Scottish Poetry Selection
- A Mile and a Bittock

Here is a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson which describes with humour and accuracy, the return of three friends from "having a wee refreshment"

A Mile and a Bittock

A mile an' a bittock, a mile or twa,
Abune the burn, ayont the law,
Davie an' Donal' an' Cherlie an' a',
An' the mune was shinin' clearly!

Ane went hame wi' the ither, an' then
The ither went hame wi' the ither twa men,
An' baith wad return him the service again,
An' the mune was shinin' clearly!

The clocks were chappin' in house an' ha',
Eleeven, twal' an' ane an' twa;
An' the guidman's face was turnt to the wa',
An' the mune was shinin' clearly!

Noo, Davie was first to get sleep in his head,
'The best o' frien's maun twine,' he said;
'I'm weariet, an' here I'm awa' to my bed,'
An' the mune was shinin' clearly!

Twa o' them walkin' an' crackin' their lane,
The mornin' licht cam grey an' plain,
An' the birds they yammert on stick an' stane,
An the mune was shinin' clearly!

O years ayont, O years awa',
My lads, ye'll mind whateter befa' -
My lads, ye'll mind on the beild o' the law,
When the mune was shinin' clearly.

Meaning of unusual words:
bittock=a little bit
there lane=alone

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line