Jenny Wi’ the Airn Teeth

Jenny Wi’ the Airn Teeth
What a plague is this o' mine,
     Winna steek his e'e,
Though I hap him ow'r the head
     As cosie as can be.
Sleep! an' let me to my wark,
     A' thae claes to airn;
Jenny wi' the airn teeth,
     Come an' tak' the bairn:

Tak' him to your ain den,
     Where the bowgie bides,
But first put baith your big teeth
     In his wee plump sides;
Gie your auld grey pow a shake,
     Rive him frae my grup—
Tak' him where nae kiss is gaun
     When he waukens up.

Whatna noise is that I hear
     Comin' doon the street?
Weel I ken the dump-dump
     O' her beetle feet.
Mercy me, she's at the door,
     Hear her lift the sneck;
Whisht! an' cuddle mammy noo
     Closer roun' the neck.

Jenny wi' the airn teeth,
     The bairn has aff his claes,
Sleepin' safe an' soun', I think—
     Dinna touch his taes;
Sleepin' weans are no for you;
     Ye may turn about
An' tak' awa' wee Tam next door—
     I hear him screichin' oot.

Dump, dump, awa' she gangs
     Back the road she cam';
I hear her at the ither door,
     Speirin' after Tam.
He' a crabbit, greetin' thing,
     The warst in a' the toon;
Little like my ain wee wean—
     Losh, he's sleepin' soun'.

Mithers hae an awfu' wark
     Wi' their bairns at nicht—
Chappin' on the chair wi' tangs
     To gi'e the rogues a fricht.
Aulder weans are fley'd wi' less,
     Weel aneuch, we ken—
Bigger bowgies, bigger Jennies,
     Frichten muckle men.
Alexander Anderson
Alexander Anderson

Railwayman, poet and librarian, Alexander Anderson was the author of the famous poem about the wakeful bairnies, 'Cuddle Doon'. 

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