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William Mickle (1735-1788)

There's Nae Luck about the House


              1And are ye sure the news is true?
              2    And are ye sure he's weel?
              3Is this a time to think o' wark?
              4    Mak haste, lay by your wheel;
              5Is this the time to spin a thread
              6    When Colin's at the door?
              7Reach me my cloak, I'll to the quay
              8    And see him come ashore.
              9For there's nae luck about the house,
            10    There's nae luck at a',
            11There's little pleasure in the house
            12    When our gudeman's awa.

            13And gie to me my bigonet,
            14    My bishop's satin gown;
            15For I maun tell the bailie's wife
            16    That Colin's come to town.
            17My Turkey slippers maun gae on,
            18    My stockings pearly blue;
            19It's a' to pleasure my gudeman,
            20    For he's baith leel and true.
            21For there's nae luck about the house,
            22    There's nae luck at a',
            23There's little pleasure in the house
            24    When our gudeman's awa.

            25Rise, lass, and mak a clean fire side,
            26    Put on the muckle pot,
            27Gie little Kate her button gown,
            28    And Jock his Sunday coat;
            29And mak their shoon as black as slaes,
            30    Their hose as white as snaw,
            31It's a' to please my ain gudeman,
            32    For he's been lang awa.
            33For there's nae luck about the house,
            34    There's nae luck at a',
            35There's little pleasure in the house
            36    When our gudeman's awa.

            37There's twa fat hens upo' the bauk,
            38    Been fed this month and mair,
            39Mak haste and thraw their necks about,
            40    That Colin weel may fare;
            41And mak the table neat and clean,
            42    Gar ilka thing look braw,
            43For wha can tell how Colin fared
            44    When he was far awa?
            45Ah, there's nae luck about the house,
            46    There's nae luck at a',
            47There's little pleasure in the house
            48    When our gudeman's awa.

            49Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
            50    His breath like cauler air,
            51His very foot has music in't
            52    As he comes up the stair!
            53    And will I see his face again,
            54And will I hear him speak?
            55    I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,
            56In troth I'm like to greet.
            57For there's nae luck about the house,
            58    There's nae luck at a',
            59There's little pleasure in the house
            60    When our gudeman's awa.

            61If Colin's weel, and weel content,
            62    I hae nae mair to crave--
            63And gin I live to keep him sae,
            64    I'm blest aboon the lave.
            65And will I see his face again,
            66    And will I hear him speak?
            67I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,
            68    In troth I'm like to greet.
            69For there's nae luck about the house,
            70    There's nae luck at a',
            71There's little pleasure in the house
            72    When our gudeman's awa.

Notes

1] Often given the title of "The Mariner's Wife." Mickle's authorship has been disputed, but the weight of evidence seems in his favour.

13] bigonet: bonnet.

15] bailie: alderman.

20] leel: loyal.

23] muckle: large.

26] slaes: sloes.

31] bauk: crossbeam.

33] thraw: twist.

41] cauler: fresh.

47] greet: weep.

51] gin: if.

52] lave: rest.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Mickle, Poetical Works (London: for C. Cooke, 1806).
First publication date: 1806
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.761; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/18

Rhyme: abcbdefeghgh


Other poems by William Mickle