Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Bachelor

I wonder whether this was written before Walter Wingate got married himself - or afterwards, with poetic licence? It does seem to have been written with a twinkle in his eye!

The Bachelor

I ance had some bachelor frien's
    To join in a walk or a blether;
But now, with their wives and their weans,
    They're tied like a dog to a tether!

Douce John, o' the fishin' aye keen,
    Was first to be laid on the shutter?
And now ne'er a flee meets his een
    But them that he picks from the butter!

And Sandy, whase lang souple leg
    Passed milestanes in twenties, when single,
Sin' e'er he got yokit wi' Meg
    Ye'll scarce gar him steer frae the ingle!

And Tam, that ilk bog would explore,
    Wee weeds frae the glaur ever bringin',
Has turned his botanical lore
    To growin' the turnip and ingan!

And Patey, the bachelor born,
    His life o' contentment's been ruein'?
He's gaun tae be marriet the morn;
    A widow, it seems, he's been wooin'.

What think ye? The body cam' roun'
    Some gratis advice to supply me,
And mentioned a lass in the town
    I micht get persuaded to try me!

"Man's duty," he argues, "is clear?
    To licht up the conjugal taper;"
But feth! they'll be early asteer
    That see me at ony sic caper!

Meaning of unusual words:
blether=idle chatter
sin' e'er=since ever

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry

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