Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Cuddle Doon"

"Cuddle Doon"

Alexander Anderson

This is such a sweet poem! It reminds me so much of my own younger days of bedtime…and of putting the young Stuckwisch boys to bed while babysitting. I’d love to memorize this one, but I’d slaughter it: I really have no idea of the correct pronunciation for some of those words, even if I do have Scottish blood in my ancestry. No, I didn’t misspell anything.
I especially appreciate the last verse.

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi’ muckle fash an’ din.
“Oh, try and sleep, ye waukrife rogues;
Your faither’s comin’ in.”
They never heed a word I speak.
I try to gie a froon;
But aye I hap them up, an’ cry,
“Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!”

Wee Jamie wi’ the curly heid –
He aye sleeps next the wa’ –
Bangs up an’ cries, “I want a piece” –
The rascal starts them a’.
I rin an’ fetch them pieces, drinks –
They stop awee the soun’ –
Then draw the blankets up, an’ cry,
“Noo, weanies, cuddle doon!”

But ere five minutes gang, wee Rab
Cries oot, frae ‘neath the claes,
“Mither, mak’ Tam gie ower at ance:
He’s kittlin’ wi’ his taes.”
The mischief’s in that Tam for tricks;
He’d bother half the toon.
But aye I hap them up, an’ cry,
“Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!”

At length they hear their father’s fit;
An’ as he steeks the door,
They turn their faces to the wa’,
While Tam pretends to snore.
“Hae a’ the weans been gude?” he asks,
As he pits aff his shoon.
“The bairnies, John, are in their beds,
An’ lang since cuddled doon.”

An’ just afore we bed oorsels,
We look at oor wee lambs.
Tam has his airm roun’ we Rab’s neck,
An’ Rab his airm roun’ Tam’s.
I lift wee Jamie up the bed,
An’ as I straik each croon,
I whisper, till my heart fills up,
“Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!”

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi’ mirth that’s dear to me;
But soon the big warl’s cark an’ care
Will quaten doon their glee.
Yet come what will to ilka ane,
May he who rules aboon
Aye whisper, though their pows be bald,
“Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!”

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