The Roke and the Wee Pickle Tow.

There was an auld wife had a wee pickle tow,
And she wad gae try the spinnin` o`t;
But lootin her doun, her roke took a-low,
And that was a bad beginnin o`t!
She say and she grat, and she flat and she flang,
And she threw and she blew, and she wriggled and wrang,
And she chokit and bokit and cried like to mang,
Alas, for the dreary beginnin o`t.

I`ve wanted a sark for these aucht years and ten,
And this was to be the beginnin o`t;
But I vow i shall want it for as lang again,
Or ever I try the spinnin o`t!
For never since ever they ca`d as they ca` me,
Did sic a mishap and mischanter befa` me;
But ye shall leave baith to hang and to draw me,
The neist time I try the spinnin o`t.

I ha`e keepit my hoose now these three score o` years,
And aye kept frae the spinnin o`t;
But how I was sarkit, foul fa` them that speirs,
For it minds me o` the beginnin o`t!
But our women are now a-days a` grown saw braw,
That ilka ane maun hae a sark and some ha`e twa-
The warld was better when ne`er ane ava,
Had a rag but ane at the beginnin o`t.

In the days thay ca`yore gin auld folks could but get,
to a surcoat, hough-syde, for the winnin` o`t;
Of coat-raips we`el cut by the cast o` their shape,
They never socht mair o` the spinnin o`t!
A pair o` grey toggers weel clinket benew,
Of nae other lit but the hue of the ewe,
With a pair of rough mullions to scuff through the dew,
Was the fee the socht at the beginnin o`t.

But we maun ha`e linen, and that maun ha`e we,
And how get we that but by spinnin o`t;
How can we ha`e face for tae seek a great fee,
Except we can help at the winnin o`t!
And we ha`e pearlins and mabbies, and locks,
And some other things the ladies ca` smocks;
And how get we that gin we tak` nae o`er rokes,
And pu` what we can at the spinnin o`t.

`Tis needless for us to mak` our remarks,
Frae our mithers mis-cookin the spinnin o`t;
She never kenn`d ocht o` the guid o` the sarks
Frae this a-back tae the beginnin o`t!
Twa three-ell o` plaidin` was a` that was socht,
By our auld warld`bodies and that bude be bocht;
For in Ilka toun sic`an things wasna` wrocht,
Sae little they kenn`d o tha spinnin`o`t.