The Gaberlunzie Man


THE pauky auld carle came o’er the lee,
Wi many goode’ens and days to me,
Saying, “Goodwife, for your courtesie,
    “Will ye lodge a silly poor man?”
The night was cauld, the carle was wat,
And down ayont the ingle he sat
My daughters shoulders he gan to clap,
    And cadgily ranted and sang.

“O wow!” quo’ he, “were I as free
As first when I saw this country,
How blyth and merry wad I be!
    And I wad never think lang.”
He grew canty, and she grew fain,
But little did her auld minny ken
What thir slee twa togither were sayn,
    When wooing they were sae thrang.

“And O!” quo he, “ann ye were as black,
As e’er the crown of your dady’s hat,
’T is I wad lay thee by my back,
    And awa’ wi’ me thou shou’d gang.”
“And O!” qnoth she, “ann I were as white
As e’er the snaw lay on the dike,
I’d clead me braw, and lady-like,
    And awa with thee I’d gang.”

Between the twa was made a plot;
They raise a wee before the cock,
And wilily they shot the lock,
    And fast to the bent are they gane.
Up the morn the auld wife raise,
And at her leasure pat on her claiths;
Syne to the servant’s bed she gaes,
    To speer for the silly poor man.

She gaed to the bed where the beggar lay,
The strae was cauld, he was away;
She clapt her hands, cry’d, “Waladay!
    For some of our gear will he gane.”
Some ran to coffers, and some to kists,
But nought was stown that cou’d be mist;
She danc’d her lane, cry’d, “Praise be blest,
    I have lodg’d a leal poor man!

“Since nathing’s awa’, as we can learn,
The kirn’s to kirn and milk to earn;
Gae butt the house, lass, and waken my bairn,
    And bid her come quickly ben.”
The servant gade where the daughter lay,
The sheets was cauld, she was away
And fast to her goodwife can say,
    “She’s aff with the gaberlunzie-man.”

“O fy, gar ride, and fy gar rin,
And hast ye find these traitors again;
For she’s be burnt, and he’s be slain,
    The wearifu’ gaberlunzie-man.”
Some rade upo’ horse, some ran a-fit,
The wife was wood and out o’ er wit
She cou’d na gang, nor yet cou’d she sit,
    But ay she curs’d and she ban’d.

Mean time far hind o’er the lee,
Fu’ snug in a glen, where nane cou’d see,
The twa, with kindly sport and glee,
    Cut frae a new cheese a whang.
The priving was good, it pleas’d them baith,
To lo’e her for aye he gae her his aith;
Quo’ she, “To leave thee, I will be laith,
    My winsome gaberlunzie-man.

“O kend my minny I were wi’ you,
Illfardly wad she crook her mou;
Sic a poor man she’d never trow,
    After the gaberlunzie-man.”
“My dear,” quo he, “ye’r yet o’er young,
And ha’ na lear’d the beggar’s tongue,
To follow me frae town to town,
    And carry the gaberlunzie on.

“Wi’ cauk and keel, I’ll win your bread,
And spindles and whorles for them wha need,
Whilk is a gentil trade indeed,
    To carry the gaberlunzie, O.
I’ll bow my leg, and crook my knee,
And draw a black clout o’er my eye;
A criple or blind they will ca’ me,
    While we shall be merry and sing.”

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