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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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