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A - Z Blogging Challenge: W is for...Wee Willie Winkie

William Miller
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town, 
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown.
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
Are the children in their beds for it's past ten o'clock?

Many people are under the impression that Rudyard Kipling was the author of this little rhyme as he wrote a story in 1899, also titled 'Wee Willie Winkie' but this nursery rhyme was actually written in 1841 by Sotsman William Miller (1810-1872). When he had to give up his career in medicine because of ill health, his friends persuaded him to publish the childrens' poems that he had written over the years and because they were so popular he became known as the 'Laureate of the Nursery.

'Wee Willie Winkie' is by far the most famous of all his poems and although most of us only know the first verse (above) it is actually the beginning of a much longer poem.

The full poem is written out in its original form below and after that there is a translation for those of you who aren't fluent in the Scots tongue.

Wee Willie Winkie
WEE WILLIE WINKIE by William Miller 

Willie Winkie rins through the toun,
Up stairs and doon stairs in his nicht-goun,
Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,
'Are the weans in their bed, for it's noo ten o'clock?'

'Hey, Willie Winkie, are ye comin' ben?
The cat's singin' grey thrums to the sleepin' hen,
The dog's spelder'd on the floor, and disna gi'e a cheep,
But here's a waukrife laddie that winna fa' asleep!'

Onything but sleep, you rogue! glow'ring like the mune,
Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spune,
Rumblin', tumblin' round about, crawin' like a cock,
Skirlin' like a kenna-what, wauk'nin' sleepin' fock.

'Hey, Willie Winkie - the wean's in a creel!
Wambling aff a bodie's knee like a verra eel,
Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravelin' a' her thrums
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!'


Wearit is the mither that has a stoorie wean,
A wee stumple stoussie, that canna rin his lane,
That has a battle aye wi' sleep before he'll close an ee
But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me.

TRANSLATION*


Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
"Are the children in their bed, for it's now ten o'clock?"

"Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
The cat is singing purring sounds to the sleeping hen,
The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
But here's a wakeful little boy who will not fall asleep!"

Anything but sleep, you rogue! glowering like the moon,
Rattling in an iron jug with an iron spoon,
Rumbling, tumbling round about, crowing like a cock,
Shrieking like I don't know what, waking sleeping folk.

"Hey, Willie Winkie - the child's in a creel!
Wriggling from everyone's knee like an eel,
Tugging at the cat's ear, and confusing all her thrums
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!"

Weary is the mother who has a dusty child,
A small short little child, who can't run on his own,
Who always has a battle with sleep before he'll close an eye
But a kiss from his rosy lips gives strength anew to me.


*Translation courtesy of ReelyRedd

Comments

Hi-ya. Nice to meet you. I'm stopping by on the A-Z challenge, (almost done!!!) and will be leaving here as your newest follower. Your profile makes you sound like my kinda people. Good luck with the rest of the challenge.
Jeremy [Retro] said…
brilliant!

You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...
Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
My New Book:
Retro-Zombie: Art and Words
Denise said…
Hi Susan, thanks for dropping by and for following. It's hard to believe that challenge is almost over. Good luck to you too on the last few letters.

Jeremy - thanks. Have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge!

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