Take your auld cloak about you, pp.114-115.

[Tea-Table Miscellany Contents]

IN winter when the rain rain’d caul’d 

And frost and snaw on ilka-hill, 

And Boreas, with his blasts sae bauld, 

Was threat’ning a’ our ky to kill: 

Then Bell my wife, wha loves na strife, 

She said to me right hastily, 

Get up, goodman, save Cromy’s life, 

And tak your auld cloak about ye. 

– 

My Cromie is an useful cow, 

And she is come of a good kyne; 

Aft has she wet the bairn’s mou, 

And I am laith that she shou’d tyne; 

Get up, goodman, it is fou time, 

The sun shines in the lift sae hie; 

Sloth never made a gracious end, 

Go tak your auld cloak about ye. 

– 

My cloak was anes a good gray cloak, 

When it was fitting for my wear; 

But now it’s scantly worth a groat, 

For I have worn’t this thirty year; 

Let’s spend the gear that we have won, 

We little ken the day we’ll die: 

Then I’ll be proud, since I have sworn 

To have a new cloak about me. 

– 

In days when our king Robert rang, 

His trews they cost but haff a crown; 

He said they were a groat o’er dear, 

And call’d the taylor thief and loun, 

He was the king that wore a crown, 

And thou the man of laigh degree, 

‘Tis pride puts a’ the country down, 

Sae tak thy auld cloak about thee. 

– 

Every land has its ain laugh, 

Ilk kind of corn it has its hool, 

I think the warld is a’ run wrang, 

When ilka wife her man wad rule; 

Do ye not see Rob, Jock, and Hab

As they are girded gallantly, 

While I sit hurklen in the ase; 

I’ll have a new cloak about me. 

– 

Goodman I wate ‘tis thirty years, 

Since we did ane anither ken; 

And we have had between us twa, 

Of lads and bonny lasses ten: 

Now they are women grown and men, 

I wish and pray well may they be; 

And if you prove a good husband, 

E’en tak your auld cloak about ye. 

– 

BELL my wife, she loves na strife; 

But she wad guide me, if she can, 

And to maintain an easy life, 

I aft maun yield tho’ I’m goodman: 

Nought’s to be won at woman’s hand, 

Unless ye give her a’ the plea; 

Then I’ll leave aff where I began, 

And tak my auld cloak about me. 

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