Hallow Fair

There's fouth of braw Jockies and Jennys
  Comes weel-busked into the fair,
With ribbons on their cockernonies,
  And fouth o' fine flour on their hair.
Oh Maggie she was sae weel-busked,
  That Willie was ty'd to his bride;
The pounie was ne'er better whisked
  Wi' cudgel that hang frae his side.

But Maggie was wondrous jealous
   To see Willie busked sae braw;
And Sawney he sat in the alehouse,
   And hard at the liquor did caw.
There was Geordy that well lov'd his lassie,
   He took the pint-stoup in his arms,
And hugg'd it, and said, Trouth, the're saucy,
   That loos nae a good father's bairn.

There was Wattie the muirland laddie,
   That rides on the bonnie grey cout,
With sword by his side like a cadie,
   To drive in the sheep and the knout.
His doublet sae weel it did fit him,
   It scarcely came down to mid thigh,
With hair pouther'd, hat, and a feather,
   And housing at courpon and tee.

But buckie play'd boo to bausie,
   And aff scour'd the cout like the win';
Poor Wattie he fell in the causie,
   And birs'd a the bains in his skin.
His pistols fell out of the hulsters,
   And were a' bedaubed wi' dirt;
The folks they came round him in clusters,
   Some leugh, and cry'd, Lad, was you hurt?

But cout wad let naebody steer him,
   He was ay sae wanton and skeegh;
The packmans stands he o'erturn'd them,
   And gard a' the Jocks stand a-beech;
Wi' sniring behind and before him,
   For sic is the metal of brutes:
Poor Wattie, and wae's me for him,
   Was fain to gang hame in his boots.

Now it was late in the ev'ning,
   And boughting time was drawing near:
The lasses had stench'd their greening
   With fouth of braw apples and beer.
There was Lillie, and Tibbie, and Sibbie,
   And Ceicy on the spinnell could spin,
Stood glow'ring at signs & glass winnocks,
   But deil a ane bade them come in.

God guide's! saw you ever the like o't?
   See yonder's a bonny black swan;
It glow'rs as't wad fain be at us;
   What's yon that it it hads in its hand?
Awa, daft gouk, cries Wattie,
   They're but a rickle of sticks;
See, there is Bill, Jock, and auld Hackie,
   And yonder's Mess John & auld Nick.

Quoth Maggie, Come buy us our fairing
   And Wattie right sleely cou'd tell
I think thou're the flowr of the clachen
   In trouth now Ise gie you my sell.
But wha wou'd e'er thought it o him,
   That e'er he had rippled the lint?
Sae proud was he o' his Maggie,
  Tho' she did baith scalie and squint.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin