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Published by jack elliot




COTTAR WIFE by Shelia Templeton


There wis ae year we laisted the hale


twa hale terms, fae wutsunday an roon


- afore my man fell out wi the grieve, as

wie his wont.

So it wis back tae the feein-mairket an a

new fee,

a different cottar hoose, an ootlin wife i

the big hoose

nae kenning fit she'd except o'me.

Aathin clyted

oan the cairtie, bairnies, dishes, sticks

o furnitur

the sheltie strainin atween the shafts,

An my man

dour faced, black browned, reddy wi his


gin onybody daur an argie-bargie, My

hert was wechty

weerin awa fae that [lace, my face

begrutten in saut -

but nae for the cottat hoose, tho it was 

bonnie eneuch.

My tears were for the grun, the blaik

grun, its saft dairk


easin hert-saire at Martimas. crummin

thow my hans.

faan I'd plunted bulbs - blewarts, snaa-

file stars

O Bethlehem, skirie tulips, vauntie in

their ailken skirts- 

its bountie i the simmer time, keepin us

in maet,

the wye it seemed tae sigh efter a rain


An fit wad I gie, tae plunt a gean or an

sipple tree

its croon o fite flooers broobit wi the

pink o dawnin, ilka Spring

- wad lichten my ivery slep, lift the verra

hert oot my breisr,

But a tree taks time tae spread its roots,

tae ease

intae the grun, Chynge disnae gree wi





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