Willie the Gimlad


Did ye navar hear tellin’ of Willie?
The Gimlad they’re callin’ him too;
The sharp that he is, aw, not silly
Like Robbie, but keen as a screw.
Did ye navar hear tell of the fairy
That butched the whole mob at Shellan?
How Robbie Kinvig got his Mary,
And how Mary got her a man?
Aw well, it’s a while since it happened;
Aw, a sight of things happened since then;
And my memory needs to be sharpened –
Thank ye kindly, and thank ye again!

Well this was the way it was goin—
Aw, my gogh, how I laughed when I heard!
But maybe it’s like ye’ll be knowin
Turkey Harry that’s out Ballanard?
Turkey Harry’s the one of the family
The only one livin’ to-day,
But don’t let him hear the word chimlee,
Or ye’d better keep out of his way
Well, Willie the Gimlad and Robbie
Was meetin’ one day down in Peel,
Sez Willie the Gimlad to Robbie,
“Aw, Robbie, and how do thou feel?”
“Middlin maul!” Robbie answers. “I’m feelin’
As if my poor heart it was broke;
And I’m down on my knees, but no kneelin’
Is lookin’ like changin’ my luck”.
“Hogh, hogh, ya” sez Willie, “who is she?”
But Robbie said navar a word.
“Is it Catherine Oates, Ballanishey,
Or Abigail Radcliffe from Skird?”
“No!” sez Robbie at last, “none of them ones;
It’s Mary Cormode from Shellan;
The sweet that she is, not like some ones
Who go runnin’ all day for a man.
But the shy that I am I’m not knowin’
How to go for to get her at all;
And I’m thinkin’ times I’ll be goin’
To Shellan for to pay her a call.
But my heart is forsaken me avar
When I think of her brothers an’ all,
For they’re sayin’ they’re fierce and I navar
Could stand up to them bein’ small”.
“Now listen” sez Willie, “a minute,
And I’ll tell ye what we must do.
But fust, if I can begin it,
D’ye think thou can follow it through?”
“Aw, yis, now” sez Robbiw, all aiger
To hear what the Gimlad would say,
For he dursn’t set out for to plague her
Till her brothers were out of the way.
“I’ll be for ye doinney moylee”
Sez Willie the Gimlad, “don’t fret.
Whatever I do, thou just foller
And see that the heifer ye get”.
Sez Robbie, “that sounds mighty clavar,
And it’s warmin’ my falterin’ heart
To think of it, yis, well I navar!
And when are we makin’ a start?”
“To-night if ye like”, sez the other,
“I’ll be meetin’ thee here about eight”.
Rob sez, “That’ll do. I’ll tell mother
Not to look for me back till it’s late”.
So that night up the glen they goes creepin’
Between the big trunks of the trees,
With the branches against their coats sweepin’
And creakin’ so soft in the breeze;
And the stars in the sky brightly shinin’,
And the sound of the deep waterfall;
And a dog in his sleep gently whinin’,
And the stamp of a horse in his stall.

Then they stopped; and, “Houl on ya!” sez Willie,
“We’re up at the farm. Here’s the gate.
Now when they rush out, grab the filly,
Get on with they courtin’ don’t wait”.
Robbie nodded. His voice was that chirrym
He couldn’t have spoke if he tried;
And his heart was a-thump, as if verrum
Was workin’ its mischief inside.
Sez Willie, “Cormode’ll be tellin’
Big yarns about ghoses and all;
But when they start jumpin’ and yellin’
Then thou will be makin’ thy call”.
The roof of the kitchen is slopin;
On one side right down to the ground,
And Willie the Gimlad was hopin’
To climb without makin’ a sound
Till he got to the chimlee – but, glory,
I’m tellin’ my tale far too fas’,
For my mem’ry wants help with this story—
Aw, thank ye, I’ll just have a glass!
(If I drink all of that I’ll be bustin—) This line is omitted!
Where was I? Aw, yis, if ye please
The turkeys and hens was all roostin’
As jesh as ye like in the trees.
Well, Willie bein’ lively an perky
He shins up the tree like a stoat,
And collared a fine soncy turkey
And bundled it under his coat.
Then he slipped down again in a hurry
And started to climb on the roof.
Sez to Robbie, “Be ready, don’t worry!
It’s over and done in a puff”.
Then he lets out a yell like he’s murdered
And stuffed down the chimlee the fowl,
While Robbie rushed round as was urdered
And Willie kept on with his howl.
In the farmhouse they sat all unknowin’,
While Cormode his ghost stories did tell,
With the firelight a-flick’ring and glowin’.
Till there comes from the roof a great yell.
Then a thing like the shadow of Satan
Comes flyin down on to the peat,
And the sight of its black wings a-beatin’
Puts all the Cormodes in a sweat.
And they ups one and all in the kitchen,
And they makes one and all for the door;
And the mother throws down her stitchin’,
And the father explodes with a roar.

“Grievanagh!” he hollers, “the Divil
Has come for to listen this night!”
And he swings on his feet like a swivel
And they all falls out headlong in flight;
With the turkey a-flappin’ behind them,
But Mary was standin’ in fear
And wonderin’ if Satan would find them—
When she heard a low voice in her ear.
Then while her folks hurried off screechin’
As if they were took on Barool,
Shy Robbie his Mary was teachin’
More tricks, I’ll be bound, on the stool!