Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

My Favourite Burns Poem

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • My Favourite Burns Poem

    Being from Burns country with a tenuous link to his lineage, I thought I would post up my favourite Burns poem, Willie Wastle ... with an common english translation below.

    Original

    Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
    The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie;
    Willie was a wabster gude,
    Could stown a clue wi' ony body:
    He had a wife was dour and din,
    O Tinkler Maidgie was her mither;
    Sic a wife as Willie had,
    I wad na gie a button for her!

    She has an e'e, she has but ane,
    The cat has twa the very colour;
    Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,
    A clapper tongue wad deave a miller:
    A whiskin beard about her mou',
    Her nose and chin they threaten ither;
    Sic a wife as Willie had,
    I wadna gie a button for her!

    She's bow-hough'd, she's hein-shin'd,
    Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;
    She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
    To balance fair in ilka quarter:
    She has a lump upon her breast,
    The twin o' that upon her shouther;
    Sic a wife as Willie had,
    I wadna gie a button for her!

    Auld baudrons by the ingle sits,
    An' wi' her loof her face a-washin;
    But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,
    She dights her grunzie wi' a hushion;
    Her walie nieves like midden-creels,
    Her face wad fyle the Logan Water;
    Sic a wife as Willie had,
    I wadna gie a button for her!

    Translated more into a form of English easily understood

    Willie Wastle lived on Tweed, (River Tweed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
    The place they called "Linkumdoddie".
    Willie was a weaver good (good weaver)
    Could stown a clew with any body.
    (pack a ball of thread'.)
    He had a wife was sullen and done (done = past her best)
    O, Tinker (Gypsy) Maidgie was her mother! (pronounced: made-jay)
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

    She has an eye (she has but one) ,
    The cat has two the very (same) colour,
    Five rusty teeth, besides a stump,
    A (bell) clapper-tongue would deafen a miller;
    A whisker beard about her mouth,
    Her nose and chin they threaten each other (nearly meet) :
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

    She is bow legged, she is hem-shin'd (also bow legged) ,
    One limping leg a hand-breadth shorter;
    She is twisted right, she is twisted left,
    To balance fair in each quarter;
    She has a hump upon her breast,
    The twin of that upon her shoulder:
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

    Old cat by the fireplace sits,
    And with her paw her face a-washing;
    But Willie's wife is not so neat,
    She wipes her face with a footless stocking;
    Her ample fists like manure baskets,
    Her face would foul the Logan Water: (an Ayrshire river local to Burns which feeds into the River Ayr)
    Such a wife as Willie had,
    I would not give a button for her.

Working...
X