Sydney Thompson Dobell

(1824-1874 / England)

The Market-Wife's Song - Poem by Sydney Thompson Dobell

The butter an' the cheese weel stowit they be,
I sit on the hen-coop the eggs on my knee,
The lang kail jigs as we jog owre the rigs,
The gray mare's tail it wags wi' the kail,
The warm simmer sky is blue aboon a',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


I sit on the coop, I look straight before,
But my heart it is awa' the braid ocean owre,
I see the bluidy fiel' where my ain bonny chiel',
My wee bairn o' a', gaed to fight or to fa',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


I see the gran' toun o' the big forrin' loun,
I hear the cannon soun', I see the reek aboon;
It may be lang John lettin' aff his gun,
It may be the mist-your mither disna wist-
It may be the kirk, it may be the ha',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


An' I ken the Black Sea, ayont the rock o' dool,
Like a muckle blot o' ink in a buik fra' the schule,
An' Jock! it gars me min' o' your buikies lang syne,
An' mindin' o' it a' the tears begin to fa',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the old wheels twa.


Then a bull roars fra' the scaur, ilka rock's a bull agen,
An' I hear the trump o' war, an' the carse is fu' o' men,
Up an' doun the morn I ken the bugle horn,
Ilka birdie sma' is a fleein' cannon ba',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


Guid Heavens! the Russian host! We maun e'en gie up for lost!
Gin ye gain the battle hae ye countit a' the cost?
Ye may win a gran' name, but wad wee Jock come hame?
Dinna fecht, dinna fecht! there's room for us a',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


In vain, in vain, in vain! They are marchin' near and far!
Wi' swords an' wi' slings an' wi' instruments o' war!
Oh, day sae dark an' sair! ilka man seven feet an' mair!
I bow my head an' say, 'Gin the Lord wad smite them a'!'
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


Then forth fra' their ban' there steps an armed man,
His tairge at his breast an' his claymore in his han',
His gowd pow glitters fine an' his shadow fa's behin',
I think o' great Goliath as he stan's before them a',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


To meet the Philistine leaps a laddie fra' our line,
Oh, my heart! oh, my heart! 'tis that wee lad o' mine!
I start to my legs-an' doun fa' the eggs-
The cocks an' hens a' they cackle an' they ca',
An' whiddie, whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


Oh, Jock, my Hielan' lad-oh, Jock, my Hielan' lad,
Never till I saw thee that moment was I glad!
Aye sooner sud thou dee before thy mither's ee'
Than a man o' the clan sud hae stept out but thee!
An' sae I cry to God-while the hens cackle a',
An' whiddie. whuddie, whaddie, gang the auld wheels twa.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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