Hughie in Love with a Shrew, pp.17-18.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Urit grata protervitas.” – CAR. I., 19. 

I’VE nocht to wreak mysel’ upon, 

An’ wark I dinna fancy, 

Sae I’ll sit doun an’ hae a groan 

Aboot my cruel Nancy. 

She thraw’d her head when late yestreen 

I telt her I was deein’ – 

Either she disna care a preen, 

Or else she kens I’m leein’. 


O Nancy, but your hert’s as hard 

An’ cauld as kirkyaird granite; 

‘Deed, whyles I think the nicht ill-starr’d 

That saw me brak’ wi Janet! 

She’s neither cuist me glance o’ grace 

Nor shored me ceevil favour; 

The wooer’s is a dootfu’ case 

That builds on that behavour! 


Nae ither lad that awns a dug, 

But Sandie, ever socht her – 

She flang a leglen at his lug, 

As weel’s the nits he brocht her 

She hasna tried thir tricks on me; 

She’d find it – no’ sae chancy; 

An’ that’s what gars me houp to see 

My waddin’ day wi’ Nancy!

2 thoughts on “Hughie in Love with a Shrew, pp.17-18.

  1. Don’t know exactly why, but this took me straight back to one by Suckling:

    Why so pale and wan fond lover?
    Prithee why so pale?
    Will, when looking well can’t move her,
    Looking ill prevail?
    Prithee why so pale?

    Why so dull and mute young sinner?
    Prithee why so mute?
    Will, when speaking well can’t win her,
    Saying nothing do’t?
    Prithee why so mute?

    Quit, quit for shame, this will not move,
    This cannot take her;
    If of herself she will not love,
    Nothing can make her;
    The devil take her.

    1. It sounds as though he writes of someone who’s dying but that the author’s not prepared to believe it and is more inclined to think her unresponsive for another reason. Good poem, I like it.

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