William Miller

Willie Winkie


Wee Willie Winkie
Rins through the toun,
Up stairs and doun stairs
In his nicht-gown,
Tirling at the window,
Crying at the lock,
"Are the weans in their bed,
For it's now ten o'clock!

"Hey, Willie Winkie,
Are ye coming ben'
The cat's singing grey thrums
To the sleeping hen,
The dog's spelder'd on the floor,
And disna gie a cheep,
But here's a waukrife laddie
That winna fa' asleep."

Onything but sleep, you rogue!
Glow'ring like the moon,
Rattling in an airn jug
Wi' an airn spoon,
Rumbin', tumblin', round about,
Crawing like a cock,
Skirlin' like a kenna-what,
Wauk'nin' sleeping folk.

"Hey, Willie Winkie -
The wean's in a creel!
Wamblin' aff a body's knee
Like a very eel,
Ruggin' at the cat's lug,
Rav'llin' a' her thrums-
Hey, Willie Winkie -
See, there he comes!"

Wearied is the mither
That has a stoorie wean,
A wee stumpie stousie,
That canna rin his lane.
That has a battle aye wi' sleep,
Before he'll close an e'e-
But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips
Gies strength anew to me.

tirlin' - knocking, tapping
weans - children
ben - in
thrums - 1. a sound (of a string instrument) played monotonously and unskilfully
thrums - 2. any short loose threads (hair).
spelder'd - spread out
waukrife - wakeful, unable to sleep
glowerin' - staring with wonder
airn - iron (metal)
rumblin' - make a continuous sound
tumblin' - roll or toss erratically
crawin' - characteristic loud cry (like a cock)
skirlin' - making a loud shrill noise (like bagpipes)
kenna - know not
wauk'nin' - awakening
creel - a large wicker basket
wamblin - wandering
verra - (very) real, genuine
ruggin' - tugging
lug - ear
ravellin' - entangle
stoorie - dusty, dirty
stumpie - short
stousie - stout

May 11, 2006

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