Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Singin' Tattie-Bogle

Here is an amusing poem by an anonymous author about a tattie-bogle (scare-crow) which was too nice to the birds - until it learned to screech (sorry, sing).

      The Singin' Tattie-Bogle

Alane upon the field she stood,
   The tattie-bogle, tall an' prood.
But certie, she wis smairt an' braw,
   A bonnie lass, tho' made o' straw.

Her gowden hair wis made o' oo.
   Her dentie goon when it wis new
Langsyne, hid been the guidwife's best.
   Sae trigly wis the bogle drest!

The beasts they cam' frae a' the airts.
   (The tod ran tours frae furrin' pairts.)
They cam' by day, they cam' by nicht,
   Tae see a maist byordnar' sicht.

An' craws an' sparras by the score,
   A wale o' burds, mair nor afore.
The fermer roared an' raged aboot.
   'A'll cast yon tattie-bogle oot!'

Pair tattie-bogle, she wis wae.
   'Eh!' said the houlet, 'Whit's a dae?'
He flew doon frae the elder tree.
   'Noo, dry yer e'en an' herk tae me.

'See, lassie, tak ma guid advice.
   There is nae yiss ye bein' nice.
Can ye nae glower an' skreich an' a'
   Tae sen' thae cooardie burds awa'?'

The bogle grat nae mair: instead,
   'A'm much obleeged tae ye,' she said.
'Ma voice is lood - jist like the craik!'
   'Then sing,' he said, 'for ony sake!'

It chilled the verra bluid tae hear
   The bogle's sang: frae far an' near
The burds rose up, a' frichtit sair
   An' nivver cam back ony mair

Sae should ye pass at skreich o' day
   Alang the road frae Auchenblae,
An' hear a strange uncanny soun,
   That scares the burds for miles aroon,

A soon like pincils on a sclate,
   Be on yer way an' dinna wait.
Ye can be shair as onything
   Ye've heard the tattie-bogle sing.

Meaning of unusual words:
dentie goon=dainty gown
Langsyne=a long time ago
trigly=neatly, smartly
wale o' burds, mair nor afore=selection of birds, more than before
cooardie burds awa'=cowardly birds away
craik=ill-natured gossip
frichtit sair=badly frightened

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