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Old Bridge Perth

Smeaton's Bridge over the Tay, Perth.

The Auld Man   play

As I gaed owre the Brig o' Perth
Ablow the hunch o' the hill,
The müne gou'd doun on the doverin toun;
And I heard the water sweel.
Oot o' the mirk a body cam
And brocht me to a stand:
A muckle pack was abüne his boo'd back
And a rammock in his hand.

Nurly he was like an auld aik;
And the glister on his e'en
Was glinterin bricht as the müne's cauld licht
And sichtless as the müne.
"What hae ye there, my auld carl?
What ferlie or what fair'n?"
"O! a' that I hae is lichter nor strae
And wechtier nor airn."

"And what is wechtier nor airn
And lichter nor the strae?"
"The hairst o' the fleur,
the hairst o' the stour
And the hairst o' memory."


ablow - below; gou'd - stared; doverin - slumbering; sweel - eddy; mirk - dark;
muckle - big; abüne - on top; boo'd - bowed; rammock - stick; nurly - gnarled;
aik - oak; glister - glitter; glinterin - twinkling; carl - churl; ferlie - wonder;
fair'n - gift; nor - than; strae - straw; wechtier - weightier; airn - iron;
hairst - harvest; fleur - flower; stour - dust.

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