The bairns i' their beds, worn oot wi' nae wark,
Are sleepin, nor ever an eelid winkin;
The auld fowk lie still wi' their een starin stark,
An' the mirk pang-fou o' the things they are thinkin.
Whan oot o' ilk corner the bairnies they keek,
Lauchin an' daffin, airms loosin an' linkin,
The auld fowk they watch frae the warm ingle-cheek,
But the bairns little think what the auld fowk are thinkin.
Whan the auld fowk sit quaiet at the reet o' a stook,
I' the sunlicht their washt een blinterin an' blinkin,
Fowk scythin, or bin'in, or shearin wi' heuk
Carena a strae what the auld fowk are thinkin.
At the kirk, whan the minister's dreich an' dry,
His fardens as gien they war gowd guineas chinkin,
An' the young fowk are noddin, or fidgetin sly,
Naebody kens what the auld fowk are thinkin.
Whan the young fowk are greitin aboot the bed
Whaur like water throu san' the auld life is sinkin,
An' some wud say the last word was said,
The auld fowk smile, an' ken what they're thinkin.