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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Random Rhymes and Rambles, by William Wright

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Title: Random Rhymes and Rambles

Author: William Wright

Release Date: March 19, 2012  [eBook #39198]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1876 edition by David Price, email  Many thanks to Bradford Local Studies for providing the copy from which this transcription was made.  Also to Keighley Local Studies for supplying the title page (the Bradford copy lacks the title page).



By Bill o’th Hoylus End.


Sae I’ve begun to scrawl, but whether
In rhyme or prose, or baith thegither,
Or some hotch-potch that’s rightly neither,
         Let time mak proof;
But shall I scribble down some blether
         Just clean aff-loof.

I am nae poet, in a sense,
But just a rhymer, like, by chance,
And hae to learning nae pretence.
         Yet, what the matter?
Whene’er my muse does on me glance,
         I jingle at her.




p. 3Most Respectfully

Dedicated to

James Wright,

Local Musician and Composer,

North Beck Mills,


By the Author.

Dec. 25th, 1876.


The RANDOM RHYMES and RAMBLES, in verse and prose, are but the leisure musings of the uneducated, and cannot be expected to come up to anything like the standard of even poetry; yet, when the fact is known that the Author, like his Works, are rough and ready, without the slightest notion of either Parnassus or the Nines, at least give him credit for what they are worth.


p. 5Random Rhymes

Come Nivver De e Thee Shell.

Come nivver dee e thy shell, oud lad,
   Are words but rudely said;
Tho thay may chear some stricken heart,
   Or raise some wretched head;
For thay are words I love mysel,
   They’re music to my ear;
Thay muster up fresh energy
   Ta chase each dout an’ fear.

Nivver dee e thy shell, oud lad,
   Tho tha be poor indeed;
Ner lippen ta long it turning up
   Sa mich ov a friend in need;
Fer few ther are, an’ far between,
   That helps a poor man thru;
An God helps them at helps thersel,
   An’ thay hev friends enew.

p. 6Nivver dee e thy shell, oud lad,
   What ivver thy crediters say;
Tell um at least tha’rt forst ta owe,
   If tha artant able ta pay;
An if thay nail thy bits o’ traps,
   An sell thee dish an’ spooin;
Remember fickle fortun lad,
   Sho changes like the mooin.

Nivver dee e thy shell, oud lad,
   Tho some ma laugh an scorn;
There wor nivver a neet ’fore ta neet,
   Bud what there come a morn;
An if blind fortun used thee bad,
   Sho’s happen noan so meean;
Ta morn al come, an then for some
   The sun will shine ageean.

Nivver dee e thy shell, oud lad,
   Bud let thy motto be,—
“Onward! an’ excelsior;”
   And try for t’ top o’t tree:
And if thy enemies still pursue,
   Which ten-to-one they will,
Show um oud lad tha’rt doing weel,
   An climbing up the hill.

p. 7Oud Betty’s Advice.

So Mary, lass, tha’rt bahn to wed
It morning we young blacksmith Ned,
And tho it makes thy mother sad,
      Its like to be;
I’ve nout ageean yond decent lad
      No more ner thee.

Bud let me tell thee what ta due,
For my advice might help thee thru;
Be kind, and to thy husband true,
      An I’ll be bun
Tha’ll nivver hev a day ta rue,
      For out tha’s done.

Nah, try to keep thi former knack,
An due thi weshing in a crack,
Bud don’t be flaid to bend thi back,
      Tha’ll nobbut sweeat;
So try an hev a bit o’ tack,
      An do it neat.

Be sure tha keeps fra being a flirt,
An pride thysel e being alert,—
An mind to mend thi husband’s shirt,
      An keep it clean;
It wod thy poor oud mother hurt,
      If tha wor mean.

p. 8Don’t kal abaht like monny a wun,
Then hev to broil, an sweeat, an run;
Bud, alus hev thy dinner done,
      Withaht a mooild;
If its nobbut meil, lass, set it on,
      An hev it boiled.

So Mary, I’ve no more to say—
Tha gets thy choice an’ tak thy way;
An if tha leets to rue, I pray,
      Don’t blame thy mother:
I wish you monny a happy day
      We wun another.

The Fugitive: a Tale Kersmas Time.

We wor snugly set araand the hob,
   ’Twor one wet Kersmas Eve,
Me an arr Kate an t’ family,
   All happy aw believe:
Aar Kate hed Harry on her knee,
   An’ awd aar little Ann,
When their come rapping at the door
   A poor oud beggar man.

Sleet trinkled down his hoary locks,
   That once no daht were fair;
His hollow cheeks were dead’ly pale,
   His neck and breast were bare;
p. 9His clooase, unworthy o’ ther name,
   Were raggd an steepin wet;
His poor oud legs were stockingless,
   And badly shooed his feet.

Come in to’t haase, said t’ wife to him,
   An get thee up to’t fire;
Sho then brought aht were humble fare,
   T’wor what he did desire;
And when he’d getten what he thowt,
   An his oud regs were dry,
We akst what distance he hed come,
   An thus he did reply:

“Awm a native of Cheviot hills,
   Some weary miles fra here;
Where I like you this neet hev seen
   Mony a Kersmas cheer;
Bud I left my father’s haase, when young,
   Determined aw wad roaam;
An’ like the prodigal of yore,
   Am mackin toards mi hoame.

“Aw soldiered in the Punjaub lines,
   On India’s burning sand;
An nearly thirty years ago
   Aw left me native land;
Discipline being ta hard for me,
   My mind wor always bent;
So in an evil hoar aw did
   Desart me regiment.

p. 10An nivver sin durst aw go see
   My native hill an glen,
Whar aw mud now as well hev been
   The happiest ov all men;
Bud me blessing—an aw wish yah all
   A merry Kersmas day;
Fer me, awl tack me poor oud bones,
   On Cheviot hills to lay.”

“Aw cannot say,” aw said to’t wife,
   “Bud aw feel rather hurt;
What thinks ta lass if tha lukes aht,
   An finds t’oud chap a shirt.”
Sho did an all, and stockins too;
   An tears stud in her e’e;
An in her face the stranger saw
   Real Yorkshire sympathee.

Ahr little Jim gav monny a sigh,
   When he hed heard his tale,
An spak o’ some oud trouses,
   At hung at chamer rail;
Then aht at door ahr Harry runs,
   An back agean he shogs,
He’s been it coit ta fetch a pair
   O’ my oud iron clogs.

It must be feearful coud ta neet,
   Fer fouk ats aht at door;
Give him yahr oud grey coit an’ all,
   At’s thrown at chamer floor:
p. 11And then thars thy oud hat, said Kate,
   At’s paused so up an dahn;
It will be better ner his own,
   Tho’ its withaht a craan.”

So when we’d geen him what we cud,
   (In fact afford to give,)
We saw the tears come dahn the cheeks,
   O’t poor oud fugitive;
He thank’d us ower an ower agean
   And often he did pray,
At barns mud nivver be like him;
   Then travelled on his way.

Sall at Bog.

Me love is like the pashan dock,
   That grows it summer fog;
And tho’ sho’s but a country lass,
   I like my Sall at Bog.

I walk’d her aht up Rivock End,
   And dahn a bonny dale,
Whear golden balls an kahslips grow,
   An butter cups do smell.

We sat us dahn at top o’t grass,
   Cloyce to a runnin brook,
An harkend watter wegtails sing
   Wi’t sparrow, thrush, an’ rook.

p. 12Aw lockt her in my arms, an thout
   Az t’sun shane in her een,
Sho wor the nicest kolleflaar
   At ivver aw hed seen.

’Twor here we tell’d wer tales o’ love,
   Beneath t’oud hazel tree;
How fondly aw liked Sall at Bog,
   How dearly sho liked me.

An’ if ivver aw deceive thee, Sall,
   Aw vow be all aw see,
Aw wish that aw mud be a kah,
   An it belong ta thee.

Bud aw hev plump fergotten nah
   What awther on us said;
At onny rate we parted friends,
   An boath went home ta bed.

p. 13Th’ Furst Pair o’ Briches.

Aw remember the days o’ me bell-button jacket,
   Wi its little lappels hanging down ower mi waist,
And my grand bellosed cap,—noan nicer I’ll back it,—
   Fer her at hed bowt it wor noan without taste;
Fer sho wor mi mother an’ I wor her darling,
   An offen sho vowed it, and stroked dahn mi hair,
An sho tuke me to see her relations e Harden,
   It furst Pair o’ Briches it ivver aw ware.

Aw remember the time when Aunt Betty an’ Alice
   Send fer me up to lewk at mi cloas,
An aw wauked up as prahd as a Frenchman fra Calais,
   Wi’ me tassel at side, e mi jacket a rose.
Aw sooin saw mi uncles, both Johnny an’ Willy,
   Thay both gav me pennys an off aw did steer:
But aw heeard um say this, “He’s a fine lad is Billy,
   It furst Pair o’ Briches at ivver he ware.”

Aw remember the time are Robin an’ Johnny
   Wor keeping ther hens an’ ducks e the yard,
There wor gamecocks and bantams, wi’ toppins so bonny
   An noan on um mine, aw thowt it wor hard.
But aw saved up mi pennies aw gat fer mail pickin’
   An sooin gat a shilling by saving it fair,
Aw then became maister at least o’ wun chicken,
   It furst Pair o’ Briches at ivver aw ware.

p. 14Aw remember wun Sabbath, an t’ sun it wor shining,
   Aw went wi mi father ta Hainworth, to sing
An t’ stage wor hung raand wi green cotton lining;
   And childer e white made t’ village ta ring.
We went ta auld Mecheck’s that day to wor drinking,
   Tho’ poor, ther wor plenty, an’ summat ta spare;
Says Mecheck, “That lad, Jim, is just thee, aw’m thinking,
   It furst Pair o’ Briches at ivver tha ware.”

Now them wor the days o’ grim boggards and witches,
   When Will-o’-the-wisp cud be seen in the swamp,
But nah is the days o’ cheating fer riches,
   And a poor honist man is classed wi a scamp.
Yes, them wor the days at mi mind worrant weary;
   O them wor the days aw knew no despair;
O give me the time o’ the boggard and fairy,
   Wi’t furst Pair o’ Briches at ivver aw ware.

And them wor the days aw sal allus remember,
   Sud aw just as oud as Methuslah last;
Them wor mi March days, but nah its September:
   Ne’er to return again—them days are past.
But a time aw remember aboon onny other,
   Aw kneeled o’ mi knees an sed the Lord’s Prayer;
Aw sed God bless me father, an God bless mi mother,
   It furst Pair o’ Briches at ivver aw ware.

p. 15Fra Haworth ta Bradford.

Fra Hawarth tahn the other day,
   Bi’t rout o’ Thornton height,
Joe Hobble an’ his better hauf,
   Went inta Bradford streight.

Nah Joe i’ Bradford wor afoor,
   But sho hed nivver been;
Bud assomivver thay arrived
   Safe intat Bowling Green.

Thay gav a lad a parkin pig,
   As on the street thay went;
Ta point um aht St. George’s Hall,
   An Oastler’s Monument.

Bud t’ little jackanapes being deep,
   An thought thay’d nivver knaw,
Show’d Joseph Hobble an’ iz wife
   T’ furst monument he saw.

Az sooin as Joe gat up t’ rails,
   Hiz e’en blazed in hiz heead;
Exclaiming, thay mud just as weel
   A goan an robb’d the deead.

Bud ’o ivvers tane them childer dahn,
   Away fra poor oud Dick,
Desarvs hiz heaad weel larapin,
   We a dahn gooid hazel stick.

p. 16T’ lad seeing Joe froth ate at maath,
   He sooin tuke to hiz heels,
Fer at steead o’ Oastlers’ Monument,
   He’d shown um Bobby Peel’s.

O, Welcome, Lovely Summer.

O! welcome, lovely summer,
   With thi golden days so long,
When the throstle and the blackbird
   Charm us with their song;
When the lark in early morning
   Taks his aireal flight;
An’ the humming bat, an’ buzzard,
   Frolic in the night.

O! welcome, lovely summer,
   With her rainbow’s lovely form;
Her thunder an’ her leetnin,
   An’ her grandeur in the storm:
With her sunshine and her shower,
   And her wurlin of the dust;
An the maiden with her flagon,
   To slack the mower’s thirst.

O! welcome, lovely summer,
   When the woods wi music ring,
And the bees so hevvy laden,
   To their hives their treasures bring:
p. 17When we seek some shady bower,
   Or some lovely little dell,
Or bivock in the sunshine,
   Besides some cooling well.

O! welcome, lovely summer,
   With her roses in full bloom;
When the cowslaps an’ the lalack
   Deck the cottage home;
When the cherry an’ the berry,
   Gives a grandeur to the charm;
And the clover and the haycock
   Scent the little farm.

O! welcome, lovely summer,
   With the partridge on the wing;
When tewit an the moorgame,
   Up fra the heather spring,
From the crowber an the billber,
   An the bracken an the ween;
As from the noisey tadpole,
   We hear the crackin din.
            O! welcome, lovely summer.

p. 18Burns’s 113th Birthday.

Go bring that tuther whisky in,
   An put no watter to it;
Fer I mun drink a bumper off,
   To Scotland’s darling poet.

Its a hunderd year an thirteen nah,
   This Jenewary morn,
Sin in a lowly cot i’ Kyle,
   A rustic bard wor born.

He kettled up his moorland harp,
   To ivv’ry rustic scene;
An sung the ways o’ honest men,
   His Davey and his Jean.

Their wor nivver a bonny flaar that grew,
   Bud what he could admire;
Their wor nivver lovely hill or dale,
   That suited not his lyre.

At last ould Coilia sade enuff,
   My bardy tha did sing,
Then gently tuke his moorland harp,
   And brack it ivvery string.

An’ bindin’ up the holly wreath,
   We all its berries red,
Sho placed it on his noble brow,
   An pensively sho said:—

p. 19“So long as Willies bru ther malt,
   An Robs an Allans spree;
Mi Burns’s songs an Burns’s name,
   Remember’d thay shall be.

Waiting for t’ Angels.

Ligging here deead, me poor Ann Lavina,
Ligging alone me own darling child,
Just thee white hands crossed on thee bosom,
We features so tranquil, so calm, and so mild.

Ligging here deead, so white an’ so bonny,
Hidding them eyes that oft gazed on mine;
Asking for sommat withaht ever speaking,
Asking thee father to say tha wor fine.

Ligging here deead, the child that so loved me,
At fane wod ha’ hidden me faults if sho could,
Wal thi wretch of a father dispairing stands ower thee,
While remorse and frenzy is freezing his blood.

Ligging here deead, e thee shroud an thee coffin,
Ligging alone in this poor wretched room,
Just thee white hands crossed ower thee bosom,
Waiting for t’angels to carry thee home.

p. 20Spring.

There is hope in the time that is coming,
   When the lambs will frolic on the plain,
Whilst the bees o’er the heather are humming,
   Then the songsters will cheer us again.
For the pretty little birds from the edges,
   The reeds for their nest will have riven;
While the lark from his covert he is soaring,
His musical notes to the heaven.

Then we’ll go to the banks of the river,
   Through meadows that’s blooming in green,
Where the swallow ’neath the branches will quiv’r
   O’er the fish as they sport in the stream:
Then the farmer will be patiently awaiting,
   For the fruits of that labour he has striven,
While the lark from his covert he is soaring,
His musical notes to the heaven.

Then the rays of the sunbeam we’ll cherish,
   The rose that’s unseen in the bud,
And the foxglove and hyacinth will flourish,
   Round the ferns in the depths of the wood:
Then we’ll pluck up the primrose and daisy,
   And the sweets that nature she has given,
While the lark from his covert he is soaring,
His musical notes to the heaven.

p. 21Then the merry little boys they will ramble,
   So gleesome, o’er mountain and dale,
Where the sweets of the rose through the bramble
   Will be blown by the mild summer gale:
Then a share of Nature’s smiles each morning
   To the poor humble peasant will be given.
While the lark from his covert he is soaring,
   His musical notes to the heaven.

Haworth Sharpness.

Says a wag to a porter e Haworth one day,
“Yahr not ower sharp are ye drones o’ t’railway,
For fra Keighley to Haworth I’ve been oft enough,
But nivver a hawpenny I’ve paid yah, begoff.”

The porter replied, “I very mitch daht it,
But I’ll give thee a quart to tell all abaht it;
For it looks plain to me tha cuddant pass t’ snicket,
Baht tipping to t’porter thee pass or thee ticket.”

“Tha’l rite up to Derby an’ then tha’l deceive me;”
“I willn’t, this time,” sed t’porter, “believe me:”
“Then aht we thy brass, an’ let us be knocking,
For I’ve walked it a foot back all rahnd be t’Bocking.”

p. 22The Lass o’ Newsholme Dean.

[Having spent the whole of the afternoon in this romantic little glen, indulging in pleasant meditations, I began to wend my way down the craggy pass that leads to the bonny little hamlet of Goose Eye, and turning round to take a last glance at this enchanting vale—with its running wimpling stream—I beheld the “Lass o’ Newsholme Dean.”  She was engaged in driving home a Cochin China hen and her chickens.  Instantaneously I was seized with a poetic fit, and gazing upon her as did Robert Tannyhill upon his imaginary beauty, “The Flower of Dumblane.”  I struck my lyre, and, although the theme of my song turned out afterwards to be a respectable old woman of 70 winters, yet there is still a charm in my “Lass o’ Newsholme Dean.”]

Thy kiss is sweet, thy words are kind,
   Thy love is all to me;
Aw cuddant in a palace find
   A lass more true ner thee.
An’ if aw wor the Persian Shah,
   An’ thee, me Lovely Queen,
The grandest diamond e me Crown,
   Wor’t lass o’ Newsholme Dean.

p. 23The lady gay may heed thee not,
   An’ passing by may sneer;
The upstart squire’s dawters laugh,
   When thou, my love, art near.
But if all ther shining sovrens
   Wor wared o’ sattens green,
They mightant be as hansum then
   As’t lass o’ Newsholme Dean.

When yollow autumn’s lustre shines,
   An’ hangs her golden ear,
An’ nature’s voice fra every bush,
   Is singing sweet and clear.
’Neath some white thorn to song unknown,
   To mortal never seen,
’Tis there with thee I fain would be,
   Me lass o’ Newsholme Dean.

Od drat, who cares fer kings or queens,
   Mixt in a nation’s broil,
They never benefit the poor,
   The poor mun allus toil.
An thou gilded specter royalty,
   That dazzles folkses een,
Is nowt to me when I’m we thee,
   Sweet lass o’ Newsholme Dean.

High from the summit of yon crag,
   I view yon smoky town,
Where fortune she has deigned to smile
   On monny a simple clown:
p. 24Tho’ free from want, their free from brains;
   An’ no happier I ween,
Than this old farmer’s wife an’ hens,
   Aw saw e Newsholme Dean.

The Broken Pitcher.

[The happiest moments of a soldier in time of peace is when sat round the hearth of his neat little barrack room, along with his comrades, spinning yarns and telling tales; sometimes giving the history of some famous battle or engagement in which he took a prominent part, othertimes he will relate his own love adventures; then the favourite of the room will oblige them with his song of “Nelson” or “Napoleon,” generally being the favourite with them;—then there is the fancy tale teller which amuses all.  But in all cases the teller of a tale, yarn or story makes himself the hero of it, and especially when he speaks of the lass he left behind him; hence his adventure with the Lassie by the Well.”]

Three was a bonny Lassie once
   Sitting by a well;
But what this bonny lassie thought
   I cannot, cannot tell.
p. 25When by there went a cavalier
   Well-known as Willie Wryght,
He was in full marching order
   With his armour shining bright.

“Ah maiden, lovely maiden, why
   Sits thou by the spring?
Doest thou seek a lover with
   A golden wedding ring.
Or wherefore doest thou gaze on me,
   With eyes so bright and wide?
Or wherefore does that pitcher lay
   Broken by thy side?”

“My pitcher is broken, sir,
   And this the reason is,
A villain came behind, and
   He tried to steal a kiss.
I could na take his nonsense, so
   Ne’er a word I spoke,
But hit him with my pitcher,
   And thus you see ’tis broke.”

“My uncle Jock McNeil, ye ken
   Now waits for me to come;
He canna mak his Crowdy,
   Till’t watter it goes home.
I canna tak him watter,
   And that I ken full weel,
An’ so I’m sure to catch it,—
   For he’ll play the varry de’il.”

p. 26“Ah maiden, lovely maiden,
   I pray be ruled by me;
Smile with thine eyes and ruby lips,
   And give me kisses three.
And we’ll suppose my helmet is
   A pitcher made o’ steel,
And we’ll carry home some watter
   To thy uncle Jock McNeil.”

She silently consented, for
   She blink’d her bonny ee,
I threw my arms around her neck,
   And gave her kisses three.
To wrong the bonny lassie
   I sware ’t would be a sin;
So I knelt down by the watter
   To dip my helmet in.

Out spake this bonny lassie,
   “My soldier lad, forbear,
I wodna spoil thee bonny plume
   That decks thy raven hair;
Come buckle up thy sword again,
   Put on thy cap o’ steel,
I carena for my pitcher, nor
   My uncle Jock McNeil.”

I often think, my comrades,
   About this Northern queen,
And fancy that I see her smile,
   Though oceans roll between.
p. 27But should you meet her Uncle Jock,
   I hope you’ll never tell
How I squared the broken Pitcher,
   With the lassie at the well.

The Benks o’ the Aire.

It issent the star of the evening that breetens,
   Wi fairy-like leetness the old Rivock ends,
Nor is it the bonny green fields up ta Steeton,
   Or the benks of the river while strolling wi frends,
That tempts me to wander at twilight so lonely,
   And leave the gay festive for others ta share;
But O there’s a charm, and a charm fer me only,
   In a sweet little cot on the benks o’ the Aire.

How sweet and remote from all turmoil and danger,
   In that cot, wi me Mary, I cud pass the long years:
In friendship and peace lift the latch to a stranger,
   And chase off the anguish o’ pale sorrow’s tears.
We’d wauk aht it morning wen t’yung sun wor shining,
   Wen t’birds hed awakened, and t’lark soar’d the air,
An’ I’d watch its last beam, on me Mary reclining,
   From ahr dear little cot on the benks o’ the Aire.

Then we’d tauk o’ the past, wen our loves wor forbidden,
   Wen fortune wor adverse, and frends wod deny,
p. 28How ahr hearts wor still true, tho the favors wor hidden,
   Fra the charm of ahr life, the mild stare of ahr eye.
An’ wen age shall hev temper’d ahr warm glow o’ feeling
   Ahr loves shud endure, an’ still wod we share
For weal or in woe, or whativver cums stealing,
   We’d share in ahr cot on the benks o’ the Aire.

Then hasten, me Mary, the moments are flying,
   Let us catch the bright fugitives ere they depart;
For O, thou knaws not wat pleasures supplying,
   Thy bonny soft image has nah geen me heart.
The miser that wanders besides buried treasure,
   Wi his eyes ever led to the spot in despair;
How different ta him is my rapture and pleasure
   Near the dear little cot on the benks o’ the Aire.

But sooin may the day cum, if cum it will ivver;
   The breetest an’ best to me ivver knawn,
Wen fate may ordain us no longer to sever,
   Then, sweet girl of my heart, I can call thee my own.
For dear unto me wor one moment beside thee,
   If it wor in the desert, Mary, we were;
But sweet an’ fairer, whate’er betide thee,
   In ahr sweet little cot on the benks o’ the Aire.

p. 29Dear Harden.

Dear Harden, the home o’ mi boyhood so dear,
Thy wanderin son sall thee ivver revere;
Tho’ years hev rolled ower sin thy village I left,
An’ o’ frends an’ relations I now am bereft.

Yet thy hills they are pleasant, tho’ rocky an’ bare;
Thy dawters are handsom, thy sons they are rare;
When I wauk thro’ thy dells, by the clear running streams,
I think o’ mi boyhood an’ innocent dreams.

No care o’ this life then trubled me breast,
I wor like a young bird new fligged fra its nest;
Wi me dear little mates did I frolic an’ play,
Wal life’s sweetest moments wor flying away.

As the dew kissed the daisies ther portals to close,
At neet e mi bed I did sweetly repose;
An’ rose in the morning at nature’s command,
Till fra boyhood to manhood mi frame did expand.

The faces that wunce were familiar to me,
Those that did laugh at my innocent glee;
I fancy I see them, tho’ now far away,
Or praps e Bingley church-yard they may lay.

Fer sin I’ve embarked on life’s stormy seas,
Mi mind’s like the billows that’s nivver at ease;
Yet I still hev a hope mi last moments to crown
E thee, dearest village, to lay misell down.”

p. 30Castlear’s Address to Spain.

O weeping Spain, thy banners rear,
   Awake, nor stay in sloth reclining:
Awake, nor shrink in craven fear,—
   See the Carlist blades are shining.
They come with murdering dirk in hand,
   Death, ruin, rapine in their train:
To arms! rouse up and clear the land,
   Down with kingcraft, weeping Spain.

Your sires were great in ancient days,
   No loftier power on earth allowing;
Shall ye their mighty deeds araise,
   And to these fiends your heads be bowing?
They strove for fame and liberty
   On fields where blood was shed like rain:
Hark! they’re shouting from the sky,
   Down with kingcraft, weeping Spain.

Castille and Arragon, arise!
   A treacherous Popish war is brewing:
Tear of the bandage from your eyes,
   Are ye asleep while this is doing?
They come!  Their prelates lead them on:
   They carry with them thraldom’s chain.
Up! and crush their cursed Don;
   Down with kingcraft, weeping Spain.
p. 31Go forth, through every well-known spot;
   O’er field and forest, rock and river:

Then draw your swords and sheathe them not,
   Until you’ve crushed your foe for ever.
Do you fear the priestly hosts
   Who march them on with proud disdain;
Back! send home their shrieking ghosts,
   Down with kingcraft, weeping Spain.

Thou surely art not sunk so low
   That strangers can alone restore thee:
No; Europe waits the final blow,
   When superstition flies before thee.
For Spanish might through Spanish hands
   Their freedom only can restrain,
Then sweep these Carlists from the land,
   Down with kingcraft, weeping Spain.

Christmas Day.

Sweet lady, ’tis no troubadour,
   That sings so sweetly at your door,
To tell you of the joys in store,
         So grand and gay;
But one that sings remember th’ poor,
         ’Tis Christmas Day.

p. 32Within some gloomy walls to-day
   Just cheer the looks of hoary gray,
And try to smooth their rugged way
         With cheerful glow;
And cheer the widow’s heart, I pray,
         Crushed down with woe.

O make the weary spent-up glad,
   And cheer the orphan lass and lad;
Make frailty’s heart, so long, long sad,
         Your kindness feel;
And make old crazy-bones stark mad
         To dance a reel.

Then peace and plenty be your lot,
And may your deed ne’er be forgot,
That helps the widow in her cot,
         From of your store;
Nor creed nor seed should matter not,
         The poor are poor.

p. 33What Profits Me.

What profits me tho’ I sud be
   The lord o’ yonder castle gay;
Hev rooms in state ta imitate
   The princely splendour of the day,
Fer what are all mi carved doors,
Mi shandeliers or carpet floors,
   No art cud save me from the grave.

What profits me tho’ I sud be
   Decked e’ costly costumes grand,
Like the Persian king o’ kings,
   With diamond rings to deck mi hand:
Fer what wor all mi grand attire,
That fooils both envy and admire,
   No gems cud save me from the grave.

What profits me tho’ I sud be
   Thy worthy host, O millionaire,
Hev cent. for cent. for money lent;
   My wealth increasing ivvery year.
For what wor all mi wealth to me,
Compared ta loisin immortalite,
   Wealth cud not save me from the grave.

What profits me tho’ I sud be
   Even thee gert Persian Shah,
Mi subjects stand at mi command,
   Wi fearful aspect and wi awe;
For what wor a despotic rule,
Wi all th’ world at my control,
   All cud not save me from the grave.

p. 34Ode to Sir Titus Salt.

Go, string once more old Ebor’s harp,
   And bring it here to me,
For I must sing another song,
   The theme of which shall be,—
A worthy old philantropist,
   Whose soul in goodness soars,
And one whose name will stand as firm
   As the rocks that gird our shores;
The fine old Bradford gentleman,
The good Sir Titus Salt.

Heedless of others; some there are,
   Who all their days employ
To raise themselves, no matter how,
   And better men destroy:
How different is the mind of him,
   Whose deeds themselves are told,
Who values worth more nobler far
   Than all the heaps of gold,

His feast and revels are not such,
   As those we hear and see,
No princely splendour does he indulge,
   Nor feats of revelry;
But in the orphan schools they are,
   Or in the cot with her,
The widow and the orphan of
   The shipwrecked mariner.

p. 35When stricken down with age and care,
   His good old neighbours grieved,
Or loss of family or mate,
   Or all on earth bereaved;
Go see them in their houses,
   When in peace their days may end,
And learn from them the name of him,
   Who is their aged friend.

With good and great his worth shall live,
   With high or lowly born;
His name is on the scroll of fame,
   Sweet as the songs of morn;
While tyranny and villany is
   Surely stamped with shame;
A nation gives her patriot
   A never-dying fame.

No empty titles ever could
   His principles subdue,
His queen and country too he loved,—
   Was loyal and was true:
He craved no boon from royalty,
   Nor wished their pomp to share,
For nobler is the soul of him,
   The founder of Saltaire.

Thus lives this sage philantropist,
   From courtly pomp removed,
But not secluded from his friends,
   For friendship’s bond he loves;
p. 36A noble reputation too
   Crowns his later days;
The young men they admire him,
   And the aged they him praise.

Long life to thee, Sir Titus,
   The darling of our town;
Around thy head while living,
   We’ll weave a laurel crown.
Thy monument in marble
   May suit the passer by,
But a monument in all our hearts
   Will never, never die.

And when thy days are over,
   And we miss thee on our isle,
Around thy tomb for ever
   May unfading laurels smile:
There may the sweetest flowers
   Usher in the spring;
And roses in the gentle gales,
   Their balmy odours fling.

May summer’s beams shine sweetly,
   Upon thy hallowed clay,
And yellow autumn o’er thy head,
   Yield a placid ray;
May winter winds blow slightly,—
   The green-grass softly wave,
And falling snow-drops lightly
   Upon thy honoured grave.

p. 37Coud az Leead.

An’ arta fra thee father torn,
So early e thi yuthful morn,
An’ mun aw pine away forlorn,
         E greef an’ pane;
Fer consalashun aw sall scorn
         If tha be taen.

O yes, tha art, an’ aw mun wail
Thy loss thro’ ivvery hill an’ dale,
Fer nah it is too true a tale,
         Tha’rt coud az lead.
An’ nah thee bonny face iz pale,
         Thart deead, thart deead.

Aw’s miss thee wen aw cum fra t’shop,
An’ see thi bat, an’ ball, an’ top;
An’ aw’s be awmost fit ta drop
         Aw sall so freat,
And O my very heart may stop
         And cease to beat.

I’d allus aimed if tha’d been spar’d,
Of summat better to hev shared
Ner what thi poor oud father fared,
         E this coud sphere;
Yet after all aw’st noan o’ cared
         If tha’d stayen here.

p. 38But O! Tha Conkerer Divine,
’At vanquished deeath e Palestine,
Tak to thi arms this lad o’ mine
         Noan freely given,
But mak him same as wun o’ thine,
         We thee e heven.

The Factory Girl.

Sho stud beside hur looms an’ watch’d
   The shuttle passin in,
But yet hur soul wor sumweer else,
   ’Twor face ta face wi’ John.
They saw hur lips move az in speech,
   Yet none cud heear a word,
An’ but fer t’grinding o’ the wheels,
   This langwidge mite be heard.

“It spite o’ all thi trecherus art,
   At length aw breeath again;
The pityin stars hez tane mi part,
   An’ eased a wretch’s pain.
An’ O, aw feel az fra a chain,
   Mi rescued soul is free,
Aw know it is no idle dream
   Of fancied liberty.

“Extingwish’d nah iz ivvery spark,
   No love for thee remains,
p. 39Fer heart-felt love e vane sall strive
   Ta lurk beneath disdain,
No longer wen thi name I hear,
   Mi conshus colour flies:
No longer wen thi face aw see,
   Mi heart’s emoshun rise.

“Catch’t e the burd-lime’s trecherus twigs,
   To weer he chanc’d to stray,
The burd iz fassend fathers leaves,
   Then gladly flies away.
Hiz shatter’d wings he soon renews,
   Of traps he iz awair;
Fer by experience he iz wise,
   An’ shuns each futshur snair.

Awm speikin nah, an’ all mi aim
   Iz but to pleas mi mind,
An’ yet aw care not if mi words
   Wi thee can credit find.
Ner du I care if my decease
   Sud be approved by thee;
Or wether tha wi ekwal ease
   Does tawk again wi me.

“But, yet tha false decevin man,
   Tha’s lost a heart sincere;
Aw naw net wich wants comfert most,
   Or wich hez t’mooast ta fear.
p. 40But awm suer a lass more fond and true
   No lad cud ivver find;
But a lad like thee iz easily found,
   False, faithless, and unkind.”

Bonny Lark.

Sweetest warbler of the wood,
   Rise thy soft bewitching strain,
And in pleasure’s sprightly mood,
            Soar again.

With the sun’s returning beam,
   First appearance from the east,
Dimpling every limpid stream,
            Up from rest.

Thro’ the airy mountains stray,
   Chant thy welcome songs above,
Full of sport and full of play,
            Songs of love.

When the evening cloud prevails,
   And the sun gives way for night,
When the shadows mark the vales,
            Return thy flight.

p. 41Like the cottar or the swain,
   Gentle shepherd, or the herd;
Best thou till the morn again,
            Bonny bird.

Like thee, on freedom’s airy wing,
   May the poet’s rapturous spark,
Hail the first approach of spring.
            Bonny lark.

T’oud Blacksmith’s Advise ta hiz Son Ned.

So, Ned, awm geen ta understand,
Tha’rt bahn ta join e wedlock band,
Ta travil thru life’s weeary strand,
            Yond lass an’ thee.
But if yor joinin heart an’ hand,
            It pleases me.

Nah tha’ll hev trubbles, Ned, ta bear,
Wile pushin thru this world o’ care,
An’ wat tha’ll hev it face ta stare,
            Its hard ta tell;
Life’s ups and dahns tha’ll get thi share,
            So pleas thisell.

p. 42Tha’rt weel an’ strong, long may it last;
But age an’ care creep on us fast;
Then akt az tha can luke at past
            An’ feel no shame;
Then if tha’rt poor az sum ahtcast,
            Tha’s noan ta blame.

Doant sport abaht an’ wagers bet,
But mind an’ shun that foolish set
At cannut mak ther awn ta fet,
            Thaw shame ta say it.
An’ mind tha keeps fra being e dett,
            An’ tha’ll be reight.

An’ stick fast hod o’ iron will;
Push bouldly on an’ feear no ill;
Keep Him e vue, whoas merces fill
            The wurld sa wide.
No daht but His omnishent skill,
            Al be thi guide.

So Ned, mi lad, tak this advise,
Prove wurth o’ yond lasse’s choise,
E yeears ta cum tha may rejoise,
            Tha tuke hur hand;
An’ listened to thi father’s voise,
            An’ hiz command.

p. 43Address ta mi Bed.

Oud stocks on thee I first began
To be that curious crater man,
Ta travel thro this life’s short span,
            By fate’s dekree;
Till aw fulfilled grate Nater’s plan,
            An’ cease ta be.

Wen sikkness cums ta thee aw fly,
Ta sooth mi pain an’ cloise mi eye;
On thee, alas! aw sumtimes sigh,
            An’ ofttimes weep;—
Till by sum means, aw knaw not why,
            I fall asleep.

Wen tore wi’ labor or wi pane,
Ha often aw am glad an’ fane,
Ta seek thi downy brest again;
            Yet heaves mi breast
For wretches in the pelting rain,
            At hev no rest.

How oft within thy little space
Does mony a thout oft find a place?
Aw think at past, an’ things ta face,
            My mind hiz filled,
Th’ wild gooise too aw offen chase,
            An’ cassels bild.

p. 44O centre place o’ rest an’ greefe,
Disease or deeath, a kind releef,
Monarks of a time so breef,
            Alternate reign,
Till death’s grim reaper cut the sheaf,
            And clears the plain.

Aw, awm convinced by thee alone,
This grate important truth ta awn,
On thee aw furst saw life, ’tis knawn,
            E mortal birth;
Till a few fleetin haars flown,
            Then back ta earth.

Home ov Mi Boyish Days.

Home of my boyish days, how can I call
Scenes to my memory, that did befall?
How can my trembling pen find power to tell
The grief I experienced in bidding farewell?
Can I forget the days joyously spent,
That flew on so rapidly, sweet with content?
Can I then quit thee, whose memory’s so dear,
Home of my boyish days, without one tear?

Can I look back on days that’s gone by,
Without one pleasant thought, without one sigh?
p. 45Oh, no! though never more these eyes may dwell
On thee, old cottage home, I love so well:
Home of my childhood, wherever I be,
Thou art the nearest and dearest to me.

Can I forget the songs sung by my sire,
Like some prophetic bard tuning the lyre?
Sweet were the notes that he taught to the young;
Psalms for the Sabbath on Sabbath were sung;
And the young minstrels enraptured would come
To the lone cottage I once called my home.

Can I forget the dear landscape around,
Where in my boyish days I could be found,
Stringing my hazel-bow, roaming the wood,
Fancying myself to be bold Robin Hood?
Then would my mother say—where is he gone?
I’m waiting of shuttles that he should have won:
She in that cottage there knitting her healds,
While I her young forester was roaming the fields.

But the shades of the evening gather slowly around,
The twilight it thickens and darkens the ground,
Night’s sombre mantle is spreading the plain.
And as I turn round to look on thee again,
To take one fond look, one last fond adieu;
By night’s envious hand thou art snatched from my view,
But O, there’s no darkness, to me no decay;
Home of my boyhood, can chase thee away.

p. 46Ode ta Spring Sixty-four.

O welcum, young princess, thou sweetest of dawters,
   An’ furst bloomin issue o’ king sixty-four,
Wi thi brah dekked wi gems o’ the purest o’ waters,
   Tha tells us thi sire, stern winter is ower.

We hail thi approach wi palm-spangled banners;
   The plant an’ the sapling await thy command;
An’ natur herseln, to show hur good manners,
   Now spreads hur green mantle all ower the plain.

Tha appears in the orchard, the gardin, an’ grotto,
   Whare sweet vegetation anon will adorn;
Tha smiles on the lord no more than the cottar,
   Fer thi meanest o’ subjects tha nivver did scorn.

O hasten ta labour! ye wise, O be going!
   Theze wurds they are borne on the wing o’ the wind;
Tha bid us be early e pleuin an’ sowing,
   Fer he o’ neglects thee tha’ll leave um behind.

p. 47My Drechen Dear.

Night’s sombre mantle is spreading over,
   Ah, woe is me, these long tedious days;
Why dist thou leave me, my venturous lover?
   Why did thou cross the raging seas?

Its melancholy here I’m lying,
   Half broken-hearted, drechen dear;
Each blast I hear, love, for thee is sighing,
   Each billow roaring a shed tear.

How can they say that all-perfect nature
   Has nothing done or made in vain?
When that beneath the roaring water,
   Does hideous rocks and cliffs remain.

No eyes these rocks or cliffs discover,
   That lurks beneath the raging deep;
To mark the spot where lies the lover,
   That leaves the maiden to sigh and weep.

The miser robb’d of his golden pleasure,
   Views tempests great in his wild despair;
But what is all his loss of treasure,
   To losing thee, my drechen dear?

O cease, O cease, thou cruel ocean!
   And give my lover a peaceful rest;
For what thy storming and all thy motion,
   Compared with that within my breast.

p. 48O could I now over the wild waves stooping,
   The floating corpse of thee could spy;
Just like a lily in autumn drooping,
   I’d bow my head, kiss thee, and die.

Address t’t First Wesherwuman.

E sooth sho wor a reeal god-send,
To’t human race the greatest frend,
An’ lived no daht at t’other end
      O’ history.
Hur name is nah, yah may depend,
      A mistery.

But sprang sho up fra royal blood,
Or sum poor slave beyond the flud?
Me blessing on the sooap an’ sud
      Sho did invent;
Hur name sall renk among the good,
      If aw get sent.

If nobbut in a rainy dub,
Sho did at furst begin ta skrub,
Or hed a proper weshin tub,
      Its all the same;
Aw’d give a craan, if aw’d to sub,
      To get hur name.

p. 49In this wide wurld aw’m let afloat,
Th’ poor possessor of wun koat;
Yet linnen clean aw on thee dote,
      An’ thus assert,
Tha’rt wurthy o’ grate Shakespere’s note;
      A clean lin’ shirt.

Low iz mi lot an’ hard mi ways,
While paddlin’ thro’ life’s stormy days;
Yet aw will sing t’owd lasse’s prase,
      Wi’ famous glee.
Tho’ rude an’ ruff sud be mi lays,
      Sho’st lass for me.

Bards hev sung the fairest fair,
There rosy cheeks an’ auburn hair,
The dying lover’s deep despair,
      There harps hev rung;
But useful wimmin’s songs are rair,
      An’ seldom sung.

In a Pleasant Little Valley.

In a pleasant little valley near the ancient town of Ayr,
Where the laddies they are honest, and the lassies they are fair;
p. 50Where Doon in all her splendour ripples sweetly thro’ the wood,
And on its banks not long ago a little cottage stood,
’Twas there in all her splendour, on a January morn,
Appeared old Colia’s genius,—when Robert Burns was born.

Her mantle large of greenish hue and robe of tartan shone,
And round its mystic border seen was Luger, Ayr, and Doon;
A leaf-clad holly bough was twined so graceful round her brow,
She was the darling native muse of Scotia’s Colia:
So grand old Colia’s genius on this January morn,
Appeared in all her splendour when Robert Burns was born.

She vowed she ne’er would leave him till he sung old Scotia’s plains,
The daisy, and the milk-white thorn he tuned in lovely strains;
And sung of yellow autumn, or some lovely banks and braes:
And make each cottage home resound with his sweet tuneful lays,
And sing how Colia’s genius, on a January morn,
Appeared in all her splendour when Robert Burns was born.

p. 51She could not teach him painting like her Cunningham at home,
Nor could she teach him sculpturing like Angelo of Rome:
But she taught him how to wander her lovely hills among,
And sing her bonny burns and glens in simple rustic song;
This old Colia’s genius did that January morn,
Vow in all her splendour when Robert Burns was born.

And in the nights of winter when stormy winds do roar,
And the fierce dashing waves is heard on Ayr’s old craggy shore,
The young and old encircled are around the cheerful fire,
Will talk of Rob the Ploughman and tune the Scottish lyre;
And sing how Colia’s genius on a January morn,
Appeared in all her splendour when Robert Burns was born.

p. 52Johnny o’ t’ Bog an’ Keighley
Feff-fee Goast:
A Tale o’ Poverty.

“Some books are lies frae end to end,
And some great lies were never penn’d;
But this that I am gaun to tell,
* * * Lately on a night befel.”—Burns.


’Twor twelve o’clock wun winter’s neet,
   Net far fro Kersmas time,
When I met wi this Feoffee Goast,
   The subject ov my rhyme.

I’d been hard up fer mony a week,
   My way I cuddant see,
Fer trade an commerce wor as bad
   As ivver they cud be.

T’poor hand-loom chaps wor running wild,
   An t’combers wor quite sick,
For weeks they niver pool’d a slip,
   Ner t’weivers wave a pick.

An I belong’d to t’latter lot,
   An them wor t’war o t’wo,
Fer I’d nine pairs o jaws e t’haase,
   An nowt for em ta do.

p. 53T’owd wife at t’time wor sick e bed,
   An I’d a shocking coud,
Wal t’youngest barn we hed at home,
   Wor nobbut three days oud.

Distracted to my vary heart,
   At sitch a bitter cup,
An lippening ivvery day at com,
   At summat wod turn up.

At t’last I started off wun neet,
   To see what I could mak;
Determin’d I’d hev summat t’ eit,
   Or else I’d noan go back.

Through t’Skantraps an be t’ Bracken Benk,
   I tuke wi all mi meet;
Be t’Wire Mill an Ingrow Loin,
   Reight into t’oppan street.

Saint John’s Church spire then I saw,
   An I wor rare an fain,
Fer near it stood t’oud parsonage—
   I cuddant be mistain.

So up I went to t’Wicket Gate,
   Though sad I am to say it,
Resolv’d to ax em for some breead,
   Or else some brocken meit.

Bud just as I wor shacking it,
   A form raise up afore,
p. 54An sed “What dus ta want, tha knave,
   Shacking t’ Wicket Door?”

He gav me then to understand,
   If I hedant cum to pray,
At t’grace o’ God an t’breead o’ life,
   Wor all they gav away.

It’s feaful nice fer folk to talk
   Abaat ther breead o’ life,
An specially when they’ve plenty,
   Fer t’childer an ther wife.

Bud I set off agean at t’run,
   Fer I weel understood,
If I gat owt fra that there clan,
   It woddant do ma good.

E travelling on I thowt I heeard,
   As I went nearer t’tahn,
A thaasand voices e mi ears
   Saying “John, where are ta bahn?”

An ivvery grocer’s shop I pass’d,
   A play-card I cud see,
E t’biggest type at e’er wod print—
   “There’s nowt here, lad, for thee.”

Wal ivvery butcher’s shop I pass’d,
   Astead o’ meit wor seen,
A mighty carving-knife hung up,
   Hi, fair afore me een.

p. 55Destruction wor inviting me,
   I saw it fearful clear,
Fer ivvery druggist window sed—
   “Real poison is sold here.”

At t’last I gav a frantic howl,
   A shaat o’ dreead despair,
I seized mesen be t’toppin then,
   An shack’d an lugg’d me hair.

Then quick as leetening ivver wor,
   A thowt com e me heead—
I’d tak a walk to t’Symetry,
   An meditate wi t’deead.

T’oud Cherch clock then wor striking t’time
   At folk sud be asleep,
Save t’Bobbies at wor on ther beat,
   An t’Pindar after t’sheep.

Wi lengthened pace I hasten’d off
   At summat like a trot;
To get to t’place I started for,
   Me blooid wor boiling hot.

An’ what I saw at Lackock Gate,
   Rear’d up agean a post,
I cuddant tell—but yet I thowt
   It wor another goast!

Bud whether it wor goast or not,
   I heddant time to luke,
p. 56Fer I wor taken be surprise,
   When turning t’Sharman’s Nuke.

Abaat two hundard yards e t’front,
   As near as I cud think,
I thowt I heeard a dreadful noise,
   An nah an then a clinck!

What ivver can these noises be?
   Some robbers, then I thowt!—
I’d better step aside an see,
   They’re happen up to nowt!

So I gat ower a fence there wor,
   An peeping through a gate,
Determined I’d be satisfied,
   If I’d awhile to wait.

At t’last two figures com to t’spot
   Where I hed hid mesel,
Then walkers-heath and brimstone,
   Most horridly did smell.

Wun on em hed a nine-tail’d cat,
   His face as black as soit,
His name, I think, wor Nickey Ben,
   He hed a clovven fooit.

An t’other wor all skin an bone
   His name wor Mr. Deeath;
Withaat a stitch o’ clothes he wor,
   An seem’d quite aght o’ breeath.

p. 57He hed a scythe, I plainly saw,
   He held it up aloft,
Just same as he wor bahn to maw
   Oud Jack Keilie’s Croft.

“Where are ta bahn to neet, grim fiz?”
   Sed Nickey, wi a grin,
“Tha knaws I am full up below,
   An cannot tack more in.”

“What is’t to thee?” sed Spinnle Shenks,
   “Tha ruffin ov a dog,
I’m nobbut bahn me rhaands agean,
   To see wun John o’ t’Bog.

I cannot see it fer me life,
   What it’s to do wi thee;
Go mind thi awn affairs, oud Nick,
   An nivver thee heed me.”

“It is my business, Spinnle Shenks,
   Whativver tha may say,
For I been roasting t’human race
   For mony a weary day.”

Just luke what wark I’ve hed wi thee,
   This last two years or so;
Wi Germany an Italy,
   An even Mexico.

An’ then tha knaws that Yankey broil
   Browt in some thaasands more;
p. 58An sooin fra Abysinnia,
   Tha’ll bring black Theodore.

So drop that scythe, oud farren Death,
   Let’s rest a toathree wick;
Fer what wi t’seet o’ t’fryring-pan,
   Tha knaws I’m ommost sick.”

“I sall do nowt o t’sort,” says Deeath,
   Who spack it wi a grin,
“Ise just do as I like fer thee,
   So tha can hod thi din.”

This made oud Nick fair raging mad,
   An lifting up his whip,
He gav oud Spinnle Shenks a lash
   Across o t’upper lip.

Then, like a neighing steed, oud Shenks,
   To give oud Nick leg bail,
He started off towards the tahn,
   An Nick stuck aht his tail.

Then helter-skelter off they went,
   As ower t’fence I lape;
I thowt—well, if it matters owt,
   I’ve made a nice escape.

But nah the mooin began to shine
   As breet as it cud be;
An dahn the vale ov t’Aire I luk’d,
   Where I cud plainly see.

p. 59The trees wur deeadly pale wi snaw,
   An t’winding Aire wor still,
An all wor quite save t’hullats,
   At wor screaming up o’ t’hill.

Oud Rivvock End an all araand
   Luk’d like some fiendish heead,
Fer more I stared, an more I thowt
   It did resemble t’deead.

The Friendly Oaks wor altered nah,
   To what I’d seen afore;
An luk’d as though they’d never be
   T’oud friendly Oaks no more.

Fer wun wor like a giant grim,
   His nose com to a point,
An wi a voice like thunner sed—
   “The times are aaght o’ t’joint!”

An t’other like a whipping-post,
   Bud happen not as thin,
Sed “T’times ul alter yet, oud fooil,
   So pray, nah, hod thi din?”

I tuke no farther gawm o’ them,
   Bud paddled on me way;
Fer when I ivver mack a vow,
   I stick to what I say.

I heddant goan so far agean,
   Afoar I heeard a voice,
p. 60Exclaiming—wi a fearful groan—
   “Go mack a hoyle e t’ice!”

I turned ma rhaand where t’saand com fro,
   An cautiously I bowed,
Saying thenk yo, Mr. Magic Voice,
   I’m flaid o’ gettin coud.

Bud nah a sudden shack tuke place,
   A sudden change o’ scene;
Fer miles where all wor white afore,
   Wor nah a bottle-green.

Then com a woman donned e white,
   A mantle gert she wore;
A nicer lukin, smarter form,
   I nivver saw afore.

Her features did resemble wun
   O that kind-hearted lot,
At’s ivver ready to relieve
   The poor man in his cot.

Benevolence wor strongly marked
   Upon her noble heead;
An on her breast yo might hev read,
   “Who dees fer want o’ breead?”

In fact, a kinder-hearted soul
   Oud Yorksher cuddant boast;
An who wod feel the least alarmed,
   To talk to sitch a goast?

p. 61I didant feel at all afraid,
   As nearer me she drew;
I sed—Good evening, Mrs. Goast,
   Hah ivver do yo dew?

Sho nivver seemed to tack no gawm,
   Bud pointed up at t’mooin,
An beckon’d me to follow her
   Dahn be t’Wattery Loin.

So on we went, an dahn we turned,
   An nawther on us spack;
Bud nah an then sho twined her heead,
   To see if I’d runned back.

At t’last sho stopped an turned her rahnd
   An luked ma fair e t’een;
’Twor nah I picked it aaght at wunce,
   Sho wor no human been.

Sho rave a paper fra her breast,
   Like some long theatre bill;
An then sho sed “Weak mortal,
   Will ta read to me this will?

But first, afoar tha starts to read,
   I’ll tell thee who I iz;
Tha lukes a deacent chap enuff,
   I judge it by thi phiz.

Well, I’ve a job fer thee to do,
   That is, if tha will do it;
p. 62I think tha’rt t’likeliest man I knaw,
   Becos tha art a poet.

If I am not mistaken, friend,
   I offan hear thi name;
I think they call thi “John o t’Bog;”
   Says I—“Oud lass, it’s t’same.”

“It’s just so mony years this day,
   I knaw it by me birth,
Sin I departed mortal life,
   An left this wicked earth.

But ere I closed these een to go
   Into eternity,
I thowt I’d do a noble act,
   A deed o’ charity.

I hed a bit o’ brass, tha knaws,
   Some land an’ property;
I thowt it might be useful, John,
   To folks e poverty.

So then I made a will o t’lot,
   Fer that did suit my mind;
I planned it as I thowt wor t’best,
   To benefit mankind.

I left a lot to t’Grammar Skooil,
   By reading t’will tha’ll see;
That ivvery body’s barn, tha knaws,
   May hev ther skooling free.

p. 63An if tha be teetotal, John,
   Tha may think it a fault,
Bud to ivvery woman ligging in
   I gav a peck o’ malt.

Bud t’biggest bulk o’ brass at’s left,
   As tha’ll hev heeard afore,
Wor to be dealt hauf-yearly
   Among arr Keighley poor.

I certainly did mack a flaw,
   Fer which I’ve rued, alas!
’Twor them at troubled t’parish, John,
   Sud hev no Feoffee Brass.

An nah, if tha will be so kind,
   Go let mi t’trustees knaw
At I sall be obleged to them
   To null that little flaw.

An will ta mention this anall,
   Wal tha’s an intervue?—
Tell em to share t’moast brass to t’poor,
   Whativver else they due.

Then I sall rest an be at peace,
   Boath here an when e Heav’n;
Wal them at need it will rejoice
   Fer t’bit o’ brass I’ve giv’n.

An tell em to remember thee
   Upon t’next Feoffee Day!”
p. 64I says—I sallant get a meg,
   I’m getting parish pay.

So when sho’d spocken what sho thowt,
   An tell’d me what to doo,
I ax’d her if sho’d harken me,
   Wal I just said a word or two.

I’ll nut tell yo one word a lie,
   As sure as my name’s ‘John;’
I think at yo are quite e t’mist
   Abaht things going on.

Folks gether in fra far an near,
   When it is Feoffee-Day;
An think they hev another lowse
   Wi t’little bit o’ pay.

Asteead o’ geeing t’brass t’ poor,
   It’s shocking fer to tell,
They’ll hardly let em into t’door—
   I knaw it be mesel.

Asteead a being a peck o’ malt
   Fer t’wimmen lying in,
It’s geen to rascals ower-grown,
   To drink e rum an gin.

Then them at is—I understand—
   What yo may call trustees,
They hev ther favorites, yo knaw,
   An gives to who they please.

p. 65Some’s nowt to do bud shew ther face,
   An skrew ther maath awry;
An t’brass is shuvv’d into ther hand,
   As they are passing by.

There’s mony a woman I knaw weel,
   Boath middle-aged an oud,
At’s waited for ther bit o’ brass,
   An catch’d ther deeath o’ coud.

Wal mony a knave wi lots o’ brass,
   Hes cum e all his pride,
An t’flunkeys, fer to let him pass,
   Hes push’d t’poor folk aside.

Fra Bradford, Leeds, an Halifax,
   If they’ve a claim, they come;
But what wi t’Railway fares an drink,
   It’s done be they get home.

Wal mony a poorer family
   At’s nut been nam’d e t’list,
At weel desarves a share o’ t’spoil,
   Bud thenk yo—they are miss’d.

We see a man at hes a haase,
   Or happen two or three,
They Mr. him, an hand him aaght
   Five times as mitch as me.

’Twor better if yo’d teed yer brass
   Tight up e sum oud seck,
p. 66An getten t’Corporation brooms
   To sweep it into t’Beck.”

No longer like Capias’ form,
   Wi a tear e boath her een,
But like the gallant Camilla,
   The Volscian warrior Queen.

She, kneeling, pointed up aboon,
   An vow’d be all so breet,
Sho’d rack her vengence on ther heeads,
   Or watch em day an neet.

Sho call’d the Furies to her aid,
   An Diræ’s names sho us’d,
An sware if I hed spocken t’truth,
   Sho hed been sore abus’d.

Alas, poor Goast!—I sed to her—
   Indeed it is too true;
Wi that sho vanish’d aht o’ t’seet,
   Saying “Johnny lad, adieu!”

p. 67Charming Rebekka o’ Riddlesden Hall.

On Aire’s bonny benks wi’ hur meadows so green,
Thare’s an anshent oud hall to-day may be seen,
That wor built in the days of some oud fudal king,
Of whom the oud bards delited to sing.
Tho’ faded in splender, its grateness wos then,
Knawn to its foemen as Red Lion’s den;
’Neath its armorial sheeld, an’ hoary oud wall,
I now see Rebekka o’ Riddlesden Hall.

Hur majestik black eye does tru buty display,
Resemblin truly the goddess of day;
Her dark-flowing ringlets, yah’d think as they shone,
That Venus ’ud fashun’d ’em after hur awn.
Fer hur tresses no ribbins ner trappins do bind,
But wantonly luxurious flows in the wind:
It ’ud a pleased the grate Reubens or Raffell to call,
To see sweet Rebekka o’ Riddlesden Hall.

Like the tall mountain fir, she as stedy, I trow,
When zephyr-like winds does sighingly blow;
The grove or the grotto when mild breezes move,
Are gentle Rebekka’s sweet gales ov luve.
Her breeath, wheer tru wit so grasefully flows,
Has the beutiful scent of the pink and the rose;
There’s no nymph from the East to Niagra Fall,
To ekwall Rebekka o’ Riddlesden Hall.

p. 68Her toe points the graand wi sich beuty an’ grace,
Nor varies a hair’s-bredth, shud yah mezzur her pace:
An’ wen drest e hur gingham we white spots and blue,
O then is Rebekka so pleazin to vue.
Wi’ her gray Wolsey stockins by hersell nit and spun,
An’ a nice little apron, hieroglyphic done:
It needs noa rich velvets or Cashmeer shawl,
To deck out Rebekka o’ Riddlesden Hall.

Luve, grace and beuty attends on her will;
Sho wounds wi’ a luke, wi’ a frown sho can kill;
The yuths az they pass her, exclaim, “woe is me!”
Who sees her must luve her, who luves her must dee.
At church on a Sabbath, oud men raise thare arms
An’ cry, “O! grate hevens! were ever sich charms?”
Wile matrons an’ maidens God’s blessing they call,
On the head of Rebecca o’ Riddlesden Hall.

p. 69Shoo’s Deead an’ Goan!

My poor oud lass, an’ are ta goan,
      To thy long rest?
An’ mun the cruel cold grave-stone
      Close ower thy breast?
An’ are ta goan no more to see,
Excepting e fond memory;
Yes empty echo answers me—
      “Shoo’s deead an’ goan!”

E vain the wafters o’ the breeze
      Fan my hot brah,
E vain the birds upon the trees,
      Sing sweetly nah;
E vain the early rose-bud blaws,
E vain wide Nature shows her Cause,
Deeath thunders fro his greedy jaws—
      “Shoo’s deead an’ goan!”

There’s more ner me that’s sore bereft,
      I pity wun,
An’ that’s my lad—he’s sadly left—
      My little John;
He wanders up an’ dahn all t’day,
An’ rarely hez a word to say,
Save murmuring (an’ weel he may),
      Shoo’s deead an’ goan!

p. 70Bud, Jonny lad, let’s dry wer tears;
      At t’least we’ll try;
Thi muther’s safe wi Him ’at hears
      The orphan’s sigh;
Fer ’tis the lot o’ t’human mack—
An’ who can tell which next he’ll tack?
An’ crying cannot bring her back;
      Shoo’s deead an’ goan!

The Heroic Watchman of Calversike Hill.

[This extraordinary “hero” either bore false witness against his neighbour, a poor artisan, or (taking his own word for it) saved the nation from great disaster and ruin by putting out a fire that no one saw but himself.]

We’ve heard of great fires in city and town,
And many disasters by fire are known;
But surely this fire which I’m going to tell,
Was worse than Mount Ætna, Vesuvius or hell;
For the great prophesy it no doubt would fulfill,
But for heroic watchman at Calversike Hill.

p. 71This fire it broke out in the night it was said,
While peacefully each villager slept in his bed;
And so greatly the flames did illumne all the skies,
That it took the big watchman all in surprise.
Yet great was the courage and undaunted skill
Of the heroic watchman of Calversike Hill.

He swore by his Maker, the flames rose so high,
That within a few yards, sir, it reached to the sky;
And so greatly it lighted up mountains and dales,
He could see into Ireland, Scotland and Wales!
And so easily the commons did swallow his pill,
That they fin’d the poor artist of Calversike Hill.

Now, there’s some foolish people are led to suppose,
It was by some shavings this fire first arose;
But yet, says our “hero,” I greatly suspect,
This fire was caused by the grossest neglect.
But I’m glad it’s put out, let it be as it will,
Says the heroic watchman of Calversike Hill.

He needed no witness to swear what he had done,
Yet if he had wanted he could have had one;
For one Tommy Twister, that never was there,
Saw the sparks from the chimney, as they flew in the air,
The greatest sized coal pot no doubt they would fill,
Like the head of the hero of Calversike Hill.

So many brave thanks to this heroic knave,
For thousands of lives no doubt he did save,
p. 72And but for this hero disaster had spread,
And smothered the nation while sleeping in bed;
But to save all his people it was the Lord’s will,
Through the heroic watchman at Calversike Hill.

So mind and be careful and put out your lights,
All ye with red noses in case they ignite,
Or perhaps from your bed you may have to leap,
In case this great watchman chances to sleep.
For as rumours are spread, he is fond of his gill,
Is the heroic watchman of Calversike Hill.

Betty Blake: A Tale of Butterworth Panic.

It wor e black twenty-six when I wor reight in a fix,
   An’ trade it wor bad an’ are poor hearts wor sad,
An’ we’d nout else to due bud to starve or to flee,
   An’ leave are poor hoams, or stop there an’ dee.
Aw wor freating an’ thinking what wod be the end,
   Baht meil or potatoes, or money or friend—
When my wife stagger’d in at are poor cottage door,
   Gav a stare raand the house an’ fell on the floor,
We a cry at made me both tremble an’ shake;—
   Sho wor more like a Specktor ner poor Betty Blake.

p. 73It spite ov her troubles, aw lifted her up
To are poor wretched bed, an’ gav her a sup
O coud watter—an’ thinking, it happen mud ease her—
An’ try’d my indevors to mend her an’ please her;
For aw talked o’ that day that aw used to coart her,
Bud little thowt then at aw couldn’t support her;
Or that panic wod come like a dark thunner claad,
An’ scatter the homes o’ the poor an’ the praad:
Bud my heart burned we grief, fer aw wanted to save her,
Fer aw knew at my Betty wor mad in the faver.

Aw sat by her side fer two neets an’ two days,
An’ aw thowt sho might mend, as on her aw gazed;
Sho catched hod o’ my hand, an’ her senses returned,
Bud net her gooid health, fer her fingers still burned,—
“Awn going,” sho said—“where no hunger or pain
Al be we us, Johny, when we meet again.
The angels have whispered my spirit to free,
We voices as soft as the hum of the bee;
It wor pining at did it, done fer thy sake,
In heaven you’ll meet we your poor Betty Blake.”

We a groan an’ a rattle sho dropt her poor heead,
Aw could hardly believe at my Betty wor deead;
An’ aw felt at her side, fer aw wanted to save her,
An’ like her at wor goan—aw wor mad we the faver.
p. 74Bud they tuke her away the varry next day,
   To a little church yard, an’ it seemed fearful hard,
      At aw couldn’t follow my wife
      At aw loved as my life.
Bud aw’ve put up a tombstone o’ peeats fer her sake,
   An aw mark’d on it letters at means Betty Blake.

The Vision.

Blest vision of departed worth,
   I see thee still, I see thee still;
Thou art the shade of her that’s goan,
   My Mary Hill, my Mary Hill.

My chaamer in this silent hour,
   Were dark an’ drear, were dark an’ drear;
But brighter far than Cynthia’s beam,
   Now thou art here, now thou art here.

Wild nature in her grandeur had
   No charm for me, no charm for me;
Did not the songsters chant thy name
   Fra ivvery tree, fra ivvery tree.

Chaos wod hev com agean,
   E worlds afar, e worlds afar;
p. 75Could aw not see my Mary’s face,
   In ivvery star, in ivvery star;

Say when the messenger o’ death,
   Sal bid ma come, sal bid ma come;
Wilt thou be foremost in the van,
   To tack ma hoam, to tack ma hoam.

A New Devorse.

Says Pug o’ Joans o’ Haworth Brah,
   Ta Rodge at Wickin Crag—
Are Nelly’s tung’s a yard too long,
   And, by’t mess it can wag.

It’s hell at top o’ t’earth we me,
   An’ stand it I am forst;
I’d give all t’brass at I possess,
   If I could get devors’d.

Then answer’d Rodge, I hev a dodge,
   Az gooid a plan az onny;
A real devorse tha’ll get of course—
   It willant cost a penny.

   Then tell me what it iz, says Pug,
      I’m hommost brocken-hearted;
We’ll go ta Keethlah Warkhaase, lad,
   Where man an woife are parted.

p. 76Gooise an’ Giblet Pie.

A Kersmass song I’ll sing, me lads,
   If yoh’ll bud hearken me;
An incident e Kersmass time,
   E eighteen sixty-three:
Withaht a stypher e the world—
   I’d scorn to tell a lie—
I dined wi a gentleman
   O’ Gooise an’ giblet pie.

I’ve been e lots o’ feeds, me lads,
   An hed some rare tuck-aahts;
Blooid-pudding days wi killing pigs,
   Minch pies an’ thumping taahts;
But I wir’d in an reight anall,
   An’ supp’d when I wor dry,
Fer I wor dining wi a gentleman
   O’ gooise an’ giblet pie.

I hardly knew what ail’d me, lads,
   I felt so fearful praad;
Me ears prick’d up, me collar raise,
   Taards a hauf-a-yard;
Me chest stood aaht, me charley in,
   Like horns stuck aaht me tie;
Fer I dined wi a gentleman
   O’ gooise an’ giblet pie.

p. 77I offan think o’ t’feed, me lads,
   When t’ gentleman I meet;
Bud nauther on us speiks a word
   Abaht that glorious neet;
In fact, I hardly can mesel,
   I feel so fearful shy;
Fer I ate a deal o’ t’roasted gooise,
   And warmed his giblet pie.

Ode to Wedlock!

Oh! Hymen, god of Wedlock! thou
Companion of the lover’s vow,
   Thy subjects they are fearful;
If thou could nobbut see the strife,
There is sometimes ’tween man and wife,
   I think thou’d be more careful.

Oft has thou bound in durance vile,
De fearful frown, and cheerful smile,
   And doubtless thought it famous;
When thou the mind ov fancy sweet,
Has knit the knot so nice and neat
   For some blessed ignoramous.

What nature, truth, and reason too,
Has oft declared would never do,
   Thou’rt fool enough to do it;
p. 78Thou’s bound for better and for worse,
Life’s greatest blessing with a curse,
   And both were made to rue it.

But luve is blind, and oft deceived,
If adage old can be believed,
   And suffers much abuses;
Or never could such matches be,
O, mighty Hymen! tied by thee,
   So thou has thy excuses.

Com Geas a Wag o’ thee Paw.

[T’west Riding o’ Yorkshire is famed for different branches it fine art line, bud t’musick aw think licks t’lump, especially abaht Haworth an’ Keethlah.  Nah Haworth wunce had a famous singer at they called Tom Parker, he wor considered wun at best e Yorkshire in his toime.  It is said at he once walked fra Haworth to York e one day, and sung at an Oratoria at neet.  He hed one fault, an’ that wor just same as all tother Haworth celebrates, he wod talk oud fashund, an’ that willant due up at London.  Bud we hed monny a good singer beside him it neighbourhood; there’s oud John Dunderdale, Daniel p. 79Ackroyd, Joe Constantine, an’ oud Jim Wreet.  Nah what is ther grander ner a lot a local singers at Kersmass toime chanting it streets; its like being e heaven, especially when yohr warm e bed.  Bud there’s another thing ats varry amusing abaht our local singers, when they meet together there is some demi-semi-quavering, when there’s sharps, flats, an’ naturals;—’an t’ best ale an’ crotchets mixt, that’s the time fer musick.]

Come, geas a wag o’ thee paw, Jim Wreet,
   Come geas a wag o’ thee paw;
I knew thee when thi heead wor black,
   Bud nah its az white as snow;
Yet a merry Kersmass to thee, Jim,
   An’ all thi kith an’ kin;
An’ hoping tha’ll a monny moar,
   For t’ sake o’ ould long sin,
         Jim Wreet,
   For t’ sake o’ ould long sin.

It’s so monny year to-day, Jim Wreet,
   Sin oud Joe Constantine—
An’ Daniel Ackroyd, thee an’ me,
   An’ other friends o’ thine,
Went up ta sing at Squire’s haase,
   Net a hauf-a-mile fro’ here;
An’ t’ Squire made us welcome
   p. 80To his brown October beer,
         Jim Wreet;
   To his brown October beer.

An’ oud Joe Booth tha knew, Jim Wreet,
   That kept the Old King’s Arms;
Whear all t’ church singers used t’ meet,
   When they hed sung ther Psalms;
An’ thee an’ me amang um, Jim,
   Sometimes hev chang’d the string,
An’ with a merry chorus join’d,
   We’ve made yond tav’ren ring,
         Jim Wreet,
   We’ve made yond tav’ren ring.

But nearly three score years, Jim Wreet,
   As past away sin then;
When Keethlah in Appolo’s Art,
   Cud boast her musick men;
Bud musick nah meeans money, Jim,
   An’ that tha’s sense to knaw;
Bud just fer oud acquaintance sake,
   Come geas a wag o’ thy paw, Jim Wreet,
         Jim Wreet,
   Com geas a wag o’ thee paw.

p. 81Song of the Months, from
January to December.

High o’er the hill-tops moans the wild breezes,
   As from the dark branches I hear the sad strain:
See the lean pauper by his grim hearth he freezes,
   While comfort and plenty in palaces reign.

Dark is the visage of the rugged old ocean,
   To the caves in the billow he rides his foamed steed:
As over the grim surges with his chariot in motion,
   He spreads desolation, and laughs at the deed.

No more with the tempest the river is swelling,
   No angry clouds frown, nor sky darkly lower;
The bee sounds her horn, and the gay news is telling
   That spring is established with sunshine and showers.

In the pride of its beauty the young year is shining,
   And nature with blossom is wreathing the trees;
The white and the green in rich clusters entwining,
   And sprinkling their sweetness on the wings of the breeze.

O May, lovely goddess! what name can be grander?
   What sunbeam so bright as thine own smiling eye;
p. 82With thy mantle of green, richly spangled in splendour,
   At whose sight the last demon of winter does fly.

From her home in the grass see the primrose is peeping,
   While diamond dew-drops around her is spread;
She smiles thro’ her tears like an infant that’s sleeping,
   And to laughter is changed as her sorrows are fled.

The landscape around is now sprinkled with flowers,
   The mountains are blue in their distant array;
The wreaths of green leaves are refreshed with the showers,
   Like a moth in the sunshine the lark flees away.

How joyous the reapers, their harvest songs singing
   As they see the maid bringing the flagon and horn;
And the goddess of plenty benedictions is flinging
   Over meadows and pastures, and her barley and corn.

’Tis sweet on the hills with the morning sun shining,
   To watch the rich vale as it brightens below;
’Tis sweet in the valley when day is declining,
   To mark the fair mountains, deep tinged with its glow.

p. 83Now is the time when biting old Boreas
   True to his calling,—the tempests impend;
His hailstones in fury is pelting before us,
   Our fingers are smarting, and heads they are bent.

The cold winds do murmur, the bleak snow is falling,
   The beasts of the forest from hunger doth call;
There is desolate evenings and comfortless mornings,
   And gloomy noontides for one and for all.

Drear is thine aspect, tyrannical December,
   O hast thou no mercy for the pitiless poor;
Christmas is thine, and we shall remember,
   Though dark is thy visage, we honour thee more.

My Visit ta’t Glory Band.

Last Sunday, reight early, I sett off fra home,
Ower mountains an’ valleys, intending to roam;
As it wor a fine morning an’ no sign o’ rain,
I bethowt ma I’d go up Oakworth be t’train;
But I’m sitch a whimsical sort of a man,
I nivver get threw wi owt at I plan.

For I’d hardly goan two hundred yards fra my door,
When who did I see walking prattly before?
p. 84It wor oud Jennet t’Ranter fra Avercake row,
As nice a oud body is ivver you saw;
Shoo wor dress’d up ta t’mark wi her Cashmere shawl,
An wor bahn dahn to t’meeting at Temperance Hall.

When I saw it wor Jennet I lengthen’d my pace,
An’ as soon as shoa saw me shoo look’d i’ my face;
An’ says “Hallo, Bill! tha’s com’d aght fearful soin
Ther’ll be a blue snaw;—pray, where are ta gooin?
If tha’s nobbut come aht for a bit of a stroll,
Tha’d better go wi ma for t’gooid o’ thy soul.”

So I agreed to go wi her; for what could I do,
When t’decent oud woman wor teasing ma so?
So we link’d on together an’ paddled along,
Both on us singing a Glory Band song;
Hasomivver we landed, an’ hedn’t ta wait,
For one t’panjandrums hed getten agait.

So they prayed an’ they sang i’ ther oud fashun’d way;
Until a gert chap says “I’ve summat ta say;”
An’ bethart I’st a fallen dahn sick i’ my pew,
But I thowt at toan hauf t’ he said worant true,
For he charged Parson Ball wi’ being drunk i’ the street,
At he’d been put ta bed three times i’ one neet.

p. 85“Does ta hear,” says Oud Jennet, “what t’hullet is saying,
He’s using his scandal asteead o’ being praying,
For John Ball is respected by ivvery one,
So I sallant believe a word about John,
Fer him an’ arr Robin are two decent men,
So pray yah nah harken, they’ll speik fer thersen.”

So all wor nah silent, they mud hear a pin fall,
For nobody wor hissing or clapping at all;
For scarce had long Gomersall spun out his yarn,
Wi his two blazing een he hed scarcely sat dahn,
Than John stood up on his pins in a minit,—
An’ rare an’ weel please wor me and Oud Jennet.

“My brethren,” he sed wi a tear in his ee,
“Yah sall hear for yerselns my accusers an’ me,
An’ if I be guilty—man’s liable to fall
As well as yer pastor an’ servant John Ball;
But let my accuser, if faults he hes noan,
Be’t t’first, and no other to thraw the first stone.

“I’ve drunk wine and porter, I do not deny,
But then my accusers hev not telled you why:
So their false accusation I feel it more keen,
’Cos I’ve hed the lumbago i’ both o’ my een;
Beside mi back warked as if it wor broke,
An’ mi throit’s been so parched wal I thowt I sud choke.

p. 86“I’ve been so distracted and hanneled so bad,
Wal I thowt monny a time I sud ommust go mad,
An’ t’doctors hes tell’d me there wor no other way
Nobbut going to Blackpool or else Morecambe Bay;
An’ charged me to mind if I sat dahn to dine,
To lig into t’porter, an’t brandy, an’t wine.

“So nah, my accusers, what hev you to say,
You can reckon that up in your awn simple way;
But if there’s a falsehood in what I’ve sed nah
I wish mi new hat wod turn into a kah,
So this is mi answer, an’ this mi defence.”
“Well done!” says oud Jennet, “he’s spokken some sense.”

So his speech nah he ended, but it touch’d em it wick,
For we all could see plainly it wor nowt but a trick;
And Jennet declared—tho’ she might be too rude,—
If he’d come up to’t dinner he’s hev some home brew’d,
Fer it spite o’ ther scandal sho wor proud on him yet,
An’ if he drank wine an’ porter who’d out to du wi’t.

p. 87T’ History o’t Haworth Railway.

Before I commence mi short history o’t Haworth Railway, it might be as weel to say a word or two abaht Haworth itseln.  It’s a city at’s little knawn, if onny, it history o’ England, though ther’s no daht but its as oud as Methuslam, if not ouder, yet with it being built so far aht at latitude ov civilized nashuns, nobody’s scarcely knawn owt abaht it wal latly.  T’ finders ov it are sed to be people fra’t Eastern countries, for they tuke fearful of em e Haworth it line o’ soothsayers, magishuns, an’ asstrologers; but whether they com fra’t east or’t west, they luke oud fashun’d enuff.  Nah t’ city is situated in a very romantic part o’ Yorkshur, and within two or three miles o’t boundary mark o’ Lancashire.  Some foak sez it wer t’last place at wer made, but it’s a mistak, for it lukes oud fashun’d enuff to be t’first ’at wer made.  Gert travellers sez it resembles t’ cities o’ Rome and Edinburgh, fer ther’s a deal o’ up-hills afore you can get to’t top on’t; but e landing you’d be struck wi’ wonder and amazement—what wi’t tall biggens, monniments, p. 88domes, hampitheaters, and so on; fer instance, t’Church, or rather the Cathedral, is a famous biggen, and stands majestically o’t top at hill.  It hes been sed at Oliver Cromwell that wor so struck wi’t appearance at Church an t’ City, altogether, wal he a mack a consented to hev it the hed-quarters for the army and navy.

The faander o’ t’ Church is sed to be won Wang-be-Wang, won et Empror’s o’ China as com ower in a balloon an’ browt we him all his relations, but his granmuther; the natives at that toime wur a mack a wild, but i mixing up we t’ balloonites they soin become civilized and big’d t’ Church at’s studden fra that time to nah, wit exepshun o’ won end, destroyed at sum toime, sum sez it wur be war.  Sum sez west and an t’ saath end wur destroyed, but it’s a mack a settled on wit wiseuns it wur wichcraft; but be it as it may Haworth, an’ t’ folk a’tagether is as toff as paps, an’ hez stud aht weel, an’ no daht but it wod a flerished before Lunden, Parriss, or Jerusulum, for sentries back, if they’d hed a Railway; but after nearly all Grate Britten and France hed been furnished we a Railway, the people i Haworth began to be uneazy and felt inclined no longer to wauk several miles to get to a stashun if they were bahn off liks.  And besides, they thout it wur high time to begin and mack sum progress i’ t’ wurld, like their naburs ’t valley.  So they adjetated for a line down the valley as far as Keighley, and after abaht p. 89a hundred meetings they gat an Act passed for it i Parlement.  So at last a Cummittee wur formed, and they met wun neet a purpose to decide when it wod be t’ best convenient for em to dig t’ furst sod to commerate and start the gert event.  And a bonny rumpus there wor yo mind, for yo may think ha it wor conducted when they wur threapin wi wun another like a lot o’ oud wimen at a parish pump when it sud be.  Wun sed it mud tak place at rushberring, another sed next muck-spreading toime, a third sed it mud be dug et gert wind-day e memory o’ oud Jack K—.  Well, noan et proposishuns wod do for t’ lot, and there wur such opposistion wal it omust hung on a threed, wether the railway went on or net, wal at last an oud farmer, wun o’ the committee-men, we a voice as hoarse as a farm yard dog, bawls aht, I propose Pancake Tuesday.  So after a little more noise it wor proposed and seconded at the Grand Trunk Railway between the respective tahns of Keighley and Haworth sud be commemorated wi diggin t’ furst sod o’ Pancake Tuesday, it year o’ our Lord 1864; and be t’ show o’ hands it usual way it wor carried by wun, and that wor Ginger Jabus, and t’tother cud a liked t’bowt him ower, but Jabus worn’t to be bowt that time, for he hed his hart and sowl i the movement, and he went abaht singin—

Cum all ye lads o’ high renown
At wishes well your native town,
p. 90Rowl up an’ put your money down
      An’ let us hev a Railway.
We Keighley folk we are behind,
An’s sed to wauk agin wur mind;
But sooin t’ crookt-legg’d uns they will find,
      Weel kap em we a Railway.

Well, hasumivver public notice wur made nawn, be the bellman crying it all ower t’taan, wich he did to such a pitch, wal he’d summat to do to keep his hat fra flyin off, but he manijed to do it at last to a nicety, for the news spread like sparks aht of a bakehus chimla; and wen the day com they flocked in fra all parts, sum o’ the crookt-legged uns fra Keighley com, Lockertown and the Owertown folk com, and oud batchelors fra Stanbury and all parts et continent o’ Haworth; folk craaded in o’ all sides, even the oud men and wimen fra Wicken Crag and the Flappeters, and strappin folk they are yo mind, sum as fat as pigs, wi heads as red as carrots, and nimble as a india-rubber bouncer taw; and wat wur t’ best on’t it happened to be a fine day; for if it hed been made according to orders it cudn’t a been finer.  Shops wur all closed and ivverybody, oud and young, hed a haliday aht o’ t’doors, for they wur all flade a missin the Grand Processhun, wich formed itsel at the top o’ Wuthren, when it wur p. 91messured, it turn’d aht to be two miles six inches long—it moved as follows:—


The Spring-head Band wi their hat-bruads turn’d up so as they mud see their way clear.

Lord et Manor i full uniform a fut back bearing Coat of Arms for Haworth, a gert wild cratur wi two tails on, one et awthur end.

Two citizens wi white cravats raand their hats.

The Members et Corporashun one-abreast singin “a nuttin we will go, brave boys.”

Big Drums and Triangles.

A Mahogany Wheelbarrow and a silver trowel on a cart trail’d wi six donkeys, and garded wi ten lazy policemen all sober.

A pair of crakt bag-pipes.

The Contractor in a sedan carried wi two waggoners i white smocks.

All the young maidens fra fourteen to thirty-nine, six-abreast, drest i sky blue, and singin throo combs.

Twenty oud wimin knittin stockings.

Twenty navvies i their shirt sleeves weeling barrows, wi workn tooils.

Taan skavengers wi shoulder’d besums decorated wi ribbons.

p. 92Bellman and Pinder arm-i-arm drest I full uniform, and the latter now and then bawlin aht wats bahn to tak place.

All scholars at female line laking at duck-under-watter kit, and the males laking at frog-loup, and jumping o’ one another’s backs.

Taan chimla sweeps maanted o’ donkies wi their face white.

All the furiners fra the continent o’ Haworth, and crookt-legged uns fra Keighley followed up.

Bulk o’ the inhabitants wauking wun-abreast, wi their hats off, and singing and shouting

“The Railway! the Railway!”

In fact, the Railway wur e ivverbody’s maath, what we singing and shouting, them at cud do nawther whisper’d in wun another’s ears—Railway!  But getting to where the ceremuny wur to tak place the processhun halted and formed itseln into a raand ring, and cheers wur geen wi shakin hats and handkerchiefs, which lasted wal their showders and arms warkt wal they’d hardly strength to shut their maaths and don their hats on.  But hasumivver they manijed to get reight agean, and then a parson called Ned Oufield gat up and made the following narashun—

Fellow countrymen and citizens o’ Haworth,—It gives me gert plezur to see such a gert event as this tak place i the city o’ Haworth, namely, digging t’ p. 93furst sod o’ wat’s called Grand Trunk Line between Keighley and yor native element, and reight pleased I am to offishiate as chairman on this occashun.  Perhaps sum on yo maint naw what I mean wi yer native element; but I mean yer oud mountain side, and aw naw yor like yer forefathers, yo love it dearly, tho’ yor ancestors wor nowt but barbarians in the fourth and fifth sentries, yet they were the furst to embrace Christianity, which they did it yer 600, be the Latin inscripshun on the church steeple.—(Loud cheers).—And although yo been behind we yor Railway, ye been up i different arts and sciences.  Wat nashun, my frends, can boast of a majishun like yor oud Jack K—.—(Loud cheers).  He wur a credit to yo all, and yo wur sadly indebted to him; he proffesied twenty yer sin at this event wud cum to pass (a voice,—ha wish he wur alive he sud be contractor), and if he’d been livin to this day, its a hundred to wun but the Railway wud hev been made to some where else ner Keighley, for ha feel convinced et Keighley is not worthy of amalgamashun wi a respectable city like Haworth.—(Hear, hear.)  For look wat insultin langwidj they’ve used to yo at different times.—(Groans.)  Furst, they said yo muckt church to mak it grow bigger.  Then yo walked rahnd tahn’s post office at Keighley and thout it wur the cemetery, and to make up for the lot, they call us wild craturs and mock wur plezant dialect, which is better English ner theirs.—(Groans, wich lasted for ten minits.)  Yes, my fella citizens, you’ve p. 94hed to put up wi a deal o’ slang fra theas uncultivated rascals.—(We have.)  And wat’s war nur all, yah’ve hed to wauk wet and dry, thro thick and thin, i all sorts o’ weather to Keighley, wen you’ve wanted to go on the continent or Lundun.  But soin yo can wauk slap to the train in a jiffey.—(Loud cheers.)  Mr. Oufield then thenkt his fella taansmen and wimen and ended his speech wi expressin his delight in the loyalty of the people for the railway, and as the time was fast waxin, he begged leave to sit dahn, wich he did t’ midst lahd enthusiastic shouting.

This been dun and ivverybody gotten their maaths shut agean, Ike Ouden gat up and made a speech, and a grand un it wor yo mind, for if the arkangel hed dropt streyt dahn fra heven and let o’ t’top o’ t’platform, it cuddant a suited t’ folk better, for he began as follows:—

Fella-citizens and tahnsmen o’ Haworth,—Wen I see before me so many smiling faces and so many distingwisht citizens, I awn ha felt a pang as to my unfitness for appearing afore yo on this occashun; but yor committee wor so urgent in their appeal to me that I wor certainly induced to akcept the honnor of diggin the furst sod o’ the Grand Trunk Railway, wich will be the gratest blessin that ivver will be i Haworth.  But yet its not for me to say wat is kalkulated or unkalkulated for the people o’ Haworth to do in the 19th sentry, yet I may ventur to say at this glorious muvment nah bahn to tak place will p. 95shortly prove the gratest blessin ivver witnessed it city o’ Haworth.—(Loud applause).  Look at the export and import of the city, and compare the spaven’d horse and cart wi the puffin willyams and all the fine carriages.  Look et difference between wen it tuk a week to go to Liverpool, and a month to Lundun, in a oud coach, and hev to mak wur wills afore we went.—(Enthusiastic cheering.)  Yes, my frends, we stud good chance e being robbed and plundered if net summat war.  Besides wat an immense diffrence it will mak to Haworth, wen shoo can export her own mannifacturs to all the civilised and uncivilised wurld, and by means o’ steam find their ways into rejuns nivver trod but by feet o’ wild craturs and beasts o’ prey.  But to mak t’ story short ha mean to say it will be a grate cumfort and a blessin to both the lame and lazey, and speshally to the latter.  But as the time was gettin on fastish, as it allus dus when there’s out to be dun, so Mr. Ouden finisht his speech as follows:—

Put yor shoulders to work, lads, and ne’er be danted,
   Think yer behint and there’s no time to dally,
For nah is the time yor assistance is wanted
   I makin yor railway along the Worth Valley.

The Spring-heead Band then played sum of their favorite tunes, “Oud Rosen the Bow,” “Jessey’s Pig,” and ended wi “God save the Queen,” and all departed to their homes wi smiling faces.


Gather fra Stanbury, lads we yor carrot heeads,
Cum dahn fra Locker tahn, lads, be the railway;
Cum we yor wives, yor dowters, and relatives,
Shout lads, shout for the Worth Valley Railway.

Heard you Ned Oufield mak his noration,
Yoh’l say in yohr conshunce he spak it reyt fairly,
He said poor Haworth nivver yet hed fairashun,
And spak of the thing that will flurish it rarely.
               Railway, &c.

Saw yoh Icholden wi his mahogany wheelbarrow,
Cum dig the first sod wi his trowel o’ silver,
He wheeled it dahn t’ plenk as streyt as an arrow,
And tipt it as weel as a navvy or delver.
               Railway, &c.

Saw yoh the church so anshent in history,
Read yoh the Latin words high in the steeple,
Hear to the sounds that arise from the belfry,
It seems to be shaating along wi the people,
               Railway, &c.

Nah then, lads, for wark; nout but wark al do, and these at can’t work mun plan.  This wor the cry all up and dahn Haworth next mornin, and for weeks all wor vary bizzy.  Won man made a weel-barra p. 97it chamber but it wor so big wal it couldn’t be gotten aht withaht takin the haase side dahn.  Another invented a koulin-masheen to koul t’ muck up both sides to save wheelbarras and work tooils for the navvies.  Some started a practicing for porters at the railway, wi oppenin and shutting the oven doors wi a bang, shating aht at the same time, “All aht for Haworth.”  Wun man wor trying the dodge on, and the cat wor it ovan, and poor thing, expecting that it wor it the wrong place, jumpt aht just at time at he wor whistling to start, and wor catcht bi the tail and the poor thing lost it, for it wur cut off as clean as a whistle.  A crookt legg’d pedlar com fra Keighley wun day wi winter-edges, and they tuke him for a sapper and miner et hed cum to mezhur for the railway, and mind yoh they did mak summat on him, they thout that the winter-edges wur the apparatus to mezhur by.  But hasumivver, the reyt uns com at after, and a sore disaster they hed yo mind, for they laid the plans o’ t’railway dahn at green swarth, and a oud kah belanging to Blue Beard swallowed t’ job; they tried ta save em but all i vain: a sore do wur this for both folk and the railway, for it put em a year or two back, and folk wur raging mad abaht t’ kah, and if it hednt a been a wizzen’d oud thing they’d a swallowed it alive—the nasty greedy oud thing.

p. 98They hed a meeting tother neet,
Fair o’ t’top o’ Wutherin Street,
To see what things they’d got complete,
Concerning Haworth Railway.

Wen Penny Wabbac tuke the chair,
He lukt to be i grate despair,
He sez, good folk, are yoh aware,
Wat’s happened to the Railway.

We persperashun on his brah,
He sez, good folk, al tell yoh nah;
Oud Blue Beard’s nasty wizened kah
Hes swallowed plan o’ t’ Railway.

Wi these remarks poor Wabbac sat,
Wen Jonny Broth doft off his hat,
His een they blazed like sum wild cat
Wi vengence for the Railway.

He sed my blud begins to boil,
To think et we sud work an’ toil,
And ev’n the cattle cannot thoyle
To let us hev a Railway.

On hearing this the Haworth foak
Began to swear it wur no joak,
An wisht at greedy cah ma choak,
At swallowed t’ plan o’ t’ Railway.

p. 99But hasumivver they gat ower this, and wur not long at after afore they hed more disasters, such as tunnils shutterin, and chapels sinkin, and law suits, and so on, wal Haworthers thout be t’ hart at both the fouk and the grund wur soft dahn at Keighley, and threttened to comb sum o’ the crookt-legged ens their heeads if they insinuated; and the Volunteers threttened to tak their part if there wur owt to do; and farther ner that, they vowed that they were ready to go to war wi onny nashun that sud insult awther them or ther railway under the present difficulties.

But sighs and tears and doubts and fears,
   Prevails with greatest folly,
For ’t sinagog has cockt its clog,
   And ’t parson’s melancholy.

Tunnils sink and navvies drink,
   And chapels are upsetting;
For Railway Shares nobody cares,
   And iverybody’s fretting.

The iron horse they curse of course,
   And fane wud it abandon;
And loyers fees their pockets ease,
   A thousand pound e Lundun.

p. 100Misfortunes speed as rank as weed,
   An’ puts on sich a damper;
Wal t’ foaks declare e grate dispair,
   Its up wi’t iron tramper.

The volunteers prick up their ears,
   An mak a famos rattle;
Thay want ta run ta Wimbleton,
   Or onny field o’ battle.

Their black cravats an toppen’d hats
   Are causing grate attraction;
Against Boneypart thay want ta start,
   E reglar fightin action.

The raw recuits hev got ther suits,
   Thay brag ta wun another:
Ta’t first campaign thay’l tak the train,
   Withaat the sliteist bother.

But t’ oud foak thinks thair’l be some stinks,
   At menshun of invazhun;
An hopes et taan will ride em daan,
   E cabs ta Howorth Stashun.

But hasumiver toime works wonders wi it an perseverance its gotten ta’t last stage na, an foak is varry impashent fer it ta cum up, an tha’re preparin ta give it a grand recepshun; wun oud woman hes a p. 101peggy tub full o meyl an’ saar swillins for th’ ingen, and they are preparin another puddin for th’ passengers fra Keighley.

They’re standing i’ groups and they’re living i’ hopes,
   And more disappointments they dread,
Wi’ they’re ears touching th’ grand, they’ve harken’d for th’ saand,
   Wal they’ve omust gone wrong i’ ther head.

Sez Dick o’ Grate Beckers, just keep up yor peckers,
   Yo hevn’t much longer to wait
For blue milk and porridge, yol get better forridge,
   Wen the railway gets fairly agait.

For its labour i’ vain to harken for th’ train
   When all’s goin on varry steady;
So pray yo be calm its takin no harm,
   They’ll bring it as soin as its ready.

For th’ rails are all laid, and there’s nowt to be made,
   Nobbut th’ navvies to clear off all th’ muck;
Then all al be goin, for th’ Cowinhead mooin
   Is bahn to be browt on a truck.

So Sam o’ Blue Bills, wi’ thi’ pints an’ thi’ gills,
   Its bahn to be better for thee,
To Keighley an’ back tha ma go in a crack,
   When tha’s bahn on a bit of a spree.

p. 102And John o’ Pot Anns tha mun alter thi plans,
   For tha nivver can get him i’ force;
For I’m happy to tell at steead o’th’ canal
   They’re bahn to try th’ big iron horse.

There’s oud Jim o’ Kyas is bahn to be wise,
   An’ th’ folk sez at he’s takkin a hig;
He’ll see it first tried afore he will ride,
   He’s dahn abaht the Paper Mill Brig.

He sez he’ll be sure, it dropt in before,
   And it might do again for a pinch;
For he sez they’ll be kapt if sum on em trapt,
   So he’s blest if he’ll trust it an inch.

There’s oud Mally Brook hez been dahn to look,
   And shoo’s sore disappointed they say;
Shoo’s omust goan crackt for shoo sez it weant act,
   For they nobbut can run it wun way.

Sho sez at high class ats laid dahn all th’ brass,
   Just nah they’re beginnin ta craw;
To mak up for th’ trouble they’re bahn to charge double,
   For bad speckulashun it law.

So to sattle em dahn, Sir Chrestofer Brahn,
   Hez tould em it wur his intent,
If they’d nobbut be quiet till things wur all reight,
   He’d give em a trip to Chow Bent.

p. 103Yes, and besides a trip to Chow Bent, they gat several more trips promised bi th’ diffrent distingwisht citizens o’ Haworth.  Wun promised to give em trip to Bullock’s Smithy, anuther to Tingsley Bongs, wal they wur getting quite up o’ thersels and th’ railway.  Or else they’d been for many a year and cudn’t sleep a wink at neet for dreamin abaht th’ railway ingens, boilers, and so on, and mony a time they’ve wakken’d i’ ther sleep shakkin th’ bed posts, thinkin they wur setting th’ ingen on or stoppin it.  But they’d gotten reight and thout they wur bahn to hev no more trouble; but alas! it wur a mistak, for on th’ morning of the 14th o’ November an’ oud skyologer went aht a weather-gazin and planet-ruling, and woful news and bad omens he browt back wi’ him, for he sed at th’

Stars wur shoiting in and aht,
And gravel ratches wur abaht,
And th’ folk, he sed, they little knew
What mischief it wur bahn ta brew.
And news he spred abaht the tahn,
What lots o’ rain wud tumble dahn;
And like his anshent sires he spoke,
The shockin news withaht a joke.

For soin the rain i torrents fell,
And O what awful news to tell,
It lookt as th clahds wur bahn to shutter,
For every dyke, and ditch, and gutter,
A reguler deluge did resemble,
p. 104Which made Haworth folk to tremble.
Some tried to stop its course wi’ stones,
And some dropt on their marrow bones,
And hoped at if the wurld wur drahnd,
The railway wud be safe an’ sahnd;

But prayers like these hed no avail,
For th’ waters deluged all the dale;
And th’ latest news et I hev heerd
Th’ railway’s nearly disappeared;
But if its fun withaht a flaw,
Wha, folks, I’m like to let yo know.


“Work boys, work, and be contented.”

Ha, its all varry weel for the poit to sing that, but if he hed a railway at stake he wud happen alter his tune, an espeshully if he wur an eye-witness nah, for th’ storm wur ragin at heyest, and the folks wur waiting wi’ pashent expectashun to knaw whether they wur bahn to be at an end or not, for th’ flooid wur coming dahn thicker an’ faster, and there look’d to be monny a hundred mile o’ watter in the valley.  Hasumivver they muster’d all t’ energy they cud, for they wur determined to knaw th’ warst, so they went to see if they could find th’ oud weather gazer at hed p. 105proffesied th’ flooid; and after a good deal o’ runnin abaht, they fan him peepin thru summat at shap of a tunnel.  Sum sed he wur lookin at th’ mooin, others sed he wor looking into futurity, hasumivver they asked him to come dahn an’ look at the railway, and tell em whether th’ flooid wur bahn to tak it away or not, but th’ saucy oud hound refused at first, for he said at he wur flaid at sum on em wodn’t be able to stand th’ shock if he tell’d em th’ warst, so th’ oud lad sed

If my advice yoh want, poor things,
   An cannut do withaht it,
Go arm yor seln to th’ teeth, he sed,
   An’ doant be long abaht it;
Both rakes an’ powls an’ props an’ ropes
   Yo cannot get ta sooin,
An’ take the Cowinheeader’s plan
   When they discuver’d the mooin,
Doant gape abaht, but when yor arm’d
   Take each a diffrent rowt;
And let yor cry be ivvery man,
   Th’ poor railway’s up the spout.

It wurnt long afore they gat arm’d—sum wi clothes props, muk forks, ropes, and so on, and there wor some competition yo mind, for they wur all trying which could mak best movement so as they could immortalise their names it history of Haworth, for there wur one Joe Hobb, a handloom weaver, browt his slay boards, and as he wor going dahn th’ hill he did mak some manœvures, an’ talk abaht fugal men it p. 106army when they throw their guns up into th’ air and catches em again, they wur nowt to Joe, for he span his slay boards up an’ dahn just like a shuttlecock.  But wal all this wur going on the storm began to abate, and th’ water seem’d to get less, but still they kept at it.  Wal at last a chap at they call Dave Twirler shahted aht he saw summat, and they look’t way at he pointed, and there behold it wur won o’th’ ribs o’th’ railway sticking up (here a dead silence tuk place which lasted for abaht three hours) for nobody durst open their mahths, flaid a’th’ wind wud mak th’ current stronger, and sum at wimen held their tungs to that pain and misery wal their stockings fell dahn ower their clog tops; but hasumever th’ silence wur broken by a Haworth Parish chap at they call Bob Gimlet, he happened to be there and he said nah lads, look down th’ valley for I think I see th’ skeleton at onny rate, and Bob wur reight for it wur as plain to be seen as an elephant in a shop window.

And this wur a fact this wur th’ railway they saw,
And at th’ first sight o’ th’ spectre they all stood in awe,
For it wur smashed all i’ pieces ashamed to be seen
As tho’ it hed passed thro’ a sausidge masheen;
Wi horror some fainted, while others took fits,
Aud these at cud stand it wur piking up t’bits.

But after a while when they all becum calm,
p. 107They gathered together like bees in a swarm,
Resolvd to pick up all fragments and th’ wood,
And splice ’em together as weel as they cud,
Hasumever thay started a putting it streyt,
And wi’ spelking and braying they soon made it reight.

Six months nah elapsed and th’ gert job wur done,
And th’ next thing to argue wur wen it sud run,
So they sent Joe a-Stirks arahnd wi’ his bell,
And gave him strict orders at he wur to tell,
At th’ inspector hed been and examined it thro’,
And cum to th’ conclushun et th’ railway wud do.

So to wark wi a vengance, the bellman set to,
To warn up a meeting to meet a’th’ Black Bull,
It wud dun yo all good to hear Joey shaht,
For they heard him distinctly for miles all abaht,
And i’ less ner ten minits, they flockt in so fast,
While Jonny Broth horses they couldn’t get past.

So they fram’d on wi’ th’ meeting an’ th’ chairman spak first,
And tell’d ’em at th’ railway wur finish’d at last;
And declared at th’ inspector hed passed when he com,
Both viaducts and bridges as sahnd as a plum;
As for sinkin agean they wud do nowt et sort,
For they sailed thro’ the arches i’ Marriner’s boat.

p. 108So he hoped i’ this meeting they all wud agree,
And settle when th’ oppening o’ th’ railway sud be.
He thout for his part tho’ he nobbut wur won,
At first day o’ April wur fittest to run,
Wen a voice sed, sit dahn or I’ll pelt thee wi’ spooils,
Duz ta think at wur bahn to be April fooils?

Then up on to th’ platform jump’d Red Dicky Brook,
Along wi’ his uncle Black Tom at Dyke Nook,
Determined to sattle and bring things arahnd,
As th’ railway wur finished both proper and sahnd;
So they pitched on a day—this wur April the fourth.
To oppen th’ grand railway fra Lunden to Haworth.

It wur carried as usual, bi’ th’ showing o’ hands,
Amidst grate rejoicing and playing o’ bands,
Both oud men and wimen hed a smile on their face,
For all wur dead certain this wur bahn to tak place,
So they fled to their homes like bees to a hive,
Impashent and anshus for th’ day to arrive.

Hasumever th’ day com at wur menshun’d before,
And folk wur all flocking fra mahntan and th’ moor,
And little they thout when they set off that morn,
Anuther disaster would laff ’em to scorn;
For Joe Stirk wur sent out to tell ’em to stop,
For poor Haworth Railway hed gotten i’ pop.

Nah this wur a damper and th’ biggest i’ th’ lot,
p. 109And th’ folks they declared this wur a Keighley plot,
But one Jack o’ Ludges sed he’d stop ’em their prate,
He’d learn ’em i’ Keighley to insinuate,
They’st hev no excurshuns for nout but their lip,
And Shipley and Bradford should hev the first trip.

He sed he’d been quiet, but he’d nah interfere,
He’d wauk up to Derby and tell em up there,
Hah they hed been skitted, sin first they begun,
And nah when this wur finished they wurnt to run;
But hah he went on I never did hear,
But won thing I’m certain he must a been there.

For th’ tenth day of April bills wur put aht,
That th’ railway wud oppen withaht any daht,
And a famous excurshun fra Bradford wod run,
And call at all stashuns wi’ th’ excepshun o’ won;
For nowt aht o’ Keighley to Haworth sud ride,
For that day all th’ luggage wur left o’ won side.

Scarce Keighley crookt-legg’d ens heard o’ the news,
And wur just bahn to give ’em the gratest abuse,
When a order cum aht fra sum unknawn source,
That Keighley crookt-legg’d ens cud go up of course,
They thowt it wur best, and wud cause the least bother,
For wun sud be welcum as weel as anuther.

Hasumever their hopes hes not been i’ vain,
p. 110For the day’s arrived and yonder’s the train,
And thahsands o’ folks is flocking to th’ spot,
The gent fra his hall, the peasant fra his cot,
For all are determined as th’ weather is fine,
To hev an’ excurshun up th’ Worth Valley Line.

They land up i’ Haworth, and sports et is seen,
Wur nivver yet equalled it reign o’ the Queen,
Such processhuns wi music yo ne’er saw the like,
They wur bands fra all nashuns excepting Black Dyke,
And Sham o’ Blue Bills sed he’d kick up a shine,
For nah they hed oppen’d the Worth Valley Line.

There wur Jim o’th’ Damems, and Will o’ th’ Gooise Coit,
And the lads at wur in that puddin exploit,
There wur Ned dahn fra Oakworth, and Ike fra Loin Ends,
Along wi their aristocratical friends,
They repair’d to Black Bull, of sahnd puddin to dine,
That day at they oppen’d the Worth Valley Line.

I’ all nooks and corners and chimla tops,
Wur floating gert banners wi’ mighty big props,
And stamp’d on each flag i’ figures so nice,
Sum an’ inscripshun and sum a device;
But th’ nicest i’th’ lump at swung on a band,
Wur welcum to Haworth fra ivvery land.

p. 111Yor welcum, yor welcum, all men upon earth,
Yor welcum to the valley of Worth,
Fra th’ Humber to th’ Mersey, fra th’ Thames dahn to th’ Tyne,
Yor welcum to travel the Worth Valley Line.


“Th’ last Scene of all that ends this strange eventful history.”

Fra th’ Corrispondent o’ th’ Hoylus End Mercury.

Good folks you’ve inkwired at home an’ abroad,
Ha we’re gettin on wi wur famous railroad;
And when I’ve tell’d yo the disasters we’ve hed,
Yo’ve greeved monny a time wal yo’ve tain to yor bed,
But ha yo will gape when yo read farther dahn,
What famons big stirrins we’ve hed up i’th’ tahn.

I knaw yo’d be mad as soin as yo heard,
Abaht that oud kah at belong’d to Blue Beard,
For I like as I saw yo just hod of its tail,
And braying it rump wi’ the end o’ yor flail;
For I wisht monny a time at yo hed been here,
For swallowing the plan yo’d a geen it what cheer.

Ha ivver good folk I’ll try to be breef,
For I knaw you’re i’ pain and I’ll give yo releef—
p. 112So to tell yo the truth in a plain, honnest way,
The railroad is finish’d an oppen’d to-day;
And I’ve tain up my pen for ill yo’d a taint,
If I hednt a geen yo a truthful ackahnt.

Hasumivver this morning, as I tell’d yo before,
I wur wakken’d wi hearin a awful uproar,
What wi’ the prating o’ wimen and the shahtin o’th’ folk,
And the bells at wur ringin, they wur past onny joke,
For ivvery two minnits they shahted hurrah,
We are nah bahn to oppen the Haworth Railway.

So I jump’d up i’ bed, an’ I gat on the floor,
I slipt on my cloas and ran out at door,
And the first at I met, it wur one Jimmy Peg,
He cum’d up fra Bocking and brout a gert flag,
And just at his heels wur the Spring-headed band,
Playing a march—I thout it wur grand.

So I fell into the step for I knaw how to march,
For I’ve been stiffen’d up wi’ guvernment starch;
And first smell o’ music it maks me fair dance,
And I prick up my ears like a trooper his lance,
Hasumivver, I thout as I’d gotten i’ th’ scent,
I’d follow this music wharever it went.

Then I march’d up erect, wal I come to the grand stand,
p. 113And that wur a’ th’ stashun where the train hed to land;
There wur flags of all nashuns fra the Union Jack
To Bacchus and Atlas wi’ the globe on his back,
For the Inspector and conductor and all sorts o’ fray
Wur expected directly to land at the railway.

So I star’d wal both een wur varry near bleared,
And waited and waited—at last it appear’d,
It wur filled full o’ folk as eggs full o’ meat,
And it tuk four ingens to bring it up reight,
Two hed long chimlas and th’ tuther hed noan,
But they stuck weel together like a dog to a bone.

They wur gruntin and growling wur the folks at gat aht,
So I made some inquiries what it wur abaht;
And i’ all my born days I ne’er heard nout so call’d,
For three or four times they sed it hed stall’d,
Wal some o’th’ crookt-legg’d ens bethout of a scheam,
And they went back to Keighley for a hamper o’steam.

And my word and honour it did mak a gert din,
For I stud by and heard it, and saw it come in;
I expected it coming as quiet as a lamb,
But no daht at the noises wur nobbut a sham;
But what’s the use o’ telling yo ha it did come,
I’d forgotten yo’d ridden to Wibsey begum.

p. 114There wur fifty i’ number invited to dine,
All us at hed acted reight loyal to the line;
So I thout that I’d go, for I knew weel enuff
At the puddings this time wud be made at reight stuff,
And noan o’ that stuffment they gav the Keighley band,
Toan awf on it rubbish and the other awf sand.

For twelve stone o’ flour (3lbs. to a man)
Wur boiled i’ oud Bingleechin’s kah lickin pan,
Wi gert lumps o’ suet at the cook hed put in’t,
At shane like a ginney just new aht at mint;
Wi’ knives made a purpose to cut it i’ rowls,
And the sauce wur i’ buckets and mighty big bowls.

They wur chattin and taukin and souckin ther spice,
And crackin at dainties they thout at wur nice,
Wal the oud parson gat up and pull’d a long face,
And mutter’d some words at they call saying th’ grace,
But I nivver goam’d that, cos I knew for a fact
It wur nobbut a signal for the puddin attack.

And aw’l tell yo wot, folk tho’ yo maint beleeve,
But yo tauks abaht Wibsey fooak heytin horse beef,
Yo sud a seen Locker-taaners brandishing ther nives,
An choppin an cutting ther wollopin shives;
An all on em shaatin thay lik’d th puddin th best,
Fer nout wur like th puddin for standin th’ test.

An while thay wor cutting an choppin away,
The gallant Spring-Heeaders wor order’d ta play,
p. 115But thay didn’t mich loike it fer ivvery wun,
Wur flaid at thayd play wol th puddin wor dun;
But as luck wor thay tice’d em, wi a gert deeal to do,
Ta play Roger the Plowman an Rozzen the bow.

Ike Ouden wor th chairman at com to preside,
An Will Thompson o Guiseley wor set by his soide,
Na Will’s a director o’th Midland line,
An as deeacent a chap as sat dahn ta dine;
Along wi Jin Sugden at held th Vice-chair,
Wor won Billy Brayshaw, Bradford Lord Mayor.

Their wor Jonathan Craven, Mic Morrell and me,
And a lot o more lads at wur for a spree;
There wur Nedwin o George’s and Pete Featherstone,
They sat side by side like Darby and Joan;
And I hardly can tell yo, but yor noan to a shade,
But I knaw they wur Ingham and little Jack Wade.

So he says, be silent, all the folk i’ this hall,
So as any won on yo can hear a pin fall;
And Jone o’ Bill Olders just shut up thi’ prate,
For I’ve summat to say and I mun let it aht;
For I mun hev silence whativer betide,
Or I’ll cum aht oth loom and some o’ yo hide.

Three years hes elapsed and we’re going on the fourth,
Sin we first started th railway fra Keighley to Haworth
What wi’ dreamin by neet, and workin by day,
Its been to poor Haworth a dearish railway.
p. 116And monny a time I’ve been aht o’ patience
Wi’ the host o’ misfortunes and miscalculations.

The first do at we hed wur th kah swallowing th plan,
And then wur bad luck and misfortunes began;
For before Ginger Jabus cud draw us another,
All went on wrong and we’d a gert deal o’ bother;
He must a been dreamin, a silly oud clahn,
For three fields o’ Oud Doodles he nivver put dahn.

As for thee, Jonny Broth, it’s a pity I knaw,
For thart one o’ the best drivers at ivver I saw;
And nobody can grumble at what tha hes dun,
If thi buss driven wearisome race it is run;
For who nah cud grumble, ha fine wur thur cloth,
To ride up to Haworth wi oud Johnny Broth.

So Johnny, my lad, don’t thee mak onny fuss,
I shuttin thi horses, or sellin thi buss;
For if the railway hes done thee, there’s wun thing I knaw;
Tha mud mak ’o th’ oud bus a stunnin peep show,
And if I meet thee at Lunden, tho two hundred miles,
I sall patronise thee if it be in St. Giles.

So strike up yor music and give it some mahth,
And welcum all nashuns fra north to the sahth;
The black fra the east, and the red fra the west,
For they sud be welcum as weel as the rest:
And all beyond the Tiber, the Baltic or Rhine,
Shall knaw at we’ve oppen’d the Worth Valley Line.

p. 117T’ Village Aram-Skaram.

In a little cot so dreary,
With eyes and forehead hot and bleary,
Sat a mother sad and weary,
      With her darling on her knee;
Their humble fare at best was sparing,
For the father he was shearing,
With his three brave sons o’ Erin,
      Down in the Fen country.

All her Saxon neighbours leave her,
With her boy and demon fever,
The midnight watch—none to relieve her,
      Save a Little Bisey Bee:
He was called the Aram-Skaram,
Noisy as a drum clock laram,
Yet his treasures he would share ’em,
      With his friend right merrily.

Every night and every morning,
With the day sometimes at dawning,
While the mother, sick and swooning,
      To his dying mate went he:
Robbing his good Saxon mother,
Giving to his Celtic brother,
Who asked—for him and no other,
      Until his spirit it was free.

p. 118Saw the shroud and saw the coffin;
Brought the pipes and brought the snuff in;
This little noble-hearted ruffin,
      At the wake each night went he:
Sabbath morning he was ready,
Warn’d the bearers to be steady,
Taking Peter to his Biddy,
      And a tear stood in his e’e.

Onward as the corpse was passing,
Ere the priest gave his last blessing,
Through the dingy crowd came pressing,
      The father and the brothers three:
’Tis our mother—we will greet her;
How is this that here we meet her?
And without our little Peter,
      Who will solve this mystery?

The Aram-Skaram interfered,
Soon this corpse will be interred,
Come with us and see it burried,
      Out in yonder cemetery:
Soon they knew the worst, and pondered
Half-amazed and half-dumbfounded;—
And returning home, they wondered
      Who their little friend could be!

Turning round to him they bowed,
Much they thanked him, much they owed;
p. 119While the tears each cheek bedewed,
      Wisht him all prosperity:
“Never mind,” he said, “my brothers,
What I have done, do ye to others;
We’re all poor barns o’ some poor mothers,”
      Said the little Bisey Bee.

Behold How the Rivers!

Behold how the rivers flow down to the sea,
Sending their treasures so careless and free;
And to give their assistance each Spring doth arise,
Uplifting and singing my songs to the skies.

Find out the haunts o’ the low human pest,
Give to the weary, the poor, and distressed;
What if unthankful and thankless they be,
Think of the giver that gave unto thee.

Go travel the long lanes on misery’s virge,
Find out their dark dens, and list to their dirge;
Where want and famine, and by ourselves made,
Forgive our frail follies, and come to our aid.

p. 120Give to yon widow—thy gift is thrice blest,
For tho’ she be silent, the harder she’s pressed;
A small bit o’ help to the little she earns,
God blesses the giver to fatherless bairns.

’Neath the green grassy mounds o’ yon little church yard,
An over-wrought genius there finds his reward;
And marvel thee not, when I say unto thee,
Such are the givers that give unto me.

Then scatter thy mite like nature her rain,—
What if no birdie should chant thee a strain;
What if no daisy should smile on the lea;
The sweet honeysuckle will compensate thee.

For the day will soon come, if thou gives all thou may,
That thou mayest venture to give all away;
Ere nature again her balmy dews send,
Thou may have vanished my good giving friend.

The World’s Wheels.

Aw steady an’ easy t’oud world’s wheels wod go,
If t’folk wod be honist an’ try to keep so;
p. 121An’ at steead o’ been hastey at ivvery wun,
Let us enquire afore we condemn.

A man may do wrong an’ scarce be to blame,
Or a woman be bad e nout bud her name;
But which on us ought ta say ought unto them,
Unless we enquire afore we condemn.

If a Rose she sud flurish her sisters among,
It izant ta say her poor sister is wrong;
That blighted one there may be nipt in the stem,
So let us enquire before we condemn.

Yond vessel that tussels the ocean to plough,
While waves they are dashing and winds they do blow,
May be shattered asunder from stern unto stem,
So let us inquire before we condemn.

We are certain o’ wun thing an’ that izant two,
If we do nothing wrong we have nothing to rue;
Yet many a bright eye may be full to the brim,
So let us inquire afore we condemn.

Then speak not so harshly, withdraw that rash word,
’Tis wrong to condemn till the story is heard;
If it worrant for summat sho might be a gem,
So let us enquire afore we condemn.

p. 122Full o’ Doubts an’ Fears.

Sweet sing the birds in lowly strains,
   All mingled in their song;
For lovely Spring is here again,
   And Winter’s cold is gone.

All things around seem filled with glee,
   And joy swells every breast;
The buds are peeping from each bush,
   Where soon the birds will rest.

The meadows now are fresh and green,
   The flowers are bursting forth,
And nature seems to us serene,
   And shows her sterling worth.

The lark sores high up in the air,
   We listen to his lays;
He knows no sorrow nor no care,
   Nor weariness o’ days.

But men, though born of noble birth,
   Assigned for higher spheres,
Walks his sad journey here on earth
   All full o’ doubts and fears.

p. 123 It Izant so we Me.

Bright seems the days when I was young
   Fra thought, fra care, fra sorrow free;
As wild waves rippled i’ the sun,
   Rolled gaily on, and so wi’ me.

More bright the flowers when I was young,
   More sweet the birds sang on the tree;
While pleasure and contentment flung
   Her smiles on them, and so wi’ me.

The naked truth, I told when young,
   Though tempted wi hypocracy;
Though some embraced from it I sprang,
   And said it izant so wi’ me.

Aw saw the canting jibs when young,
   Of saintly, sulky misery;
Yet poked aw melancholy’s ribs,
   And said it izant so wi’ me.

Though monny a stone when aw was young,
   His strong upon me memory;
Aw thru when young and hed um flung,
   If they forgive ’tis so wi’ me.

Could money buy o’ Nature’s mart,
   Again our brightest days to see;
p. 124Ther’s monny a wun wod pawn ther shirt,
   Or else they’d buy—and so wi me.

Yet after all aw oft luke back,
   Without a pang o’ days gone past,
An hope all t’ wreng aw did when young,
   May be forgeen to me at last.

Ode to an Herring.

Wee silvery fish, who nobly braves
The dangers o’ the ocean waves,
While monsters from the unknown caves
      Make thee their prey;
Escaping which the human knaves
      On thee ligs way.

No doubt thou was at first designed
To suit the palates o’ mankind;
Yet as I ponder now I find,
      Thy fame is gone:
With dainty dish thou’rt behind
      With every one.

I’ve seen the time thy silvery sheen
Were welcome both at morn and e’en,
p. 125Or any hour that’s in between,
      Thy name wer good;
But now by some considered mean
      For human food.

When peace and plenty’s smiling brow,
And trade and commerce speeds the plough;
Thy friends that were not long ago,
      Such game they make;
Thy epitaph is soldier now,
      Or two-eyed snake.

When times are hard we’re scant o’ cash,
And famine hungry bellies lash,
And tripes and trollabobble’s trash
      Begins to fail,
Asteead o’ soups an’ oxtail ash,
      Hail! herring, hail!

Full mony a time t’as made me groan,
To see thee stretched, despised, alone;
While turned-up noses passed have gone,
      O’ purse-proud men!
No friends, alas! save some poor one
      Fra t’ paddin can.

Whoe’er despise thee, let them know
The time may come when they may go
To some fish wife, and beg to know
      If they can buy
p. 126The friendship o’ their vanquished foe,
      We weeping eye.

To me nought could be better fun,
Than see a duke or noble don,
Or lord, or peer, or gentleman,
      In search o’ thee:
And they were bidden to move on,
      Or go t’at sea.

Yet I will sing thy praise, wee fish;
To me thou art a dainty dish;
For thee, ’tis true, we often wish,
      My little bloater;
Either salted, cured, or shining fresh
      Fra yon great water.

If through thy pedigree we peep,
Philosophy from thee can keep,
To me I need not study deep,
      There’s nothing foreign;
For aw like thee, am sold too cheap,
      My little herring.

p. 127Our Poor Little Factory Girls.

They are up in the morning right early,
   They are up sometimes afore leet;
Aw hear their clogs they are clamping,
   As t’ little things goes dahn the street.

They are off in the morning right early,
   With their baskets o’ jock on their arms;
The bell is ting-tonging, ting-tonging,
   As they enter the mill in a swarm.

They are skarpring backward and forward,
   Their ends to keep up if they can;
They are doing their utmost endeavours,
   For fear o’ the frown o’ man.

Wi’ fingers so nimble and supple,
   They twist, an’ they twine, an’ they twirl,
Such walking, an’ running, an’ kneeling,
   As the wee little factory girl.

They are bouncing abaht like a shuttle,
   They are kneeling an’ rubbing the floor;
While their wee little mates they are doffing,
   Preparing the spindles for more.

Them two little things they are thickest,
   They help one another ’tis plain;
p. 128They try to be best and the quickest,
   The smiles o’ their master to gain.

And now from her ten hours’ labour,
   Back to her cottage sho shogs;
Aw hear by the tramping and singing,
   ’Tis the factory girl in her clogs.

An’ at night when sho’s folded i’ slumber,
   Sho’s dreaming o’ noises and drawls;
Of all human toil under-rated,
   ’Tis our poor little factory girls.

We Him haw call my awn.

The branches o’ the woodbine hide
   My little cottage wall,
An’ though ’tis but a humble thatch,
   Aw envy not the hall.

The wooded hills before my eyes
   Are spread both far and wide;
An’ Nature’s grandeur seems to dress,
   In all her lovely pride.

It is, indeed, a lovely spot,
   O’ singing birds an’ flowers;
p. 129’Mid Nature’s grandeur it is true,
   I pass away my hours.

Yet think not ’tis this lovely glen,
   So dear in all its charms;
Its blossomed banks and rippled reels,
   Freed from the world’s alarms.

For should love’s magic change the scene,
   To trackless lands unknown;
’Twor Eden in the desert wild,
   Wi him aw call my own.

A Yorkshireman’s Christmas.

Aw have ten or twelve pounds o gooid meit,
   A small cheese and a barrel o’ beer;
Aw’ll welcome King Christmas to neet,
   For he nobbut comes once in a year.

Send our Will dahn to Tommy Spoyle Wood’s,
   And tell him to send up a log;
An’ tell him and Betty to come,
   For Tommy’s a jolly oud dog.

p. 130Aw mean to forget all my debts,
   An’ aw mean to harbour no greef;
Nobbut emptying glasses an’ plates
   O’ their contents o’ beer and gooid beef.

Them barns they care nought abaht drink,
   Like us at’s advanced into years;
So Sally, lass, what does ta think,
   If ta buys um some apples an’ pears?

Our David’s a fine little lad,
   An’ our Nancy’s a fine little lass;
When aw see um aw do feel so glad,
   So bring me a quart an’ a glass!

Come, Sally, an’ sit be my side?
   We’ve hed both were ups and were dahns;
Awm fane at aw made thee my bride,
   An’ am prahd o’ both thee an’ wer barns.

We’re as happy as them at’s more brass,
   E their festival holly-decked hall;
We envy no mortal, old lass;
   Here’s peace and gooid will unto all.

And may every poor crater ta neet,
   If never before in his loife,
Have plenty to drink an’ ta eat,
   For both him, an’ his barns, an’ his woife.

p. 131The Fethered Captive.

My little dappled-wingged fellow,
What ruffin’s hand has made thee wellow?
Haw heard while down in yonder hollow,
      Thy troubled breast;
But I’ll return my little fellow,
      Back to its nest.

Some ruffin’s hand has set a snickle,
And left thee in a bonny pickle;
Who e’er he be, haw hope old Nick ’al
      Rise his arm,
And mak his heead an’ ear-hoil tickle
      We summat warm.

How glad am aw that fate while roaming,
Where milk-white Hawthorns’ blossoms blooming,
As sent me footsteps ere the gloaming
      Into this dell.
To stop some murdering hand fra drowning
      Thy bonny sell.

For thou wert doomed, my bird, for ever,
Fra all thy fethered mates to sever;
Were aw not near thee to deliver
      We my awn hand;
Nor never more thou’d skim the river,
      Or fellowed land.

p. 132Thy fetherd friends, if thou has onny;
Tho’ friends aw fear there izant mony;
But yet thy dam for her, we Johnny,
      Will fret to-day.
And think her watter-wagtail bonny
      Has flown away.

Be not afraid, for net a fether
Fra of thy wing shall touch the hether,
For I will give thee altogether
      Sweet liberty!
And glad am aw that aw came hither,
      To set thee free.

Now wing thy flight my little rover,
Thy cursed captivity is over,
And if thou crosses t’ Straits o’ Dover
      To warmer spheres;
Hoping thou may live in clover,
      For years and years.

Happily, like thee, for fortune’s fickle,
I may, myself, be caught it snickle;
And some kind hand that sees my pickle
      Through saving thee,
May snatch me, too, fra death’s grim shackle,
      And set me free.

p. 133Trip to Malsis Hall.

The day wor fine, the sun did shine,
   No sines o’ rain to fall,
When t’North Beck hands, e jovial bands,
   Did visit Malsis Hall.

Up by the hill o’ North Beck Mill,
   Both ould an’ young did meet;
To march I trow, e two-by-two,
   E processhun dahn the street.

An’ Marriner’s Band, we music grand,
   Struck up wi all ther might;
Then one and all, both great and small,
   March’d on we great delight.

The girls and boys, we jovial noise,
   The fife and drum did play;
For every one would have some fun
   On this eventful day.

Oud Joan o’ Sall wi’ all his palls,
   Marched on wi’ all ther ease;
Just for a lark, some did remark,
   There goes some prime oud cheese!

The Exlaheead chaps wi their girt caps,
   An’ coits nut quite i’th’ fashion;
p. 134With arms ding-dong, they stretch along,
   An’ put a fineish dash on.

Tom Wilkin drest up in his best,
   T’ oud wife put on her fall,
For they wor bent, what come or went,
   To dine at Malsis Hall.

There wor Tommy Twist, among the list,
   We his magenta snaat;
Hez often said, sin he gat wed,
   T’ oud lass sud hev an aht.

Amongst the lot wor oud Sam Butt,
   As fine as oud Lord Digby;
An’ oud Queer Doos, wi’ his strait shoos,
   An’ wi’ him Joseph Rigby.

There’s Jimmy Gill, o’ Castle hill,—
   That gentleman wi’t stick,—
There’s Will an’ Sam, and young John Lamb,
   An’ Ben an’ Earby Dick.

Aw scorn to lie—the reason why
   It is a shame awm sure!
But among the gob, wi’ old Joe Hob,
   Behould a perfect cure.

p. 135I’d quite forgot, among the lot,
   There was old Pally Pickles,
Wi’ crinoline sho walks so fine,
   Sho’s like a cat e prickles.

Bud to me tale, aw musant fail
   Fer out on this occasion;
We heead erect, and girt respect,
   We march to Keighley Station.

And Maud an’ t’ woife, az large az life,
   Gat in’t train together;
They both did say, they’d have a day,
   Among the blooming hether.

Nah—all fane gat in t’ train,
   And Ned began to scream;
Then Master Pratt doft off his hat,
   An’ pept aht at the steeam.

This jovial band, when they did land,
   Got off the train so hearty,
For they all went, wi’ that intent,
   To have a grand tea-party!

The country folk did gape an’ luke,
   To see us all delighted,
For every one, did say begum,
   Aw wish I’d been invited.

p. 136Its joy to tell, they march as well
   As the Scots did ower the border,
Ould Wellington and all his men
   Ne’er saw such marching order.

The lookers on, to see them come,
   Get on the second story;
Right down the park they did the mark,
   Coming e full glory.

Then to the place, each smiling face,
   Move on in grand succession;
The lookers on did say “well done,
   It iz a grand processhun!”

When they’d all past the hall at last,
   They form’d into a column;
Then Jimmy Wreet, wi’ all hiz meet,
   Gave aht a hymn so solemn:

Then all did raise their voice in praise,
   We music in the centre;
They sang a hymn e praise o’ Him,
   At iz the girt inventer.

That bit being done, they all did run,
   To have a pleasant day in,
Some went there, an’ some went here,
   An’ t’ Bands began o’ playing.

p. 137We mich amaze, we all did gaze,
   Around this splendid park;
Then little Jake began to speak,
   An’ thus he did remark:—

“At Morecambe Bay aw’ve been a day,
   At Bolton Woods an’ Ilkley;
But Malsis Hall outstrip them all,
   At aw’ve seen aht o’ Keighley.”

The girt park wall around the hall,
   Majestically does stand;
The waving trees, an pleasant breeze,
   Its loike a fairy land.

It fill’d wer eyes, we great surprise,
   To see the fountain sporting;
An’ on the top, stuck on a pot,
   The British flags wor floating.

The walks so grand, wi’ yellow sand,
   An’ splendid wor the paving,
High over all, around the wall,
   Wor flags an’ banners waving.

Nah some made fun, an’ some did run,
   And women they wor swinging;
Do you ken the “Muffin Man,”—
   Others they wor singing.

p. 138In sooth wor grand, to see this band,
   Assemble all together;
Bud sad to say, that varry day,
   Turned aht some shocking weather.

Even war nert rain, aw mun explain,
   At caused a girt disaster,
All but one sort o’ breead ran short,
   It wor no fault o’ t’ master.

O! Gormanton! thy bread an’ bun,
   An’ judgment it wor scanty;
Oh! what a shame, an’ what a name,
   For not providing plenty!

Oh, silly clown! thou might have known
   To eyt each one wor able;
The country air did mack some swear,
   They could ommost eyt a table.

The atmosphere, no longer clear,
   The clouds are black an’ stormy;
Then all but one away did run,
   Like some deserting army.

On—on! they go! as if some foe
   Wor charging at the lot!
If they got there, they didn’t care
   A fig for poor Will Scott!

p. 139Poor lame ould Will, remains there still,
   His crutches has to fetch him;
But he’s seen the toime, when in his prime,
   At nobody there could catch him.

Like some fast steed, wi’ all its speed,
   All seem’d as they wor flying;
To escape the rain, an’ catch the train,
   Both old and young wor trying.

One neet, old Wills, about Crosshills,
   He heeard a fearful humming,
He said t’ woife, upon my life,
   Aw think the French are coming!

Tha knaws reight weel at we’ve heeard tell
   O sich strange things before,
So lass look quick, an’ cut thee stick,
   An’ a will bolt the door.

Like drahnded rats, they pass their mates,
   An’ rans dahn to the station;
And Betty Bakes an’ Sally Shakes,
   Their both plump aht o’ patience.

“This is a mess,” says little Bess,
   At lives o’t top o’t garden;
“There’s my new shawl an’ fine lace fall,
   They’ll nut be worth a farden.”

p. 140But, hark! ding-dong goes through the throng,
   The bell does give the sign,
With all its force, the iron horse,
   Comes trotting up the line.

Then one by one they all get on,
   Wet, fatigued and weary;
The steam does blow, old Ned doth go,
   And we come back so cheery.

All satisfied we their short ride—
   But sorry for the rain—
Each thenkt ther stars they’re nowt no war,
   An’ we’ve got home again.

Whene’er we roam away from home,
   No matter where or when,
In storm or shower, if in wer power,
   To home—sweet home, return!

What we had seen—where we had been—
   Each to our friend wor telling:
The day being spent, we homeward went
   To each respective dwelling.

p. 141Dame Europe’s Lodging House.

Dame Europa kept a Lodging House,
   And she was fond of brass;
She took in public lodgers,
   Of every rank and class.

She’d French and Germans, Dutch and Swiss,
   And other nations too;
So poor old Mrs. Europe
   Had plenty work to do.

I cannot just now name her beds,
   Her number being so large;
But five she kept for deputies,
   Which she had in her charge.

So in this famous Lodging house,
   John Bull he stood A ONE,
On whom she always kept an eye,
   To see things rightly done.

And Master Louis was her next,
   And second, there’s no doubt,
For when a little row took place,
   He always backed John out.

For in her house was Alex Russ,
   Oft him they ey’d with fear;
p. 142For Alex was a lazy hound,
   And kept a Russian Bear.

Her fourth was a man of grace,
   And was for heaven bent;
His name was Pious William,
   Guided by his testament.

Her fifth, too, was a pious Knave,
   And ’tis our firm belief,
He once did rob the Hungary Lads
   Of their honest bread and beef.

These were Dame Europe’s deputies,
   In whom she put her trust,
To keep her lodging house at peace,
   In case eruption burst.

For many a time a row took place,
   While sharing out the scran;
But John and Louis soon stepp’d in,
   And cleared the padding can.

Once Alex Russ’s father Nick,
   A bit before he died,
Seized a little Turk one day,
   And thought to warm his hide.

p. 143But John and Louis soon stepp’d in,
   Declaring it foul play;
And made old Nick remember it
   Until his dying day.

Now all Dame Europe’s deputies,
   They made themselves at home;
And every lodger knew his bed,
   Likewise his sitting room.

They took great interest in their beds,
   And kept them very clean;
Unlike some other padding cans,
   So dirty and so mean.

But Louis had the nicest bed,
   Of any of the lot;
And being close by a window,
   He loved a flower pot.

The best and choicest bed of all,
   Was occupied with Johnny;
Because the Dame did favour him,
   He did collect her money.

And in a little bunk he lived,
   Seal’d up with oak, and tarr’d;
He would not let a single one,
   Come near within a yard.

p. 144A Jack of all trades, too, was John,
   And aught he’d do for brass;
And what he ever took in hand,
   No one could him surpass.

When tired of being shut up it bunk,
   Sometimes he went across,
To spend an hour with Master Louis,
   And they the wine would toss.

So many a happy day they spent,
   These lads, with one another;
While every lodger in the house,
   Thought John was Louis’ brother.

The Dame allowed John something nice,
   To get well in her rent,
Which every now and then it bank,
   He put it on per cent.

And working very hard himself
   Amongst his tar and pitch;
He soon accumulated wealth,
   That made him very rich.

The next to Louis’ bed was Will,
   The biggest Monitor;
And though he did pretend a saint,
   He was as big a cur.

p. 145He loved to make them all believe
   He was opposed to strife,
And said he never caused a row,
   No, never in his life.

He was so fond of singing psalms,
   And read his testament;
So everybody was deceived
   When he was on mischief bent.

He seldom passed a lodger’s bed
   But what he took a glance,
Which made them every one suspect
   He’d rob them if he’d chance.

Now Louis had two flower pots
   He nourished with much care,
But little knew that Willie’s eyes
   Were set upon the pair.

In one there grew an Alsace Rose,
   The other a Loraine,
And Willie vowed they once were his
   And must be his again.

He said his father once lodg’d there,
   And that the dame did know
That Louis predecessors once
   Had sneaked them in a row.

p. 146But in Willie’s council was a lad
   Up to every quirk,
To keep him out of mischief, long
   Dame Europe had her work.

To this smart youth Saint Willie
   Did whisper his desire
One night as they sat smoking,
   Besides the kitchen fire.

To get them flowers back again,
   Said Bissy, very low,
Meet Louis somewhere on the quiet,
   And try to cause a row.

But mind the other deputies
   Don’t catch you on the hop,
For John and Joseph you must know
   Your little game would stop.

For Joseph he has not forgot
   The day you warmed his rig;
And christian Denmark still thinks on
   About his nice Slesvig.

By your advice, my own Dear Mark,
   I have been guided on,
But what about that man i’t bunk?
   Pointing o’er to John.

p. 147He’s very plucky too is John,
   But yet he’s very slow,
And perhaps he never may perceive
   Our scheme about the row.

But not another word of this
   To anybody’s ears,
The dame she plays the list’ner,
   I have my doubts and fears.

So let us go up-stairs at once,
   I think it will be best,
And let us pray to Him above,
   Before we go to rest.

So with a pious countenance,
   His prayers as usual said,
But squinting round the room the while,
   He spied an empty bed.

What a pity that these empty stocks
   Should be unoccupied;
Do you think my little cousin, Mark,
   To them could be denied.

’Tis just the very thing, said Mark,
   Your cousin, sir, and you,
Would carry out my scheme first-rate,
   One at each side of Lue.

p. 148The dame being asked did not object
   If he could pay the rent,
And had a decent characterz
   And Louis would consent.

But I do object to this says Lue,
   And on this very ground,
Willy and his cousins, ma’am,
   They soon will me surround.

They’re nothing in my line at all
   They are so near a-kin,
And so if I consent to this
   At once they’ll hem me in.

O, you couldn’t think it, Master Lue,
   That I should do you harm,
For don’t I read my testament
   And don’t I sing my psalm.

’Tis all my eye, said Louis, both
   Your testament and psalms;
You use the dumbbells regular
   To strengthen up your arms.

So take your poor relation off,
   You pious-looking prig,
And open out Kit Denmark’s box,
   And give him back Slesvig.

p. 149Come, come, says Mrs. Europe,
   Let’s have no bother here,
Your trying now to breed a row
   At least it does appear.

Now Johnny hearing from the bunk
   What both of them did say,
He shouted out, Now stop it, Will,
   Or else you’ll rue the day.

All right friend John, I’m much obliged,
   You are my friend, I know,
And so my little cousin, sir,
   I’m willing to withdraw.

But Louis frothed at mouth with rage,
   Like one that was insane,
And said he’d make Bill promise him
   He’d not offend again.

I’d promise no such thing, says Mark,
   For that would hurt your pride,
Sing on and read your testament,
   Dame Europe’s on your side.

If I’d to promise out at sort,
   ’Twould be against my mind;
So take it right or take it wrong,
   I’ll promise naught at kind.

p. 150Then I shall take and wallop thee
   Unless thou cuts thy stick,
And drive thee to thy fatherland
   Before another week.

Come on, cried Sanctimonius,
   And sending out his arm
He caught poor Louis on the nose,
   Then sung another psalm.

But Louis soon was on his pins,
   And used his fists a bit,
But he was fairly out of breath,
   And seldom ever hit.

And at the end of round the first,
   He got it fearful hot,
This was his baptism of fire
   If we mistake it not.

So Willy sent a letter home,
   To his mother, old Augusta,
Telling her he’d thrashed poor Lue,
   And given him such a duster.

What wonderful events, says he,
  Has heaven brought about,
I fight the greatest pugilist
   That ever was brought out.

p. 151And if by divine Providence
   I get safe through this row,
Then I will sing “My God the spring
   From whom all blessings flow.”

Meanwhile the other Monitors,
   Were standing looking on,
But none of them durst speak a word,
   But all stared straight at John.

Ought not I to interfere,
   Says Johnny to the rest,
But he was told by every one
   Neutrality was the best.

Neutral, growl’d John, I hate the name,
   ’Tis poison to my ear,
It’s another word for cowardice,
   And makes me fit to swear.

At any rate I can do this,
   My mind I will not mask,
I’ll give poor Lue a little drop
   Out of my brandy flask.

And give it up, poor Lue, my lad,
   You might as well give in,
You know that I have got no power,
   Besides you did begin.

p. 152Then Louis rose, and looked at John,
   And spoke of days gone by,
When he would not have seen his friend,
   Have blackened Johnny’s eye.

And as for giving in, friend John,
   I’ll do nothing of the sort;
Do you think I’ll be a laughing stock
   For everybody’s sport.

This conversation that took place
   Made pious Willy grin,
And told John Bull to hold his noise,
   ’Twas nought to do with him.

These words to John did make him stare,
   And, finding to his shame,
That them were worse that did look on,
   Than them that played the game.

Now Dame Europe knew the facts
   Which had been going on,
And with her usual dignity,
   These words addressed to John:

Now, Mr. Bull, pray answer me,—
   Why are you gaping here?
You are my famous deputy,
   Then why not interfere?

p. 153Why, answered John, and made a bow,
   But yet was very shy;
I was told to be a neutral, ma’am,
   And that’s the reason why.

That’s just what you should not have done,
   Being in authority;
Did I not place you in that bunk
   To think and act for me?

Why any baby in the house
   Could not have done much worse,
But I fancy you’ve been holding back
   To save your private purse.

Neutrality is as fine a word
   As ever a coward used,
So the honour that I gave to you
   You shouldn’t have abused.

The minor lodgers in the house,
   On hearing this to John,
Began to whisper and to laugh,
   And call’d it famous fun.

At last a little urchin said,
   Please ma’am I’d take my oath,
At master John were neutral,
   And stuck up for them both.

p. 154Stuck up for both, offended both,—
   Is that it what you mean?
Continued Madame Europe,
   Then spoke to John again:

Now I’ll tell you what it is, John,
   We’ve long watch’d your career,
You take your fag’s advice to save
   Your paltry sums a year.

There’s Bob and Bill, besides some more
   That I call naught but scums,
They’ve got you fairly in between
   Their fingers and their thumbs.

If such like men as Ben and Hugh
   This day your fags had been,
They would have saved both you and me
   The cursed disgraceful scene.

And instead of being half-clad and shod,
   As everybody knows,
You would have dared these rivals now
   To come to such like blows.

There was a time in this house, John,
   If you put up your thumb,
The greatest blackguard tongue would stop
   As if they had been dumb.

p. 155But not a one i’t house
   This moment cares a fig,
For all you say or all you do,
   Although your purse be big.

I couldn’t hurt poor Louis, ma’am,
   Although he did begin;
And then you see that Will and I
   Are very near akin.

Beside, you see, said John again,
   I let poor Louis sup,
On both I use my ointment, and
   Their wounds I did bind up.

A weel a day then said the dame,
   But much affected were,
I see you have some small excuse
   What you have done it for.

I have some little hopes left yet
   That you may yet have sense,
To know your high position, John,
   Instead of saving pence.

You yet will learn that duty, sir,
   Cannot be ignored,
However disagreeable when
   Placed before the board.

p. 156And let me tell you he who shirks
   The responsibility
Of seeing right, is doing wrong,
   And deserves humility.

And ’tis an empty-headed dream,
   To boast of skill and power,
And dare not even interfere
   At the latest hour.

Better far confess at once
   You’re not fit for your place,
Than have a name Heroic, sir,
   Branded with disgrace.

But I will not say another word,
   My deputies, to you;
But hope you will a warning take,
   This moment from poor Lue.

And hoping, John, your enemies
   May never have the chance
To see you paid for watching Will
   Thrash poor weak Louis France.

p. 157The Bould Bucaneers:


I remember perusing when I was a boy,
The immortal bard—Homer’s siege of old Troy;
So the Malsis encampment I’ll sing if you will,
How our brave army bivouced on the plains o’ Park hill.

Near the grand Hall o’ Malsis our quarters we toke,
When Lieutenant-col. Don Frederick spoke,
Commanding his aide-camp Colonel de Mann,
To summons and muster the chiefs o’ the clan.

Majors Wood, Lamb, and Pollard came up to the lines,
Each marching their companies up to the nines;
The twirlers an’ twisters the knights o’ the coil,
An’ spuzzers an’ sorters fell in at the roll.

The light-infantry captains wer Robin and Shack,
And the gallant big benners the victuals did sack;
p. 158Captain Green he commanded the Indigo troop,
These Beer Barrel chargers none with them can cope.

The amazon army led on by Queen Bess,
Each feminine soldier so grand was her dress,
Though they chatted and pratted, twor pleasant to see
Them laughing and quaffing their hot rum an’ tea.

There wor music to dainties and music to wine,
An’ for faar o’ invaders no hearts did repine;
Although a dark cloud swept over the plain,
Yet our quarter wor sheltered from famine an’ rain.

Drum-Major Ben Rushworth and Bandmaster Master Wright,
Drank to each other wi’ pleasure that night;
We’d full-flowing bumpers, we’d music an fun,
From the larder an’ cellar o’ Field-Marshall Lund.

Private Tom Berry got into the hall,
When a big rump o’ beef he made rather small;
An’ Flintergill Billy o’ the Spuzzer’s Brigade,
Got his beak in the barrel, an’ havock he made.

p. 159The Field Marshall declared and his good lady too,
They ne’er was attacked wi’ so pleasant a foe;
With this all the clansmen gave them three cheers,
In return they saluted the bold Bucaneers.

The Veteran.

I left yond fields so fair to view;
   I left yond mountain pass and peaks;
I left two een so bonny blue,
   A dimpled chin and rosy cheeks.
For an helmet gay and suit o’ red
   I did exchange my corduroy;
I mind the words the Sergeant said,
   When I in sooth was but a boy.

Come, rouse thee, lad, be not afraid;
   Come, join and be a brave dragoon:
You’ll be well clothed, well kept, well paid,
   An’ captain be promoted soon.
Your sweetheart, too, will smile to see
   Your manly form an’ dress so fine;
Then gea’s your hand an’ follow me,—
   Our troop’s the finest in the line.

p. 160The pyramids behold our corps
   Drive back the mighty man o’ Fate!
Our ire is felt on every shore,
   In every country, clime, or state.
The Cuirassers at Waterloo
   We crushed;—they wor the pride o’ France!
At Inkerman, wi’ sabre true,
   We broke the Russ and Cossack lance!

Then come, my lad, extend your hand,
   Thine indolence I hold it mean;
Now follow me, at the command,
   Of our most gracious Sovereign Queen?
A prancing steed you’ll have to ride;
   A bonny plume will deck your brow;
Wi’ clinking spurs an’ sword beside,—
   Come? here’s the shilling: take it now!

The loyal pledge I took and gave,—
   It was not for the silver coin;
I wish to cross the briny wave,
   An’ England’s gallant sons to join.
Since—many a summer’s sun has set,
   An’ time’s graved-scar is on my brow,
Yet I am free and willing yet
   To meet ould England’s daring foe.

p. 161The Vale of Aire.

[It was early in the morning that I took my ramble.  I had noticed but little until I arrived at the foot of the quaint old hamlet of Marley.  My spirits began to be cheered, for lively gratitude glowed in my heart at the wild romantic scenery before me.  Passing the old mansion house, I wended my way towards the huge crag called the “Altar Rock.”  Wild and rugged as the scenery was, it furnished an agreeable entertainment to my mind, and with pleasure I pushed my way to the top of the gigantic rock, where I viewed the grandeur of the vale below.  The blossom on the branches, the crooked Aire gliding along like sheets of polished crystal, made me poetic.  I thought of Nicholson, the poet of this beautiful vale, and reclining on a green moss covered bank, I said these words.]

Poet Nicholson, old Ebor’s darling bard,
   Accept from me at least one tributary line;
Yet how much more should be thy just reward,
   Than any wild unpolished song of mine.

No monument in marble can I raise,
   Or sculptured bust in honour of thy name;
But humbly try to celebrate thy praise,
   And give thee that applause thou shouldst duly claim.

p. 162All hail, the songsters that awake the morn,
   And soothe the soul with wild melodious strains;
All hail, the rocks that Bingley hills adorn,
   Beneath whose shades wild nature’s grandeur reigns.

From off yon rock that rears its head so high,
   And overlooks the crooked river Aire;
While musing nature’s works full meet thy eye,
   The envied game, the lark and timid hare.

In Goitstock falls, and rugged Marley hills,
   In Bingley’s grand and quiet sequester’d dale,
Each silvery stream, each dike or rippled rills,
   I see thy haunt and read thy “Poacher’s Tale.”

So, Homer like, thy harp was wont to tune,
   Thy native vale and glorious days of old,
Whose maidens fair in virtuous beauty shone,
   Her sages and her heroes great and bold.

No flattering baseness could employ thy mind,
   The free-born muse detests that servile part:
In simple lore thy self-taught lay I find
   More grandeur far than all the gloss of art.

Though small regard be paid to worth so rare,
   And humble worth unheeded pass along;
Ages to come will sing the “Vale of Aire,”
   Her Nicholson and his historic song.

p. 163The Pauper’s Box.

Thou odious box, as I look on thee,
I wonder wilt thou be unlocked for me?
No, no! forbear!—yet then, yet then,
’Neath thy grim lid lie the men—
Men whom fortune’s blasted arrows hit,
And send them to the pauper’s pit.

O, dig a grave somewhere for me,
Deep, underneath some wither’d tree;
Or bury me on the wildest heath,
Where Boreas blows his wildest breath,
Or ’mid some wild romantic rocks:
But, oh! forbear the pauper’s box.

Throw me into the ocean deep,
Where many poor forgotten sleep;
Or fling my corpse in the battle mound,
With coffinless thousands ’neath the ground;
I envy not the mightiest dome,
But save me from a pauper’s tomb.

I care not if ’twere the wild wolf’s glen,
Or the prison yard, with wicked men;
Or into some filthy dung-hole hurled—
Anywhere, anywhere! out of the world!
In fire, or smoke, on land, or sea,
Than thy grim lid be closed on me.

p. 164But let me pause, ere I say more
About thee, unoffending door;
When I bethink me, now I pause,
It is not thee who makes the laws,
But villains who, if all were just,
In thy grim cell would lay their dust.

But yet, ’twere grand beneath yond wall,
To lay with friends,—relations all;
If sculptured tombstones were never there,
But simple grass with daisies fair;
And were it not, grim box, for thee
’Twere paradise, O cemetery.

Decorative image




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