner room or parlour
Whang = large slice
Prieving = tasting

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2009-07-15.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:18
Line count: 56
Word count: 405

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