Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PERNICKETY WIFE, by J. KNOX CHRISTIE



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THE PERNICKETY WIFE, by            
First Line: My wife's a weary, waefu' wife
Last Line: My wife is sae pernickety.
Subject(s): Cleanliness; Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


MY wife's a weary, waefu' wife,
Tho' ane mair trig there couldna be;
She's been the plague o' a' my life,
And yet she's unco gude to me.
She dusts and cleans the hale day lang,
An' aye fin's oot there's something wrang;
The chairs an' me aboot are dang
Because she's sae pernickety.

A speck o' dust she canna thole,
An' faith her een are gleg to see;
A wee bit mite o' dirt or coal
Mak's her at ance, to clean it, flee.
The flair is nearly worn awa',
The chairs are maist withoot a flaw;
A cleaner hoose ye never saw,
My wife is sae pernickety.

We hae a cosy but-an'-ben --
For twa the hoose is nane owre wee,
An' a' her time the wife maun spen'
In makin' things look spruce and spree.
She aye pursues her daily plans --
She polishes the frying-pans,
An' rubs an' scrubs the pots and cans,
The body's sae pernickety.

When I come back frae work at nicht
To tak' my hamely cup o' tea,
She glow'rs me owre to see a's richt
Before a bite is gien to me.
Gude faith, if glaur is on my buits,
She ca's me a' the dirty bruits,
An' turns me oot to clean my cuits,
The body's sae pernickety.

A' things maun aye be in their place
At nicht; it's just the same wi' me;
She gies me an allotted space,
From oot o' which I daurna jee.
I'm seated in a corner chair,
In case I fyle hearthstane or flair,
An' maunna move ance oot o' there,
The body's sae pernickety.

An' then she sets to scrub again,
For scarce a meenit has she free --
At stoup, or clock, or window-pane,
At fender, grate, or crockery.
Aye wash an' splash, and scrub an' rub
At mantlepiece or bowl or tub;
She's never oot o' the hub-bub,
The body's sae pernickety.

I'm sure she thinks me in the way,
An' will be till the day I dee;
The scrubbing-brush and dusters hae
Her hale concern an' company.
Could she just use me like the delf --
For ance I think she'd please herself --
First scrub, then put me on a shelf,
My wife is sae pernickety.





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