Scottish Poetry Selection
- Winsome Wean, Bonnie Wean

Charles Nicol was born in Glasgow's Pollokshaws area in 1858. He began work at the age of ten (partly due to the death of his father and the need to earn money for the family). But he put right his lack of formal education by attending evening classes. He is sometimes described as "The Poet of the Nursery" as a result of his many songs and poems relating to "bairns and bairnhood". The poem below is typical of these.

Winsome Wean, Bonnie Wean

Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Wi' the cherry mou';
Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Wi' the smilin' broo;
Rosy cheeks an' braw blue een,
   Brichtly gowden hair;
Brawest wee lass ere was seen,
   Fairest o' the fair.

Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Mammy's ain wee pet;
Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Wha could you forget.
Wi' your sweetly smilin' face,
   Fu' o' fun an' glee.
In thy lineaments I trace
   Sweet simplicity.

Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Mirth keeks frae ilk e'e;
Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Hoo I love to see
Her playing on the dewy grass;
   Hoo she romps aroon'!
She is her da's ain wee lass -
   Sweetest in the toon.

Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Singing a' day lang;
Winsome wean, bonnie wean,
   Sweet to me's yer sang.
Sing away thy simple lays
   As lang as ye may;
An' may happy be thy days
   Is the wish I pray.

Meaning of unusual words:
Winsome wean = attractive/appealing child
Brichtly gowden = brightly golden
keeks frae ilk e'e = peeks from each eye

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