Digital Tradition Mirror

Tam o' Crumstan

Tam o' Crumstan

     "A loupin' on stane is a very good thing,
     For a man that is stiff, for a man that is auld,
     For a man that is lame o' the leg or the spauld,
     Or short o' the houghs, to loup on his naggie;"--

     So said Tam o' Crumstane, unbousome and baggie;
     And mountin' the stane at Gibbie's house-end,
     Like a man o' great pith, wi' a grane, and a stend--
     He flew owre his yaud, and fell i' the midden!

     Henderson Pop. Rhymes of Berwickshire (1856), 77, whence
     Cheviot Proverbs (1896), 242, and SC (1948), 118 (no. 191).
     The stane was a natural stone or erection of masonry
     which stood at the churchyard gates, to enable
     parishioners to mount horses or carts easily,
     particularly useful for women riding pillion.  They
     began to fall into disuse about 1790.  Unbousome =
     stubborn; baggie = corpulent.


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