The Book of Scottish Song/It fell on a Morning

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It fell on a Morning.

[This song, by Joanna Baillie, originally appeared in The Harp of Caledonia, published at Glasgow in 1821, and edited by Mr. John Struthers.]

It fell on a morning whan we were thrang,
Our kirn was gaun, our cheese was making,
And bannocks on the girdle baking,
That ane at the door chapt loud and lang.
But the auld gudewife and her Mays sae tight,
Of this stirring and din took sma' notice, I ween
For a chap at the door, in braid day-light,
Is no like a chap when heard at e'en.

Then the clocksey auld laird of the warlock glen,
Wha stood without, half cow'd, half cheerie,
And yearn'd for a sight of his winsome dearie,
Raised up the latch and came crousely ben.
His coat was new and his o'erlay was white,
And his hose and his mittens were coozy and bein;
But a wooer that comes in braid day-light,
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.

He greeted the carlin' and lasses sae braw,
And his bare lyart pow he smoothly straiket,
And looked about, like a body half glaiket,
On bonnie sweet Nanny the youngest of a'.
"Ha ha!" quo' the carlin, "and look ye that way?
Hoot! let na sic fancies bewilder ye clean;
An elderlin man i' the noon o' the day,
Should be wiser than youngsters that come at e'en."

"Na na!" quo' the panky auld wife, "I trow,
You'll fash na' your head wi' a youthfu' gilly,
As wild and as skeigh as a muirland filly,
Black Madge is far better and fitter for you
He hem'd and he haw'd and be screw'd in his mouth,
And he squeez'd his blue bonnet his twa hands between,
For wooers that come when the sun's in the south,
Are mair aukwart than wooers that come at e'en.

"Black Madge she is prudent."—"What's that to me?"
"She is eident and sober, has sense in her noddle,
Is douse and respeckit."—"I care na a boddle.
I'll baulk na' my luive, and my fancy's free."
Madge toss'd back her head wi' a saucy slight,
And Nanny ran laughing out to the green;
For wooers that come whan the sun shines bright,
Are no like the wooers that come at e'en.

Awa' flung the laird and loud muttered he,
"All the daughters of Eve, between Orkney and Tweed, O,
Black and fair, young and old, dame, damsel and widow,
May gang wi' their pride to the deil for me!"
But the auld gudewife and her Mays sae tight,
For a' his loud banning cared little, I ween;
For a wooer that comes in braid day-light,
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.