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CUDDLE DOON, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Last Line: "oh, bairnie~, cuddle doon"
Alternate Author Name(s): Surfaceman
Subject(s): Children; Mothers; Childhood

THE bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Cuddle doon an' sleep fu' soun',
Wi' muckle faught an' din;
Mammy's bairnie saft an' cozie;
"Oh try and sleep, ye waukrife rogues,
Pit ae han' my neck aroun',
Your faither's comin' in."
An' the ither in my bozie.
They never heed a word I speak;
There, noo, sleep while mammy sings
That bit sang, fu' lown an' cannie-
I try to gie a froon,
Hoo a fairy every nicht
But aye I hap them up an' cry,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
Rocks him till he grows a mannie.
Wee Jamie wi' the curly heid --
Just when he begins to sleep,
He aye sleeps next the wa' --
In she comes-that dumpy fairy-
Bangs up an' cries, "I want a piece;"
Askin' wi' auld-fashion'd look,
The rascal starts them a'.
'Let me try the wean to carry!'
But I shake my heid an' say,
I rin an' fetch them pieces, drinks,
'Mammy daurna trust her bairnie
They stop awee the soun',
Wi' a thing sae licht as you;
Then draw the blankets up an' cry,
First grow bigger an' she'll learn ye.'
"Noo, weanies, cuddle doon."
Then I draw the creddle near,
But, ere five minutes gang, wee Rab
Pit him in, while sweet an' simple,
Cries out, frae 'neath the claes,
She gets up upon the stule,
"Mither, mak' Tam gie ower at ance,
An' raxes doon to kiss his dimple;
He's kittlin' wi' his taes."
After this she starts an' sings,
The mischief's in that Tam for tricks,
He'd bother half the toon;
As she rocks an' swings the creddle,
Sic a sang, sae lown an' sweet,
But aye I hap them up and cry,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
I daurna speak a word or meddle.
What that sang can mean ava,
At length they hear their faither's fit,
An', as he steeks the door,
Dim an' riddle-like in seemin',
They turn their faces to the wa',
Nane kens but this bairnie here,
For he smiles an' starts the dreamin'.
While Tam pretends to snore.
"Hae a' the weans been gude?" he asks,
Then that fairy, keekin' ow'r,
As he pits aff his shoon;
Seein' this, sings laigh an' cannie,
The bairnies, John, are in their beds,
'Rock him saft, an' rock him aft,
Till he grows a great big mannie.'
An' lang since cuddled doon."
Then her sang begins to turn
An' just afore we bed oorsels,
Saft an' wae, as if entreatin';
We look at our wee lambs;
Though I dinna ken a word,
Tam has his airm roun' wee Rab's neck,
And Rab his airm round Tam's.
Yet I maist fa' to the greetin'.
I lift wee Jamie up the bed,
But the weanie still smiles on,
Liftin' up a wee fat han'ie,
An' as I straik each croon,
I whisper, till my heart fills up,
Which the fairy kissin' cries,
'Bairnie, sleep an' grow a mannie.'
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
So he sleeps the hale nicht lang,
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Waukin' up fu' gleg an' smilin',
Wi' mirth that's dear to me;
For he min's the fairy's sang,
But soon the big warl's cark an' care
Will quaten doon their glee.
An' the dreams that cam' beguilin';
Yet, come what will to ilka ane,
But the meanin' o' the sang
That a carefu' mither misses,
May he who rules aboon
Aye whisper, though their pows be bald,
This bit laddie winna tell,
Though she gi'es him fifty kisses.
"Oh, bairnie~, cuddle doon"
Ay, the sleep that comes when we
Are weans, an' rockit by oor fairy,
Fa's upon us saft as dew
Frae heaven's threshold high and airy:
Then we ken the mystic sang,
An' the forms we see when dreamin';
Pity that we miss them a'
When we grow to men and women.

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