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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Come under My Plaidie

Hector MacNeil (1746–1818)

‘COME under my plaidie, the night’s gaun to fa’;

Come in frae the cauld blast, the drift, and the snaw:

Come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me,

There’s room in’t, dear lassie, believe me, for twa.

Come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me,

I’ll hap ye frae every cauld blast that can blaw:

Oh, come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me!

There’s room in’t, dear lassie, believe me, for twa.’

‘Gae ’wa wi’ your plaidie, auld Donald, gae ’wa!

I fearna the cauld blast, the drift, nor the snaw;

Gae ’wa wi’ your plaidie; I’ll no sit beside ye,

Ye may be gutcher; auld Donald, gae ’wa.

I’m gaun to meet Johnnie—he’s young and he’s bonnie;

He’s been at Meg’s bridal, fu’ trig and fu’ braw:

Oh, nane dances sae lightly, sae gracefu’, sae tightly;

His cheek’s like the new rose, his brow’s like the snaw.’

‘Dear Marion, let that flee stick fast to the wa’;

Your Jock’s but a gowk, and has naething ava;

The hale o’ his pack he has now on his back:

He’s thretty, and I am but threescore and twa.

Be frank now and kindly: I’ll busk ye aye finely,

To kirk or to market there’ll few gang sae braw;

A bien house to bide in, a chaise for to ride in,

And flunkies to ’tend ye as aft as ye ca’.’

‘My father’s aye tauld me, my mither an a’,

Ye’d mak’ a gude husband, and keep me aye braw:

It’s true I lo’e Johnnie—he’s gude and he’s bonnie,

But, wae’s me! ye ken he has naething ava.

I ha’e little tocher: you’ve made a good offer:

I’m now mair than twenty—my time is but sma’;

Sae, gi’e me your plaidie, I’ll creep in beside ye,

I thocht ye’d been aulder than threescore and twa.’

She crap in ayont him, aside the stane wa’.

Where Johnnie was list’ning, and heard her tell a’;

The day was appointed: his proud heart it dunted,

And strack ’gainst his side as if bursting in twa.

He wandered hame weary: the night it was dreary;

And, thowless, he tint his gate ’mang the deep snaw:

The owlet was screamin’; while Johnnie cried, ‘Women

Wad marry Auld Nick if he’d keep them aye braw!’