Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Sailor’s Wife
By William Julius Mickle (1735–1788)
 
AND are ye sure the news is true?
  And are ye sure he’s weel?
Is this a time to talk o’ wark?
  Ye jades, lay by your wheel!
Is this the time to spin a thread,        5
  When Colin’s at the door?
Reach down my cloak—I’ll to the quay,
  And see him come ashore.
 
For there’s no luck about the house,
  There’s nae luck ava’,        10
There’s little pleasure in the house,
  When our gudeman’s awa’.
 
And gi’e to me my bigonet,
  My bishop’s saint gown;
For I maun tell the baillie’s wife        15
  That Colin’s in the town.
My Turkey slippers maun gae on,
  My stockins pearly blue;
It’s a’ to pleasure our gudeman,
  For he’s baith leal and true.        20
 
Rise, lass, and mak’ a clean fireside,
  Put on the muckle pot;
Gi’e little Kate her button gown,
  And Jock his Sunday coat.
And mak’ their shoon as black as slaes,        25
  Their hose as white as snaw;
It’s a’ to please my ain gudeman,
  He likes to see them braw.
 
There is twa hens upon the bauk,
  Been fed this month and mair;        30
Mak’ haste and thraw their necks about
  That Colin weel may fare!
And spread the table neat and clean,
  Gar ilka thing look braw;
For wha can tell how Colin fared,        35
  When he was far awa’?
 
Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
  His breath like caller air;
His very foot has music in’t
  As he comes up the stair.        40
And will I see his face again?
  And will I hear him speak?
I’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought,
  In troth I’m like to greet!
 
Since Colin’s weel, and weel content,        45
  I ha’e nae mair to crave;
And gin I live to keep him sae,
  I’m blest abune the lave.
And will I see his face again?
  And will I hear him speak?        50
I’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought,
  In troth I’m like to greet!
For there’s nae luck about the house,
  There’s nae luck ava’;
There’s little pleasure in the house        55
  When our gudeman’s awa’.
 
 
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