The Whustlin' Lad

A poem by Violet Jacob

There's a wind comes doon frae the braes when the licht is spreadin'
Chilly an' grey,
An' the auld cock craws at the yett o' the muirland steadin'
Cryin' on day;
The hoose lies sound an' the sma' mune's deein' an' weary
Watchin' her lane,
The shadows creep by the dyke an' the time seems eerie,
But the lad i' the fields he is whustlin' cheery, cheery,
'Yont i' the rain.

My mither stirs as she wauks wi' her twa een blinkin',
Bedded she'll bide,
For foo can an auld wife ken what a lassie's thinkin'
Close at her side?
Mither, lie still, for ye're needin' a rest fu' sairly,
Weary an' worn,
Mither, I'll rise, an' ye ken I'll be warkin' fairly -
An' I dinna ken wha can be whustlin', whustlin', aerly,
Lang or it's morn!

Gin ye hear a sound like the sneck o' the backdoor turnin',
Fash na for it;
It's just the crack i' the lum o' the green wood burnin',
Ill to be lit;
Gin ye hear a step, it's the auld mear loose i' the stable
Stampin' the strae,
Or mysel' that's settin' the parritch-spunes on the table,
Sae turn ye aboot an' sleep, mither, sleep while ye're able,
Rest while ye may.

Up at the steadin' the trail o' the mist has liftit
Clear frae the grund,
Mither breathes saft an' her face to the wa' she's shiftit -
Aye, but she's sound!
Lad, ye may come, for there's nane but mysel' will hear ye
Oot by the stair,
But whustle you on an' I winna hae need to fear ye,
For, laddie, the lips that keep whustlin', whustlin' cheery
Canna dae mair!

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