Thursday, March 6, 2008

'Glen', A Sheep-Dog

I ken there isna a p'int in yer heid,
I ken that ye're auld an' ill,
An' the dogs ye focht in yer day are deid,
An' I doot that ye've focht yer fill;
Ye're the dourest deevil in Lothian land,
But, man, the he'rt o' ye's simply grand;
Ye're done an' doited, but gie's yer hand
An' we'll thole ye a whilie still.
A daft-like character aye ye've been
Sin the day I brocht ye hame
When I bocht ye doon on the Caddens green
An' gi'ed ye a guid Scots name;
Ye've spiled the sheep an' ye've chased the stirk,
An' rabbits was mair tae yer mind not work,
An' ye've left i' the morn an' stopped till mirk,
But I've keepit ye a' the same.
Mebbe ye're failin' an' mebbe I'm weak,
An' there's younger dogs tae fee,
But I doot that a new freen's ill tae seek,
An' I'm thinkin' I'll let them be;
Ye've whiles been richt whaur I've thocht wrang,
Ye've liked me weel an ye've liked me lang,
An' when there's ane o' us got tae gang -
May the guid Lord mak' it me.

-Hilton Brown (1890-1961)

Canty and Couthie: familiar and forgotten traditional Scots poems (Scottish Cultural Press, 2001).

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