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The house-wife carries a hot pan of stew by the handle, a cat sits on the hearth by, one assumes, the fire, and the husband looks to his wife even as she in turn looks to the door.
It fell about the Martinmas time,
And a gay time it was then,
When our goodwife got puddings to make,
And she ’s boil’d them in the pan.
The wind sae cauld blew south and north,
And blew into the floor;
Quoth our goodman to our goodwife,
‘Gae out and bar the door.’
‘My hand is in my hussyskap,
Goodman, as ye may see,
An’ it shou’dna be barr’d this hundred year,
It ’s no be barr’d for me.’
They made a paction ’tween them twa,
They made it firm and sure,
That the first word whae’er shou’d speak,
Shou’d rise and bar the door.
Then by there came two gentlemen,
At twelve o’ clock at night,
And they could neither see house nor hall,
Nor coal nor candle-light.
‘Now whether is this a rich man’s house,
Or whether is it a poor?’
But ne’er a word wad ane o’ them speak,
For barring of the door.
And first they ate the white puddings,
And then they ate the black.
Tho’ muckle thought the goodwife to hersel’
Yet ne’er a word she spake.
Then said the one unto the other,
‘Here, man, tak ye my knife;
Do ye tak aff the auld man’s beard,
And I’ll kiss the goodwife.’
‘But there ’s nae water in the house,
And what shall we do than?’
‘What ails ye at the pudding-broo,
That boils into the pan?’
O up then started our goodman,
An angry man was he:
‘Will ye kiss my wife before my e’en,
And sca’d me wi’ pudding-bree?’
Then up and started our goodwife,
Gied three skips on the floor:
‘Goodman, you’ve spoken the foremost word,
Get up and bar the door.’