Scottish Poetry Selection
- A Whigmaleerie

"Whigmaleerie" has a number of meanings, including a fanciful notion, a piece of ornamentation in a dress, a game played at a drinking club - and a fantastical contraption. Nowadays, it is often applied to a rotating clothes dryer in a garden. William Souter (1898-1943), the writer of this work, was born in Perth, not far from the village of Auchtergaven mentioned in this poem.

The words of this poem are reproduced by kind permission of the copyright holder, the National Library of Scotland.

A Whigmaleerie

There was an Auchtergaven mouse
(I canna mind his name)
Wha met in wi' a hirplin louse
Sair trauchl'd for her hame.

'My friend, I'm hippit; and nae doot
Ye'll heist me on my wey.'
The mouse but squinted doun his snoot
And wi' a breenge was by.

Or lang he cam to his ain door
Doun be a condie hole;
And thocht, as he was stappin owre:
"vermin are ill to thole."

Meaning of unusual words:
louse=a parasitic insect
trauchl'd=exhausted with overwork
breenge=rush forward recklessly
thole=suffer, put up with

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