The Waesome Carl by George MacDonald

The Waesome Carl

There cam a man to our toon-en',
     And a waesome carl was he,
We' a snubbert nose, and a crookit-mou',
     And a cock in his left ee.
And muckle he spied, and muckle he spak,
     But the burden o' his sang,
Was aye the same and ower again:
     There's nane o' ye a' but's wrang!
          Ye're a' wrang, and a' wrang,
          And a'thegither a' wrang:
          There's no a man aboot the toon
          But's a'thegither a' wrang.

That's no the gait to fire the breid,
     Nor yet to brew the yill;
That's no the gait to haud the pleuch,
     Nor yet to ca the mill;
That's no the gait to milk the coo,
     Nor yet to spean the calf,
Nor yet to tramp the girnel-meal-
     Ye kenna yer wark by half!
          Ye're a' wrang, &c.

The minister wasna fit to pray
     And lat alane to preach;
He nowther had the gift o' grace
     Nor yet the gift o' speech!
He mind't him o' Bala䭧s ass,
     Wi' a differ ye may ken:
The Lord he opened the ass's mou,
     The minister opened's ain!
          He's a' wrang, &c.

The puir precentor couldna sing,
     He gruntit like a swine;
The verra elders couldna pass
     The ladles til his min'.
And for the rulin' elder's grace
     It wasna worth a horn;
He didna half uncurse the meat,
     Nor pray for mair the morn!
          He was a' wrang, &c.

And aye he gied his nose a thraw,
     And aye he crook't his mou;
And aye he cockit up his ee
     And said---Tak tent the noo!
We leuch ahint oor loof, man,
     And never said him nay;
And aye he spak---set 'm up to speik!
     And aye he said his say:
          Ye're a' wrang, &c.

Quo oor gudeman: The crater's daft!
     But wow! he has the claik;
Lat's see gien he can turn a han',
     Or only luik and craik!
It's true we maunna lippin til him-
     He's fairly crack wi' pride,
But he maun live-we canna kill him-
     Gien he can work, he s' bide.
          He was a' wrang, &c.

It's true it's a laddie's turn,
     But we'll begin wi' a sma' thing:
There's a' thae weyds to gether and burn,
     And he's the man for a' thing.
We gaed our wa's, and loot him be,
     To do just as he micht;
We think to hear nae mair o' him,
     Till we come hame at nicht;
          We war a' wrang, &c.

For, losh! or it was denner-time
     The lift was in a low!
The reek rase up as it had been
     Frae Sodom-flames, I vow.
We ran like mad, but corn and byre
     War blazin' ---wae's the fell!---
As gin the deil had brocht the fire,
     To mak anither hell!
          'Twas a' wrang, &c.

And by the blaze the carl stud,
     Wi' 's han's aneath his tails;
To see him maistan' drave us wud,
     We scarce could haud oorsels.
It's a' your wite; I tauld ye sae;
     Ye're a' wrang to the last:
What gart ye burn thae deevilich weyds
     Whan the win' blew frae the wast?
          Ye're a' wrang, and a' wrang,
          And a'thegither a' wrang;
          There's no a man in a' the warl'
          But's a'thegither a' wrang! 

 George MacDonald

The Woesome Man

There came a man to our town end,
     And a woesome man was he;
With a turned-up nose, and a crooked mouth,
     And a cock in his left eye.
And much he spied, and much he spoke,
     But the burden of his song
Was ever the same and over again:
     There's none of you all but's wrong.
          You're all wrong, and all wrong,
          And altogether all wrong;
          There's not a man about the town
          But's altogether all wrong.

That's not the way to bake the bread,
     Nor yet to brew the ale;
That's not the way to hold the plough,
     Nor yet to drive the mill;
That's not the way to milk the cow,
     Nor yet to wean the calf;
Nor yet to fill the meal-barrel--
     You know not your work by half.
          You're all wrong, etc.

The minister wasn't fit to pray,
     And let alone to preach;
He neither had the gift of grace,
     Nor yet the gift of speech.
He made him think of Balaam's ass,
     With a difference you may know:
The Lord he opened the ass's mouth,
     The minister opened his own.
          He's all wrong, etc.

The poor precentor couldn't sing, 
     He grunted like a swine;
The very elders couldn't pass
     The ladles to his mind.
And for the ruling elder's grace,
     It wasn't worth a horn;
He didn't half uncurse the meat,
     Nor pray for more tomorrow.
          He's all wrong, etc.

And ever he gave his nose a twist,
     And ever he crooked his mouth;
And ever he cocked up his eye
     And said-Beware just now.
We laughed behind our hands, man
     And never said him nay;
And ever he spoke-just let him speak!
     And ever he had his say.
          You're all wrong, etc.

Said our head man: The fellow's daft;
     But wow! he makes a noise
Let's see if he can turn a hand,
     Or only look and croak.
It's true we mustn't trust to him--
     He's fairly cracked with pride;
But he must live--we can't kill him--
      If he can work, he'll stay.
         He's all wrong, etc. 

It's true it's but a laddie's turn,
     But we'll begin with a small thing:
There's all those weeds to gather and burn--
     And he's the man for all things.
We went our ways, and let him be,
     To do just as he might;
We think to hear no more of him,
     Till we come home at night;
          But we're all wrong, etc.

For Lord! ere it was dinner time,
     The sky was in a blaze!
The reek rose up as it had been
     From Sodom-flames, I vow.
We ran like mad; but corn and byre
     Were blazing--woeful fall!--
As if the devil had brought the fire,
     To make another hell.
          'Twas altogether wrong, etc.

And by the blaze the man stood,
     With his hands beneath his tails;
To see him nearly drove us mad,
     We scarce could hold ourselves.
It's all your fault; I told you so;
     You're all wrong to the last:
What made you burn those devilish weeds,
     When the wind blew from the west?
          You're all wrong, and all wrong,
          And altogether all wrong;
          There's not a man in all the world;
          But's altogether all wrong.

Translated by David Jack