Real Poetry

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“Get Up and Bar the Door”

For this week’s poem, I wanted to go back a little further than I’ve tended to in the past.  The poem “Get Up and Bar the Door” is an uncredited poem that is included in a collection of English poetry I have and was written sometime in the late 1700s.

This is a poem I first remember reading back in early high school and always makes me smile with its funny results and true relatability with modern times.  The whole tale, in all honesty, I could see as the basis for a plot in a sitcom.  I think truly great writing should function this way and be relatable and applicable to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Anyway, I’ll keep this brief and just get to the poem.  I’m transcribing the poem here without any editing from the draft within my book since it really is easy to follow.  The photo is a painting I found depicting the events of the poem.

Get Up and Bar the Door

It fell about the Martinmas time,
And a gay time it was then,
When our good wife got puddings to make,
And shes boild 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 hussyfskap,
Goodman, as ye may see;
An it shoud nae be barrd this hundred year,
It’s no be barrd for me.”

They made a paction tween them twa,
They made it firm and sure,
That the first word whaeer shoud speak,
Shoud 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?”
Be neer 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 neer 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 thee 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 een,
And scad 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.”

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2 thoughts on ““Get Up and Bar the Door”

  1. Thanks for linking to my blog and great blog :-)

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