Document 756

A Hoary Story - The Cemet'ry Inspector's Lament

Author(s): John Henderson

Copyright holder(s): John Henderson


Grave-diggin is ne'er a thit easy,
Wi a pickle o freest i the grun,
An Mair, the inspector, shuda kent this,
As he lingered aside on the mun.

Fan his navvies doon-deep i the openin,
Shouted, "It's jist aboot richt, Maister Mair,"
The inspector gat oot his tape meesure,
An edged tae the heid tae mak shair.

Bit jist as he leaned doon tae test it,
Ma Nature, she iced his left bit,
Sae heid ower hurdies he tummled,
Richt intae the yawnin broon pit.

The navvies hard scrabblin doon unner,
Sae lent ower the sheugh fur a keek.
"Ah've lossed ma guid wallies', Mair gollared,
An they're playin gin hod-an-go-seek."

Whilies efter his haun haudin gnashers,
Cam hup clair-lik intae thur sicht,
Sae his men poo’d him oot o the chasm,
Whilst he heeld oan tae thur airms guid an ticht.

Syne he spak tae his wallies wi easedom,
“Ye'll be fine wi a rub an' a spit.”
Bit fan shoved i his mou a mite efter,
T’wis clair thit yon ains didnae fit!

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APA Style:

A Hoary Story - The Cemet'ry Inspector's Lament. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"A Hoary Story - The Cemet'ry Inspector's Lament." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 23 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "A Hoary Story - The Cemet'ry Inspector's Lament," accessed 23 June 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 756

A Hoary Story - The Cemet'ry Inspector's Lament


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Other Knew some recipients of text.
Audience size 1000+
Writer knew intended audience

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Word count 188

Text medium

Web (webpages, discussion boards, newsgroups, chat rooms)

Text publication details

Publisher Electric Scotland
Publication year 2004
Place of publication
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Doggerels and other poems

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 782
Forenames John
Surname Henderson
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation University Lecturer (retired)
Place of birth Causewayhead
Region of birth Stirling
Birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Emba
Region of residence Paphos
Country of residence Cyprus
Father's occupation Headteacher
Father's place of birth Dunblane
Father's region of birth E & SE Perthshire
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Per
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Teacher
Mother's place of birth Falkirk
Mother's region of birth Stirling
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Everywhere
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Where required