Robert Burns

(1759-1796 / Ayrshire / Scotland)

Willie Wastle - Poem by Robert Burns

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie.
Willie was a wabster guid
Could stown a clue wi onie body.
He had a wife was dour and din,
O, Tinkler Maidgie was her mither!
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.

She has an e'e (she has but ane),
The cat has twa the very colour,
Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,
A clapper-toungue wad deave a miller;
A whiskin beard about her mou,
Her nose and chin they threaten ither:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.

She's bow-hough'd, she's hem-shin'd,
Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair in ilka quarter;
She has a hump upon her breast,
The twin o that upon her shouther:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.

Auld baudrans by the ingle sits,
An wi her loof her face a-washin;
But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,
She dights her frunzie wi a hushion;
Her walie nieves like midden-creels,
Her face wad fyle the Logan Water:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.


Comments about Willie Wastle by Robert Burns

  • (1/26/2010 1:15:00 PM)


    Willie Wastle dwelt on Tweed,
    The spot they called it Linkumdoddie.
    Willie was a weaver good
    Could stown a clew with any body.
    packs a ball of thread'.)
    He had a wife was sullen and dun (dark complexioned) ,
    O, Tinker (Gypsy) Maidgeie was her mother!
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

    She has an eye (she has but one) ,
    The cat has two the very (same) colour,
    Five rusty teeth, besides a stump,
    A (bell) clapper-tongue would deafen a miller;
    A whisker beard about her mouth,
    Her nose and chin they threaten each other (nearly meet) :
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

    She is bow legged, she is hem-shin'd (also bow legged) ,
    One limping leg a hand-breadth shorter;
    She is twisted right, she is twisted left,
    To balance fair in each quarter;
    She has a hump upon her breast,
    The twin of that upon her shoulder:
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

    Old cats by the fireplace sits,
    And with her paw her face a-washing;
    But Willie's wife in not so neat,
    She wipes her face with a footless stocking;
    Her ample fists like manure baskets,
    Her face would foul the Logan Water:
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.
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Read poems about / on: cat, water



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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