Scottish Poetry Selection
- Mrs Purdie's Aipple Tart

"Pride comes before a fall" is a constant theme in Scots poetry (and life) and that comes through in this poem about Mrs Purdie's apple tart by an anonymous writer.

      Mrs Purdie's Aipple Tart

The bakin' at oor village show's the best ye've ivver seen.
   Fowk come frae far an' near, frae ilka airt.
But listen till I tell ye a' aboot ma guid aul' freen,
   An' the tale o' Mrs Purdie's aipple tert.

Pair Mrs Purdie took it as an unco fashious slight
   That her pastry nivver seemed tae mak' the grade.
For the judges didna even cut a slice tae hae a bite
   O' the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

It wis in an' oot the freezer wis Mrs Purdie's pie,
   Sma' wunner that ma freen wis losin' hert.
It nivver won a mention an' the judges passed it by.
   Whit could be wrang wi' Mrs Purdie's tert?

'I doot,' said Mrs Thomson, ' that the judges must hae kent
   Her d'oyley' (upon which the tert wis laid).
For in ivvery flooer show roon aboot, the plate wis evident
   Wi' the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Last spring the frost had nipped the blossom: aipples there were nane.
   Dame Nature cam' tae Mrs Purdie's aid.
For naebody had ony fruit, an' so it stood alane,
   The aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Her aipple tert wis nae the best, nor wis it yet the worst.
   But by itssel' an' in a class apairt.
Sae the judges had nae option an' they had tae pit it first
   And gie the prize tae Mrs Purdie's tert.

She wis a happy wumman: she wis quite puffed up wi' pride.
   Ower the triumph that pit ithers in the shade.
She'd be mentioned in the paper, tellin' fowk the coonty wide
   O' the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

The show wis ower: she picked it up and went tae tak' it hame.
   'We'll hae this tae oor Sunday tea,' she said.
An' she proodly gethered up the winnin' ticket wi' her name
   Aside the tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Bit then, pride aften gangs afore a fa', o' that I'm shair.
   She drapt the plate, an' crash! Awa' it gaed.
It lay in near a hunner wee bit pieces on the flair,
   The aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Meaning of unusual words:
frae ilka airt=from every part
unco fashious=very vexacious
d'oyley=a small round piece of linen or paper placed under a dish or bowl

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