1824 Poem, George Dugall, ‘To Mrs. W—, B—d, With a Little Dog’

Author: George Dugall

Date: 1824

Source: Poem: ‘To Mrs. W—, B—d, With a Little Dog’, from The Northern Cottage and other poems; written partly in the Dialect of the North of Ireland by George Dugall (Londonderry: William McCorkell, 1824)

Comments: George Dugall (c.1790-1855) was the son of Rev. George Dugall, Presbyterian minister of Magherafelt from 1786-1810, and lived most of his life near Newtowncunningham in Donegal. He was a schoolteacher in north Donegal, and his only book of poems The Northern Cottage contains an extensive glossary of Ulster-Scots words. The vocabulary and cultural context of his poems are rich in Ulster-Scots reference.

Doc. ref. no.: USLS/TB/Poetry/1800-1899/052

To Mrs. W—, B—d,
With a little Dog

My fav’rite Crab, to you I send him,

Wi’ twa’r three lines to recommend him;

His hist’ry an’ himsel’ thegither,

I’m no right certain wha’s his father:

*** ****’s dog has got the wyte,

Poor chiel because he is na white;

For the resemblance is nae fuller,

Than just the temper an’ the colour:

We might as fast, or may be faster,

Father negroes on his master:

But drapping a’ such doubtfu’ matters,

Crab’s nae discredit till his betters —

A cleaner whalp for hide an’ hair,

Ne’er grac’d the lap o’ lady fair:

For flaes there’s nae sic thing about him;

(Still ye may look him if ye doubt him:)

But faith, tak’ care ye be na nickit;

For though he’s wee he’s very wickit.

His mither’s o’ the terrier breed,

But higher by the neck an’ head;

A crafty, kindly, sportive plague,

She’ll follow clods, or sit an’ beg:

Yet, nae reflection on her merit,

I hope he’ll hae a better spirit.

(For meanness still, Gude bless you bang him;

An’ if you canna cure him — hang him.)

Her owner for me lang did pet him;

’Twas nae wee compliment to get him:

The man is o’ a diff’rent creed,

But frien’ly baith in word an’ deed;

Were men by lump like this gude fellow,

A justice ne’er would been heard tell o’.

I gie Crab up to your ain breeding,

But dinna turn him to the Meeting;

For he’s a mass-man staunch an’ steady,

An’ has refus’d the church already:

You didna use to be a bigot;

Sae for your credit dinna speak o’t.

I’ll say’t while e’er he keeps his scent,

He’ll ne’er be scrupulous o’ Lent;

Nor will he, ever honor’d Madam,

Ere keep a fast, when you forbid him.

You’ve such a trick o’ spoiling weans,

I doubt you’ll scatter a’ my pains,

For were he biding in my rule,

I’d had him shortly at the school;

And tak’ my word for’t, he’s a messin,

That’s nae way backward at his lesson.

He cuts, forbye his quick retention,

Ten capers o’ his ain invention:

In devilry he’s grown sae pat,

He’ll chase the hens, an’ ride the cat;

Wha sometimes taks a spitting fling,

An’ sen’s him yelping frae the ring.

Wi’ tooth an’ nail he tears their claes,

An’ scrapes an’ worries Peggy’s taes;

An’ heedless o’ her mither’s flogging,

He’ll stap his head in Marg’ret’s noggin.

You ken I wish to sen’ him decent;

An’ troth ye ha’e a stirring present:

Sae, while ye live, in ev’ry weather,

I wish you happy days thegither.

Other poems from ‘The Northern Cottage’


The Ulster-Scots Academy has been an integral part of the Ulster-Scots Language Society since 1993. The name "Ulster-Scots Academy" is registered to the USLS with the Intellectual Property Office.

Ulster Scots Academy


A new edition of Michael Montgomery’s From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English recounts the lasting impact that at least 150,000 settlers from Ulster in the 18th century made on the development of the English language of the United States. This new edition published by the Ulster-Scots Language Society documents over 500 ‘shared’ vocabulary items which are authenticated by quotations from both sides of the Atlantic. A searchable online version of this dictionary is now also available here.


The Ulster-Scots Academy is currently working on the digitisation of Dr Philip Robinson's seminal Ulster-Scots Grammar and the English/Ulster-Scots part (with circa 10,000 entries) of a two-way historical dictionary of Ulster-Scots. These projects are planned to be completed and available on the site in 2016.



This site is being developed on a purely voluntary basis by the Ulster-Scots Language Society at no cost to the taxpayer. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

This site is being developed by the Ulster-Scots Language Society (Charity No. XN89678) without external financial assistance. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

(Friends of the Ulster-Scots Academy group)