Scottish Poetry Selection
- I'm Naebody Noo

We all know about "fair weather friends" but they are not a modern phenomenon. This poem by William Anderson (1805-1866) describes the situation perfectly - expressed in the couthie language of Scots.

   I'm Naebody Noo

I'm naebody noo, though in days that are gane,
   Whan I'd hooses, and lands, and gear o' my ain,
There war mony to flatter, and mony to praise,
   And wha but myself was sae prood in those days.

An' then roun' my table wad visitors thrang,
   Wha laughed at my joke, and applauded my sang,
Though the tane had nae point, and the tither nae glee;
   But of course they war grand when comin frae me.

Whan I'd plenty to gie, o' my cheer and my crack,
   There war plenty to come, and wi' joy to partak;
But whenever the water grew scant at the well,
   I was welcome to drink all alane by mysel.

Whan I'd nae need o' aid, there were plenty to proffer,
   And noo whan I want it, I ne'er get the offer;
I could greet whan I think hoo my siller decreast,
   In the feasting o' those who came only to feast.

The fulsome respec' to my gowd they did gie
   I thought a' the time was intended for me,
But whanever the end o' my money they saw,
   Their friendship, like it, also flickered awa.

My advice ance was sought for by folk far and near, once
   Sic great wisdom I had ere I tint a' my gear,
I'm as weel able yet to gie counsel, that's true,
   But I may just haud my wheest, for I'm naebody noo.

Meaning of unusual words:
crack=talk, gossip
greet=cry, weep
wheest=peace, quiet

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