The Wee Man I Meet Now and Then (original poem: John Murray - adapted Paul O’Brien)


‘T would be sacrilege to say he is bonnie-

Though he thinks the world of himself

He’s forward and cheeky as any,

All his neighbours’ affairs he can tell.


He’s a nasty cantankerous buddy,

Aye, as ever broke this world’s bread;

He’s as stubborn and’ stiff as a donkey,

Though he thinks he has got a grand head


If you bring up some burning question,

About anything under the sun,

He’ll start then to give you a lesson,

And he barks like a wee Maxim gun


He’ll hedge, an’ he’ll dodge, an’ he’ll blather

Like a maniac playing his part;

When he gets to the end of his tether,

You’ll find he’s back where he did start


He’s indebted to old Mother Nature

In the thing he essays to excel,

She’s unsparingly given the creature

The power to think well of himself.


When’s he dressed in his best on a Sunday,

He puts on the airs of a Duke;

But see the wee creature on Monday,

With a face like an auld washing clout.


It would please me right well could I praise him,

Or at the least, of his good points could tell;

But it’s out of my power to raise him

From the rut into which he since fell.


I have prayed oft in secret to Heaven

That something would open his e’en,

That some power to him might be given,

Just to see himself as he is seen.