It wisna his wyte he wis beddit sae late
And him wi sae muckle tae dae,
He'd the rabbits tae feed and the whalpie tae kaim
And the hens tae hish intae the ree;
The mason's meir syne he set up in the close
And cowpit the ladle fou keen,
And roond the ruck foonds wi the lave o the louns
Played "Takkie" by licht o the muin.
Syne he rypit his pootches and coontit his bouls,
The reid-cheekit pitcher and aw,
Teuk the yorlin's fower eggs fae his bunnet, and fegs,
Whan gorbelt thay're fykie tae blaw;
But furth cam his mither and cried on him in,
Tho sairly he priggit tae wait -
"The'll be nae wird o this in the mornin, ma lad" -
But it wisna his wyte he wis late.
"Och hey!" And "Och hum!" He wis raxin himsel
And rubbin his een whan he raise,
And whaur wis his bunnet, and whaur wis his buits
And wha haed been touchin his claes?
Ach! His parritch wis cauld, thay'd forgotten the saut,
Thare wis ower muckle meal on the tap.
Wis this aw the buttermilk, whaur wis his spuin,
And wha haed been bitin his bap?
His pynts wisna tied, and the backs o his lugs
Note some smaw attention as weel -
But it wisna as gin it wis Sawbath, ye ken,
And onything daes for the schuil.
Wi his piece in his pootch he gat roadit at last,
Wi his beuks and his skailie and sclate,
Gin the wag-at-the-waw in the kitchie wis slaw -
Weel, it wisna his wyte he wis late.
The white-whiskered cat wi her tail in the air
Convoyed him as faur as the barn,
Syne, munchin his piece, he set aff by his lane,
Tho nae verra willin, A s' warn'.
The cairt road wis dubby, the track throu the wid,
Altho mebbe langer wis best,
But whan lowpin the dyke a stane-chackart flew oot,
And he huntit a while for her nest.
Syne he cloddit wi yowies a squirrel he saw
Teetin roond frae the back o a tree,
And jinkit the "Gamie", oot tuimin his girns -
A ragy auld billie wis he.
Aw this wis a hinder: and up the moss side
He ran nou at siccan a rate
That he fell in the heather and barkit his shins,
Sae it wisna his wyte he wis late.
Astride on a wind-casten larick he sat
And pykit for roset to chaw,
Till a pairtrick, sair frichtent, ran trailin a wing
Fae her cheepers to tryst him awa.
He cried on the dryster whan passin the mill,
Got a lunt o his pipe and a news,
And his oxter pootch managed wi shillins tae fill -
A treat tae tak hame til his dous.
Syne he waded the lade and crap unner the brig
Tae hear the gigs thunner abuin,
And a rotton plumped in and gaed sweemin awa
Afore he coud gaither a stane.
He hovered tae herry a foggie-bee's byke
Nae faur fae the mole-catcher's gate,
And the schuil it wis in or he'd coontit his stangs -
But it wisna his wyte he wis late.
He tried on his taes tae creep ben til his seat,
But the snuffy auld Dominie saw,
Sneckit thare in his dask like a weaver that waits
For a flee in his wab on the waw;
He telt o his tummlie, but whit wis the uiss
Wi the mannie in sic an ill teen,
And whit wis a wap wi a spaingie or tag
Tae haunds that war haurd as a stane?
Nou, gin he haed grutten, it's brawly he kent
Hou crouse aw the lassies wad craw,
For the mornin afore he haed scattered thair leams,
And dung doun thair hoosies and aw,
Wi a gullie tae houie tho, suin he gat ower
The wey he'd been haundelt by fate,
It wis coorse still and on tae be walloped like thon,
Whan it wisna his wyte he wis late.
It's thirty year, said ye, it's fowerty and mair,
Sin last we war lickit at schuil:
The Dominie's deid, and forgetten for lang,
And aw oor beuk-learnin as weel.
The size o a pairk - wi the gushets left oot -
We'll quess gey and near, A daur say:
Or the wecht o a stot, but we wadna gang faur
Gin we tried nou, the coontin in "Gray"
"Effectual Callin'" we canna rin throu
Wha kent it ance clear as the text,
We can say "Man's Chief End" and the shorter "Commands",
But whit wis the "Reasons Annexed"?
Oor heids micht be riddles for aw thay haud in
O Catechis, coontin or date,
Yit A'll wager we mynd on the mornin's lang syne
Whan it wisna oor wyte we war late.