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Poem by Robert Nicoll


Janet Dunbar


A SONSY auld carline is Janet Dunbar
A donsy auld carline is Janet Dunbar;
For a gash skilly body, weel kent near and far,
Through the hale kintra side, cantie Janet Dunbar.

Folk speer her advice, baith the greatest and least,
For she cures a' diseases o' man and o' beast;
She has words that will keep awa' witches and deils
She has syrups in bottles, and herbs in auld creels;
To caulds and rheumatics she proves sic a fae,
They canna get rest in the parish a day.
In this queer kind o' warld there's mony a waur
Than our cheerie auld carline, gash Janet Dunbar!
                                       A sonsy, &c.

Her hame is a howf to the bairnies at school,
And she dauts them and hauds them fu' couthie and
        weel,
Till in her auld lug a' their sorrows they tell
For she'll scauld for their sakes e'en the Dominie's sel'.
But Janet's high time is when night settles doun,
And a' the auld wives gather in through the toun;
To tell what they are na, and what ithers are,
Is meat, drink, and claithing to Janet Dunbar!
                                       A sonsy, &c.

And Janet's auld house has a but and a ben,
Where twa folk can meet and let naebody ken;
For Janet thinks true love nane e'er should restrain,
Having had, thretty years syne, a lad o' her ain.
And then, when the whispering and courting is done,
For some lee-like story is Janet in tune,
About some bluidy doings in some Highland scaur,
You're a queer ane!'deed are you now, Janet Dunbar!
                                       A sonsy, &c.

But when some o' her kimmers hae kirsened a wean,
Then Janet, sae braid, in her glory is seen:
She winks to the neebours, and jokes the gudeman,
Till his face grows sae red that he maistly could ban;
Sync she turns to the mither, and taks the wean's loof,
And tells that he'll neither be laggard nor coof!
You're an auld happy bodysae, bright be your star,
And lang may you stump about, Janet Dunbar.

A sonsy auld carline is Janet Dunbar
A donsy auld carline is Janet Dunbar;
For a gash skilly body, weel kent near and far,
Through the hale kintra side, cantie Janet Dunbar.



Robert Nicoll


Robert Nicoll's other poems:
  1. The Dominie
  2. Auld Donald
  3. Our Auld Hearthstane
  4. We'll A' Go Pu' the Heather
  5. The Place That I Love Best


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