Scottish Poetry Selection
- Persuasion

This poem by Alexander Gray tells the frequently told story of the reluctant girl being gently persuaded by her boyfriend to go out for a walk and leave her chores behind.


Haste ye to the window, Jean,
For a lanely man am I.
Let me see your bonny een
Keekin' oot as I go by.
No ilka chield wad come sae far
To hear your mither's host's nae waur.

'Tammas, I've a heap to dae;
Bread to bake and claes to mend.
Gin I hark to a' you say,
Gude kens when the wark 'ill end;
But since you're there, I micht as weel
Be ceevil to a neebour chiel'.'

Jeannie lass, come doon the stair;
I canna crack unless you're near.
There's lots a body disna care
To tell a lass, when fowk may hear.
I wat you mak an unco phraise
0' bakin' bread and mendin' claes.

'Tammas, you've nae mense ava;
You're but an orra wanderin' loon.
You think that when you gi'e a ca',
I'll leave my work and hurry doon.
I ken you've nocht to say to me;
But, still an' on, I'll come and see.'

Jeannie, let's gae up the hill;
We'll see the mune rise by and by.
It's fine at nicht, when a' thing's still,
To hear the corncraiks in the rye.
Lassie, think o' a' you miss,
Indoors in sic a nicht as this.

'Tammas, wha' can eat brent bread?
You ken yoursel' it's far frae richt;
But losh be here, it is indeed
A maist by ordinar' bonny nicht.
'Forbye; it's no that michty late;
You're no far wrang; the wark can wait.'

Meaning of unusual words:
Keekin'=peep, glance
host's nae waur=coughing is no worse
unco phraise=very great flattery
mense ava=respect at all
orra=disreputable, worthless
loon=rascal, lad
losh=an exclamtion of surprise (a corrupt form of "Lord")

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