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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Alexander Ross

337. Wooed and Married and A’

THE BRIDE cam’ out o’ the byre,

And O, as she dighted her cheeks,

‘Sirs, I’m to be married the-night,

And ha’e neither blankets nor sheets–

Ha’e neither blankets nor sheets,

Nor scarce a coverlet too;

The bride that has a’ thing to borrow,

Has e’en right meikle ado!’

Wooed and married and a’!

Married and wooed and a’!

And was she na very weel aff

That was wooed and married and a’?

Out spake the bride’s father

As he cam’ in frae the pleugh,

‘O haud your tongue, my dochter,

And ye’se get gear eneugh.

The stirk stands i’ the tether,

And our braw bawsint yade

Will carry hame your corn:—

What wad ye be at, ye jade?’

Out spake the bride’s mither:

‘What, deil, needs a’ this pride?

I hadna a plack in my pouch

That night I was a bride.

My gown was linsey-wolsey,

And ne’er a sark ava;

And ye ha’e ribbons and buskin’s

Mae than ane or twa.’

Out spake the bride’s brither

As he cam’ in wi’ the kye:

‘Puir Willie wad ne’er ha’e ta’en ye

Had he kent ye as weel as I.

For ye’re baith proud and saucy,

And no for a puir man’s wife;

Gin I canna get a better

I’se ne’er tak’ ane i’ my life!’

Out spake the bride’s sister

As she cam’ in frae the byre;

‘Oh, gin I were but married,

It’s a’ that I desire!

But we puir folk maun live,

And do the best we can;

I dinna ken what I should want

If I could get but a man!’