Document 622

Dipper: 10 - Aippleringie

Author(s): John Reid

Copyright holder(s): John Reid


Based upon 'The Herd's Tale', an old Galloway folk story, as told in “A Forgotten Heritage” (pp.131-133), edited by Hannah Aitken, Scottish Academic Press, 1973.

"Ringan" was the Scots form of Ninian, hence the name of the herb (southernwood) connected with the saint and traditionally carried to church between the leaves of Bibles. Appelez Ringan - pray to Ringan - became first Appleringan, then Appleringie.

It fell upon a Yule-tide nicht
That I heard a tale by the peat-fire licht
Frae a herd, as we sat by his warm hearthstane
-An auld, auld tale frae days lang gane.

It tauld o a herd lad left his lane,
His maister tae a Yule-Fair gane,
Wi the yowes still oot on the hillside cauld
Tae be brocht, ere the mirk, tae the bield o the fauld.

An bring them he did, aa but for ane,
An he beddit them doun, then by licht o the mune
He scourit the heather, the whins an the flowe,
The briers an the breckens, but fand na the yowe.

Disjaskit an dowie, sat doun tae his kail,
He thocht o Sanct Ringan, o kind sancts the wale,
Whase task is tae help tae fin ocht gane amissin,
Sae he prayed tae the sanct for his help an his blessin.

An he tuik his cogie o guid kail full
Tae Sanct Ringan's well at the fuit o the hill,
An he laid it doun on the braid well-stane
Tae serve its turn as the guid sanct's kain.
'It's braw thick kail, though the cogie's wee,
But it's aa that I hae, sae it e'en maun dae.'

Midnicht was near, an his hert was sair
As he turned tae seek the yowe aince mair,
But he luikit back, an there by the well
Wi cogie an spune was a gangrel chiel.

'He's nae sanct yon,' young Jamie said,
'Gin he was, I doot he'd be better cled.
Puir sowl, he'll walcome kail an pease.
A sanct micht weel be waur tae please.

Said the fremit man, ‘A fair guid-een,
But ye're worrit, lad. Whit hae ye dune?'
'I've tint a yowe, oot on the muir,
A yowe that was lippent tae my care.

'Hoots,' quo the man, 'Nae fash ava!
The yowe is nae sae faur awa.
Ye'll fin her fast in the brammle bushes
Doun by the saugh tree, yont the rashes.'

'But,' said the lad, 'That's havers, man!
I trampit thae bushes before ye cam,
Frae end tae end, an I fand nocht'.
Said the man, 'Lat's see whit time has wrocht.'

Sae doun they went, an fand her there,
Leevin still, but founert sair.
But the gangrel pit her ower his back
Like a chapman liftin a hauf-tume pack,
An back at the fauld they happit her weel
Wi clean bere strae in the best o the bield.

'Will ye bide the nicht?' the wee herd said.
'Ye're walcome tae baith brose an bed.'
'Fain wad I, but I've faur tae gang.
Eenou I've taigled here ower lang.'
'But whaur can ye gang sae late at nicht?'
'Whaur else but Bethlehem, ere licht.'

The laddie turned, but the man was gane,
An Jamie saw, neath the Yuletide mune
A thing he'd never seen before -
A yaird-high buss nearhaun the door .
As he stuid dumfounert, we een a-stare,
The scent o aippleringie filled the air.

his lane/alone
kail/vegetable broth
wale/choice,the best
cogie/wooden stool
gangrel chiel/vagabond fellow
ava/at all
fand nocht/found nothing
founert sair/sorely exhausted
brose/dish of oat- or pease-meal
eenou/at the present time

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 10 - Aippleringie. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 21 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 10 - Aippleringie." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 21 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 10 - Aippleringie," accessed 21 July 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 622

Dipper: 10 - Aippleringie


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1987
Word count 672
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots. This poem was Second Prize Winner (Scots Section) S.N.O.P.C. 1988.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 20-22

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 738
Forenames John
Surname Reid
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1910
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Head Teacher
Place of birth Dalry
Region of birth N Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Lockerbie
Region of residence Dumfries and Galloway
Residence CSD dialect area Dmf
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Commmercial Traveller
Father's place of birth Dalry
Father's region of birth N Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Beith
Mother's region of birth N Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially
French Yes Yes Yes Yes As necessary
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially