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Willie Wastle

Tune--"_The eight men of Moidart._"

[The person who is raised to the disagreeable elevation of heroine of
this song, was, it is said, a farmer's wife of the old school of
domestic care and uncleanness, who lived nigh the poet, at Ellisland.]

I.

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they call'd it Linkum-doddie.
Willie was a wabster guid,
Cou'd stown a clue wi' onie bodie;
He had a wife was dour and din,
O Tinkler Madgie was her mither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad nae gie a button for her.

II.

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 wad nae gie a button for her.

III.

She's bow hough'd, she's hem shinn'd,
A limpin' leg, a hand-breed shorter;
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair in ilka quarter:
She has a hump upon her breast,
The twin o' that upon her shouther--
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad nae gie a button for her.

IV.

Auld baudrans 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 wad nae gie a button for her.

Robert Burns


Poetry