Scottish Poetry Selection
- "It War Crackit Afore"

The way children quickly learn from adults how to make excuses is neatly illustrated by this amusing poem by Gath Brittle, which takes place in the days when servants were commonplace.

      "It War Crackit Afore"

"O Elsie ye will drive me mad
   Wi' your wearisome, worrisome ways;
Your lack o' wit, an' your want o' care
   Wi' sorrow will cloud my days!"

Thus sternly spoke a Scottish dame
   To her handmaid, brawny and brown,
Who, weeping, stood by the garden gate
   With her eyes cast humbly down.

At her feet in scattered heaps there lay
   The shreds of a china bowl;
And she wept as though her falling tears
   Might make the vessel whole.

"Please, ma'am," she said, " 'twas na my fault,
   And I willna do it more;
But the bowl brak not along o' me,
   For it war crackit afore."

Just then a thump, thump, THUMP was heard,
   And a sharp yell vexed the air.
"Rin, Elsie!" cried the startled dame;
   "Hal's toombled doon the stair!"

The handmaid ran, the mother ran;
   The mother won the race,
And in a trice poor screaming Hal
   Was safe in her embrace.

"Hast broke thy head, my bairn ?"
   In pitying tones, she said;
"No, mither, no," he sobbing cried,
   "I hanna brak my head.

"An, prithee, mither, chide me not,
   I'll never do it more ;
It wasna brak along o' me,
   For it war crackit afore."

Meaning of unusual words:
It War Crackit Afore=It was cracked before

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