Scottish Poetry Selection
- Robin Tamson's Smiddy

Here is an amusing poem by Alexander Rodger, set in the days when horses had to be taken to the blacksmith to be shod - and persuading a girl to marry seemed a lot faster than today!

      Robin Tamson's Smiddy

My mither ment my auld breeks,
   An wow! but they were duddy,
And sent me to get Mally shod
   At Robin Tamson's smiddy;
The smiddy stands beside the burn
   That wimples through the clachan.
I never yet gae by the door,
   But aye I faw a-lauchin.

For Robin was a walthy carle
   An had ae bonnie dochter,
Yet neer wad let her tak a man,
   Tho mony lads had socht her;
But what think ye o ma exploit?
   The time our mare was shoein,
I slippit up beside the lass,
   And briskly fell a-wooin.

An aye she eed my auld breeks,
   The time that we sat crackin,
Quo I, 'My lass, neer mind the clouts,
   I've new anes for the makkin;
But gin ye'll just come hame wi me,
   An lea the carle your father,
Ye'se get my breeks to keep in trim,
   Mysel, an aw thegither'.

'Deed lad' quo she, 'your offer's fair,
   I really think I'll tak it.
Sae, gang awa, get out the mare,
   We'll baith slip on the back o't:
For gin I wait my faither's time,
   I'll wait till I be fifty;
But na! - I'll marry in my prime,
   An mak a wife most thrifty.'

Wow! Robin was an angry man,
   At tyning o his dochter:
Thro aw the kintra-side he ran,
   An far an near he socht her;
But when he cam to oor fire-end,
   An fand us baith thegither,
Quo I 'Gudeman, I've taen your bairn,
   An ye may tak my mither.'

Auld Robin girn'd an sheuk his pow.
   'Guid sooth!' quo he, 'ye're merry;
but I'll just tak ye at your word,
   An end this hurry-burry.'
So Robin an oor auld wife
   Agreed to creep thegither;
Now, I hae Robin Tamson's pet,
   An Robin has my mither.

Meaning of unusual words:
ment my auld breeks=mended my old trousers (pants, in some parts of the world)
duddy=ragged, tattered
wimples=winds, meanders
faw a-lauchin=fall about laughing
walthy carle=wealthy rascal
ae bonnie dochter=one good-looking daughter
gang awa=went away
tyning=loss, disappearance
Gudeman=master of the house

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