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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Verse

Prasang     by: Mackie, Dr Lewis

There wis a young lad that wis brocht up in Laos
Wi’ nae unnerstannin o’ Scots,
An fan he cam here tae the North-East tae bide,
The dialect tied him in knots.
He tried siccan hard tae copy his freens
Bit the words niver hid the richt soun,
An’ try as he micht the squeel didna help
For dialect brocht on a froon.
His pals buckled tee an’ slowly at first
A word here an’ there slippit through.
It wis "ferly” an "aye” an’ “niver” an "gey "
An "dinna say mouth, say moo.”
Try “queets” for ankles an "spurgy" for sparrow
An a “haddie” is Doric for haddock,
An’ cattle are “nowt”, a “trootie’s” a trout
An a frog can be naething bit” puddock”.

It took him sometime, a filey I min’
Till he could speak braid wi’ the best.
Bit he practiced richt hard for he winted sae bad
Tae be thocht o’ as een a’ the rest
He now wis that prood a’ the words that he kint,
He was usin’ them day efter day.
They fair tummilt oot an there wisna nae doot
That the Doric he’d use work an’ play.

The praise he maist treasured , an’ it gave him sich pleasure
Wis eence fan he worked on a fairm.
He relished the work, the friendship, the fowk
An’ the banter that did little hairm.
An’ the fairmer wis heard tae say o’ this lad
“Its niver frae Scotland he hails,
Bit he’s better at work than twa collie dogs—
He’s jist like een a’ oorsels.”


Now then cam the day tae return tae his hame,
An’ back tae Cambodia he flew,
He thocht he could help wi’the fairmin oot there,
Wi’ teachin’ the work that he knew.
Alack an’ alas it seen cam tae pass
That the powers at be there took illwill
At the cliver young lad wi’ mair brains than they had
An’ they seized him an’ put him in jyle.

While stuck in that cell his thochts roamed at large
An’ his mind conjured up Benachie
An’ he savoured the days that he spent on that hill
Fan life wis untrammeled an’ free.
Bit he seen set his mind tae flee frae that land
Far tyranny ruled o’er the best
An’ through jungle an’ swamp he struggled at last
An then made it oot tae the West.

Fan he reached his dream he aften wis seen
Wanderin raptured aboot Benachie
An’ his last puckle days neath the Mither Tap’s gaze
Were happy because he wis free.
An’ noo he’s at rest beside Daviot’s Kirk
An’ its aften his fairmer freen tells’
“He wis better at work than twa collie dogs—
HE WIS JIST LIKE EEN O’OORSELS.



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