Scottish Poetry Selection
- Paper Kate

The end of this Walter Wingate poem may suggest that Paper Kate was forgotten. But thousands of school children have learned this popular poem and keep her memory very much alive.

Paper Kate

Wha but kens o' Paper Kate?
Trudgin', pechin' air and late,
Sair forfouchen, never bate,
Reglar as the post was Kate.

Winter storms micht rage and blaw,
Roads be deep in driftit snaw,
Bus micht coup and train micht wait,
But nocht could taigle Paper Kate.

Up the mile-lang village street
Cam' the trot o' Katie's feet;
Roun' the farms and villas nate
Nae dog barked at Paper Kate.

A' the weanies in the place
Kent her wee roun' wrunklet face;
Rinnin' scuddy to the gate,
Aft they welcomed Paper Kate.

Kate had crack for auld and young
Wha was deid and wha was hung,
And a' the great affairs o' state,
Nane could reel them aff like Kate.

Katie's shawl - 'twas ocht but warm
That shielded aye her ware frae harm,
Lang had lost its young conceit
When first it met wi' Paper Kate.

Katie's shoon - in winter worn -
Aff were flung at May's return:
"Shoon an' siller's ill to get
Hackit heels are cheap!" quo' Kate.

Blithe when weary banes were sair,
Cheery aye, though auld and puir;
Nane that ever foucht wi' Fate
Kept a spunkier heart than Kate.

But ae winter mornin' snell
Puir auld Katie slip't and fell:
Hame was carried, cauld and quate -
Syne we heard nae mair o' Kate.

Where she lies there's few that care -
Whiles a daisy waukens there;
But for stane, or name, or date,
Wha wad fash for Paper Kate?

Meaning of unusual words:
pechin'=panting, gasping
Sair forfouchen=painfully exhausted
coup=fall over
nate=neat, smart
scuddy=without clothes
siller=silver, coins
spunkier=more spirited, livelier
snell=bitterly cold
Syne=since then
fash=bother, inconvenience themselves

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