Scottish Poetry Selection
- Wee Joukydaidles

James Smith, the author of this poem, was born in Edinburgh in 1824 and worked as a printer there until he was 45. A few years earlier he had the unusual pleasure of setting up the typeface for a book of his own poems. Many of these unpretentious works (like the one below) were prompted by whatever was happening in his own life. He often wrote with a sense of humour (though also, at times, with great sadness and tenderness).

Most parents will recognise "Wee Joukydaidles" (a term of affection for a child) who drives them demented with frantic, incessant activity - but is still the apple of their eye!

There is a glossary of unfamiliar words at the end of the poem.

Wee Joukydaidles

Wee Joukydaidles,
   Toddlin' oot an' in;
Oh, but she's a cuttie,
   Makin' sic a din!
Aye sae fou o' mischief,
   An' minds nae what I say:
My very heart gangs loup, loup,
   Fifty times a day!

Wee Joukydaidles—
   Where's the stumpie noo?
She's tumblin' i' the cruivie,
   An' lauchin' to the soo!
Noo she sees my angry e'e,
   An' aff she's like a hare!
Lassie, when I get ye,
   I'll scud ye till I'm sair!

Wee Joukydaidles—
   Noo she's breakin' dishes—
Noo she's soakit i' the burn,
   Catchin' little fishes;
Noo she's i' the barnyard,
   Playin' wi' the fouls—
Feedin' them wi' butter-bakes,
   Snaps, an' sugar-bools.

Wee Joukydaidles—
   Oh, my heart it's broke!
She's torn my braw new wincey,
   To mak; a dolly's frock.
There's the goblet owre the fire!
   The jaud! she weel may rin!
No a tattie ready yet,
   An' faither comin' in!

Wee Joukydaidles—
   Wha's sae tired as me!
See! the kettle's doun at last!
   Wae's me for my tea!
Oh! it's angersome, atweel,
   An' sune'll mak' me gray;
My very heart gangs loup, loup,
   Fifty times a day!

Wee Joukydaidles—
   Where's the smoukie noo?
She's hidin' i' the coal-hole,
   Cryin' "Keekybo!"
Noo she's at the fireside,
   Pu'in' pussy's tail—
Noo she's at the broun bowl
   Suppin' a' the kail!

Wee Joukydaidles—
   Paidlin' i' the shower—
There she's at the windy!
   Haud her, or she's owre!
Noo she's slippit frae my sicht:
   Where's the wean at last?
In the byre amang the kye,
   Sleepin' soun' an' fast!

Wee Joukydaidles—
   For a' ye gi'e me pain,
Ye're aye my darlin' tottie yet—
   My ain wee wean!
An' gin I'm spared to ither days—
   Oh, may they come to pass—
I'll see my bonnie bairnie
   A braw, braw lass!

Meaning of unusual words:
Toddlin' = walk with uncertain steps
cuttie = mischevious child
gangs loup, loup = goes jump, jump
stumpie = an endearing name for a child
cruivie = pigsty
soo = sow, pig
scud = slap
burn = stream
sugar-bools = round sugar-plums
wincey = cloth with a woollen weft and a linen warp
jaud = wilful, perverse
tattie = potato
Wae's me = Woe is me
atweel = as well
smoukie = cunning child
kail = a curly variety of cabbage
wean = child
byre amang the kye = cowshed amongst the cattle
tottie = term of endearment for a child
gin = if

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