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Yorkshire Dialect Poems

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by F.W. Moorman

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Title: Yorkshire Dialect Poems

Author: F.W. Moorman

Release Date: October, 2001  [Etext #2888]
[Yes, we are about one year ahead of schedule]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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                   (1673-1915)
                      and
                Traditional Poems


                    Compiled
          with an Historical Introduction
                      by
                  F. W. Moorman
(Professor of English Language, University of Leeds)


                      London
    Published for the Yorkshire Dialect Society
       by Sidgwick and Jackson, Ltd., 1916, 1917




                         To
            The Yorkshiremen Serving their
          Country in Trench or on Battleship
               I respectfully dedicate
                   this collection
             of Songs from the Homeland



Contents:
Preface to Etext Edition
Preface
Preface (To the Second Edition)
Introduction
Poems
   A Yorkshire Dialogue between an awd Wife a Lass and a butcher.  Anonymous
   An Honest Yorkshireman.                          Henry Carey
   From "Snaith Marsh"                              Anonymous
   When at Hame wi' Dad                             Anonymous
   I'm Yorkshire too                                Anonymous
   The Wensleydale Lad                              Anonymous
   A Song  1.                                       Thomas Browne
   A Song 2.                                        Thomas Browne
   The Invasion: An Ecologue                        Thomas Browne
   Elegy on the Death of a Frog                     David Lewis
   Sheffield Cutler's Song                          Abel Bywater
   Address to Poverty                               Anonymous
   The Collingham Ghost                             Anonymous
   The Yorkshire Horse Dealers                      Anonymous
   The Lucky Dream                                  John Castillo
   The Milkin'-Time                                 J. H. Dixon
   I Niver can call Her my Wife                     Ben Preston
   Come to thy Gronny, Doy                          Ben Preston
   Owd Moxy                                         Ben Preston
   Dean't mak gam o' me                             Florence Tweddell
   Coom, stop at yam to-neet Bob                    Florence Tweddell
   Ode to t' Mooin                                  J. H. Eccles
   Aunt Nancy                                       J. H. Eccles
   Coom, don on thy Bonnet an' Shawl                Thomas Blackah
   My awd hat                                       Thomas Blackah
   Reeth Bartle Fair                                John Harland
   The Christmas Party                              Tom Twistleton
   Nelly o' Bob's                                   John Hartley
   Bite Bigger                                      John Hartley
   Rollickin' Jack                                  John Hartley
   Jim's Letter                                     James Burnley
   A Yorkshire Farmer's Address to a Schoolmaster   George Lancaster
   The Window on the Cliff Top                      W. H. Oxley
   Aar Maggie                                       Edmund Hatton
   T' First o' t' Sooart                            John Hartley
   Pateley Reaces                                   Anonymous
   Play Cricket                                     Ben Turner
   The File-cutter's Lament to Liberty              E. Downing
   A Kuss                                           John Malham-Dembleby
   Huntin' Song                                     Richard Blakeborough
   Spring                                           F. J. Newboult
   Heam, Sweet Heam                                 A. C. Watson
   Then an' Nae                                     E. A. Lodge
   Owd England                                      Walter Hampson.
   Love and Pie                                     J. A. Carill
   I's Gotten t' Bliss                              George H. Cowling
   A Natterin' Wife                                 George H. Cowling
   O! What do ye Wesh i' the Beck                   George H. Cowling
Traditional Poems
   Cleveland Lyke-wake Dirge 1
   Cleveland Lyke-wake Dirge 2             Sir Walter Scott's version
   A Dree Neet
   The Bridal Bands
   The Bridal Garter
   Nance and Tom
   The Witch's Curse
   Ridin' t' Stang
   Elphi Bandy-legs
   Singing Games
      Stepping up the green grass
      Sally made a pudden
      Sally Water, Sally Water
      Diller a dollar
   Hagmana Song
   Round the Year
      New Year's Day
         Lucky-bird, lucky-bird, chuck, chuck, chuck!
      Candlemas
         On Can'lemas, a February day
         A Can'lemas crack
         If Can'lemas be lound an' fair,
      February Fill-Dike
         February fill-dyke
      Palm Sunday
         Palm Sunday, palm away;
      Good Friday
         On Good Friday rist thy pleaf
      Royal Oak Day
         It's Royal Oak Day,
      Harvest Home and the Mell-Sheaf
         We have her, we have her,
         Here we coom at oor toon-end,
         Weel bun' an' better shorn
         Blest be t' day that Christ was born,
      Guy Fawkes Day
         A Stick and a stake,
         Awd Grimey sits upon yon hill,
      Christmas
         I wish you a merry Kessenmas an' a happy New Year,
         Cleveland Christmas Song
         A Christmas Wassail
         Sheffield Mumming Song
   Charms, "Nominies," and Popular Rhymes
      Wilful weaste maks weasome want
      A rollin' stone gethers no moss
      Than awn a crawin' hen
      Nowt bud ill-luck 'll fester where
      Meeat maks
      The Miller's Thumb
         Miller, miller, mooter-poke
         Down i' yon lum we have a mill,
      Hob-Trush Hob
         "Hob-Trush Hob, wheer is thoo?"
         Gin Hob mun hae nowt but a hardin' hamp,
      Nanny Button-Cap
      The New Moon
         A Setterday's mean
         I see t' mean an' t' mean sees me,
         New mean, new mean, I hail thee,
      Eevein' red an' mornin' gray
      Souther, wind, souther!
      Friday Unlucky
         Dean't o' Friday buy your ring
      An Omen
         Blest is t' bride at t' sun shines on
      A Charm
         Tak twea at's red an' yan at's blake
      A  gift o' my finger
      Sunday clipt, Sunday shorn
      A Monday's bairn 'll grow up fair
      A cobweb i' t' kitchen,
      Snaw, snaw, coom faster
      Julius Caesar made a law
      A weddin', a woo, a clog an' a shoe
      Chimley-sweeper, blackymoor
      The Lady-bird
         Cow-lady, cow-lady, hie thy way wum,
      The Magpie
         I cross'd pynot,(1) an' t' pynot cross'd me
         Tell-pie-tit
      The Bat
         Black-black-bearaway
      The Snail
         Sneel, sneel, put oot your horn,
      Hallamshire
         When all the world shall be aloft,
      Harrogate
         When lords an' ladies stinking water soss,
      The River Don
         The shelvin', slimy river Don




Preface to Etext Edition

This is a mixture of the First and Second editions as noted.

The name of the author has been inserted after every title, so that it
will be included when poems are copied individually.

The footnotes have been renumbered and placed at the bottom of each
individual poem.

The sequence of the poems in the second edition has generally been
adhered to, and the contents list has been built on this basis.  The
Indexes have been omitted because of the lack of pagination in etext.
Computer  searches also make them redundant,

                            Dave Fawthrop (dave@hyphenologist.co.uk)




Preface

Several anthologies of poems by Yorkshiremen, or about Yorkshiremen, have
passed through the press since Joseph Ritson published his Yorkshire
Garland in 1786.  Most of these have included a number of dialect poems,
but I believe that the volume which the reader now holds in his hand is
the first which is made up entirely of poems written in "broad
Yorkshire."  In my choice of poems I have been governed entirely by the
literary quality and popular appeal of the material which lay at my
disposal.  This anthology has not been compiled for the philologist, but
for those who have learnt to speak "broad Yorkshire" at their mother's
knee, and have not wholly unlearnt it at their schoolmaster's desk.  To
such the variety and interest of these poems, no less than the
considerable range of time over which their composition extends, will, I
believe, come as a surprise.

It is in some ways a misfortune that there is no such thing as a standard
Yorkshire dialect.  The speech of the North and East Ridings is far
removed from that of the industrial south-west.  The difference consists,
not so much in idiom or vocabulary, as in pronunciation--especially in
the pronunciation of the long vowels and diphthongs.(1) As a consequence
of this, I have found it impossible, in bringing together dialect poems
from all parts of the county, to reduce their forms to what might be
called Standard Yorkshire.  Had I attempted to do this, I should have
destroyed what was most characteristic.  My purpose throughout has been
to preserve the distinguishing marks of dialect possessed by the poems,
but to normalise the spelling of those writers who belong to one and the
same dialect area.

The spelling of "broad Yorkshire" will always be one of the problems
which the dialect-writer has to face.  At best he can only hope for a
broadly accurate representation of his mode of speech, but he can take
comfort in the thought that most of those who read his verses know by
habit how the words should be pronounced far better than he can teach
them by adopting strange phonetic devices.  A recognition of this fact
has guided me in fixing the text of this anthology, and every spelling
device which seemed to me unnecessary, or clumsy, or pedantic, I have
ruthlessly discarded. On the other hand, where the dialect-writer has
chosen the Standard English spelling of any word, I have as a rule not
thought fit to alter its form and spell it as it would be pronounced in
his dialect.

I am afraid I may have given offence to those whom I should most of all
like to please--the living contributors to this anthology--by
tampering in this way with the text of their poems.  In defence of what I
have done, I must put forward the plea of consistency.  If I had
preserved every poet's text as I found it, I should have reduced my
readers to despair.

In conclusion, I should--like to thank the contributors to this volume,
and also their publishers, for the permission to reproduce copyright
work.  Special thanks are due to Mr. Richard Blakeborough, who has placed
Yorkshiremen under a debt, by the great service which he has rendered in
recovering much of the traditional poetry of Yorkshire and in giving it
the permanence of the printed page.  In compiling the so-called
traditional poems at the end of this volume, I have largely drawn upon
his Wit, Character, Folklore, and Customs of the North Riding.

                                     F. W. Moorman

1. Thus in the south-west fool and soon are pronounced fooil and sooin,
in the north-east feeal and seean.  Both the south-west and the
north-east have a word praad--with a vowel--sound like the a in father--but
whereas in the south-west it stands for proud, in the north-east it
stands for pride,




Preface (To the Second Edition)

The demand for a second edition of this anthology of Yorkshire dialect
verse gives me an opportunity of correcting two rather serious error's
which crept into the first edition.  The poem entitled "Hunting Song" on
page 86, which I attributed to Mr. Richard Blakeborough, is the work of
Mr. Malham-Dembleby", whose poem, "A Kuss," immediately precedes it in
the volume.

The poem on page 75, which in the first edition was marked Anonymous and
entitled "Parson Drew thro' Pudsey," is the work of the late John
Hartley; its proper' title is "T' First o' t' Sooar't," and it includes
eight introductory stanzas which are now added as Appendix II.

Through the kindness of: Fr W. A. Craigie, Dr.  M. Denby, and Mr. E. G.
Bayford, I have also been able to make a few changes in the glossarial
footnotes, The most important of these is the change from "Ember's" to
"Floor" as the meaning of the word, "Fleet" in the second line of "A
Lyke-wake Dirge." The note which Dr. Craigie sen't me on this word is so
interesting that I reproduce it here verbatim:

"The word fleet in the 'Lyke-wake Dirge' has been much misunderstood, but
it is certain1y the same thing as flet-floor; see the O.E.D. and E.D.D.
under.  FLET.  The form is not necessarily 'erroneous,' as is said in the
O.E.D., for it might represent ,the O.N. dative fleti, which must have
been common in the phrase a fleti (cf. the first verse of 'Havamal').
The collocation with 'fire' occurs in 'Sir Gawayne' (l. 1653): 'Aboute
the fyre upon flet.' 'Fire and fleet and candle-light' are a summary of
the comforts of the house, which the dead person still enjoys for 'this
ae night,' and then goes out into the dark and cold."
                                    F. W. Moorman




Introduction

The publication of an anthology of Yorkshire dialect poetry seems to
demand a brief introduction in which something shall be said of the
history and general character of that poetry.  It is hardly necessary to
state that Yorkshire has produced neither a Robert Burns, a William
Barnes, nor even an Edwin Waugh.  Its singers are as yet known only among
their own folk; the names of John Castillo and Florence Tweddell are
household words among the peasants of the Cleveland dales, as are those
of Ben Preston and John Hartley among the artisans of the Aire and Calder
valleys; but, outside of the county, they are almost unknown, except to
those who are of Yorkshire descent and who cherish the dialect because of
its association with the homes of their childhood.

At the same time there is no body of dialect verse which better deserves
the honour of an anthology.  In volume and variety the dialect poetry of
Yorkshire surpasses that of all other English counties.  Moreover, when
the rise of the Standard English idiom crushed out our dialect
literature, it was the Yorkshire dialect which first reasserted its
claims upon the muse of poetry; hence, whereas the dialect literature of
most of the English counties dates only from the beginning of the
nineteenth century, that of Yorkshire reaches back to the second half of
the seventeenth.

In one sense it may be said that Yorkshire dialect poetry dates, not from
the seventeenth, but from the seventh century, and that the first
Yorkshire dialect poet was Caedmon, the neat-herd of Whitby Abbey.  But
to the ordinary person the reference to a dialect implies the existence
of a standard mode of speech almost as certainly as odd implies even.
Accordingly, this is not the place to speak of that great heritage of
song which Yorkshire bequeathed to the nation between the seventh century
and the fifteenth.  After the Caedmonic poems, its chief glories are the
religious lyrics of Richard Rolle, the mystic, and the great cycles of
scriptural plays which are associated with the trade-guilds of York and
Wakefield.  But in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the
all-conquering Standard English spread like a mighty spring-tide over
England and found no check to its progress till the Cheviots were
reached.  The new "King's English" was of little avail in silencing
dialect as a means of intercourse between man and man, but it checked for
centuries the development of dialect literature.  The old traditional
ballads and songs, which were handed down orally from generation to
generation in the speech of the district to which they belonged, escaped
to some extent this movement towards uniformity; but the deliberate
artificers of verse showed themselves eager above all things to get rid
of their provincialisms and use only the language of the Court.
Shakespeare may introduce a few Warwickshire words into his plays, but
his English is none the less the Standard English of his day, while
Spenser is sharply brought to task by Ben Jonson for using archaisms and
provincialisms in his poems.  A notable song of the Elizabethan age is
that entitled "York, York, for my Monie," which was first published in
1584; only a Yorkshireman could have written it, and it was plainly
intended for the gratification of Yorkshire pride; yet its language is
without trace of local colour, either in spelling or vocabulary.  Again,
there appeared in the year 1615 a poem by Richard Brathwaite, entitled,
"The Yorkshire Cottoneers," and addressed to "all true-bred Northerne
Sparks, of the generous society of the Cottoneers, who hold their
High-roade by the Pinder of Wakefield, the Shoo-maker of Bradford, and
the white Coate of Kendall"; but Brathwaite, though a Kendal man by
birth, makes no attempt to win the hearts of his "true-bred Northern
Sparks" by addressing them in the dialect that was their daily wear.  In
a word, the use of the Yorkshire dialect for literary purposes died out
early in the Tudor period.

As already stated, its rebirth dates from the second half of the
seventeenth century.  That was an age of scientific investigation and
antiquarian research.  John Ray, the father of natural history, not
content with his achievements in the classification of plants, took up
also the collection of outlandish words, and in the year 1674 he
published a work entitled, A Collection of English Words, not generally
used, with their Significations and Original, in two Alphabetical
Catalogues, the one of such as are proper to the Northern, the other to
the Southern Counties.  Later he entered into correspondence with the
Leeds antiquary, Ralph Thoresby, who, in a letter dated April 27, 1703,
sends him a list of dialect words current in and about Leeds.(1)

Side by side with this new interest in the dialect vocabulary comes also
the dialect poem.  One year before the appearance of Ray's Collection of
English Words the York printer, Stephen Bulkby, had issued, as a humble
broadside without author's name, a poem which bore the following title: A
Yorkshire Dialogue in Yorkshire Dialect; Between an Awd Wife, a Lass, and
a Butcher.  This dialogue occupies the first place in our anthology, and
it is, from several points of view, a significant work.  It marks the
beginning, not only of modern Yorkshire, but also of modern English,
dialect poetry.  It appeared just a thousand years after Caedmon had sung
the Creator's praise in Whitby Abbey, and its dialect is that of
northeast Yorkshire--in other words, the lineal descendant of that speech
which was used by Caedmon in the seventh century, by Richard Rolle in the
fourteenth, and which may be heard to this day in the streets of Whitby
and among the hamlets of the Cleveland Hills.

The dialogue is a piece of boldest realism.  Written in an age when
classic restraint and classic elegance were in the ascendant, and when
English poets were taking only too readily to heart the warning of
Boileau against allowing shepherds to speak "comme on parle au village,"
the author of this rustic dialogue flings to the winds every convention
of poetic elegance.  His lines "baisent la terre" in a way that would
have inexpressibly shocked Boileau and the Parisian salons.  The poem
reeks of the byre and the shambles; its theme is the misadventure which
befalls an ox in its stall and its final despatch by the butcher's
mallet! One might perhaps find something comparable to it in theme and
treatment in the paintings of the contemporary school of Dutch realists,
but in poetry it is unique.  Yet, gross as is its realism, it cannot be
called crude as a work of poetic art.  In rhyme and rhythm it is quite
regular, and the impression which it leaves upon the mind is that it was
the work of an educated man, keenly interested in the unvarnished life of
a Yorkshire farm, keenly interested in the vocabulary and idioms of his
district, and determined to produce a poem which should bid defiance to
all the proprieties of the poetic art.

Eleven years later--in 1684--appeared two more poems, in a dialect
akin to but not identical with that of the above and very similar in
theme and treatment.  These are A Yorkshire Dialogue in its pure Natural
Dialect as it is now commonly spoken in the North Parts of Yorkeshire,
and A Scould between Bess and Nell, two Yorkshire Women.  These two poems
were also published at York, though by a different printer, and in the
following year a second edition appeared, followed by a third in 1697. To
the poems is appended Francis Brokesby's "Observations on the Dialect and
Pronunciation of Words in the East Riding of Yorkshire," which he had
previously sent to Ray,(1) together with a collection of Yorkshire
proverbs and a "Clavis," or Glossary, also by Brokesby.  The author of
these two poems, who signs himself" G. M. Gent" on the title-page, is
generally supposed to be a certain George Meriton, an attorney by
profession, though Francis Douce, the antiquary, claims George Morrinton
of Northallerton as the author.

"G. M." is a deliberate imitator of the man who wrote the Dialogue
Between an Awd Wife, a Lass, and a Butcher.  All that has been said about
the trenchant realism of farmlife in the dialogue of 1673 applies with
equal force to the dialogues of 1684.  The later poet, having a larger
canvas at his disposal, is able to introduce more characters and more
incident; but in all that pertains to style and atmosphere he keeps
closely to his model.  What is still more apparent is that the author is
consciously employing dialect words and idioms with the set purpose of
illustrating what he calls the "pure Natural Dialect" of Yorkshire; above
all, he delights in the proverbial lore of his native county and never
misses an opportunity of tagging his conversations with one or other of
these homespun proverbs.  The poem is too long for our anthology,(2) but
I cannot forbear quoting some of these proverbs:

"There's neay carrion can kill a craw."
"It's a good horse that duz never stumble,
 And a good wife that duz never grumble."
"Neare is my sarke, but nearer is my skin."
"It's an ill-made bargain whore beath parties rue."
"A curst cow hes short horns."
"Wilfull fowkes duz never want weay."
"For change of pastures macks fat cawves, it's said,
 But change of women macks lean knaves, I'se flaid

The excellent example set by the authors of the Yorkshire Dialogues was
not followed all at once.  Early in the eighteenth century, however,
Allan Ramsay rendered conspicuous service to dialect poetry generally by
the publication of his pastoral drama, The Gentle Shepherd (1725), as
well as by his collections of Scottish songs, known as The Evergreen and
Tea Table miscellanies.  Scotland awoke to song, and the charm of Lowland
Scots was recognised even by Pope and the wits of the coffee-houses.  One
can well believe that lovers of dialect south of the Tweed were thereby
moved to emulation, and in the year 1736 Henry Carey, the reputed son of
the Marquis of Halifax, produced a ballad-opera bearing the equivocal
title, A Wonder, or An Honest Yorkshireman.(3) Popular in its day, this
opera is now forgotten, but its song, "An Honest Yorkshireman" has found
a place in many collections of Yorkshire songs.  It lacks the charm of
the same author's famous "Sally in our Alley," but there is a fine manly
ring about its sentiments, and it deserves wider recognition.  The
dialect is that of north-east Yorkshire.

In 1754 appeared the anonymous dialect poem, Snaith Marsh.(4) This is a
much more conventional piece of work than the seventeenth- century
dialogues, and the use which is made of the local idiom is more
restricted.  Yet it is not without historic interest.  Composed at a time
when the Enclosure Acts were robbing the peasant farmer of his rights of
common, the poem is an elegiac lament on the part of the Snaith farmer
who sees himself suddenly brought to the brink of ruin by the enclosure
of Snaith Marsh.  To add to his misery, his bride, Susan, has deserted
him for the more prosperous rival, Roger.  As much of the poem is in
standard English, it would be out of place to reprint it in its entirety
in this collection, but, inasmuch as the author grows bolder in his use
of dialect as the poem proceeds, I have chosen the concluding section to
illustrate the quality of the work and the use which is made of dialect.

From the date of the publication of Snaith Marsh to the close of the
eighteenth century it is difficult to trace chronologically the progress
of Yorkshire dialect poetry.  The songs which follow in our anthology--
"When at Hame wi' Dad" and "I'm Yorkshire, too "--appear to have an
eighteenth-century flavour, though they may be a little later.  Their
theme is somewhat similar to that of Carey's song.  The inexperienced but
canny Yorkshire lad finds himself exposed to the snares and temptations
of " Lunnon city." He is dazzled by the spectacular glories of the
capital, but his native stock of cannyness renders him proof against
seduction. The songs are what we should now call music-hall songs, and
may possibly have been written for the delights of the visitors to
Ranelagh or Vauxhall Gardens.

"The Wensleydale Lad" seems to be of about the same period, for we learn
from the song that the reigning monarch was one of the Georges.  Its
opening line is a clear repetition--or anticipation--of the opening
line of "When at Hame wi' Dad"; but whereas the hero of the latter poem,
on leaving home, seeks out the glories of Piccadilly and Hyde Park, the
Wensleydale lad is content with the lesser splendours; of Leeds.  The
broad humour of this song has made it exceedingly popular; I first heard
it on the lips of a Runswick fisherman, and since then have met with it
in different parts of the county.

In the year 1786 Joseph Ritson, the antiquary, published a slender
collection of short poems which he entitled The Yorkshire Garland.  This
is the first attempt at an anthology of Yorkshire poetry, and the
forerunner of many other anthologies.  All the poems have a connection
with Yorkshire, but none of them can, in the strict sense of the word, be
called a dialect poem.

In the year 1800 the composition of Yorkshire dialect poetry received an
important stimulus through the appearance of a volume entitled, Poems on
Several Occasions.  This was the posthumous work of the Rev.  Thomas
Browne, the son of the vicar of Lastingham.  The author, born at
Lastingham in 1771, started life as a school-master, first of all at
Yeddingham, and later at Bridlington; in the year 1797 he removed to Hull
in order to engage in journalistic work as editor of the recently
established newspaper, The Hull Advertiser.  About the same time he took
orders and married, but in the following year he died.  Most of the poems
in the little volume which his friends put through the press in the year
1800 are written in standard English.  They display a mind of
considerable refinement, but little originality.  In the form of ode,
elegy, eclogue, or sonnet, we have verses which show tender feeling and a
genuine appreciation of nature.  But the human interest is slight, and
the author is unable to escape from the conventional poetic diction of
the eighteenth century.  Phrases like "vocal groves," "Pomona's rich
bounties," or "the sylvan choir's responsive notes" meet the reader at
every turn; direct observation and concrete imagery are sacrificed to
trite abstractions, until we feel that the poet becomes a mere echo of
other and greater poets who had gone before him.  But at the end of the
volume appear the "Specimens of the Yorkshire Dialect," consisting of
three songs and two eclogues.  Here convention is swept aside; the author
comes face to face with life as he saw it around him in Yorkshire town
and village.  We have the song of the peasant girl impatiently awaiting
the country fair at which she is to shine in all the glory of "new cauf
leather shoon" and white stockings, or declaring her intention of
escaping from a mother who "scaulds and flytes" by marrying the
sweetheart who comes courting her on "Setterday neets." What is
interesting to notice in these songs'is the influence of Burns.  Browne
has caught something of the Scottish poet's racy vigour, and in his use
of a broken line of refrain in the song, "Ye loit'ring minutes faster
flee," he is employing a metrical device which Burns had used with great
success in his "Holy Fair" and "Halloween." The eclogue, "Awd Daisy," the
theme of which is a Yorkshire farmer's lament for his dead mare, exhibits
that affection for faithful animals which we meet with in Cowper, Burns,
and other poets of the Romantic Revival.  In the sincerity of its emotion
it is poles apart from the studied sentimentality of the famous lament
over the dead ass in Sterne's Sentimental Journey; indeed, in spirit it
is much nearer to Burns's "Death of Poor Mailie," though Browne is wholly
lacking in that delicate humour which Burns possesses, and which
overtakes the tenderness of the poem as the lights and shadows overtake
one another among the hills.  The other eclogue, " The Invasion," has
something of a topical interest at a time like the present, when England
is once more engaged in war with a continental power; for it was written
when the fear of a French invasion of our shores weighed heavily upon the
people's minds.  In the eclogue this danger is earnestly discussed by the
two Yorkshire farmers, Roger and Willie.  If the French effect a landing,
Willy has decided to send Mally and the bairns away from the farm, while
he will sharpen his old "lea" (scythe) and remain behind to defend his
homestead.  As long as wife and children are safe, he is prepared to lay
down his life for his country.

The importance of Browne's dialect poems consists not only in their
intrinsic worth, but also in the interest which they aroused in dialect
poetry in Yorkshire, and the stimulus which they gave to poets in
succeeding generations.  There is no evidence that the dialogues of
George Meriton, or Snaith Marsh, had any wide circulation among the
Yorkshire peasantry, but there is abundant evidence that such was the
case with these five poems of Thomas Browne.  Early in the nineteenth
century enterprising booksellers at York, Northallerton, Bedale, Otley,
and ,Knaresborough were turning out little chap-books, generally bearing
the title, Specimens of the Yorkshire Dialect, and consisting largely of
the dialect poems of Browne.  These circulated widely in the country
districts of Yorkshire, and to this day one meets with peasants who take
a delight in reciting Browne's songs and eclogues.

Down to the close of the eighteenth century the authors of Yorkshire
dialect poetry had been men of education, and even writers by profession.
With the coming, of the nineteenth century the composition of such poetry
extends to men in a humbler social position.  The working-man poet
appears on the scene and makes his presence felt in many ways.  Early in
the century, David Lewis, a Knaresborough gardener, published, in one of
the chap-books to which reference has just been made, two dialect poems,
"The Sweeper and Thieves" and "An Elegy on the Death of a Frog"; they
were afterwards republished, together with some non-dialect verses, in a
volume entitled The Landscape and Other Poems (York, 1815) by the same
author.  A dialogue poem by Lewis, entitled The Pocket Books," appears in
later chap-books.  It cannot be claimed for him that his poetic power
is of a high standard, but as the first Yorkshire peasant poet to write
dialect verse he calls for notice here.  His "Elegy on the Death of a
Frog" is perhaps chiefly interesting as showing the influence of Burns
upon Yorkshire poets at the beginning of the nineteenth century.  In
idea, and in the choice of verse, it is directly modelled on the famous
"To a Mouse."

The reader will doubtless have noticed that in this historic review of
Yorkshire dialect poetry it has always been the life of rural Yorkshire
which is depicted, and that the great bulk of the poetry has belonged to
the North Riding.  What we have now to trace is the extension of this
revival of vernacular poetry to the densely populated West Riding, where
a dialect differing radically from that of the, north and east is spoken,
and where, an astonishing variety of industries has created an equally
varied outlook upon life and habit of thought.  Was the Sheffield cutler,
the Barnsley miner, the Bradford handloom-weaver, and the Leeds forge-man
to find no outlet in dialect verse for his thoughts and emotions, his
hopes and his fears? Or, if dialect poetry must be concerned only with
rustic life, was the Craven dalesman to have no voice in the matter?
Questions such as these may well have passed through the minds of West
Riding men as they saw the steady growth of North Riding poetry in the
first forty years of the nineteenth century, and passed from hand to hand
the well-thumbed chap-books wherein were included poems like "Awd Daisy,"
"The Sweeper and Thieves," and the dialect-songs.  The desire to have a
share in the movement became more and more urgent, and when the West
Riding joined in, it was inevitable that it should widen the scope of
dialect poetry both in spirit and in form.

A West Riding dialect literature seems to have arisen first of all in
Barnsley and Sheffield in the fourth decade of the nineteenth century.
Between 1830 and 1834 a number of prose "conversations" entitled, The
Sheffield Dialect.' Be a Shevvild Chap, passed through the press.  The
author of these also published in 1832 The Wheelswarf Chronicle, and in
1836 appeared the first number of The Shevvild Chap's Annual in which the
writer throws aside his nom-de-plume and signs himself Abel Bywater.
This annual, which lived for about twenty years, is the first of the many
"Annuals" or "Almanacs" which are the most characteristic product of the
West Riding dialect movement.  Their history is a subject to itself, and
inasmuch as the contributions to them are largely in prose, they can only
be referred to very lightly here.  Their popularity and ever-increasing
circulation is a sure proof of their wide appeal, and there can be no
doubt that they have done an immense service in endearing the local idiom
in which they are written to those who speak it, and also in interpreting
the life and thought of the, great industrial communities for whom they
are written.  The literary quality of these almanacs varies greatly, but
among their pages will be found many poems, and many prose tales and
sketches, which vividly portray the West Riding artisan.  Abundant
justice is done to his sense of humour, which, if broad and at times even
crude, is always good-natured and healthy, as well as to his intense love
of the sentimental, which to the stranger lurks hidden beneath a mask of
indifference.  Incidentally, these almanacs also present a faithful
picture of the social history of the West Riding during the greater part
of a century.  As we study their pages, we realise what impression events
such as the introduction of the railroad, the Chartist Movement, the
Repeal of the Corn Laws, mid-Victorian factory legislation, Trade-
Unionism, the Co-operative movement and Temperance reform made upon the
minds of nineteenth-century Yorkshiremen; in other words, these almanacs
furnish us with just such a mirror of nineteenth-century industrial
Yorkshire as the bound volumes of Punch furnish of the nation as a
whole.  Among the most famous of these annual productions is The Bairnsla
Foak's Annual, an Pogmoor Olmenack, started by Charles Rogers (Tom,
Treddlehoyle) in 1838, and The Halifax Original Illuminated Clock Almanac
begun by John Hartley in 1867.  The number of these almanacs is very
large; most of them are published and circulated chiefly in the
industrial districts of the Riding, but not the least interesting among
them is The Nidderdill Olminac, edited by "Nattie Nidds" at Pateley
Bridge; it began in 1864 and ran until 1880.  Wherever published, all of
these almanacs conform more or less to the same pattern, as it was first
laid down by the founder of the dialect almanac, Abel Bywater of
Sheffield, in the year 1836.  Widely popular in the West Riding, the
almanac has never obtained foothold in the other Ridings, and is little
known outside of the county.  The "Bibliographical List" of dialect
literature, published by the English Dialect Society' in 1877, mentions
only two annuals or almanacs, in addition to those published in the West
Riding, and both of these belong to Tyneside.

Abel Bywater finds a place in our anthology by virtue of his "Sheffield
Cutler's Song." In its rollicking swing and boisterous humour it serves
admirably to illustrate the new note which is heard when we pass from
rural Yorkshire to the noisy manufacturing cities.  We exchange the farm,
or the country fair, for the gallery of the city music-hall, where the
cutler sits armed with stones, red herrings, "flat-backs," and other
missiles ready to be hurled at the performers "if they don't play'
Nancy's Fancy' or onay tune we fix."

We are not concerned here with the linguistic side of Yorkshire dialect
literature, but the reader will notice how different is the phonology,
and to a less extent the vocabulary and idiom, of this song from that of
the North Riding specimens.

Returning once more to the North Riding, we must first of all draw
attention to the poet, John Castillo.  In the country round Whitby and
Pickering, and throughout the Hambledon Hills, his name is very familiar.
Born near Dublin, in 1792, of Roman Catholic parents, he was brought up
at Lealholm Bridge, in the Cleveland country, and learnt the trade of a
journeyman stone-mason.  Having abjured the faith of his childhood, he
joined, in 1818, the Wesleyan Methodist Society and acquired great
popularity in the North Riding as a local preacher.  His well-known poem,
"Awd Isaac," seems to have been first printed at Northallerton in 1831.
Twelve years later it occupies the first place in a volume of poems
published by the author at Whitby under the title, Awd Isaac, The
Steeplechase, and Other Poems.  Like most of his other poems, "Awd Isaac"
is strongly didactic and religious; its homely piety and directness of
speach have won for it a warm welcome among the North Yorkshire
peasantry, and many a farmer and farm-labourer still living knows much of
the poem by heart.  As "Awd Isaac " is too long for an anthology, I have
chosen "The Lucky Dream" as an illustration of Castillo's workmanship.
Apart from its narrative interest, this poem calls for attention as a
Yorkshire variant of an ancient and widely dispersed folk-tale, the
earliest known version of which is to be found in the works of the
thirteenth-century Persian poet Jalalu'd-Din.  Castillo died at Pickering
in 1845, and five years later a complete edition of his poems was
published at Kirkby Moorside.

Less popular than "Awd Isaac," but often met with in collections of
dialect verse, is the poem entitled "The York Minster Screen."  This was
the work of George Newton Brown, a lawyer by profession, who lived at
Nunnington in Ryedale.  The poem, which is in the form of a dialogue
between two Yorkshire farmers, was first published at Malton in 1833.
The conversation, which is of the raciest description, is supposed to
take place in York Minster and turns on the repairs which were made in
1832 to the famous organ-screen which separates the nave and transepts
from the chancel.  The question of altering the position of the screen is
debated with much humour and vivacity.

Before leaving the North Riding, reference must be made to Elizabeth
Tweddell, the gifted poetess of the Cleveland Hills.  Born at Stokesley
in 1833, the daughter of Thomas Cole, the parish-clerk of that town, she
married George Markham Tweddell, the author of The People's History of
Cleveland, and in 1875 she published a slender volume of dialect verse
and prose entitled Rhymes and Sketches to Illustrate the Cleveland
Dialect. In her modest preface Mrs.  Tweddell declares that the only
merit of her work lies in "the stringing together of a good many
Cleveland words and expressions that are fast becoming obsolete"; but the
volume has far deeper claims on our gratitude than this.  There is much
homely charm in her rhymes and sketches, and the two extracts which find
a place in this collection are models of what simple dialect-poems should
be.  Above all, Mrs. Tweddell has the gift of humour; this is well
illustrated by the song, "Dean't mak gam o' me," and also by her
well-known prose story, "Awd Gab o' Steers." Her most sustained effort in
verse is the poem entitled " T' Awd Cleveland Customs," in which she
gives us a delightful picture of the festive seasons of the Cleveland
year from " Newery Day," with its "lucky bod," to "Kessamus," with its
"sooard dancers."

The western portion of the North Riding, including Swale and Wensleydale,
has been less fruitful in dialect poetry than the eastern.  Apart from
the anonymous "Wensleydale Lad" already noticed, it is represented in
this anthology only by the spirited poem, "Reeth Bartle Fair," the work
of a true lover of dialect speech, Captain John Harland, who published
for the English Dialect Society a valuable glossary of Swaledale words
(1873).  The Craven country, the dialect of which differs materially from
that spoken in the manufacturing districts of the West, Riding, is not
without its bards.  These include James Henry Dixon (1803-1876),--a
local historian and antiquary of scholarly tastes, who edited for the
Percy Society the delightful collection of folk-poetry entitled, Ancient
Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England (1846).  Mr. Dixon
wrote comparatively little poetry himself, but his song, "The
Milkin'-time," has the lilt of the best Scottish folk-songs and well
deserves its inclusion here.  In a longer poem, "Slaadburn Faar" (1871),
he gives a humorous and racy description of the adventures of a farmer
and his wife on their journey from Grassington to Slaidburn to attend the
local fair.  In general idea it resembles Harland's "Reeth Bartle Fair,"
which appeared in the preceding year.

But the typical poet of the Craven country was Tom Twistleton, a farmer
near Settle, whose Poems in the Craven, Dialect first appeared in 1869,
and soon ran through several editions.  He was a disciple of Burns, and
his poem "The Christmas-Party" (see below) daringly challenges comparison
with the immortal "Halloween." His description of the dancing in the
farm-house kitchen, and of the adventures of the pair of lovers who
escape from the merry throng, is singularly vivid, and illustrates the
author's ready humour and keen observation of rustic life and character.

Reference has already been made to the Nidderdill Olminac which ,vas
produced by "Nattie Nidds" between 1864 and 1880 and published at Pateley
Bridge.  Among the contributors to it was Thomas Blackah, a working miner
of Greenhow Hill, who in 1867 published a volume of dialect verse
entitled Songs and Poems in the Nidderdale Dialect.  In their truth to
life, homely charm and freedom from pretentiousness, these dialect poems
resemble those of Mrs. Tweddell, and deserve a wider recognition than
they have so far won.

After this excursion into the dales of the North and West Riding, where,
apart from mining, the life of the people is largely spent on the farm,
we must turn once again to the industrial Yorkshire of the south-west,
and see to what extent dialect poetry has flourished in the smoke-laden
air of chimney-stacks and blast-furnaces, and with what success the
Yorkshire dialect poets of the towns and cities have interpreted the life
and thoughts of those who work in the mill or at the forge.  As we have
already seen, the first attempts to interpret in dialect poetry the life
of industrial Yorkshire were made at Sheffield early in the nineteenth
century by Abel Bywater.  As the century advanced, the movement spread
northwards, and the great artisan communities of Bradford, Leeds, and
Halifax produced their poets.  Among these pre-eminence belongs to Ben
Preston, the Bradford poet, who stepped swiftly into local fame by the
publication of his well-known poem, "Natterin' Nan," which first appeared
in a Bradford journal in 1856.  This is a vigorous piece of dramatic
realism, setting forth the character of a Yorkshire scold and grumbler
with infinite zest and humour.  But it is in pathos that the genius of
Preston chiefly consists.  In poems like "Owd Moxy," "T' Lancashire
Famine," and "I niver can call her my wife," he gives us pictures of the
struggle that went on in the cottage-homes of the West Riding during the
"hungry forties." In "Owd Moxy" his subject is the old waller who has to
face the pitiless winter wind and rain as he plies his dreary task on the
moors; but in most of his poems it is the life of the handloom-weaver
that he interprets.  The kindliness of his nature is everywhere apparent
and gives a sincerity to the poems in which he portrays with rare
discernment and sympathy the sufferings of the artisan, toiling from
morning to night on eight shillings a week.  His pathos has dignity and
restraint, and in the poem "I niver can call her my wife" it rises to the
heights of great tragedy.  This is Ben Preston's masterpiece, and, though
scarcely known outside of the county, it deserves to take a place side by
side with Hood's " Song of the Shirt" by reason of the poignancy with
which it interprets the tragedy of penury.(5)

The example set by Ben Preston has been followed by other dialect poets
living in the district round Bradford.  Mention may be made of James
Burnley, whose poem, "Jim's Letter," is a telling illustration of the
fine use which can be made of dialect in the service of the dramatic
lyric; and of Abraham Holroyd, who not only wrote original verse, but
also made a valuable collection of old Yorkshire songs and ballads.(6)

The rivalry between Bradford and Leeds is proverbial, and, though the
latter city has lagged behing Bradford in the production of dialect
literature, the Yorkshire Songs of J. H. Eccles, published in 1862, is a
notable contribution to the movement whose history is here being
recorded.  In John Hartley, Halifax possessed the most versatile
dialect-writer that Yorkshire has so far produced.  For fifty years this
writer, who died in 1915, poured forth lyric song and prose tale in
unstinted measure.  Most of his dialect work found a place in the
Original Illuminated Clock Almanac, which he edited from 1867 until his
death; but from time to time he gathered the best of his work into book
form, and his Yorkshire Lyrics, published in 1898, occupy a place of
honour in many a Yorkshire home.  The examples from his works here given
will serve to illustrate his fine ear for metrical harmony, his
imaginative power, and his sympathetic interpretation of Yorkshire
character.  Of the younger generation of Yorkshire poets, most of them
still alive, I must speak more briefly.  But it must not be overlooked
that, so far from there being any falling off in the volume or quality of
dialect-verse, it is safe to say that it has never been in so flourishing
a condition as at the present day.  Dialect poems are now being written
in all parts of the county.  Editors of weekly papers welcome them gladly
in their columns; the Yorkshire Dialect Society has recently opened the
pages of its annual Transactions to original contributions in verse and
prose, and every year the printing presses of London and Yorkshire
publish volumes of dialect verse.  Of individual writers, whose work
finds illustration in this anthology, mention may be made of the Rev. W.
H. Oxley, whose T' Fisher Folk o' Riley Brig (1888) marks, I believe, the
first attempt to interpret in verse the hazardous life of the east-coast
fisherman.  Farther north, Mr. G. H. Cowling has given us in his A
Yorkshire Tyke (1914) a number of spirited and winsome studies of the
life and thought of the Hackness peasant.  The wold country of the East
Riding has found its interpreter in Mr. J. A. Carill, whose Woz'ls
(1913) is full of delightful humour, as readers of "Love and Pie" will
readily discover for themselves.  "The File-cutter's L'ament " (see
below), which I have selected from Mr. Downing's volume, Smook thru' a
Shevvield Chimla, will show that the Sheffield "blade" is doing his best
to carry on the tradition set by Abel Bywater eighty years ago.  Airedale
still has its poets, among the most ambitious of whom is Mr.
Malham-Dembleby, who published in 1912 a volume of verse entitled,
Original Tales and Ballads in the Yorkshire Dialect.  Mr. F. J. Newboult
has deservedly won fame as a prosewriter in dialect; his dialect sketches
which have for some years appeared in The Yorkshire Observer are full of
broad humour and dramatic power, and his dainty little lyric "Spring" (p.
87) is a sufficient indication that he has also the dower of the poet.
In Alderman Ben Turner of Batley Yorkshire possesses a courageous
advocate of the social betterment of the working man and woman, and in
the midst of a busy life he has, found' time to give utterance to his
indignation and his faith in dialect-poems which appeal from the heart to
the heart.  Mr.  Walter Hampson, of Normanton, writes in a lighter vein
in his Tykes Abrooad (1911); he is our Yorkshire Mark Twain, and his
narrative of the adventures of a little party of Yorkshiremen in Normandy
and Brittany is full of humour.  Songs are scattered through the story,
and one of these, "Owd England," finds a place in this collection.  The
Colne Valley and the country round Huddersfield has been somewhat slow in
responding to the call of the homely muse of dialect but Mr. E. A.
Lodge's little volume of verse and prose.  entitled Odds an' Ends,
marks a successful beginning.

In our account of the history of dialect poetry in Yorkshire it will have
been noticed that the chief forms of verse to which local poets have had
recourse have been the song, personal or dramatic, the ballad, and the
dialogue.  Among the most hopeful signs of the times has been the recent
extension of dialect to poems of a more sustained character.  Within the
last twenty years two writers, associated with the far north and the far
south of the county respectively, have made the bold attempt to use
dialect in narrative poems of larger compass than the simple ballad.
These are Mr.  Richard Blakeborough, the author of T' Hunt o' Yatton
Brigg (1896), and Mr. J. S. Fletcher, who, as recently as 1915, published
in the dialect of Osgoldcross his Leet Livvy.  These two poems are in
general character poles apart: that of Mr. Blakeborough is pure romance,
whereas Mr. Fletcher never steps aside from the strait path of realism.
T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg is steeped in all the eerie witch-lore of the
Cleveland moors.  The plot is laid in the district round the famous
Roseberry Topping, and deals with the adventures which befall a certain
Johnny Simpson, who, when crossed in love, seeks the aid of the witches
to aid him in his work of vengeance on the woman who has cast him off.
The story is told with great vividness, and the author has made an
effective use of all the malevolent powers of witchcraft, seconded by the
elemental forces of thunder and lightning, to aid him in telling a story
of great dramatic power.  Leet Livvy, on the other hand, is as sober and
restrained as one of the verse-tales of Crabbe, and the only resemblance
which it bears to Mr.  Blakeborough's witch-story lies in the fact that
its hero, like Johnny Simpson, belongs to the peasantry and has suffered
at the hands of a woman.  The tragic story of "Owd Mattha o' Marlby Moor"
is recorded by the sexton whose duty it is to toll the passing bell, and
Mr. Fletcher, whose reputation as a novelist is deservedly high, has
rendered the narrative with consummate art.  The use of dialect enhances
the directness and dramatic realism of the story at every turn; the
characters stand out sharp and clear, and we are brought face to face
with the passion that makes for tragedy.  The poem is purged clean of all
sentiment and moralising: it is narrative pure and simple, but aglow with
the lurid flame of a passion that burns to the very roots of life.  It is
no exaggeration to say that Leet Livvy is the greatest achievement in
Yorkshire dialect poetry up to the present time; let us hope that it is
an earnest of even greater things yet to come.

The duty still remains of offering a few words of explanation concerning
the poems which find a place in the second part of this anthology, and
which I have classified as "traditional poems." It is not contended that
all of these are folk-poems in the strict sense of the term, but all of
them are of unknown authorship, and for most of them a considerable
antiquity may be claimed; moreover, like the folk-song, they owe their
preservation rather to oral tradition than to the labours of the scribe.
Many of these poems enshrine some of the customs and superstitions of the
country-side and carry our thoughts back to a time when the
Yorkshireman's habit of mind was far more primitive and childlike than it
is to-day. Moreover, though many of the old popular beliefs and rites
have vanished before the advance of education and industrialism, the
Yorkshireman still clings to the past with a tenacity which exceeds that
of the people farther to the south.  For example, nowhere in England does
the old folk-play which enacts the combats of St. George with his Saracen
adversaries enjoy such popularity as in the upper waters of the Calder
Valley and in busy Rochdale over the border.  This play, known locally as
"The Peace [or Pasque, i.e. Easter] Egg," was once acted all over
England.  Driven from the country-side, where old traditions usually live
the longest, it survives amid the smoke-laden atmosphere of cotton-mills
and in towns which pride themselves, not without reason, on their love of
progress and their readiness to receive new ideas.  It is, for our
purpose, unfortunate that this fine old play preserves little of the
local dialect and is therefore excluded from this anthology.(7) Apart
from "The Peace Egg," it is the remote Cleveland country in the North
Riding in which the old traditional poetry of Yorkshire has been best
preserved. This is the land of the sword-dance, the bridal-garter, and
the "mell- supper," the land in which primitive faiths and traditions
survive with strange tenacity.  The late Canon Atkinson has made this
land familiar to us by his fascinating Forty Years in a Moorland Parish,
and, to the lover of traditional dialect songs, an even greater service
has been rendered by a later gleaner in this harvest-field, Mr. Richard
Blakeborough of Norton-on-Tees, whose T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg has already
been considered.  In his supplement to the little volume which contains
that poem, and again in his highly instructive and entertaining Wit,
Character, Folklore, and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire, Mr.
Blakeborough has brought together a number of traditional songs and
proverbial rhymes of great interest, and, to some extent at least, of
high antiquity.  Many of these have been collected by him among the
peasantry, others are taken from a manuscript collection of notes on
North Riding folklore made by a certain George Calvert early in the
nineteenth century, and now in Mr.  Blakeborough's possession.

Of the first importance in this anthology of traditional song are the
"Cleveland Lyke-wake Dirge" and "A Dree Neet." The former has been well
known to lovers of poetry since Sir Walter Scott included it in his
Border Minstrelsy; the latter, I believe, was never published until the
appearance of T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg in 1896.  The tragic power and
suggestiveness of these two poems is very remarkable.  It is, I think,
fairly certain that they stand in intimate association with one another
and point back to a time when the prevailing creed of Yorkshire was Roman
Catholicism.  Both depict with deep solemnity the terrors of death and of
the Judgment which lies beyond.  Whinny Moor appears in either poem as
the desolate moorland tract, beset with prickly whin-bushes and flinty
stones, which the dead man must traverse on "shoonless feet" on his
journey from life.  And beyond this moor lies the still more mysterious
"Brig o' Dreead," or "' Brig o' Deead," as "A Dree Neet" renders it.  It
would be tempting to conjecture the precise significance of this
allusion, and to connect it with other primitive myths and legends of a
similar character; but space fails us, and it may well be that the very
vagueness of the allusion is of more haunting tragic power than precise
knowledge.  It is also interesting to notice the effective use which is
made in "A Dree Neet" of all the superstitions which gather about the
great pageant of death.  The flight of the Gabriel ratchets, or Gabriel
hounds, through the sky, the fluttering of bats at the casement and of
moths at the candle flame, and the shroud of soot which falls from the
chimney of the room where the dying man lies, are introduced with fine
effect; while the curious reference to the folk that draw nigh from the
other side of the grave has an Homeric ring about it, and recalls the
great scene in the Odyssey where the ghosts of Elpenor, Teiresias, and
other dead heroes gather about the trench that Odysseus has digged on the
other side of the great stream of Oceanus, hard by the dank house of
Hades.

It is unnecessary to speak at any length of the other songs, proverbial
rhymes, and "nominies" which find a place among the traditional poems in
this collection.  The mumming-songs, the boisterous "Ridin' t' stang"
verses, and all the snatches of folk-song which are, associated with the
festive ritual of the circling year either carry their own explanation
with them or have been elucidated by those who have written on the
subject of Yorkshire customs and folklore.  I heartily commend to the
reader's notice the three songs entitled "The Bridal Bands," "The Bridal
Garter," and "Nance and Tom," which we owe to Mr. Blakeborough, and which
present to us in so delightful a manner the picture of the bride tying
her garter of wheaten and oaten straws about her left leg and the
bride-groom unloosing it after the wedding.  It is hoped, too, that the
reader may find much that is interesting in the singing-games, verses and
the rhymes which throw light upon the vanishing customs, folklore, and
faiths of the county.  They serve to lift the veil which hides the past
from the present, and to give us visions of a world which is fast passing
out of sight and out of memory.  It is a world where one may still
faintly hear the horns of elfland blowing, and where Hob-trush Hob and
little Nanny Button-cap wander on printless feet through the star-lit
glades; where charms are still recited when the moon is new, and where on
St. Agnes' Eve the milkmaid lets the twelve sage-leaves fall from her
casement-window and, like Keats's Madeline, peers through "the honey'd
middle of the night "for a glimpse of the Porphyro to whom she must
pledge her troth.

1. Some years before Thoresby's letter was written, another Yorkshireman,
Francis Brokesby, rector of Rowley in the East Riding, communicated with
Ray about dialect words in use in his district.  See Ray's Collection of
English Words, second edition, pp. 170-73 (1691).

2. It has been republished by the late Professor Skeat in the English
Dialect Society's volume, Nine Specimens of English Dialects.

3. Two editions of this ballad-opera were published in 1736. The title of
the first (? pirated) edition runs as follows: A Wonder; or, An Honest
Yorkshire-man. A Ballad Opera; As it is Performed at the Theatres with
Universal Applause. In the second edition the words, "A Wonder,"
disappear from the title.

4. Edited by J. O. Halliwell in his Yorkshire Anthology, 1851.

5. The first edition of Ben Preston's poems appeared in 1860 with the
title, Poems and Songs in the Dialect of Bradford Dale.

6. A. Holroyd: A Collection of Yorkshire Ballads, ed. by C. F. Forshaw.
(G. Bell, 1892.)

7. The reader will find a reprint of the West Riding version of The Peace
Egg, with an attempt by the editor of this anthology to throw light upon
its inner meaning, in the second volume of Essays and Studies of the
English Association (Clarendon Press, 1911).




Poems.


A Yorkshire Dialogue between an awd Wife a Lass and a butcher. (1673)

Anonymous

Printed at York as a broadside by Stephen Bulkley in 1673.
The original broadside is lost, but a manuscript transcript of it
was purchased by the late Professor Skeat at the sale of Sir F.
Madden's books and papers, and published by him in volume xxxii.
of the Dialect Society's Transactions, 1896.

   AWD WIFE. Pretha now, lass, gang into t' hurn(1)
An' fetch me heame a skeel o' burn(2);
Na, pretha, barn, mak heaste an' gang,
I's mar my deagh,(3) thou stays sae lang.
   LASS. Why, Gom,(4) I's gea, bud, for my pains,
You's gie me a frundel(5) o' your grains.
   AWD WIFE. My grains, my barn! Marry! not I;
My draugh's(6) for t' gilts an' galts(7) i' t' sty.
Than, pretha, look i t' garth and see
What owsen(8) i' the stand-hecks(9) be.
   LASS. Blukrins! they'll put,(10) I dare not gang
Oute'en(11) you'll len' me t' great leap-stang.(12)
   AWD WIFE. Tak t' frugan,(13) or t' awd maulin-shaft,(14)
Coom tite(15) agean an' be not daft.
   LASS. Gom, t' great bull-segg(16) he's brokken lowse,
An' he, he's hiked(17) your broad-horned owse;
An' t' owse is fall'n into t' swine-trough,
I think he's brokken his cameril-hough.(18)
   AWD WIFE. Whaw! Whaw! lass, mak heaste to t' smedy,(19)
He's noo dead, for he rowts(20) already;
He's boun; oh! how it bauks an' stangs!(21)
His lisk(22) e'en bumps an' bobs wi' pangs.
His weazen-pipe's(23) as dry as dust,
His dew-lap's swelled, he cannot hoast.(24)
He beals(25); tak t' barghams(26) off o' t' beams
An' fetch some breckons(27) frae the clames.(28)
Frae t' banks go fetch me a weam-tow(29)
My nowt's(30) e'en wrecken'd, he'll not dow.(31)
E'en wellanerin!(32) for my nowt,
For syke a musan(33) ne'er was wrowt.
Put t' wyes(34) amell(35) yon stirks an' steers
I' t' owmer,(36) an' sneck the lear-deers.(37)
See if Goff Hyldroth be gain-hand (38)
Thou helterful,(39) how dares ta stand!
  LASS. He'll coom belive,(40) or aibles titter,(41)
For when he hard i' what a twitter(42)
Your poor owse lay, he took his flail
An' hang'd 't by t' swipple(43) on a nail;
An' teuk a mell(44) fra t' top o' t' wharns(45)
An' sware he'd ding your owse i' t' harns.(46)
He stack his shak-fork up i' t' esins(47)
An' teuk his jerkin off o' t' gresins.(48)
Then teuk his mittens, reached his bill,
An' off o' t' yune-head(49) teuk a swill(50)
To kep t' owse blude in. Leuk, he's coom.
   AWD WIFE. Than reach a thivel(51) or a strum(52)
To stir his blude; stand not to tauk.
Hing t' reckans(53) up o' t' rannel-bauk.(54)
God ye good-morn, Goff; I's e'en fain
You'll put my owse out o' his pain.
   BUTCHER. Hough-band him, tak thir(55) weevils hine(56)
F'rae t' rape's end; this is not a swine
We kill, where ilkane hauds a fooit.
I's ready now, ilkane leuk to it.
Then "Beef!" i' God's name I now cry.
Stretch out his legs an' let him lie
Till I coom stick him. Where's my swill?(57)
Coom hither, lass; haud, haud, haud still.
   LASS. What mun I do wi' t' blude?  BUTCHER. Thou fool,
Teem(58) 't down i' t' garth, i' t' midden-pool.
Good beef, by t' mass! an' when 'tis hung
I's roll it down wi' tooth an' tongue,
An' gobble 't down e'en till I worry.
An' whan neist mell(59) we mak a lurry(60)
A piece o' this frae t' kimlin(61) browt
By t' Rood! 't will be as good as owt.
   AWD WIFE. Maut-hearted(62) fool, I e'en could greet(63)
To see my owse dead at my feet.
I thank you, Goff; I's wipe my een
An', please, you too. BUTCHER. Why, Gom Green?

1. Corner.  2. Bucket of water.	 3. Dough.	4. Grand-mother.
5. Handful.  6. Draff.   7. Sows and boars.  8. Oxen.  9. Stalls.
10. Gore.  11. Unless.  12. Pole.  13. Oven-fork.
14. Handle of oven-mop.  15. Quickly.  16. Bullock.  17. Gored.
18. Bend of hind.leg.  19. Smithy.  20. Snorts.  21. Swells and stings.
22. Flank.  23. Windpipe.  24. Cough.  25. Bellows.  26. Horse-collars.
27. Bracken.   28. Heaps.  29. Belly-band.  30. Ox.  31. Recover.
32. Alas!   33. Wonder.  34. Heifers.  35. Among.  36. Shade.
37. Barn-doors.  38. Near at hand.  39. Halter-full.   40. Soon.
41. Perhaps sooner.  42. Perilous state.   43. Flap-end.  44. Mallet.
45. Hand-mill.  46. Brains.  47. Eaves.  48. Stairs.  49. Oven-top.
50. Bucket.  51. Porridge-stick.  52. Stick.
53. Iron chains for pot-hooks.  54. Chimney cross-beam.  55. Those.
56. Away.  57. Bucket.  58. Pour.  59. Next harvest-supper.
60. Merry feast.  61. Tub.  62. Maggot-hearted.  63. Weep.


An Honest Yorkshireman

Henry Carey (Died 1748)

I is i' truth a coontry youth,
   Nean used to Lunnon fashions;
Yet vartue guides, an' still presides
   Ower all my steps an' passions.
Nea coortly leer, bud all sincere,
   Nea bribe shall iver blinnd me ;
If thoo can like a Yorkshire tike,
   A rogue thoo'll niver finnd me.

Thof envy's tongue, so slimly hung,
   Would lee aboot oor coonty,
Nea men o' t' earth boast greater worth,
   Or mair extend their boonty.
Oor northern breeze wi' us agrees,
   An' does for wark weel fit us ;
I' public cares, an' love affairs,
   Wi' honour We acquit us.

Sea great a maand(1) is ne'er confaand(2)
   'Tiv onny shire or nation,
They gie un meast praise whea weel displays
   A larned eddication;
Whaal rancour rolls i' laatle souls,
   By shallow views dissarnin',
They're nobbut wise at awlus prize
   Good manners, sense, an' larnin'.

1. Mind   2. Confined


From "Snaith Marsh" (1754)

Anonymous

This was written at the time of the Enclosure Acts
which robbed the peasent farmer of his rights to use Commons.

Alas! will Roger e'er his sleep forgo,
Afore larks sing, or early cocks 'gin Crow,
As I've for thee, ungrateful maiden, done,
To help thee milking, e'er day wark begun?
And when thy well-stripp'd kye(1) would yield no more,
Still on my head the reeking kit(2) I bore.
And, Oh! bethink thee, then, what lovesome talk
We've held together, ganging down the balk,
Maund'ring(3) at time which would na for us stay,
But now, I ween, maes(4) no such hast away.
Yet, O! return eftsoon and ease my woe,
And to some distant parish let us go,
And there again them leetsome days restore,
Where, unassail'd by meety(5) folk in power,
Our cattle yet may feed, tho' Snaith Marsh be no more.
   But wae is me! I wot I fand(6) am grown,
Forgetting Susan is already gone,
And Roger aims e'er Lady Day to wed;
The banns last Sunday in the church were bid.
But let me, let me first i' t' churchyard lig,
For soon I there must gang, my grief's so big.
All others in their loss some comfort find;
Though Ned's like me reduc'd, yet Jenny's kind,
And though his fleece no more our parson taks,
And roast goose, dainty food, our table lacks,
Yet he, for tithes ill paid, gets better land,
While I am ev'ry o' t' losing hand.
My adlings wared,(7) and yet my rent to pay,
My geese, like Susan's faith, flown far away;
My cattle, like their master, lank and poor,
My heart with hopeless love to pieces tore,
And all these sorrows came syne(8) Snaith Marsh was no more

1. Well-milked kine (cattle)  2. Pail  3. Finding Fault
4. Makes  5. Mighty  6. Fond, Foolish  7. Earnings spent
8. Since


When at Hame wi' Dad

Anonymous

When at hame wi' dad,
   We niver had nae fun, sir,
Which meade me sae mad,
   I swore away I'd run, sir.
I pack'd up clease(1) sae smart,
   Ribbed stockings, weastcoats pretty;
Wi' money an' leet heart,
   Tripp'd off to Lunnon city,
      Fal de ral de ra.

When I did git there
   I geap'd about quite silly,
At all the shows to stare
   I' a spot call'd Piccadilly.
Lord! sike charmin' seights:
   Bods(2) i' cages thrive, sir',
Coaches, fiddles, feights,
   An' crocodiles alive, sir,
      Fal de ral de ra.

Then I did gan to see
   The gentry in Hyde Park, sir,
When a lass push'd readely(1) by,
   To whom I did remark, sir:
"Tho' your feace be e'en sae fair,
   I've seen a bear mair civil."
Then, the laatle clease they wear!
   God! Lunnon is the divil,
      Fal de ral de ra.

To t' play-house then I goes,
   Whar I seed merry feaces,
An' i' the lower rows
   Were sarvants keepin' pleaces.
The players I saw sean,
   They managed things quite funny;
By gock! they'd honey-mean
   Afore they'd matrimony.
      Fal de ral de ra.

Now havin' seen all I could
   An' pass'd away my time, sir,
If you think fit an' good,
   I'll e'en give up my rhyme, sir.
An', sud my ditty please,
   The poppies in this garden
To me would be heart's-ease;
   If not, I axe your pardon.
      Fal de ral de ra.

1. Clothes   2. Birds  3. Rudely


I'm Yorkshire too

Anonymous

From A Garland of New Songs, published by W. Appleton,
Darlington, 1811.

By t' side of a brig, that stands over a brook,
   I was sent betimes to school;
I went wi' the stream, as I studied my book,
   An' was thought to be no small fool.
I never yet bought a pig in a poke,
   For, to give awd Nick his due,
Tho' oft I've dealt wi' Yorkshire folk,
   Yet I was Yorkshire too.

I was pretty well lik'd by each village maid,
   At races, wake or fair,
For my father had addled a vast(1) in trade,
   And I were his son and heir.
And seeing that I didn't want for brass,
   Poor girls came first to woo,
But tho' I delight in a Yorkshrre lass,
   Yet I was Yorkshire too!

To Lunnon by father I was sent,
   Genteeler manners to see;
But fashion's so dear, I came back as I went,
   And so they made nothing o' me
My kind relations would soon have found out
   What was best wi' my money to do:
Says I, "My dear cousins, I thank ye for nowt,
   But I'm not to be cozen'd by you!
   For I'm Yorkshire too."

1. Earned a lot.


The Wensleydale Lad

Anonymous

When I were at home wi' my fayther an' mother,
   I niver had na fun;
They kept me goin' frae morn to neet,
   so I thowt frae them I'd run.
Leeds Fair were coomin' on,
   an' I thowt I'd have a spree,
So I put on my Sunday cooat
   an' went right merrily.

First thing I saw were t' factory,
   I niver seed one afore;
There were threads an' tapes, an' tapes an' silks,
   to sell by monny a score.
Owd Ned turn'd iv'ry wheel,
   an' iv'ry wheel a strap;
"Begor!" says I to t' maister-man,
   "Owd Ned's a rare strong chap."

Next I went to Leeds Owd Church--
   I were niver i' one i' my days,
An' I were maistly ashamed o' misel,
   for I didn't knaw their ways;
There were thirty or forty folk,
   i' tubs an' boxes sat,
When up cooms a saucy owd fellow.
   Says he, "Noo, lad, tak off thy hat."

Then in there cooms a great Lord Mayor,
   an' over his shooders a club,
An' he gat into a white sack-poke,(1)
   an gat into t' topmost tub.
An' then there cooms anither chap,
   I thinks they call'd him Ned,
An' he gat into t' bottommost tub,
   an' mock'd all t' other chap said.

So they began to preach an' pray,
   they prayed for George, oor King;
When up jumps t' chap i' t' bottommost tub.
	Says he, "Good folks, let's sing."
I thowt some sang varra weel,
   while others did grunt an' groan,
Ivery man sang what he wad,
   so I sang " Darby an' Joan."(2)

When preachin' an' prayin' were over,
   an' folks were gangin' away,
I went to t' chap i' t' topmost tub.
   Says I, "Lad, what's to pay?"
"Why, nowt," says he, "my lad."
   Begor! I were right fain,
So I click'd hod(3) o' my gret club stick
   an' went whistlin' oot again.

1. Corn-sack  2. Another reading is "Bobbing Joan."
3. Took hold


A Song  1.

Thomas Browne (1771-1798)

Ye loit'ring minutes faster flee,
Y' are all ower slow by hauf for me,
   That wait impatient for the mornin';
To-morn's the lang, lang-wish'd-for fair,
I'll try to shine the fooremost there,
   Misen in finest claes adornin',
      To grace the day.

I'll put my best white stockings on,
An' pair o' new cauf-leather shoon,
   My clane wash'd gown o' printed cotton;
Aboot my neck a muslin shawl,
A new silk handkerchee ower all,
   Wi' sike a careless air I'll put on,
      I'll shine this day.

My partner Ned, I know, thinks he,
He'll mak hiss en secure o' me,
   He's often said he'd treat me rarely;
But I's think o' some other fun,
I'll aim for some rich farmer's son,
   And cheat oor simple Neddy fairly,
      Sae sly this day.

Why mud not I succeed as weel,
An' get a man full oot genteel,
   As awd John Darby's daughter Nelly?
I think misen as good as she,
She can't mak cheese or spin like me,
   That's mair 'an(1) beauty, let me tell ye,
      On onny day.

Then hey! for sports and puppy shows,
An' temptin' spice-stalls rang'd i' rows,
   An' danglin' dolls by t' necks all hangin';
An' thousand other pratty seets,
An' lasses traul'd(2) alang the streets,
   Wi' lads to t' yal-hoose gangin'
      To drink this day.

Let's leuk at t' winder, I can see 't,
It seems as tho' 't was growin' leet,
   The cloods wi' early rays adornin';
Ye loit'ring minutes faster flee,
Y' are all ower slow be hauf for me,
   At(3) wait impatient for the mornin'
      O' sike a day.

1. Than   2. Trailed  3. That


A Song 2.

Thomas Browne (1771--1798)

When I was a wee laatle totterin' bairn,
   An' had nobbud just gitten short frocks,
When to gang I at first was beginnin' to lairn,
   On my brow I gat monny hard knocks.
For sae waik, an' sae silly an' helpless was I
   I was always a tumblin' doon then,
While my mother would twattle me(1) gently an' cry,
   "Honey Jenny, tak care o' thisen."

When I grew bigger, an' got to be strang,
   At I cannily ran all about
By misen, whor I liked, then I always mud gang
   Bithout(2) bein' tell'd about ought;
When, however, I com to be sixteen year awd,
   An' rattled an' ramp'd amang men,
My mother would call o' me in an' would scaud,
   An' cry--" Huzzy, tak care o' thisen."

I've a sweetheart cooms noo upo' Setterday nights,
   An' he swears at he'll mak me his wife;
My mam grows sae stingy, she scauds an' she flytes,(3)
   An' twitters(4) me oot o' my life.
Bud she may leuk sour, an' consait hersen wise,
   An' preach agean likin' young men;
Sen I's grown a woman her clack(5) I'll despise,
   An' I's--marry!--tak care o' misen.

1. Prattle to me.  2. Without.  3. Argues,
4. Worries.  5. Talk


The Invasion:	An Ecologue

Thomas Browne (1771--1798)

Impius haec tam culta novalia miles habebit?--Virgil.

A wanton wether had disdain'd the bounds
That kept him close confin'd to Willy's grounds;
Broke through the hedge, he wander'd far astray,
He knew not whither on the public way.
As Willy strives, with all attentive care,
The fence to strengthen and the gap repair,
His neighbour, Roger, from the fair return'd,
Appears in sight in riding-graith adorn'd;
Whom, soon as Willy, fast approaching, spies,
Thus to his friend, behind the hedge, he cries.

WILLY
How dea ye, Roger? Hae ye been at t' fair?
How gangs things? Made ye onny bargains there?

ROGER
I knaw not, Willy, things deant look ower weel,
Coorn sattles fast, thof beas'(1) 'll fetch a deal.
To sell t' awd intak(2) barley I desaagn'd,
Bud couldn't git a price to suit my maand.
What wi' rack-rents an' sike a want a' trade,
I knawn't how yan's to git yan's landloords paid.
Mair-ower(3) all that, they say, i' spring o' t' year
Franch is intarmin'd on 't to 'tack us here.

WILLY
Yea, mon! what are they coomin' hither for?
Depend upon 't, they'd better niver stor.(4)

ROGER
True, Willy, nobbud Englishmen 'll stand
By yan another o' their awwn good land.
They'll niver suffer--I's be bun' to say ­
The Franch to tak a single sheep away.
Fightin' for heame, upo' their awn fair field,
All power i' France could niver mak 'em yield.

WILLY
Whaw! seer(5) you cannot think, when put to t' pinch,
At onny Englishmen 'll iver flinch!
If Franch dea coom here, Roger, I'll be hang'd
An' they deant git theirsens reet soondly bang'd.
I can't bud think--thof I may be mistean ­
Not monny on 'em 'll git back agean.

ROGER
I think nut, Willy, bud some fowk 'll say,
Oor English fleet let t' Franch ships git away,
When they were laid, thou knaws, i' Bantry Bay;
At(6) they could niver all have gien 'em t' slip,
Bud t' English wanted nut to tak a ship.

WILLY
Eh! that's all lees!

ROGER
                      I dinnot say it's true,
It's all unknawn to sike as me an' you.
How do we knaw when fleets do reet or wrang?
I whope it's all on't fause, bud sea talks gang.
Howsiver this I knaw, at when they please,
Oor sailors always beat 'em upo' t' seas.
An' if they nobbut sharply look aboot,
T'hey needn't let a single ship coom oat.
At least they'll drub 'em weel, I dinnot fear,
An' keep 'em fairly off frae landin' here.

WILLY
I whope sea, Roger, bud, an' if they dea
Coom owerr, I then shall sharpen my awd lea.(7)
What thof(8) I can bud of a laatle boast,
You knaw van wadn't hae that laatle lost.
I's send our Mally an' all t' bairns away,
An' I misen 'll by the yamstead(9) stay.
I'll fight, if need; an' if I fall, why, then
I's suffer all the warst mishap misen.
Was I bud seer my wife an' bairns were seafe,
I then sud be to dee content eneaf.

ROGER
Reet, Willy, mon, what an' they put us tea 't
I will misen put forrad my best feat.(10)
What thof I's awd, I's nut sae easily scar'd;
On his awn midden an awd cock fights hard.
They say a Franchman's torn'd a different man,
A braver, better soldier, ten to yan.
Bud let the Franch be torn'd to what they will,
They'll finnd at Englishmen are English still.
O' their awn grund they'll nowther flinch nor flee,
They'll owther conquer, or they'll bravely dee.

1. Beasts, cattle.  2 Enclosure.  3. Besides.
4. Stir.  5. Surely.  6. That.
7. Scythe.  8. Though.  9. Homestead.  10 Foot.


Elegy on the Death of a Frog (1815)

David Lewis

Ya summer day when I were mowin',
When flooers of monny soorts were growin',
Which fast befoor my scythe fell bowin',
      As I advance,
A frog I cut widout my knowin'--
      A sad mischance.

Poor luckless frog, why com thoo here?
Thoo sure were destitute o' fear;
Some other way could thoo nut steer
      To shun the grass?
For noo that life, which all hod dear,
      Is gean, alas!

Hadst thoo been freeten'd by the soond
With which the mowers strip the groond,
Then fled away wi' nimble boond,
      Thoo'd kept thy state:
But I, unknawin', gav a wound,
      Which browt thy fate.

Sin thoo com frae thy parent spawn,
Wi' painted cooat mair fine than lawn,
And golden rings round baith ees drawn,
      All gay an' blithe,
Thoo lowpt(1) the fields like onny fawn,
      But met the scythe.

Frae dikes where winter watters steead(2)
Thoo com unto the dewy mead,
Regardless of the cattle's treead,
      Wi' pantin' breeath,
For to restore thy freezin' bleead,
      But met wi' deeath.

A Frenchman early seekin' prog,(3)
Will oftentimes ransack the bog,
To finnd a sneel, or weel-fed frog,
      To give relief;
But I prefer a leg of hog,
      Or roond o' beef.

But liker far to the poor frog,
I's wanderin' through the world for prog,
Where deeath gies monny a yan a jog,
      An' cuts them doon;
An' though I think misen incog,
      That way I's boun.

Time whets his scythe and shakes his glass,
And though I know all flesh be grass,
Like monny mair I play the ass,
      Don't seem to know;
But here wad sometime langer pass,
      Befoor I go.

Ye bonnie lasses, livin' flooers,
Of cottage mean, or gilded booers,
Possessed of attractive pooers,
      Ye all mun gang
Like frogs in meadows fed by shooers,
      Ere owt be lang.

Though we to stately plants be grown,
He easily can mow us doon;
It may be late, or may be soon,
      His scythe we feel;
Or is it fittin' to be known?
      Therefore fareweel.

1. Leaped. 	2. Stood.	3. Food.



Sheffield Cutler's Song (1887)

Abel Bywater

Coom all you cutlin' heroes, where'ersome'er you be,
All you what works at flat-backs,(1) coom listen unto me;
      A basketful for a shillin',
      To mak 'em we are willin',
Or swap 'em for red herrin's, aar bellies to be fillin',
Or swap 'em for red herrin's, aar bellies to be fillin'.

A baskitful o' flat-backs, I'm sure we'll mak, or more,
To ger(2) reight into t' gallery, wheer we can rant an' roar,
      Throw flat-backs, stones an' sticks,
      Red herrin's, bones an' bricks,
If they don't play "Nancy's fancy," or onny tune we fix,
We'll do the best at e'er we can to break some o' their necks.

Hey! Jont, lad, where art ta waddlin' to?
Does ta work at flat-backs yit, as tha's been used to do?
      Ha! coom, an' tha' s go wi' me,
      An' a sample I will gie thee,
It's one at I've just forged upon Geoffry's bran-new stiddy.(3)
Look at it well, it does excel all t' flat-backs i' aar smithy.

Let's send for a pitcher o' ale, lad, for I'm gerrin' varry droy,
I'm ommost chok'd wi' smithy sleck,(4) the wind it is so hoigh.
      Gie Rafe an' Jer a drop,
      They sen(5) they cannot stop,
They're i' sich a moighty hurry to get to t' penny hop,
They're i' sich a moighty hurry to get to t' penny hop.

Here's Steem at lives at Heeley, he'll soon be here, I knaw,
He's larnt a new maccaroni step, the best you iver saw;
      He has it so complete,
      He troies up ivery street,
An' ommost breaks all t' pavors(6) wi' swattin'(7) daan his feet.
An' Anak troies to beat him, wheniver they doon(8) meet.

We'll raise a tail by Sunda, Steem; I knaw who's one to sell,
We'll tee a hammer heead at t' end to mak it balance well.
      It's a reight new Lunnon tail,
      We'll wear it kale for kale,(9)
Aar Anak browt it wi' him, that neet he coom by t' mail.
We'll drink success unto it--hey! Tout, lad, teem(10) aat t' ale.

1 Knives.	2 Get.  3. Anvil.  4. Dust.  5. Say.  6. Paving Stones.
7. Hammering.  8. Do.  9. Turn and about. 10. Pour.


Address to Poverty

Anonymous

Scoolin' maid o' iron broo,
Thy sarvant will address thee noo,
   For thoo invites the freedom
By drivin' off my former friends,
To leak to their awn private ends,
   Just when I chanc'd to need 'em.

I've had thy company ower lang,
Ill-lookin' wean,(1) thoo must be wrang,
   Thus to cut short my jerkin.
I ken thee weel, I knaw thy ways,
Thoo's awlus kept back cash an' claes,
   An' foorc'd me to hard workin'.

To gain o' thee a yal(2) day's march
I straave; bud thoo's sae varra arch.
   For all I still straave faster,
Thoo's tripp'd my heels an' meade me stop,
By some slain corn, or failin' crop,
   Or ivery foul disaster.

If I my maand may freely speak,
I really dunnot like thy leak,
   Whativer shap thoo's slipp'd on;
Thoo's awd an' ugly, deeaf an' blinnd,
A fiend afoore, a freight behinnd,
   An' foul as Mother Shipton.

Folks say, an' it is nowt bud truth,
Thoo has been wi' me frae my youth,
   An' gien me monny a thumper;
Bud noo thoo cooms wi' all thy weight,
Fast fallin' frae a fearful height,
   A doonreet Milton plumper.

Sud plenty frae her copious horn,
Teem(1) oot to me good crops o' corn,
   An' prosper weel my cattle,
An' send a single thoosand pund,
'T wad bring all things completely roond,
   An' I wad gie thee battle.

Noo, Poverty, ya thing I beg,
Like a poor man withoot a leg,
   Sea, prethee, don't deceive me;
I knaw it's i' thy power to grant
The laatle favour at I want ­
   At thoo wad gang an' leave me.

1. Child.   2. Whole.


The Collingham Ghost

Anonymous

I'll tell ye aboot the Collingham ghost,
   An' a rare awd ghost was he;
For he could laugh, an' he could talk,
   An' run, an' jump, an' flee.

He went aboot hither an' thither,
   An' freeten'd some out o' their wits,
He freeten'd the parson as weel as the clerk,
   An' lots beside them into fits.

The poor awd man wha teak the toll
   At Collingham bar for monny a year,
He dursn't coom out to oppen his yat(2)
   For fear the ghost sud be near.

He teak to his bed an' there he laid,
   For monny a neet an' day;
His yat was awlus wide oppen thrown,
   An' nean iver stopp'd to pay.

Awd Jerry wha kept the public hoose,
   An' sell'd good yal to all,
Curs'd the ghost wi' hearty good will,
   For neabody stopp'd to call.

It made sike a noise all roond aboot,
   That folks com far to see;
Some said it was a dreadful thing,
   An' sum said 't was a lee.

Gamkeepers com wi' dogs an' guns,
   Thinkin' 't was some comical beast;
An' they wad eyther kill him or catch him,
   Or drive him awa at least.

Sea into Lady wood right they went
   Ya beautiful meenleet neet;
A lot o' great men an' a lot o' rough dogs,
   Enew(3) a poor ghost to eat.

They waited lang, the ghost didn't come,
   They began to laugh an' rail,
"If he coom oat of his den," says yan,
   "We'll clap a bit o' saut of his tail."

"Nay, he knows better than turn oot,
   When we are here to watch him,
He'd git a bullet through his lug,
   Or Mungo there wad catch him."

When close to their heads wi' a terrible clatter
   The ghost went whirrin' up,
An' owerr the woods he laughed an' shouted,
   "Bobo, bobo! who whoop, who whoop!"

The gamkeepers all tummled doon,
   Their hair thrast off their hat,
They gaped an' grean'd(4) an' roll'd aboot,
   An' their hearts went pit-a-pat.

Their feaces were white as onny clout,
    An' they said niver a word,
T'hey couldn't tell what the ghost was like,
   Whether 'twas a beast or a bird.

They stay'd nea langer i' t' wood that neet,
   Poor men were niver dafter,
They ran awa hame as fast as they could,
   An' their dogs ran yelping after.

The parson then, a larned man,
   Said he wad conjure the ghost;
He was sure it was nea wandrin' beast,
   But a spirit that was lost.

All languages this parson knew
   That onny man can chat in,
The Ebrew, Greek, an' Irish too,
   As weel as Dutch an' Latin.

O! he could talk an' read an' preach,
   Few men knew mair or better,
An' nearly all the bukes he read
   Were printed in black letter.

He read a neet, he read a day,
   fo mak him fit for his wark,
An' when he thowt he was quite up,
   He sent for the awd clerk.

The clerk was quickly by his side,
   He took but little fettlin',
An' awa they went wi' right good will
   To gie the ghost a settlin'.

Aye off they set wi' all their might,
   Nor stopp'd at thin or thick,
The parson wi' his sark(5) an' buke,
   The clerk wi' a thick stick.

At last by t' side o' t' bank they stopp'd,
   Where Wharfe runs murmurin' clear,
A beautiful river breet an' fine,
   As onny in wide Yorkshire.

The parson then began to read,
   An' read full loud an' lang,
The rabbits they ran in an' oot,
   An' wonder'd what was wrang.

The ghost was listnin' in a hole,
   An' oat he bang'd at last,
The fluttrin' o' his mighty wings,
   Was like a whirlwind blast.

He laughed 'an shooted as he flew,
   Until the wild woods rang;
His who-who-whoop was niver heard
   Sea load an' clear an' strang.

The parson he fell backwards ower
   Into a bush o' whins,
An' lost his buke, an' rave(6) his sark,(7)
   An' prick'd his hands an' shins.

The clerk he tried to run awa,
   But tumml'd ower his stick,
An' there he made a nasty smell
   While he did yell an' fick.(8)

An' lots o' pranks this ghost he play'd
   That here I darn't tell,
For if I did, folks wad declare
   I was as ill as hissel.

For eighteen months an' mair he stay'd,
   An' just did as he thowt ;
For lord nor duke, parson nor clerk,
   He fear'd, nor cared nowt.

Efter that time he went awa,
   Just when it pleas'd hissel;
But what he was, or whar he com fra,
   Nea mortal man can tell.

1. Pour.  2. Gate.  3. Enough.  4. Groaned.
5. Surplice.  6. Tore.	7. Surplice.  8. Kick.


The Yorkshire Horse Dealers

Anonymous

Bain(1) to Clapham town-end lived an owd Yorkshire tike,
Who i' dealing i' horseflesh had ne'er met his like;
'T were his pride that i' all the hard bargains he'd hit,
He'd bit a girt monny, but niver bin bit.

This owd Tommy Towers (by that name he were known)
Had an owd carrion tit(2) that were sheer skin an' bone;
To have killed him for t' curs wad have bin quite as well,
But 't were Tommy's opinion he'd dee on himsel!

Well! yan Abey Muggins, a neighborin cheat,
Thowt to diddle owd Tommy wad be a girt treat;
He'd a horse, too, 't were war(3) than owd Tommy's, ye see,
For t' neet afore that he'd thowt proper to dee !

Thinks Abey, t' owd codger 'll niver smoke t' trick,
I'll swop wi' him my poor deead horse for his wick,(4)
An' if Tommy I nobbut can happen to trap,
'T will be a fine feather i' Abraham cap!

So to Tommy he goes, an' the question he pops:
"Betwin thy horse and mine, prithee, Tommy, what swops?
What wilt gie me to boot? for mine's t' better horse still?"
"Nowt," says Tommy, "I'll swop even hands, an' ye will!"

Abey preached a lang time about summat to boot,
Insistin' that his were the liveliest brute;
But Tommy stuck fast where he first had begun,
Till Abey shook hands, an' said, Well, Tommy I done!

"O! Tommy," said Abey, "I's sorry for thee,
I thowt thou'd hae hadden mair white i' thy ee;
Good luck's wi' thy bargain, for my horse is deead."
"Hey!" says Tommy, "my lad, so is mine, an' it's fleead(5)!"

So Tommy got t' better o' t' bargain a vast,
An' cam' off wi' a Yorkshireman's triumph at last;
For thof 'twixt deead horses there's not mich to choose,
Yet Tommy were richer by t' hide an' fower shooes.

1 Near.	2 Nag.	3 Worse.  4. Quick, living  5. Flayed.


The Lucky Dream

John Castillo (1792-1845)

Ya Kessmas neet, or then aboot,
When measons all were frozzen oot,
I went to see a country friend,
An hospitable hoor to spend.
For gains, I cut across o' t' moor,
Whoor t' snaw sea furiously did stoor.(1)
The hoose I gain'd an' enter'd in,
An' were as welcome as a king.
The storm agean t' windey patter'd,
An' hail-steans doon t' chimley clatter'd.
All hands were in, an' seem'd content,
An' nean did frost or snaw lament.
T' lasses all were at their sewing,
Their cheeks wiv health an' beauty glowing.
Aroond the hearth, in cheerful chat,
Twea or three friendly neighbours sat,
Their travels telling, whoor they'd been,
An' what they had beath heeard an' seen.
Till yan did us all mich amuse,
An' thus a story introduce.
"I recollect lang saan,"(2) says he,
"A story that were tell'd to me,
At seems sea strange i' this oor day
That true or false I cannot say.
A man liv'd i' this neighbourhood,
Nea doot of reputation good,
An' lang taame strave wi' stiddy care,
To keep his hoosehod i' repair.
At length he had a curious dream,
For three neets runnin' 't were the seame,
At(3) if on Lunnon Brig he stood,
He'd hear some news would dea him good,
He labour'd hard, beath neet an' day,
Tryin' to draave those thowts away;
Yet daily grew mair discontent
Till he at last to Lunnon went.
Being quite a stranger to that toon,
Lang taame he wander'd up an' doon,
Till, led by some mysterious hand,
On Lunnon Brig he teak his stand.
An' there he waited day by day,
An' just were boun(4) to coom away,
Sea mich he thowt he were to bleame
To gang sea far aboot a dream,
When thus a man, as he drew near,
Did say, "Good friend, what seek you here,
Where I have seen you soon and late?"
His dream tiv him he did relate.
"Dreams," says the man, " are empty things,
Mere thoughts that flit on silver'd wings;
Unheeded we should let them pass.
I've had a dream, and thus it was,
That somewhere round this peopled ball,
There's such a place as Lealholm Hall(5);
Yet whether such a place there be,
Or not, is all unknown to me.
There in a cellar, dark and deep,
Where slimy creatures nightly creep,
And human footsteps never tread,
There is a store of treasure hid.
If it be so, I have no doubt,
Some lucky wight will find it out.
Yet so or not is nought to me,
For I shall ne'er go there to see."
The man did slyly twice or thrice
The Cockney thenk for his advice;
Then heame agean withoot delay
He cherfully did tak his way.
An' set aboot the wark, an' sped,
Fun' ivvery thing as t' man had said;
Were iver efter seen to flourish
T' fanest gentleman iv all t' parish.
Folks wonder'd sair, an' ,weel they might,
Whoor he gat all his guineas bright.
If it were true, i' spite o' fame,
Tiv him it were a lucky dream."

1. Drive.  2. Long ago.  3. That.  4. Ready.
5. In the neighbourhood of Whitby.


The Milkin'-Time

J. H. Dixon (1803-1876)

Meet me at the fowd at the milkin'-time,
Whan the dusky sky is gowd at the milkin'-time;
   Whan the fog(1) is slant(2) wi' dew,
   An' the clocks(3) go hummin' thro'
The wick-sets(4) an' the branches of the owmerin'(5) yew.

Weel ye knaw the hour of the milkin'-time,
The girt bell sounds frev t' tower at the milkin'-time;
   Bud as gowd sooin turns to gray,
   An' I cannot have delay,
Dunnot linger by the way at the milkin'-time.

Ye'll find a lass at's true at the milkin'-time,
Shoo thinks of nane bud you at the milkin'-time;
   Bud my fadder's gittin' owd,
   An' he's gien a bit to scowd,
Whan I's ower lang at the fowd at the milkin'-time.

Happen ye're afeard at the milkin'-time;
Mebbe loike ye've heerd at the milkin'-time
   The green fowk shak their feet,
   Whan t' moon on Heeside's breet,
An' it chances so to-neet, at the milkin'-time.

There's yan, an' he knaws weel whan it's milkin'-time;
He'd feace the varra de'il at the milkin'-time.
   He'd nut be yan to wait
   Tho' a barguest(6) war i' t' gate,(7)
If the word I'd nobbud say 't at the milkin'-time.

1. Aftermath.  2. Wet.  3. Beetles  4. Quick-sets.  5. Overshadowing
6. The barguest is an apparition, taking usually the form of a big
black dog with saucer eyes.  7. Way, road.


I Niver can call Her my Wife

Ben Preston (1819-1902)

I'm a weyver, ye knaw, an' awf deead,
   So I do all at iver I can
To put away aat o' my heead
   The thowts an' the aims of a man.
Eight shillin' i' t'wick's what I arn,
   When I've varry gooid wark an' full time,
An' I think it's a sorry consarn
   For a fella at's just in his prime.

Bud aar maister says things is as weel
   As they have been or iver can be,
An' I happen sud think so misel
   If he'd nobbud swop places wi' me.
Bud he's welcome ta all he can get,
   I begrudge him o' noan of his brass,
An' I'm nowt bud a madlin(1) to fret,
   Or to think o' yon beautiful lass.

I niver can call her my wife,
   My love I sal niver mak knawn,
Yit the sarra that darkens her life
   Thraws its shadda across o' my awn.
When I knaw at her heart is at eease,
   Theer is sunshine an' singin' i' mine;
An' misfortunes may come as they pleease,
   Yit they seldom can mak me repine.

Bud that Chartist wor nowt bud a slope(2)--
   I were fooild by his speeches an' rhymes,
For his promises wattered my hope,
   An' I leng'd for his sunshiny times;
Bud I feel at my dearest desire
   Within me 'll wither away;
Like an ivy-stem trailin' i' t' mire,
   It's deein for t' want of a stay.

When I laid i' my bed day an' neet,
   An' were geen up by t' doctors for deead,
God bless her! shoo'd coom wi' a leet
   An' a basin o' grewil an' breead.
An' I once thowt I'd aat wi' it all,
   Bud so kindly shoo chatted an' smiled,
I were fain to turn ovver to t' wall,
   An' to bluther an' roar like a child.

An' I said, as I thowt of her een,
   Each breeter for t' tear at were in 't,
It's a sin to be niver forgeen,
   	To yoke her to famine an' stint;
So I'll e'en travel forrad throo life,
   Like a man throo a desert unknawn;
I mun ne'er have a home nor a wife,
   Bud my sorras 'll all be my awn.

So I trudge on alone as I owt,
   An' whativer my troubles may be,
They'll be sweetened, poor lass, wi' the thowt
   At I've niver browt trouble to thee.
Yit a bird has its young uns to guard,
   A wild beast a mate in his den,
An' I cannot bud think at it's hard­
   Nay, deng it, I'm roarin' agen!

1. Fool   2. Impostor.


Come to thy Gronny, Doy(1)

Ben Preston

Come to thy gronny, doy, come to thy gronny,
Bless thee, to me tha'rt as pratty as onny;
Mutherlass barn of a dowter unwed,
Little tha knaws, doy, the tears at I've shed;
Trials I've knawn both for t' heart an' for t' heead,
Shortness o' wark, ay, an' shortness o' breead.

These I could bide, bud tho' tha'rt noan to blame,
Bless thee, tha browt me both sorra an' shame;
Gronny, poor sowl, for a two month or more
Hardly could feshion to lewk aat. o' t' door;
T' neighbours called aat to me, "Dunnot stand that,
Aat wi' that hussy an' aat wi' her brat."

Deary me, deary me! what could I say?
T' furst thing of all, I thowt, let me go pray;
T' next time I slept I'd a dream, do ye see,
Ay, an' I knew at that dream were for me.
Tears of Christ Jesus, I saw 'em that neet,
Fall drop by drop on to one at His feet.

After that, saw Him wi' barns raand His knee,
Some on 'em, happen, poor crayturs like thee;
Says I at last, though I sorely were tried,
Surely a sinner a sinner sud bide;
Neighbours may think or may say what they will,
T' muther an' t' dowter sal stop wi' me still.

Come on 't what will, i' my cot they sal caar,(2)
Woe be to them at maks bad into waar(3);
Some fowk may call thee a name at I hate,
Wishin' fra t' heart tha were weel aat o' t' gate;
Oft this hard world into t' gutter 'll shove thee,
Poor little lamb, wi' no daddy to love thee.

Dunnot thee freeat, doy, whol granny hods up,
Niver sal tha want a bite or a sup;
What if I work these owd fingers to t' boan,
Happen tha'll love me long after I'm goan;
T' last bite i' t' cupboard wi' thee I could share't,
Hay! bud tha's stown(4) a rare slice o' my heart.

Spite of all t' sorra, all t' shame at I've seen,
Sunshine comes back to my heart throo thy een;
Cuddle thy gronny, doy,
Bless thee, tha'rt bonny, doy,
Rosy an' sweet fra thy braa to thy feet,
Kingdoms an' craans wodn't buy thee to-neet.

1 Darling.	2. Cower, take shelter.	 3. Worse.  4. Stolen.


Owd Moxy

Ben Preston

Owd Moxy wrowt hard for his morsil o' breead,
   An' to keep up his courage he'd sing,
Tho' Time wi' his scythe hed mawn t' crop on his heead
   An' then puffed it away wi' his wing.

Reight slavish his labour an' little his wage,
   His path tuv his grave were bud rough,
Poor livin' an' hardships, a deal more nor age,
   Hed swealed(1) daan his can'le to t' snuff.

One cowd winter morn, as he crept aat o' bed,
   T' owd waller felt dizzy an' sore:-
"Come, frame(2) us some breykfast, Owd Duckfooit, he said,
   "An' I'll finish yond fence up at t' moor;

"I'll tew(3) like a brick wi' my hammer an' mall,(4)
   An' I'll bring home my honey to t' hive,
An' I'll pay t' bit o' rent an' wer(5) shop-score an' all,
   An' I'll dee aat o' debt if I live."

So Peg made his pobs(6) an' then futtered(7) abaat,
   An' temm'd(8) him his tea into 't can,
Then teed up some bacon an' breead in a claat,
   For dearly shoo liked her owd man.

Then Moxy set aat on his wearisome way,
   Wadin' bravely throo t' snaw-broth i' t' dark;
It's a pity when fellas at's wakely an' grey
   Hes to walk for a mile to their wark.

Bud summat that mornin' made Moxy turn back,
   Tho' he hardly knew what it could meean,
So, cudlin' Owd Peggy, he gave her a smack,
   An' then started for t' common ageean.

All t' day a wild hurricane wuther'd(9) throo t' glen,
   An' then rush'd like a fiend up to t' heeath;
An' as Peggy sat knittin' shoo said tuv hersen,
   "Aw dear! he'll be starruv'd to t' deeath."

An' shoo felt all that day as shoo'd ne'er felt afore,
   An' shoo dreeaded yit hunger'd for neet ;
When harknin' an' tremlin' shoo heeard abaat t' door
   A mutterin, an' shufflin o' feet.

Five minutes at after,(10) Owd Peg, on her knees,
   Were kussin' a forehead like stone;
An' to t' men at stood by her wi' tears i' their ees,
   Shoo said, "Go, lads, an' leave me alone."

When they straightened his body, all ready for t' kist,(11)
   It were seen at he'd thowt of his plan;
For t' shop-score an' t' rent war safe locked in his fist,
   So he deed aat o' debt, like a man.

1. Melted.  2. Prepare.  3. Toil.  4. Mallet.  5. Our.
6. Porridge.  7. Bustled.  8. Poured.  9. Roared.
10. Afterwards,  11. Coffin.


Dean't mak gam o' me (1875)

Florence Tweddell

I went last week to Stowslay(1) Fair,
   My sweetheart for to see;
She promis'd she would meet me there-
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I rigg'd misel' all i' my best,
   As fine as fine could be;
An' little thowt how things would to'n(2);
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I walk'd to t' toon, an' bowt a cane,
   To cut a dash, ye see;
An' how I swagger'd up an' doon!
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I thowt, if nobbut Poll would come,
   How happy we sud be!
I'd treat her into t' penny show,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me :
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

At last I saw her coomin' in;
   Bud what else did I see?
Jack Hodge was walkin' biv her saade!
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

Stright up I went, an' "Poll!" says I,
   "I's waiting, lass, for thee!"
"Then thoo mun wait!" was all she said,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

She teak Jack's airm, an' there I stead
   Quite flabbergash'd, ye see:
I thowt I sud hav dropt to t' grund,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

Poor Nancy Green com seaglin'(3) up,
   "What's matter, Dick?" says she:
"Jack Hodge is off wi' Poll!" says I,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

"Why, niver maand her; let her gan ;
   She's better gean!" said she:
Bud I thowt nut; an' then I cried,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me :
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I's nobbut a poor country lad
   At's lost my heart, ye see:
I'll gan nea mair to t' Pomesun Fair,(4)
   Sea dean't mak gam o' me :
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

1. Stokesley.  2. Turn out.  3. Sauntering.
4. The fair held at Stokesley on the
   Saturday before Palm Sunday


Coom, stop at yam to-neet Bob

Florence Tweddell

"Coom, stop at yam(1) to-neet, Bob,
   Dean't gan oot onnywhere:
Thoo gets thisel t' leeast vex'd, lad,
   When thou sits i' t' awd airm-chair.

"There's Keat an' Dick beath want thee
   To stop an' tell a teale:
Tak little Keatie o' thy knee,
   An' Dick 'll sit on t' steal.

"Let's have a happy neet, Bob,
   Tell all t' teales thoo can tell;
For givin' pleeasure to the bairns
   Will dea thee good thisel.

"I knaw it's sea wi' me, Bob,
   For oft when I've been sad,
I've laik'd an' laugh'd wi' them, mon,
   Untel my heart's felt glad.

"An' sing that laatle sang, Bob,
   Thoo used to sing to me,
When oft we sat at t' river saade,
   Under t' awd willow tree.

"What happy taames them was, Bob,
   Thoo niver left me then
To gan to t' yal-hoose neet be neet
   Amang all t' drunken men.

"I does my best for thoo, Bob,
   An' thoo sud dea t' seame for me:
Just think what things thoo promised me
   Asaade t' awd willow tree!"

"I prithee say nea mair, lass,
   I see I ain't dean reet;
I'll think of all thoo's said to me,
   An' stop at yam to-neet."

"I'll try to lead a better life-
   I will, an' that thoo'll see!
Fra this taame fo'th I'll spend my neets
   At yam, wi' t' bairns an' thee!"

1. Home.


Ode to t' Mooin

J. H. Eccles (1824-1883)

I like to see thy quaint owd face
   Lewk softly daan on me,
E'en though I ne'er could find thy nose
   Nor catch thy watchful ee.

Full monny times I've seen thee rise,
   When busy day were done,
When daan behint t' owd maantain tops
   Had passed t' breet evenin' sun.

I like to see thee when sweet spring
   Cooms back to hill an' vale;
When odours rise through t' hawthorn bush,
   An' float on t' evenin' gale.

When lovers walk on t' primrose benks,
   An' whisper soft an' low;
Dreamin' just same as me an' t' wife
   Did monny years ago.

I like to see thee when t' June rose
   Is wet wi' fallin' dew,
When t' nightingale maks t' owd woods ring
   Wi' music fresh an' new

When fairies dance on t' top o' t' flaars
   An' roam through t' pleasant dells,
Like monarchs i' their marble halls,
   I' t' lilies' virgin bells.

I like to see thee when t' ripe corn
   Is wavin' to an' fro;
When t' squirril goes a-seekin' nuts
   An' jumps thro' bough to bough.

When t' purple heather covers t' hills,
   An' t' hunters, tired and worn,
Back through the fairy-haunted glens
   Unto their homes return.

I like to see thee when all raand
   Is white wi' drivven snow,
When t' streams are stopp'd by owd Jack Frost
   An' foaks slip as they go.

I like to see thee all t' year raand,
   When t' sky is fair an' breet,
An' allus hail wi' fond delight
   The noble queen o' t' neet.

I used to think at I could reach
   Up to thy face wi' ease,
If I had but a big long stick;
   For tha were but green cheese.

But naa I've got far different thowts,
   An' learnt to understand
At tha art one o' t' wondrous works
   Formed by t' gert Maker's hand.


Aunt Nancy

J. H. Eccles

Aunt Nancy's one o' t' savin' sort,
   At niver lets t' chonce pass;
Yet wouldn't do owt mean or low
   For t' sake o' gettin' t' brass.

Her home's as clean as need be seen,
   Whoiver may go in;
An' as for Nancy, dear-a-me!
   Shoo's like a new-made pin.

Shoo's full o' thrift an' full o' sense,
   An' full o' love beside;
Shoo rubs an' scrubs thro' morn to neet
   An' maks t' owd haase her pride.

Her husband, when his wark is doon,
   Sits daan i' t' owd arm chair ;
Forgets his troubles as he owt,
   An' loises all his care.

Wi' pipe an' book i' t' chimley nook
   Time flies on noiseless wing;
Shoo sits an' knits wi' pleasant face,
   He's happy as a king.

Wi' tattlin' folks shoo's niver seen
   I' alley, loin(1) or street,
But goes her way wi' modest step,
   Exact an' clean an' neat.

Her neighbours soomtimes watch her aat,
   An' say shoo's praad an' stiff;
But all their gossip cooms to nowt,
   Aunt Nancy's reight enif.

Wi' basket oft shoo walks abroad
   To some poor lonely elf;
To ivery one shoo knaws t' reight way
   At's poorer nor(2) herself.

Shoo niverr speyks o' what shoo gives,
   Kind, gentle-hearted sowl;
I' charity her hands find wark,
   Shoo's good alike to all.

He niver tells her what he thinks,
   Nor flatters nor reproves;
His life is baand wi' gowlden bands
   To t' woman at he loves.

God bless her, shoo's a dimond breet,
   Both good i' mind an' heart;
An angel spreeadin' light an' love,
   That plays a noble part.

Shoo's worthy of a monarch's choice,
   Her worth can ne'er be towld ;
Shoo cam to mak folks' hearts feel glad,
   Shoo's worth her weight i' gowld.

1 Lane. 2 Than.


Coom, don on thy Bonnet an' Shawl (1867)

Thomas Blackah

Coom, don on thy bonnet an' shawl,
   An' straighten thy cap an' thy hair;
I's really beginnin' to stall(1)
   To see thee sit dazzin'(2) i' t' chair.

Sea coom, let us tak a walk oot,
   For t' air is as warm as a bee;
I hennot(3) a morsel o' doot
   It'll help beath lile Willy an' thee.

We'll gan reet throo t' Middle Toon,
   As far as to Reavensgill Heead(4);
When thar, we can sit wersens doon
   On t' crags close at side o' t' becksteead.

An' then, oh! hoo grand it'll be
   To pass a few minutes away,
An' listen t' birds sing on each tree
   Their carols for closin' the day.

An' all aboot t' green nobby hills,
   T' lile daisies their beauties will show;
An' t' perfume at Flora distils
   Like breath o' the mornin' will blow.

Then don on thy bonnet an' shawl,
   An' coom let's be walkin' away;
I's fairly beginnin' to stall
   To see thee sit dazzin' all t' day.

1 Grow tired.  2. Dozing.  3. Have not.
4. Near Pateley Bridge.


My awd hat

Thomas Blackah

I'll wear thee yet awhile, awd hat,
   I'll wear thee yet awhile;
Though time an' tempest, beath combined,
   Have changed thy shap an' style.
For sin we two togither met,
   When thoo were nice an' new,
What ups an' doons i' t' world we've had,
   Bud awlus braved 'em through.

That glossy shade o' thine, awd hat,
   That glossy shade o' thine,
At graced thy youthful days is gean,
   Which maks me noo repine.
Fra monny a gleam an' monny a shoor
   Thoo's sheltered my awd heead;
Bud sean a smarter, tider hat
   Will shelter 't i' thy steead.

Though friends have proved untrue, awd hat,
   Though friends have proved untrue,
An' vanished in adversity,
   Like mist or mornin' dew;
Yet when fierce storms or trials com
   I fand a friend i' thee;
Sea noo, when thoo's far on, awwd hat,
   Thoo 'st finnd a friend i' me.

Some nail or crook 'll be thy heame
   O' t' joists, or back o' t' door;
Or, mebbe, thoo'l be bunched(1) aboot
   Wi' t' barns across o' t' floor.
When t' rain an' t' wind coom peltin' through
   Thy crumpled, battered croon,
I'll cut thee up for soles to wear
   I' my awd slender shoon.

1. Kicked


Reeth Bartle Fair(1) (1870)

John Harland

This mworning as I went to wark,
   I met Curly just coomin' heame;
He had on a new flannin sark(2)
   An' he saw at I'd just gitten t' seame.
"Whar's te been?" said awd Curly to me.
   "I've been down to Reeth Bartle Fair."
"Swat(3) te down, mun, sex needles,"(4) said he,
   An' tell us what seets te saw there."

"Why, t' lads their best shoon had put on,
   An' t' lasses donn'd all their best cwoats;
I saw five pund of Scotch wether mutton
   Sell'd by Ward and Tish Tom for five grwoats.
Rowlaway had fine cottons to sell,
   Butteroy lace an' handkerchers browt;
Young Tom Cwoats had a stall tuv hissel,
   An' had ribbins for varra near nowt.

"Thar was Enos had good brandy-snaps,
   Bill Brown as good spice as could be;
Potter Robin an' mair sike-like chaps
   Had t' bonniest pots te could see.
John Ridley, an' awd Willy Walls,
   An' Naylor, an' twea or three mar,
Had apples an' pears at their stalls,
   An' Gardener Joe tea was thar.

"Thar was scissors an' knives an' read(5) purses,
   An' plenty of awd cleathes on t' nogs,(6)
An' twea or three awd spavin'd horses,
   An' plenty o' shoon an' new clogs.
Thar was plenty o' good iron pans,
   An' pigs at wad fill all t' deale's hulls(7);
Thar was baskets, an skeps, an' tin cans,
   An' bowls, an' wood thivles for gulls.(8)

"Thar was plenty of all maks(9) o' meat,
   An' plenty of all sworts o' drink,
An' t' lasses gat monny a treat,
   For t' gruvers(10) war all full o' chink.
I cowp'd(11) my black hat for a white un,
   Lile Jonas had varra cheap cleath;
Jem Peacock an' Tom talk'd o' feightin',
   But Gudgeon Jem Puke lick'd 'em beath.

"Thar was dancin' an' feightin' for ever,
   Will Wade said at he was quite griev'd;
An' Pedlety tell'd 'em he'd never
   Forgit 'em as lang as he leev'd.
They knock'd yan another about,
   Just warse than a sham to be seen,
Charlie Will look'd as white as a clout,
   Kit Puke gat a pair o' black een.

"I spied our awd lass in a newk,
   Drinkin' shrub wi' grim Freesteane, fond lad;
I gav her a varra grow(12) leuk;
   O, connies,(13) but I was just mad.
Sea I went to John Whaites's to drink,
   Whar I war'd(14) twea an' seempence i' gin;
I knaw not what follow'd, but think
   I paddl'd through t' muck thick an' thin.

"For to-day, when I gat out o' bed,
   My cleathes were all sullied sea sar,
Our Peggy and all our fwoak said
   To Reeth Fair I sud never gang mar.
But it's rake-time,(15) sea I mun away,
   For my partners are all gain' to wark."
Sea I lowp'd up an bade him good day,
   An' wrowt at t' Awd Gang(16) tell 't was dark."

1. The fair held at Reeth in Swaledale on
   St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24.
2. Shirt.  3. Sit.
4. "Sex needles" is literally the interval of time during
    which a knitter would work the loops off six needles.
5. Red.  6. Pegs.  7. Sties.
8. Sticks for stirring hasty puddings.
9. Sorts.  10. Miners.  11. Bartered.  12. Ugly.
13. Mates.  14. Spent.   15. Time for the next shift.
16. A lead mine


The Christmas Party (1876)

Tom Twistleton

When cowd December's sturdy breeze
   In chimley-tops did grumble,
Or, tearing throug'h the leafless trees,
   On lang dark neets did rumble,
A lot o' young folks, smart an' gay,
   An' owds uns, free an' hearty,
Agreed amang thersels at they
   Would have a Christmas party
      At hame some neet

They kicked up sich a fuss an' spreead,
   An' made sich preparations;
They baked grand tarts an' mixed their breead
   Wi' spices frae all nations.
To drive away baith want an' cowd
   It seem'd their inclination;
An' t' neebours round, baith young an' owd,
   All gat an invitation
      To gang that neet.


Smart sprigs o' spruce an' ivy green
   Were frae the ceiling hinging,
An' in their midst, conspicuous seen,
   The mistletoe was swinging.
The lamp shone forth as clear as day,
   An' nowt was there neglected;
An' t' happy, smiling faces say,
   Some company is expected
      To coom this neet.

An' first com Moll wi' girt lang Jack,
   A strapping, good-like fella;
An' following closely at their back
   Com Bob and Isabella.
With "How's yoursel?" an' "How d'ye do?"
   They sit down i' their places,
Till t' room sae big, all through an' through,
   Wi' happy smiling faces
      Was filled that neet.

A merrier lot than this I name
   Ne'er met at onny party;
All girt grand balls they put to shame,
   They were sae gay an' hearty.
Here yan had made hersel quite fine,
   Wi' lace an' braid's assistance;
An' there a girt grand crinoline,
   To keep t' lads at a distance,
      Stood out that neet.

The lads draw up to t' fire their chairs,
   An' merrily pass their jokes off;
The lasses all slip off upstairs,
   To pu' their hats an' cloaks off.
Befoor a glass that hings at t' side
   They all tak up their station,
An' think within theirsels wi' pride
   They'll cause a girt sensation
      'Mang t' lads that neet.

An' now the lusty Christmas cheer
   Is browt out for t' occasion;
To pies an' tarts, an' beef an' beer,
   They git an invitation.
An' some, i' tune to put it by,
   Play havoc on each dainty,
Whal some there is, sae varra shy,
   Scarce let theirsels have plenty
      To eat that neet.

Against the host o' good things there
   They wage an awful battle;
They're crying out, "A lile bit mair!"
   An' plates an' glasses rattle.
Here, yan's nae time a word to pass,
   Thrang(1) supping an' thrang biting;
There, simpering sits a girt soft lass
   That waits for mich inviting
      An' fuss that neet.

An' when this good substantial fare
   Has gien 'em satisfaction,
They side(2) all t' chairs, an' stand i' pairs,
   Wi' heels i' tune for action.
See-sawing, t' fiddler now begins
   The best that he is able;
He rosins t' stick an' screws up t' pins
   An' jumps up on to t' table,
      To play that neet.

There, back an' forrad, in an' out,
   His elbow it gaas silting,(3)
An' to an' fro, an' round about,
   The dancers they are lilting.
Some dance wi' ease i' splendid style,
   Wi' tightly-fitting togs on,
Whal others bump about all t' while,
   Like drainers wit their clogs on,
      Sae numb'd that neet.

An' when they've reel'd an' danc'd their fling,
   Their chairs all round are ranged;
They tell droll tales, they laugh, they sing,
   An' jokes are interchanged.
A merry tune t' girt kettle sings,
   An' t' fire is blazing breetly ;
Wi' cheerful din t' owd farmhouse rings,
   An' hours fly ower them sweetly
       An' swift that neet.

T' owd women preach an' talk about
   Their claes being owd an' rotten,
An' still being forc'd to speck an' clout,(4)
   It's sich a price is cotton.
T' owd men sit round, wi' pipe an' glass,
   In earnest conversation;
On t' ways an' means o' saving brass,
   An' t' rules an' t' laws o' t' nation,
      They talk that neet.

Now girt lang Jack, that lives on t' moor,
   Wi' cunning an' wi' caution,
Is beckoning Moll to gang to t' door
   Wi' sly mischievous motion.
Moll taks the hint, nor thinks it wrang,
   Her heart that way inclining;
She says to t' rest she thinks she'll gang
   To see if t' stars are shining
      Out clear that neet.

Then down a field they tak a walk,
   An' then they wend their way back;
To have a bit o' pleasant talk
   They shelter under t' haystack.
She did not say "For shame!" not she,
   Though oft-times Johnny kiss'd her;
She said she just would run an' see
   If t' other folks had missed her
      Frae t' room that neet.

A chap that had two watchful een,
   Of which they waren't thinking,
When peeping round that neet, had seen
   Long Jack at Molly winking.
Says he, "Now's t' time to have a stir,
   Let's just gang out an' watch her;
We's have some famous fun wi' her,
   If we can nobbut catch her
      Wi' him this neet.

Then two or three, bent on a spree,
   Out to the door gang thungein',(5)
But hauf a yard they scarce could see,
   It was as dark as dungeon.
Jack hears their footsteps coming slow,
   An' frae her side he slinks off;
Runs round t' house-end, jumps ower a wa',
   An' up ower t' knee i' t' sink-trough
      He splash'd that neet.

Now, ye young men, be who ye may,
   That's bent on fun an' sportin',
Whare'er ye be, by neet or day,
   Remember Jack's misfortin.
Though things unlook'd for on ye creep,
   Don't do owt in a splutter;
But learn to look befoor ye leap,
   Lest ye in some deep gutter
      Stick fast some neet.

1. Busily.  2. Clear away.  3. Rising up.
4. Mend and patch.   5. Thumping.


Nelly o' Bob's

John Hartley (1839-1915)

Who is it at lives i' that cot on the lea,
Joy o' my heart an' leet o' my ee?
Who is that lass at's so dear unto me?
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it goes trippin' ower dew-spangled grass,
Singin' so sweetly? Shoo smiles as I pass,
Bonniest, rosy-cheek'd, gay-hearted lass!
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it I see i' my dreams of a neet ?
Who lovingly whispers words tender an' sweet,
Till I wakken to find shoo's nowheer i' t' seet?
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it at leads me so lively a donce,
Yet to tawk serious ne'er gies me a chonce,
An' niver replied when I begged on her once?
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it at ivery chap's hankerin' to get,
Yet tosses her heead an' flies off in a pet,
As mich as to say, "You've not getten me yet"?
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it could mak life a long summer's day,
Whose smile would drive sorrow an' trouble away,
An' mak t' hardest wark, if for her, seem like play?
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it I'll have if I've iver a wife,
An' love her, her only, to th' end o' my life,
An' nurse her i' sickness, an' guard her from strife?
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it at's promised, to-neet if it's fine,
To meet me at t' corner o' t' mistal(1) at nine?
Why, it's her at I've langed for so long to mak mine-
   Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

1. Cow-Shed


Bite Bigger

John Hartley

As I hurried through t' taan to my wark,
   -I were lat,(1) for all t' buzzers had gooan-
I happen'd to hear a remark
   At 'ud fotch tears thro' th' heart of a stooan.

It were rainin', an' snawin', an' cowd,
   An' th' flagstones were cover'd wi' muck,
An' th' east wind both whistled an' howl'd,
   It saanded like nowt bud ill luck.

When two little lads, donn'd(2) i' rags,
   Baat(3) stockin's or shoes o' their feet,
Com trapsin' away ower t' flags,
   Boath on 'em sodden'd wi' t' weet.

Th' owdest mud happen be ten,
   T' young un be haulf on't, no more;
As I look'd on, I said to misen,
   "God help fowk this weather at's poor!"

T' big un samm'd(4) summat off t' graand,
   An' I look'd just to see what 't could be,
'T were a few wizen'd flaars he'd faand,
   An' they seem'd to hae fill'd him wi' glee.

An' he said, "Coom on, Billy, may be
   We sal find summat else by an' by;
An' if not, tha mun share these wi' me,
   When we get to some spot wheer it's dry."

Leet-hearted, they trotted away,
   An' I follow'd, 'cause t' were i' my rooad;
But I thowt I'd ne'er seen sich a day,
   It wern't fit to be aat for a tooad.

Sooin t' big un agean slipp'd away,
   An' samm'd summat else aat o' t' muck;
An' he cried aat, "Look here, Bill, to-day
   Arn't we blest wi' a seet o' gooid luck?

"Here's a apple, an' t' mooast on it's saand,
   What's rotten I'll throw into t' street.
Wern't it gooid to lig theer to be faand?
   Naa boath on us can have a treat."

So he wip'd it an' rubb'd it, an' then
   Said, "Billy, thee bite off a bit;
If tha hasn't been lucky thisen,
   Tha sal share wi' me sich as I get."

So t' little un bate off a touch,(5)
   T' other's face beam'd wi' pleasure all through,
An' he said, "Nay, tha hasn't taen mich,
   Bite agean, an' bite bigger, naa do."

I waited to hear nowt no more;
   Thinks I, there's a lesson for me;
Tha's a heart i' thy breast, if tha'rt poor;
   T' world were richer wi' more sich as thee.

Two pence were all t' brass at I had,
   An' I meant it for ale when com nooin ;
Bud I thowt, I'll go give it yond lad,
   He desarves it for what he's been doin'.

So I said, "Lad, here's twopence for thee,
   For thisen." An' they star'd like two geese;
Bud he said, whol t' tear stood in his ee,
   "Naa, it'll just be a penny apiece."

"God bless thee! do just as tha will,
   An' may better days speedily come;
Though clamm'd(6) an' hauf donn'd,(7) my lad, still
   Tha'rt a deal nearer Heaven nor(8) some."

1. Late.  2. Dressed. 3. Without. 4. Picked.
5. Small piece.  6. Starved  7. Dressed  8. Than


Rollickin' Jack

John Hartley

   I know a workin' lad,
      His hands are hard an' rough,
   His cheeks are red an' braan,
      But I like him weel enough.
   His ee's as breet 's a bell,
      An' his curly hair is black,
An' he stands six foot in his stockin' feet,
      An' his name is Rollickin' Jack.

   At morn, if we should meet,
      He awlus has a smile,
   An' his heart is gay an' leet,
      When trudgin' to his toil.
   He whistles, or he sings,
      Or he stops a joke to crack;
An' monny a lass at he happens to pass
      Looks shyly at Rollickin' Jack.

   His mother's old an' gray;
      His father's deead an' gooan;
   He'll niver move away
      An' leave her all alooan.
   Choose who(1) should be his wife,
      Shoo'll mak a sad mistak,
For he's ivery inch a mother's lad,
      Is this rough an' rollickin' Jack.

   An' still I think sometimes
      Th' old woman wants a nurse;
   An' as for weddin' Jack,
      Why, there's monny a lass done worse.
   Of coorse it's not for me
      To tell him who to tak,
But there's one I could name, if I could but for shame,
      Just the lass to suit Rollickin' Jack.

1. Whoever.


Jim's Letter

James Burnley (Born 1842)


Whats this? A letter thro'(1) Jim?
   God bless him! What has he to say?
Here, Lizzie, my een's gettin' dim,
   Just read it, lass, reight straight away.
Tha trem'les, Liz. What is there up?
   Abaat thy awn cousin tha surely can read;
His ways varry oft has made bitter my cup,
   But theer--I forgive him--read on, niver heed

That's it--"as it leaves me at present "--
   His father's expression to nowt!
Go on, lass, t' beginnin's so pleasant
   It couldn't be mended wi' owt.
What's that? He has "sent a surprise"?
   What is 't, lass? Go on! a new gaan, I'll be bun',
Or happen a nugget o' famous girt size;
   Whativer it is it's t' best thing under t' sun.

Ay, lad, I dare say, "life is rough,"
   For t' best on 't is nut varry smooth;
I' England it's hilly enough,
   Niver name wi' them diggers uncouth.
But theer, Liz, be sharp an' let's have his surprise.
   I'm capt(2) wheer tha's gotten that stammerin' cough,
Tha reads a deal better nor that when tha tries.
   Good gracious! What's t' matter? Shoo's fainted reight off!

Hey! Lizzie, tha flays(3) me; coom here,
   An' sit wheer tha'll get some fresh air:
Tha'rt lookin' so bad at I fear
   Tha's much war(4) nor I were aware.
That's reight, lass, get tul it once more,
   Just read reight to t' end on 't, an' then
We'll just tak a walk for a bit aat o' t' door,
   Whol tha feels rayther more like thisen.

What! Bless us! Aar Jim gotten wed!
   It is a surprise, on my word.
Who is she? That's all at he's said?
   I wish then I niver had heard.
At one time I thowt happen thee he'd admire,
   An' that's haa we all sud have liked it to be.
Bud, sithee! What's that, Liz, at's burnin' on t' fire?
   It's t' ribbin Jim bowt thee! Ay, ay, lass, I see.

1. From.  2. Puzzled. 3. Frightenest.  4. Worse.


A Yorkshire Farmer's Address to a Schoolmaster

George Lancaster (Born 1846)

Good day to you, Misther skealmaisther,
   the evenin' is desperate fine,
I thowt I wad gie ye a call aboot
   that young sonnie o' mine.
I couldn't persuade him to come,
   sea I left him behont(1) me at yam,(2)
Bud somehoo it's waintly(3) possess'd me
   to mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.
He's a kind of a slack-back, ye knaw,
   I niver could get him to work,
He scarcelins wad addle(4) his saut
   wiv a ploo, or a shovel, or fork.
I've tried him agean an' agean,
   bud I finnd that he's nea use at yam,
Sea me an' my missus agreed
   to mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.
If I sends him to wark, why, he'll chunther(5)
   an' gie me the a awfullest leaks,
He'd a deal rayther lig upo' d' sofy
   wi' novels an' them soort o' beaks.
Sea I thowt a skealmaisther wad suit him,
   a lowse soort o' job, do ye see,
Just to keep a few bairns oot o' mischief,
   as easy as easy can be.
Of coorse you've to larn 'em to coont,
   an' to figure a bit, an' to read,
An' to sharpen 'em up if they're numskulls,
   wiv a lalldabber(6) ower their heead,
Bud it's as easy as easy, ye knaw,
   an' I think it wad just suit oor Sam,
An' my missus, she's just o' my mind,
   for she says that he's nea use at yam.
It was nobbut this mornin' I sent him
   to gan an' to harrow some land,
He was boamin'(7) asleep upo' d' fauf,(8)
   wiva rubbishly beak iv his hand;
I gav him a bunch(9) wi' my feat,
   an' rattled him yarmin'(10) off yam.
Sea I think that I'll send him to you,
   you mun mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.
He's a stiff an' a runty(1) young fellow,
   I think that' he'll grow up a whopper,
He'd wallop the best lad you've got,
   an' I think he wad wallop him proper;
Bud still he's a slack-back, ye knaw,
   an' seein' he's nea use at yam,
I think I shall send him to you,
   you mun mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.

1. Behind.  2. Home.  3 Strangely.  4.Earn.
5. Grumble.  6. Cuff.  7. Trailing along.
8. Fallow.  9. Kick.  10. Whining.


The Window on the Cliff Top (1888)

W. H. Oxley

"What! Margery, still at your window
   In this blinding storm and sleet!
Why, you can't see your hand before you,
   And I scarce could keep my feet.

"Why, even the coast-guards tell me
   That they cannot see the sand;
And we know, thank God, that the cobles
   And yawls have got to land.

"There's five are safe at Scarbro',
   And one has reach'd the Tyne,
And two are in the Humber,
   And one at Quay,(2) makes nine."

"Aye, aye, I'd needs be watchful,
   There's niver a soul can tell,
An' happen 'twixt yan o' t' snaw-blints(3)
   Yan mud catch a glimpse o' t' bell.

"I reckon nowt o' t' coast-guards!
   What's folks like them to say?
There's neer a yan amang 'em
   Knaws owt aboot oor bay.

"I's niver leave my winder
   Whiles there's folks as has to droon;
An' it wadna be the first time
   As I've help'd ta wakken t' toon.

"I isn't good for mich noo,
   For my fourscore years is past;
But I's niver quit my winder,
   As long as life sal last.

"'Twas us as seed them Frenchmen
   As wreck'd on Speeton sands;
'Twas me as seed that schooner
   As founder'd wi' all hands.

"'Twas me first spied oor cobles
   Reight ower t' end o' t' Brig,
That time when all was droonded;
   I tell'd 'em by there rig.(4)

"Aye, man, I's neen sae drowsy,
   Don't talk o' bed to me;
I's niver quit my winder,
   Whiles there's a moon to see.

"Don't talk to me o' coast-guards!
   What's them to sike as me?
They hasn't got no husbands,
   No childer, lost i' t' sea.

"It's nobbut them at's felt it,
   As sees as I can see;
It's them as is deead already
   Knaws what it is to dee.

"Ye'd niver understan' me;
   God knaws, as dwells above,
There's hearts doon here, lives, broken,
   What's niver lost their love.

"But better noo ye'd leave me,
   I's mebbe not misen;
We fisher-folks has troubles
   No quality can ken."

1. Thick-set.  2. Bridlington.
3. Snow-storms.  4. Dress.


Aar Maggie

Edmund Hatton

I believe aar Maggie's coortin',
   For shoo dresses hersen so smart,
An' shoo's allus runnin' to t' window
   When there's ony o' t' chaps abaat:
Shoo willent wear her owd shawl,
   Bud dons a bonnet atstead,(1)
An' laps her can in her gaan
   As shoo goes to t' weyvin' ,shed.

Of a neet wi' snoddened(2) hair,
   An' cheeks like a summers cherry,
An' lips fair assin'(3) for kisses,
   An' een so black an' so merry,
Shoo taks her knittin' to t' meadows,
   An' sits in a shady newk,
An' knits while shoo sighs an' watches
   Wi' a dreamy, lingerin' lewk.

Thus knittin', sighin' an' watchin',
   Shoo caars(4) aat on t' soft meadow grass,
Listenin' to t' murmurin' brooklet,
   An' waitin' for t' sweethear't to pass;
Shoo drops her wark i' her appron,
   An' glints aat on t' settin' sun,
An' wonders if he goes a-courtin'
   When his long day's wark is done.

When shoo hears t' chap's fooitsteps comin',
   Shoo rises wi' modest grace;
Ay, Mag, thou sly, lovin' lassie,
   For shame o' thy bashful face!
Shoo frames(5) to be goin' home'ards,
   As he lilts ower t' stile,
Bud when he comes anent(6) herr,
   Shoo gies him sich a smile.

Then he places his arm araand her,
   An' shoo creeps cloise to his side,
An' leyns her heead on his waiscoit,
   An' walks wi' an air o' pride.
Bud oh! you sud see her glances,
   An' oh! you sud hear 'em kiss,
When they pairt thro' one another!
   If shoo isn't coortin', who is?

1. Instead.  2. Smoothed out.  3. Asking.
4. Cowers, lies.  5. Makes pretence.  6. Beside.


Parson Drew Thro' Pudsey (1st Ed)
or
T' First o' t' Sooart (2nd Ed)

John Hartley

From pp 135, 136, 75, 76 and 77 of second edition.

I heeard a funny tale last neet,
I couldn't howd frae laughin' ;
'Twere at t' Bull's Head we chonced to meet,
An' spent an haar i' chaffin'.
Some sang a song, some cracked a joke,
An' all seemed full o' larkin' ;
An' t' raam were blue wi' bacca smoke,
An' ivery ee 'd a spark in.

Long Joe at comes thro' t' Jumples Clough
Were gettin' rayther mazy,
An' Warkus Ned had supped enough
To turn their Betty crazy,
An' Bob at lives at t' Bogeggs farm,
Wi' Nan thro' t' Buttress Bottom,
Were treatin' her to summat warm-
It's just his way. Odd drot 'em!

An' Jack o' t' Slade were theer as weel,
An' Joe o' Abe's thro' Waerley,
An' Lijah off o' t' Lavver Hill
Were passin' th' ale raand rarely.
Thro' raand an' square they seemed to meet
To hear or tell a story,
But t' gem o' all I heeard last neet
Were one by Doad o' t' Glory.

He bet his booits at it were true,
An' all seemed to believe him;
Though if he lost he needn't rue,
But 't wodn't done to grieve him.
His uncle lived it Pudsey taan,
An' practised local praichin';
An' if he 're lucky, he were baan
To start a schooil for taichin'.

But he were takken vary ill,
He felt his time were comin';
They say he browt it on hissel
Wi' studyin' his summin.
He called his wife an' neighbours in
To hear his deein' sarmon,
An' telled 'em if they lived i' sin
Their lot 'd be a warm 'un.

Then, turnin' raand unto his wife,
Said, "Mal, tha knaws, owd craytur,
If I'd been blest wi' longer life
I might hae left things straighter.
Joe Sooithill owes me eighteen pence;
I lent it him last love-feast."
Says Mall, "He hasn't lost his sense,
Thank God for that at least."

"An' Ben o' t' top o' t' bank, tha knows,
We owe him one paand ten."
"Just hark," says Mally, "theer he goes,
He's ramellin' agean."
"Don't tak a bit o' notice, folk;
You see, poor thing, he's ravin'.
It cuts me up to hear sich talk;
He's spent his life i' savin'."

"An', Mally lass," he said agean,
"Tak heed o' my direction,
T' schooil owes me hauf a craan, I mean
My share o' t' last collection.
Tha'll see to that an' have what's fair,
When my poor life is past."
Says Mally, "Listen, I declare,
He's sensible at last."

He shut his een and sank to rest,
Death seldom claimed a better;
They put him by, bud what were t' best,
He sent 'em back a letter,
To tell' em all haa he'd goan on,
An' haa he gate to enter,
An' gav 'em rules to act upon
If iver they sud ventur.

Saint Peter stood wi' keys i' hand,
Says he, "What do ye want, sir,
If to go in, you understand,
Unknown to me, you can't, sir.
Pray what's your name? Where are ye thro'(3)?
Just make your business clear?",
Says he, "They call me 'Parson Drew,'
I've come thro' Pudsey here."

"Ye've come thro' Pudsey, do ye say?
Don't try sich jokes on me, sir;
I've kept these doors too long a day,
I can't be fooled by thee, sir."
Says Drew; "I wodn't tell a lie
For t' sake o' all there's in it,
If ye've a map o' England by,
I'll show you in a minute."

So Peter gate a time-table,
They gloor'd(4) ower t' map together,
An' Drew did all at he were able,
But couldn't find it either.
At last says he, "There's Leeds Taan Hall,
An' there stands Bradford's Mission;
It's just between them two--that's all,
Your map's an old edition.

"Bud theer it is--I'll lay a craan;--
An' if ye've niver knawn it,
Ye've miss'd a bonny Yorkshire taan,
Though monny be at scorn it."
He oppen'd t' gate; says he, "It's time
Somebody coom--I'll trust thee;--
Tha'll find inside no friends o' thine,
Tha'rt first at's coom thro' Pudsey."

1. Makes pretence.  2. Beside.
3. From.  4. Stared.


Pateley Reaces 1874

Anonymous

From The Nidderdill Olminao, 1875,
edited by "Nattie Nidds" (Pateley Bridge).

Attention all, baith great an' small,
  An' doan't screw up your feaces;
While I rehearse i' simple verse,
   A count o' Pateley Reaces.

Fra all ower moors they com by scores
   Girt skelpin'(1) lads an' lasses;
An' cats an' dogs, an' coos an' hogs,
   An' horses, mules an' asses.

Awd foaks were thar, fra near an' far,
   At couldn't fairly hopple;
An' laffin' brats, as wild as cats,
   Ower heeads an' heels did topple.

The Darley lads arrived i' squads,
   Wi' smiles all ower their feaces;
An' Hartwith youths, wi' screwed-up mooths,
   In wonder watched the reaces.

Fra Menwith Hill, and Folly Gill,
   Thorngat, an' Deacon Paster,
Fra Thruscross Green, an' t' Heets Were seen
   Croods coomin' thick an' faster.

'Tween Bardin Brigg and Threshfield Rig
   Awd Wharfedeale gat a thinnin';
An' Ger'ston plods(2) laid heavy odds
   On Creaven Lass for winnin'.

Sich lots were seen o' Hebdin Green,
   Ready sean on i' t' mornin',
While Aptrick chaps, i' carts and traps,
   Were off to Pateley spornin'.(3)

All Greenho Hill, past Coddstone's kill,(4)
   Com toltherin'(5) an' singin',
Harcastle coves, like sheep i' droves,
   Awd Palmer Simp were bringin'.

Baith short an' tall, past Gowthit Hall,
   Tup dealers kept on steerin',
For ne'er before, roond Middles Moor,
   Had there been sich a clearin'.

All kinds and sorts o' games an' sports,
   Had Pateley chaps provided,
An' weel did t' few their business do
   At ower 'em all persided.

'T'wad tak a swell a munth to tell
   All t' ins an' t' oots o' t' reaces,
Hoo far they ran, which horses wan,
   An' which were back'd for pleaces.

Awd Billy Broon lost hauf a croon
   Wi' Taty-Hawker backin',
For Green Crag flew, ower t' hurdles true,
   An' wan t' match like a stockin'.

An' Creaven Lass won lots o' brass,
   Besides delightin' t' Brockils,
An' Eva danc'd, an' rear'd and pranc'd;
   An gif(6) she stood o' cockles.

But t' donkey reace were star o' t' pleace,
   For awd an' young observers;
'Twad meade a nun fra t' convent run
   An' ne'er again be nervous.

Tom Hemp fra t' Stean cried oot, "Weel dean,"
   An' t' wife began o' chaffin';
Whal Kirby Jack stack up his back,
   An' nearly brast wi' laffin'.

Sly Wilsill Bin, fra een to chin,
   Were plaister'd up wi' toffy,
An' lang-leg Jane, he browt frae t' Plain,
   Full bent on winnin' t' coffee.

Young pronsy(7) flirts, i' drabbl'd skirts,
   Like painted peeacocks stritches(8);
While girt chignons like milkin'-cans
   On their top-garrits perches.

Fat Sal fra' t' Knott scarce gat to t' spot,
   Afore she lost her bustle,
Which sad mishap quite spoil'd her shap,
   An' meade her itch an' hustle.

Lile pug-nosed Nell, fra Kettlewell,
   Com in her Dolly Vardin,
All frill'd an' starch'd she proodly march'd
   Wi' squintin' Joe fra Bardin.

Tha're cuffs an' falls, tunics an' shawls,
   An' fancy pollaneeses,
All sham displays, ower tatter'd stays,
   An' hard-worn ragg'd chemises.

Tha're mushroom fops, fra' fields an' shops,
   Fine cigarettes were sookin',
An' lots o' youths, wi' beardless mooths,
   All kinds o' pipes were smookin'.

An' when at last the sports were past,
   All heamward turn'd their feaces;
To ne'er relent at e'er they spent
   A day wi' Pateley Reaces.

1. Huge  2. Grassington labourers.
3. Spurring.  4. Kiln.  5. Hobbling.
6. If   7. Over-dressed. 8. Strut about.


Play Cricket (1909)

Ben Turner

Whativer task you tackle, lads,
   Whativer job you do,
      I' all your ways,
      I' all your days,
   Be honest through an' through:
         Play cricket.

If claads oppress you wi' their gloom,
   An' t' sun seems lost to view,
      Don't fret an' whine,
      Ask t' sun to shine,
   An' don't o' livin' rue:
         Play cricket.

If you're i' debt, don't growl an' grunt,
   An' wish' at others had
      T' same want o' luck;
      But show more pluck,
   An' ne'er mak others sad:
         Play cricket.

If in your days there's chonce to do
   Good deeds, then reight an' fair,
      Don't hesitate,
      An' wait too late,
   An' say you'n(1) done your share:
         Play cricket.

We've all a row to hoe, that's true,
   Let's do it best we can;
      It's nobbut once
      We have the chonce
   To play on earth the man:
         Play cricket.

1. You have.


The File-cutter's Lament to Liberty (1910)

E. Downing

Nay, I'm moithered,(1) fairly maddled,(2)
   What's a "nicker-peck"(3) to do?
My owd brain's a egg that's addled,
   Tryin' to see this matter through.

Here's a strappin' young inspector--
   Dacent lad he is, an' all--
Says all things mun be correct, or
   I shall have to climb the pole.

Says as all my bonny pigeons
   As I keep wi' me i' t' shop,
Mun be ta'en to other regions;
   Here the law wain't ler 'em stop.

Says as how my little terrier
   Mun foind kennellin' elsewheer.
I expect awst(4) have to bury 'er;
   Shoo'll rest nowheer else bur(5) here.

Says as I mun wear a appron
   Throo my shoulder to my knee;
An' (naa, listen! this puts t' capper on)
   Says how cleanly it mun be.

Each ten men mun have a basin,
   Fastened, mark you, fixed and sure,
For to wesh ther hands and face in;
   Not to throw it aat o' door.

There's to be two ventilators,
   In good order and repair;
Us at's short o' beef an' taters,
   Has to fatten on fresh air.

Each shop floor mun be substantial-
   Concrete, pavement, wood, or brick-
So that water from the branch'll
   Keep the dust from lyin' thick.

An' for iv'ry bloomin' stiddie(6)
   There's so many cubic feet,
We'st(7) ha' room to play at hiddie(8)
   Us at isn't aat i' t' street.

Eh, I can't tell hauf o' t' tottle(9)
   Of these Regulations steep;
I expect a suckin'-bottle
   Will be t' next we have to keep.

Eh! I know, mun! who knows better?
   It's for t' good of all, is this.
Iv'rybody's teed to t' letter,
   'Cause o' t' few at's done amiss.

Eytin' leead-dust brings leead-colic,
   Sure as mornin' brings the day.
Does te think at iver I'll lick
   Thumb and fingers' dirt away?

Well, good-bye, my good owd beauty--
   Liberty, naa left to few!
Since the common-weal's my duty,
   Dear owd Liberty--adieu!

1. Perplexed.  2. Bewildered.  3. File-cutter.
4. I shall.  5. But.  6. Stithy
7. We shall. 8. Hide and seek. 9. Total.


A Kuss (1912)

John Malham-Dembleby

Ye may bring me gowd bi t' bowlful,
   Gie me lands bi t' mile,
Fling me dewy roses,
   Stoor(1) set on my smile.
Ye may caar(2) ye daan afoor me,
   Castles for me build,
Twine me laurel garlands,
   Let sweet song be trilled.
Ye may let my meyt be honey,
   Let my sup be wine,
Gie me haands an' hosses,
   Gie me sheep an' kine.
Yit one flaid(3) kuss fra her would gie
   Sweeter bliss to me
Nor owt at ye could finnd to name,
   Late(4) ye through sea tul sea.

I've seen her hair gleam gowden
   In t' Kersmas yollow sun,
An' ivery inch o' graand she treeads
   Belang her sure it mun.
Her smile is sweet as roses,
   An' sweeter far to me,
An' praad she hods her heead up,
   As lass o' heigh degree.
Bonnie are green laurel leaves,
   I'd sooiner my braa feel
T' laughin' lips o' t' lass I love,
   Though bays be varry weel.

I'm varry fond o' singin',
   What bonnier could be
Nor my fair lass hersen agate(5)
   A-singin' love to me?
It's reight to live on spice an' sich,
   An' sup a warmin' glass,
But sweet-stuff's walsh,(6) an' wine is cowd,
   Aside my lovely lass.
Tak ye your haands an' hosses,
   Tak ye your sheep an' kine;
To finnd my lass ower t' hills I'll ride,
   She sal be iver mine.

1. Value.  2. Cower. 3. Trembling.
4. Search.  5. Busy.  6. Insipid.


Huntin' Song

Richard Blakeborough

   It's neet an' naa we're here, lads,
   We're in for gooid cheer, lads;
   Yorkshiremen we all on us are,
   Yorkshiremen for better or war(1);
   We're tykes an' we're ghast(2) uns,
   We're paid uns an' fast uns,
Awther for better or awther for war!

          All t' lot

   Then shaat till ye've gor hooast,(3) lads,
   Sing, Yorkshiremen, wer tooast, lads,
   Wer king, wer heeath, wer haands, lads,
   Wer hooam, wer hearth, wer baans,(4) lads."

   There's some at nooan are here, lads,
   Forger em we sal ne'er, lads;
   Yorkshiremen they all on 'em war,
   Yorkshiremen yit all on 'em are.
   There's thrang(5) uns an' looan(6) uns,
   There's wick uns an' gooan uns,
They're all reight somewheer, an' we 'st be no war!

            All t' lot

   Then shaat till ye've gor hooast, lads,
   Sing, "Yorkshiremen, wer tooast, lads,
   Wer king, wer heeath, wer haands, lads,
   Wer hooam, wer hearth, wer baans, lads."

1. Worse.  2. Spirited. 3. Got hoarse.
4. Children.  5. Busy.  6. Lonely


Spring (1914)

F. J. Newboult

   Owd Winter gat notice to quit,
      'Cause he'd made sich a pigsty o' t' place,
   An' Summer leuked raand when he'd flit,
      An' she says, I"t's a daanreyt disgrace!
         Sich-like ways!
I niver did see sich a haase to come intul
         i' all my  born days!

   But Spring says, "It's my job, is this,
      I'll sooin put things streyt, niver fear.
   Ye go off to t' Spaws a bit, Miss,
      An' leave me to fettle up here!"
         An' sitha!
Shoo's donned a owd appron, an' tucked up her sleaves,
         an' set to, with a witha!

   Tha can tell, when t' hail pelts tha like mad,
      At them floors bides a bit of a scrub;
   Tha knaws t' flegstuns mun ha' been bad,
      When she teems(1) aat all t' wotter i' t' tub.
         Mind thy eyes!
When shoo gets hod o' t' long brush an' sweeps aat them chamers,
         I'll tell tha, t' dust flies!

   Whol shoo's threng(2) tha'll be best aat o' t' gate(3):
      Shoo'll care nowt for soft tawk an' kisses.
   To tell her thy mind, tha mun wait
      Whol shoo's getten things ready for t' missis.
         When shoo's done,
Shoo'll doff her owd appron, an' slip aat i' t' garden,
         an' call tha to come.

   Aye, Summer is t' roses' awn queen,
      An' shoo sits i' her state, grandly dressed;
   But Spring's twice as bonny agean,
      When shoo's donned hersen up i' her best
         Gaan o' green,
An' stands all i' a glow,- wi' a smile on her lips
         an' a leet i' her een.

   To t' tips of her fingers shoo's wick.(4)
      Tha can see t' pulses beat i' her braa.
   Tha can feel her soft breath comin' quick,
      An' it thrills tha-tha duzn't knaw haa.
         When ye part,
Them daffydaandillies shoo's kissed an' then gi'en
         tha--they'll bloom i' thy heart!

1. Pours.  2. Busy.  3 Way.  4. Alive.


Heam, Sweet Heam (1914)

A. C. Watson

When oft at neet I wanders heame
To cosy cot an' busy deame,
My hardest day's wark seems but leet,
When I can get back heame at neet,
My wife an' bairns to sit besaade,
Aroond my awn bit firesaade.
What comfort there's i' steep(1) for me,
A laatle prattler on my knee!
What tales I have to listen tea!
But just at fost there's sike to-dea
As niver was. Each laatle dot
Can fain agree for t' fav'rite spot.
Sike problems they can set for me
'T wad puzzle waaser heeads mebbe.
An' questions hawf a scoor they ask,
To answer' em wad prove a task;
For laatle thowts stray far away
To things mysterious, oot o' t' way.
An' then sike toffer(2) they torn oot,
An' pratty lips begin to poot,
If iverything's nut stowed away
To cumulate frae day to day.
Sike treasures they could niver spare,
But gether mair an' mair an' mair
In ivery pocket. I've nea doot
They've things they think the wo'ld aboot.
An' when their bed-taame's drawin' nigh,
Wi' heavy heead an' sleepy eye,
It's vary laatle din they mak,
But slyly try a nap to tak.
An' when on t' lats(3) they've gone aboon,
I fills my pipe an' sattles do on
To have a comfortable smewk.
An' then at t' news I has a lewk;
Or hods a bit o' talk wi' t' wife,
The praade an' comfort o' my life.
Cawd winds may blaw, an' snaw-flakes flee,
An' neets may be beath lang an' dree,
Or it may rain an' rain agean,
Sea lang as I've my day's wark dean,
I wadn't swap my humble heame
For bigger hoose or finer neame.
If all could as contented be,
There'd be mair joy an' less mis'ry.

1. In store.  2. Odds and ends. 3. Laths.


Then an' Nae

E. A. Lodge

Privately printed by Mr. E. A. Lodge in a volume entitled
Odds an' Ends (n. d.).

When I were but a striplin'
   An' bare a scoor year owd,
I thowt I'd gotten brains enew
   To fill all t' yeds(1) i' t' fowd.

I used to roor wi' laffin'
   At t' sharpness o' my wit,
An' a joke I made one Kersmiss
   Threw my nuncle in a fit.

I used to think my mother
   Were a hundred year behund;
An' my father--well, my father
   Nobbut fourteen aence to t' pund.

An' I often turned it ovver,
   But I ne'er could fairly see
Yaeiver(2) sich owd cronies
   Could hae bred a chap like me.

An' whene'er they went to t' market,
   I put my fillin's in;
Whol my father used to stop me
   Wi' "Prithee, hold thy din.

"Does ta think we're nobbut childer,
   Wi' as little sense as thee?
When thy advice is wanted,
   We'st axe thee, does ta see."

But they gate it, wilta, shalta,
   An' I did my levil best
To change their flee-blown notions,
   Whol their yeds were laid to t' west.

This happened thirty year sin;
   Nae I've childer o' my own,
At's gotten t' cheek to tell me
   At I'm a bit flee-blown.

1. Heads.  2. However.


Owd England

From Tykes Abrooad (W. Nicholson, Wakefield, 1911).

Walter Hampson.

Tha'rt welcome, thrice welcome, Owd England;
   It maks my een sparkle wi' glee,
An' does mi heart gooid to behold thee,
   For I know tha's a welcome for me.
Let others recaant all thi failin's,
   Let traitors upbraid as they will,
I know at thy virtues are many,
   An' my heart's beeatin' true to thee still.

There's a gladness i' t' sky at bends ower thee,
   There's a sweetness i' t' green o' thy grass,
There's a glory i' t' waves at embrace thee,
   An' thy beauty there's naan can surpass.
Thy childer enrich iv'ry valley,
   An' add beauty to iv'ry glen,
For tha's mothered a race o' fair women,
   An' true-hearted, practical men.

There's one little spot up i' Yorkshire,
    It's net mich to crack on at t' best,
But to me it's a kingdom most lovely,
   An' it holds t' warmest place i' my breast.
Compared wi' that kingdom, all others
   Are worthless as bubbles o' fooam,
For one thing my rovin' has towt me,
   An' that is, there's no place like hooam.

I know there'll be one theer to greet me
   At's proved faithful through many dark days,
An' little feet runnin' to meet me,
   An' een at(1) howd love i' their gaze.
An' there's neighbours both hooamly an' kindly,
   An' mates at are wor'thy to trust,
An' friends my adversity's tested,
   At proved to be generous an' just.

An' net far away there's green valleys,
   An' greeat craggy, towerin' hills,
An' breezes at mingle their sweetness
   Wi' t' music o' sparklin' rills;
An' meadows all decked wi' wild-flaars,
   An' hedges wi' blossom all white,
An' a blue sky wheer t' skylark is singin',
   Just to mak known his joy an' delight.

Aye, England, Owd England! I love thee
   Wi' a love at each day grows more strong;
In my heart tha sinks deeper an' deeper,
   As year after year rolls along;
An' spite o' thy faults an' thy follies,
   Whativer thy fortune may be,
I' storm or i' sunshine, i' weal or i' woe,
   Tha'll allus be lovely to me.

May thy sons an' thy dowters live happy,
   An' niver know t' woes o' distress;
May thy friends be for iver increeasin',
   An' thy enemies each day grow less.
May tha niver let selfish ambition
   Dishonour or tarnish thy swoord,
But use it alooan agean despots
   Whether reignin' at hooam or abrooad.

1.  That.


Love and Pie

J. A. Carill

From Woz'ls Humorous Sketches and Rhymes in the East
Yorkshire Dialect (n. d.).

Whin I gor hoired et Beacon Farm a year last Martinmas,
I fund we'd gor a vory bonny soort o' kitchen lass;
And so I tell'd her plooin' made me hungry--thot was why
I awlus was a laatle sthrong on pudden and on pie.
And efther thot I thowt the pie was, mebbe, middlin' large,
And so I ate it for her sake--theer wasn't onny charge;
Until it seems t' missus asked her rayther sharply why
She awlus used t' biggest dish for pudden and for pie.

I wasn't mich of use, ye knaw, et this here fancy talkin',
She had no chance o' goin' oot for armin' it and walkin'.
But thin I knawed I gor her love whin I could see t' pies;
I knawed her thowts o' me were big by bigness o' their size.
The pies and gell I thowt thot geed,(1) they hardlins could be beaten,
She knawed I'd awlus thowts on her by way t' pies were eaten;
Until it seems t' missus asked her rayther sharply why
She awlus used t' biggest dish for pudden and for pie.

Noo just thoo wait a bit and see; I'm only thod-lad(2) noo,
I moight be wagoner or hoind within a year or two;
And thin thoo'll see, or I'm a cauf, I'll mak 'em ring choch bell,
And carry off et Martinmas yon prize-pie-makkin' gell.
And whin thoo's buyin' coats and beats(3) wi' wages thot ye take,
It's I'll be buyin' boxes for t' laatle bits o' cake;
And whin I've gar a missus ther'll be no more askin' why
She awlus gers oor biggest dish for pudden and for pie.

1. Good.  2. Third lad on the farm.  3. Boots.


I's Gotten t' Bliss (1914)

George H. Cowling

I's gotten t' bliss o' moonten-tops to-neet,
   Thof I's i' bondage noo, an' blinnd an' deeaf.
Brethren, I's stoun(1)! an' fand it varry sweet,
   Sea strike my neame off, if't be your belief
      I's slidin' back.
Last neet, as I were shoggin'(2) on up t' street,
      I acted t' thief.

Ye think I's hardened. Ay! I see ye lewvk.
   I stell't,(3) it's true; bud, brethren, I'll repay.
I'll pay back ten-foad iverything I tewk,
   An' folks may say whate'er they like to say.
      It were a kiss,
An' t' lass has promised iv oar ingle-newk
      To neame t' day.

1. Stolen.  2. Jogging  3. Stole.


A Natterin' Wife

George H. Cowling

The parson, the squire an' the divil
   Are troubles at trouble this life,
Bud each on em's dacent an' civil
   Compared wi' a natterin'(1) wife.

A wife at mun argie an' natter,
   She maks a man's mortal life hell.
An' that's t' gospel-truth o' t' matter,
   I knaws, 'cause I's got yan misel.

1. Nagging.


O! What do ye Wesh i' the Beck

George H. Cowling

"O! What do ye wesh i' the beck, awd wench?
   Is it watter ye lack at heame?"
It's nobbut a murderer's shrood, young man,
   A shrood for to cover his weam.(1)

"O! what do ye cut i' the slack, awd hag?
   Is it fencin' ye lack for your beas'(2)?"
It's nobbut a murderer's coffin, sir,
   A coffin to felt(3) his feace."

"O! what do ye greaye(4) at the crossroads, witch?
   Is it roots ye lack for your swine?"
"It's nobbut a murderer's grave, fair sir,
   A grave for to bury him fine."

"An' whea be-owes(5) coffin an' shrood, foul witch?
   An' wheas is the grave i' the grass?"
"This spell I hae woven for thee, dear hairt,
   Coom, kill me, an' bring it to pass."

1. Belly.  2. Beasts, cattle..  3. Hide.
4. Dig  5. Owns,




Part II


Traditional Poems


Cleveland Lyke-wake Dirge(1)

This ya neet, this ya neet,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
Fire an' fleet(2) an' can'le leet,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

When thoo frae hence away art passed(3)
   Ivvery neet an' all;
To Whinny-moor thoo cooms at last,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

If ivver thoo gav owther hosen or shoon,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
Clap thee doon an' put 'em on,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Bud if hosen or shoon thoo nivver gav nean,(4)
   Ivvery neet an' all;
T' whinnies 'll prick thee sair to t' bean,(5)
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Frae Whinny-moor when(6) thoo mayst pass,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
To t' Brig o' Dreead thoo'll coom at last,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

If ivver thoo gav o' thy siller an' gowd,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
At t' Brig o' Dreead thoo'll finnd foothod,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Bud if siller an' gowd thoo nivver gav nean,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
Thoo'll doan, doon tum'le towards Hell fleames,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Frae t' Brig o' Dreead when thoo mayst pass,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
To t' fleames o' Hell thoo'll coom at last,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

If ivver thoo gav owther bite or sup,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
T' fleames 'll nivver catch thee up,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Bud if bite or sup thoo nivver gav nean,
   Ivvery neet an' all;
T' fleames 'll bon(7) thee sair to t' bean,
   An' Christ tak up thy saul.

1. The text of this version of the "Lyke-wake Dirge" follows, with slight
variations, that found in Mr. Richard Blakeborough's Wit, Character,
Folklore, and Customs of the North Riding (p. 123), where the following
account is given: "I cannot say when or where the Lyke Walke dirge was
sung for the last time in the North Riding, but I remember once talking
to an old chap who remembered it being sung over the corpse of a distant
relation of his, a native of Kildale.  This would be about 1800, and he
told me that Lyke-wakes were of rare occurrence then, and only heard of
in out-of-the-way places. ... There are other versions of the song; the
one here given is as it was dictated to me.  There is another version in
the North Riding which seems to have been written according to the tenets
of Rome; at least I imagine so, as purgatory takes the place of hellish
flames, as given above."  In the Appendix to this volume will be found
the other version with the introduction of purgatory to which Mr.
Blakeborough refers.  I have taken it from Sir Walter Scott's Border
Minstrelsy (ed.  Henderson, vol. ii. pp.  170-2), but it also finds a
place in John Aubrey's Remains of Gentilisme and Judaisme (1686-7),
preserved among the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum.  Aubrey
prefixes the following note to his version of the dirge: The beliefe in
Yorkeshire was amongst the vulgar (perhaps is in part still) that after
the person's death the soule went over Whinny-moore, and till about
1616-24 at the funerale a woman came (like a Praefica) and sang the
following song."  Further information about this interesting dirge and
its parallels in other literatures will be found in Henderson's edition
of the Border Minstrelsy, p. 163) and in J. C. Atkinson's Glosary of the
Cleveland Dialect, p. 595.


Cleveland Lyke-wake Dirge

Traditional
Sir Walter Scott's version

From Appendix I of 1st Edition.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
   Every nighte and alle;
Fire and sleete and candle lighte,
   And Christe receive thye saule.

When thou from hence away are paste,
   Every nighte and alle;
To Whinny-muir thou comest at laste;
   And Christe receive thye saule.

If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
   Every nighte and alle;
Sit thee down, and put them on;
   And Christe receive thye saule.

If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gavest nane,
   Every nighte and alle;
The whinnes shall pricke thee to the bare bane,
   And Christe receive thye saule.

From Whinny-muir when thou mayst passe,
   Every nighte and alle ;
To Brigg o' Dread thou comest at laste,
   And Christe receive thye saul

(A stanza wanting)

From Brigg o' Dread when thou mayst passe,
   Every nighte and alle;
To purgatory fire thou comest at laste;
   And Christ receive thye saule.

If ever thou gavest meat or drinke,
   Every nighte and alle;
The fire shall never make thee shrinke;
   And Christ receive thye saule.

If meate or drinke thou never gavest nane,
   Every nighte and alle;
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
   And Christe receive thye saule.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
   Every nighte and alle;
Fire and sleete, and candle lighte,
   And Christe receive thye saule.


A Dree Neet(1)

Traditional

'T Were a dree(2) neet, a dree neet,
   as t' squire's end drew nigh,
A dree neet, a dree neet,
   to watch, an pray, an' sigh.

When t' streeam runs dry, an' t' deead leaves fall,
   an' t' ripe ear bends its heead,
An' t' blood wi' lithin'(3), seems fair clogg'd,
   yan kens yan's neam'd wi' t' deead.

When t' een grows dim, an' folk draw nigh
   frae t' other saade o' t' grave,
It's late to square up awd accoonts
   a gannin' sowl to save.

T' priest may coom, an' t' priest may gan,
   his weel-worn tale to chant,
When t' deeath-smear clems a wrinkled broo,
   sike disn't fet yan's want.(4)

Nea book, nea can'le, bell, nor mass,
   nea priest iv onny lan',
When t' dree neet cooms, can patch a sowl,
   or t' totterin' mak to stan'.

     .    .    .    .    .

'T were a dree neet, a dree neet,
   for a sowl to gan away,
A dree neet, a dree neet,
   bud a gannin' sowl can't stay.

An' t' winner shuts(5) they rattled sair,
   an' t' mad wild wind did shill,
An' t' Gabriel ratchets(6) yelp'd aboon,
   a gannin' sowl to chill.

'T were a dree neet, a dree neet,
   for deeath to don his cowl,
To staup(7) abroad wi' whimly(8) treead,
   to claim a gannin' sowl.

Bud laal(9) deeath recks hoo dree t' neet be,
   or hoo a sowl may pray,
When t' sand runs oot, his sickle reaps;
   a gannin' sowl can't stay.

'T were a dree neet, a dree neet,
   ower Whinny-moor to trake,(10)
Wi' shoonless feet, ower flinty steanes,
   thruf monny a thorny brake.

A dree neet, a dree neet,
   wi' nowt neaways to mark
T' gainest trod(11) to t' Brig o' Deead;
   a lane lost sowl i' t' dark.

A dree neet, a dree neet,
   at t' brig foot theer to meet
Laal sowls at(12) he were t' father on,
   wi' nea good-deame i' seet.

At t' altar steps he niver steead,
   thof monny a voo he made,
Noo t' debt he awes to monny a lass
   at t' brig foot mun be paid.

They face him noo wiv other deeds,
   like black spots on a sheet,
They noo unscape,(13) they egg him on,
   on t' brig his doom to meet.

Nea doves has sattled on his sill,
   bud a flittermoose(14) that neet
Cam thrice taames thruf his casement,
   an' flacker'd roond his feet.

An' thrice taames did a raven croak,
   an' t' seame-like thrice cam t' hoot
Frae t' ullets' tree; doon chimleys three
   there cam a shrood o' soot.

An' roond t' can'le twea taames there cam
   a dark-wing'd moth to t' leet,
Bud t' thod(15), it swirl'd reet into t' fleame,
   wheer gans his sowl this neet.

'T were a dree neet, a dree neet,
   for yan to late(16) to pray,
A dree neet, a dree neet,
   bud a gannin' sowl can't stay.

     .    .    .    .    .

1, From R. Blakeborough's "Old Songs of the Dales," appended
   to his T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg, p. 37, second edition.
2. Gloomy.  3. Thickening.
4. The literal meaning of this line is, When the death-salve bedaubs
   a wrinkled brow, rites such as these do not fetch (i.e. supply)
   one's want. The reference is to extreme unction.
5. Window shutters.  6. The hounds of death.  7. Stalk.  8. Stealthy.
9. Little.  10. Wander.  11. Shortest path.  12. That.
13. Stir up memories.  14. Bat.  15. Third.  16. Attempt.


The Bridal Bands

Traditional

From R. Blakeborough's Wit, Character, Folklore,
and Customs of the North Riding, p. 97.

Blushing, theer oor Peggy sits,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
Love-knots roond her braadal bands,
   Witchin', bewitchin'.

T' braade's maids all mun dea a stitch,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
An' they mun binnd it roond her leg,
   Witchin', bewitchin'.

Bud some bauf(1) swain at's soond o' puff,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
Will claim his reet to tak it off,
   Witchin', bewitchin'.

An' he aroond his awn love's leg,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
Will lap(2) it roond to binnd his love,
   Witchin', bewitchin'.

Whal she, sweet maid, 'll wear his troth,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
Maanding each taame she taks it off,
   Witchin', bewitchin',

That day when she will hae to wear,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
Nut yan, bud twea, a braadal pair,
   Witchin', bewitchin'.

Oh! happy day, when she sal stitch,
   Stitchin', faane stitchin',
Her braadal bands, the wearin' which
   Maks maids bewitchin'.

1 Sturdy. 2. Wrap.


The Bridal Garter(1)

A Catch

Traditional

   Here's health to t' lass whea donn'd this band
      To grace her leg,
   An' ivvery garter'd braade i' t' land:
Sea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon your wizan.(2)

   Aroond her leg it has been bun',
      I wish I'd bun' it.
   A trimmer limb could nut be fun':
Sea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon your wizan.

   May ivvery yan at lifts his glass
      To this faane band
   Uphod(3) he gans wi' t' best-like lass:
Sae sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon your wizan.

   Frae wrist to wrist this band we pass,
      As han' clasps han';
   I' turn we through it draw each glass:
Sea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon your wizan.

   An' here's tiv her at fast(4) did weer
      A braadal band
   Bun' roond her leg; gie her a cheer:
Sea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon your wizan.

   An' here's to Venus; let us beg
      A boon at she
   Will gie each braade a pattern leg:
Sea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it do on your wizan.


1 From Mr. Richard Blakeborough's "Old Songs of the Dales,"
appended to his T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg, p. 57, 2nd edition..
2 Throat. 3 Uphold, maintain. 4 First.


Nance and Tom

Traditional

From Mr. R. Blakeborough's "Old Songs of the Dales,"
appended to his T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg, p. 44, 2nd edition.

I' t' merry taame o' harvestin'
   Lang sen,(1) aye well a day!
Oar Nancy, t' bonniest lass i' t' field
   Had varra laal to say.
An' Tom whea follow'd, follow'd her,
   An' neigh as dumb were he,
An' thof he wark'd some wiv his hands
   He harder wark'd his ee.

For Nan were buxom, Nan were fair,
   Her lilt were leet an' free;
An' Tom could hardlins hod(2) his wits,
   He couldn't hod his ee
Frae Nancy's face; an' her breet smaale
   Made Tom's heart lowp(3) an' thump;
Whal Nancy awn'd t' fost kiss he gav,
   Her stays mun git a bump

Bud o' ya neet, Tom set her yam,
   " Noo, Nance,"tell'd he," I've gitten
A cauvin' coo, an' twea fat pigs;
   Wi' thy fair charms I'm smitten.
Thoo knaws I have a theak,(4) my lass,
   An' gear, baith gert an' small,
I've fotty pund ligg'd by at yam,
   Tak me, lass, tak it all."

Nance hing'd her heead an' dropp'd her een,
   An' then she sighed, "Ah, dear!
Noo hod thy whisht,(5) thoo's tell'd t' same tale
   To monny a maid, I fear."
Bud Tom just bowdly sleev'd(6) her waist
   An chuck'd her unner t' chin.
"O' Sunday neet," said he, " I'll wait
   To hug(7) thy milk-skeel(8) in.

(A verse is missing)

She bun' aboot her matchless cauf
   Four cletchin' streas,(9) did Nan,
Twea wheaten an' twea oaten streas,
   Bud niver tell'd her man.
She platted 'em when t' harvest mean
   Her colour'd cheek made pale,
For nea lass plats her band for bairns
   And then blirts(10) out her tale.

An' t' mean for sham' ahint a clood
   Her smaalin' feace did hide;
Sea nea hedge-skulker gat a peep
   At Nan's leg when 't were tied.
An' nean i' t' village would have knawn,
   At roond her leg, like thack,(11)
She'd bun' a band to gie her bairns,
   Bud she tummel'd offen(12) t' stack,

An' deaz'd she ligg'd, her shapely limb
   Laid oot for all to see;
An' roond her leg a platted band
   Were bun' belaw her knee.
Then up she sprang, an' laughin' said,
   "Noo, Tom warn't here to see;
An' nean can say I's scrawmy(13) cauf'd,
   An' t' band still guards my knee."

1. Long ago.  2 .Hold.  3, Leap.  4. Thatched roof.
5. Hold thy tongue.  6. Encircled.  7. Carry.
8. Milk-pail.  9. Thatching straws.  10. Blurts.
11. Thatch.  12. Off.   13. Unshapely.


The Witch's Curse(1)

Traditional

      Fire coom,
      Fire gan,
      Curlin' smeak
      Keep oot o' t' pan.
Ther's a tead(2) i' t' fire, a frog on t' hob,
Here's t' heart frev a crimson ask(3);
Here's a teath fra t' heead
O' yan at's deead,
At niver gat thruf his task.
Here's prick'd i' blood a maiden's prayer,
At t' ee o' man maunt(4) see;
It's prick'd upon a yet warm mask,(5)
An' lapp'd(6) aboot a breet green ask,
An' it's all fer him an' thee.
      It boils,
      Thoo'll drink;
      He'll speak,
      Thoo'll think:
      It boils,
      Thoo'll see;
      He'll speak,
      Thoo'll dee.

1 From R. Blakeborough's T' Hunt o' Yatton Brigg, p. 12; see
also the same author's Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore, and
Customs, p. 169.
2. Toad.  3. Newt.  4. May not.  5, Brew.  6. Wrapped.


Ridin' t' Stang(1)

(Grassington Version)

Traditional

Hey dilly, how dilly, hey dilly, dang!
   It's nayther for thy part, nor my part,
      That I ride the stang.
   But it's for Jack Solomon,
      His wife he did bang.
   He bang'd her, he bang'd her,
      He bang'd her indeed,
   He bang'd t' poor woman
      Tho' shoo stood him no need.
He nayther took stick, stain, wire, nor stower,(2)
But he up wi' a besom an' knock'd her ower.
So all ye good neighbours who live i' this raw,
I pray ye tak warnin', for this is our law.
   An' all ye cross husbands
      Who do your wives bang,
   We'll blow for ye t' horn  ,
     An' ride for ye t' stang.
         Hip, hip, hip, hurrah!

1 From B. J. Harker's Rambles in Upper Wharfedale. Other
versions, more or less similar to the above, are to be found in R.
Blakeborough's Wit, Folklore, and Customs of the North Riding, and
J. Nicholson's Folk Speech of the East Riding. In the Yorkshire
Dialect Society's Transactions, vol. iii., part xvi., will be found a
racy account, in the Beverley dialect, of the custom of "ridin' t'
stang."

2. Pole.


Elphi Bandy-legs(1)

Traditional

Elphi bandy-legs,
   Bent, an' wide apart,
Nea yan i' this deale
   Awns a kinder heart.
Elphi, great-heead,
   Greatest iver seen,
Nea yan i' this deale
   Awns a breeter een.
Elphi, little chap,
   Thof he war so small,
War big wi' deeds o' kindness,
   Drink tiv him yan an' all.
Him at fails to drain dry,
   Be it mug or glass,
Binnot woth a pescod,
   Nor a buss(3) frae onny lass.

1. Written in an old cook-book and signed "J. L. 1699";
from Gordon Home's 'The Evolution of an English Town, p208.

2. Is not worth.   3. Kiss


Singing Games

Traditional

            I

Stepping up the green grass
   Thus and thus and thus;
Will you let one of your fair maids
   Come and play with us.

We will give you pots and pans,
   We will give you brass;
We will give you anything
   For a pretty lass.

We won't take your pots and pans,
   We won't take your brass,
We won't take your "anything
   For a pretty lass."

We will give you gold and silver,
   We will give you pearl;
We will give you anything
   For a pretty girl.

Come, my dearest Mary,
   Come and play with us;
You shall have a young man
   Born for your sake.
And the bells shall ring,
   And the cats shall sing,
And we'll all clap hands together.


            II

Sally made a pudden,
   Shoo made it ower sweet;
Shoo dursn't stick a knife in 't,
   Till Jack cam home at neet.

John, wilta have a bit like?
   Don't say nay,
For last Monday mornin'
   Was aar weddin'-day.


            III

Sally Water, Sally Water,
   Come sprinkle your can,
Why do you lie mournin'
   All for a young man?
Come, choose o' the wisest,
   Come, choose o' the best,
Come, choose o' the young men
   The one you love best.


            IV

      Diller a dollar,
      A ten o' clock scholar,
   What maks you coom sae soon?
You used to coom at ten o'clock,
   Bud noo you coom at noon.

1. From S. O. Addy, A Sheffield Glossary, p. 239;
current in other parts of England.


Hagmana Song(1)

Fragment of the Hagmana Song!

(As sung at Richmond, Yorkshire, on the eve of the
New Year, by the' Corporation Pinder.)

To-night it is the New-year's night, to-morrow is the day,"
And we are come for our right, and for our ray,(2)
As we used to do in old King Henry's day.
   Sing', fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh.

If you go to the bacon-flick, cut me a good bit;
Cut, cut and low, beware of your maw;
Cut, cut and round, beware of your thumb,
That me and my merry men may have some.
   Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh.

If you go to the Black-ark, bring me ten mark;
Ten mark, ten pound, throw it down upon the ground,
That me and my merry men may have some.
   Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh.

1. Hagmena, or Hogmanay, is a north-country name for New Year's
eve; the name is also applied to the offering for which children go
round and beg on that evening.
2. A Portuguese coin of emall value.



Round the Year


New Year's Day

Lucky-bird, lucky-bird, chuck, chuck, chuck!
Maister an' mistress, it's time to git up.
If you don't git up, you'll have nea luck;
Lucky- bird, lucky-bird, chuck, chuck, chuck!


Candlemas

On Can'lemas, a February day,
Throw can'le an' can'lestick away.


A Can'lemas crack
Lays mony a sailor on his back.


If Can'lemas be lound(1) an' fair,
Ya hauf o' t' winter's to coom an' mair.
If Can'lemas day be murk an' foul,
Ya hauf o' t' winter's gean at Yule.

1. Calm.


February Fill-Dike

   February fill-dyke,
Fill it wi' eyther black or white.
   March muck it oot,
   Wi' a besom an' a cloot.


Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, palm away;
Next Sunday's Easter-day.


Good Friday

On Good Friday rist thy pleaf,(1)
Start nowt, end nowt, that's eneaf.

Lang Friday's niver dean,
Sea lig i' bed whal Setterday nean.
1. Rest thy plough.


Royal Oak Day

It's Royal Oak Day,
T' twenty-naanth o' May.
An' if ye dean't gie us holiday,
We'll all run away.


Harvest Home and the Mell-Sheaf(1)

1. The " mell " is the last sheaf of corn left in the field
   when the harvest is gathered in.


We have her, we have her,
A coo iv a tether.
At oor toon-end.
A yowe(1) an' a lamb,
A pot an' a pan.
May we git seafe in
Wiv oor harvest-yam,
Wiv a sup o' good yal,
An' some ha'pence to spend.

3. Ewe.


Here we coom at oor toon-end,
A pint o' yal an' a croon to spend.
Here we coom as tite as nip(1)
An' niver flang ower(2) but yance iv a grip.(3)

1. Very quickly.   2. Tumbled.   3. Ditch.


Weel bun' an' better shorn
Is Mr. Readheead's corn.
We have her, we have her,
As fast as a feather.
      Hip, hip, hurrah!
   Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!


John Metcalfe has gitten all shorn an' mawn,
All but a few standards an' a bit o' lowse corn.
      We have her, we have her,
      Fast i' a tether
      Coom help us to hod her.
         Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!


Blest be t' day that Christ was born,
For we've getten t' mell o' t' farmer's corn.
It's weel bun', but better shorn.
      Mell! Shout, lads, Mell!



Guy Fawkes Day

A Stick and a stake,
For King James's sake.
Please give us a coil,(1) a coil.
1. Coal.


Awd Grimey sits upon yon hill,
As black as onny awd craw.
He's gitten on his lang grey coat
Wi' buttons doon afoor.
He's gitten on his lang grey coat
Wi' buttons doon afoor.



Christmas

I wish you a merry Kessenmas an' a happy New Year,
A pokeful o' money an' a cellar-full o' beer.
A good fat pig an' a new-cauven coo;
Good maisther an' misthress, hoo do you do?


Cleveland Christmas Song(1)

God rist you merry, gentlemen,
   Let nothin' you dismay,
Remember Christ oor Saviour
   Was born o' Kessmas day,
To seave wer sowls fra Sattan's power;
   Lang taam we've gean astray.
      This brings tidin's o' comfort an' joy.

Noo stright they went to Bethlehem,
   Wheer oor sweet Saviour lay;
They fan' him iv a manger,
   Wheer oxen fed on hay,
To seave wer sowls fra Sattan's power;
   Lang taam we've gean astray.
      This brings tidin's o' comfort an' joy.

God bliss t' maister o' this hoose,
   An' t' mistress also,
An' all your laatle childeren
   That roond your teable go;
An' all your kith an' kindered,
   That dwell beath far an' near;
An' I wish you a Merry Kessamas
   An' a Happy New Year.

1. From Mrs. Tweddell's Rhymes and Sketches, p. 14.


A Christmas Wassail(1)

Here we coom a-wessellin(2)
   Among the leaves so green,
An' here we coom a-wanderin'
   So fair as to be seen.

   Chorus-
      An' to your' wessel
      An' to jolly wessel,
      Love an' joy be to you
      An' to your wessel-tree.

The wessel-bob(3) is made
   O' rosemary tree,
An' so is your beer
   O' the best barley.
      An' to your wessel, etc.

Weare not beggars' childeren
   That begs from door to door,
But we are neighbours' childeren
   That has been here before.
      An' to your wessel, etc.

We have got a little purse
   Made i' ratchin(4) leather skin,
An' we want a little money
   To line it well within.
      An' to your wessel, etc.

Bring us out your table
   An' spread it wi' a cloth;
Bring us out your mouldy cheese
   Likewise your Christmas loaf.
      An' to your wessel, etc.

God bless the master o' this house,
   Likewise the mistress too;
An' all the little childeren
   That round the table go.
      An' to your wessel, etc.

Good master an' good' misteress,
   While you're sittin' by the fire
Pray, think of us poor childeren
   That's wanderin' i' the mire.
      An' to your wessel, etc.

1. From Easther and Lees, Almondbury and Huddersfield Glossary
(English Dialect Society Publications, vol. 39, pp. xvii.-xviii).
2. Wassailing.  3. Wassail-bough.  4. Urchin, hedgehog.


Sheffield Mumming Song(1)

Come all ye jolly mummers
   That mum in Christmas time.
Come join with us in chorus
   Come join with us in rhyme.
      Chorus-
      And a-mumming we will go, we'll go,
         And a-mumming we will go ;
      With a white cockade in all our hats,
         We'll go to t' gallant show.

It's of St. George's valour
   So loudly let us sing;
An honour to his country
   And a credit to his King.
   Chorus-
      And a-mumming we will go, we'll go,
         And a-mumming we will go ;
      We'll face all sorts of weather
         Both rain, cold, wet, and snow.

It's of the King of Egypt,
   That came to seek his son;
It's of the King of Egypt,
   That made his sword so wan.
   Chorus-
      And a-mumming, etc.

It's of the black Morocco dog
   That fought the fiery battle;
It's of the black Morocco dog
   That made his sword to rattle.
   Chorus-
      And a-mumming, etc.

1 From S. O. Addy, Sheffield Glossary (English Dialect Society
Publications, vol. xxii. p. 153). The song is sung at Christmas time
in the villages about Sheffield at the conclusion of the folkplay,
"The Peace Egg." See S. O. Addy, Sheffield Glossary (English
Dialect Society), p. 153.



Charms, "Nominies," and Popular Rhymes

Traditional

Wilful weaste maks weasome want,
   An' you may live to say:
I wish I had that sharve(1) o' breead
   That yance I flang away.

1. Crust


A rollin' stone gethers no moss,
A ram'lin' lad saves no brass;
A whistlin' lass an' a crowin' hen
Will fotch t' devil oot o' his den.


Than awn a crawin' hen,
   I seaner wad t' awd divil meet,
      Hickity O, pickity O, pompolorum jig!
Or breed a whistlin' lass,
   I seaner wad t' awd divil treat,
      Hickity O, pickity O, pompolorum jig!

Nowt bud ill-luck 'll fester where
There craws an' whistles sike(1) a pair;
May hens an' women breed nea mair.
Pompolorum jig.

1. Such.


      Meeat maks,
      An' clease shaps,
   But that is nut t' man;
For bonnie is that bonnie diz,
   Deny it if you can.


The Miller's Thumb

Miller, miller, mooter-poke,
Teak a laid an' stale a stroke.(2)

2. Took a load of corn and stole a half-bushel; mooter, or multure,
is the toll of meal taken by the miller for grinding the corn:
mooter-poke, or multure-pocket, is accordingly a nickname for a miller.


Down i' yon lum(1) we have a mill,
If they send more grist we'll grind more still.
With her broad arm an' mighty fist
Shoo rams it into t' mooter-chist.(2)

1. Wood.  2. The chest in which the toll of meal was kept.


Hob-Trush Hob


"Hob-Trush Hob, wheer is thoo?"
"I's tryin' on my left-foot shoe,
An' I'll be wi' thee--noo!"


Gin Hob mun hae nowt but a hardin' hamp,
He'll co om nae mair nowther to berry nor stamp.(1)

1. The meaning seems to be, If Hob is allowed nothing more than a
smock-frock of coarse hemp, he will not come again either to thresh
corn or to beat flax.


Nanny Button-Cap

T' moon shines breet,
T' stars give leet,
An' little Nanny Button-cap
Will coom to-morra neet.


The New Moon

A Setterday's mean
Cooms yance i' seven year ower sean.


I see t' mean an' t' mean sees me,
God bless t' sailors oot on t' sea.


New mean, new mean, I hail thee,
This neet my true love for to see.
Not iv his best or worst array,
Bud iv his apparel for ivery day.
That I to-morrow may him ken
Frev amang all other men.


Eevein' red an' mornin' gray:
Certain signs o' a bonnie day.
Evenin' gray an' mornin' red
Will send t' shepherd weet to bed.


Souther, wind, souther!(1)
An' blaw my father heame to my moother.(2)

1. Veer to the south.
2. This is the lilt of the children of the east-coast fishermen when
   the boats are at sea.


Friday Unlucky

Dean't o' Friday buy your ring,
O' Friday dean't put t' spurrins(1) in;
Dean't wed o' Friday. Think on o' this,
Nowther blue nor green mun match her driss.

1. Banns


An Omen

Blest is t' bride at t' sun shines on,
An' blest is t' deead at t' rain rains on.


A Charm

Tak twea at's red an' yan at's blake,(1)
   O' poison berries three,
Three fresh-cull'd blooms o' devil's glut,(2)
   An' a sprig o' rosemary.

Tak henbane, bullace, bummlekite,(3)
   An' t' fluff frev a deead bulrush,
Naan berries shak frae t' rowan-tree,
   An' naan frae t' botterey-bush.(4)

1.  Yellow.  2. Bindweed.  3. Blackberries.  4. Elder Tree


A  gift(1) o' my finger
Is seer to linger;
A gift o' my thumb
Is seer to coom.

1.  White speck.


Sunday clipt, Sunday shorn,
Better t' bairn had niver been born.


A Monday's bairn 'll grow up fair,
A Tuesday's yan i' grace thruf prayer;
A Wednesday's bairn has monny a pain,
A Tho'sday's bairn wean't baade at heame.
A Friday's bairn is good an' sweet,
A Settherday's warks frae morn to neet.
Bud a Sunday's bairn thruf leyfe is blist,.
An' seer i' t' end wi' t' saints to rist.


A cobweb i' t' kitchen,
   An' feat-marks on t' step,
Finnd nea wood i' t' yune(1)
   An' nea coals i' t' skep.(2)

1. Oven.   2. Scuttle.


Snaw, snaw, coom faster,
White as allyblaster,
Poor owd women, pickin' geese,
Sendin' t' feathers daan to Leeds.


Julius Caesar made a law,
   Augustus Caesar sign'd it,
That ivery one that made a sneeze
   Should run away an' find it.


A weddin', a woo, a clog an' a shoe,
A pot-ful o' porridge, away they go!


Chimley-sweeper, blackymoor,
Set o' t' top o' t' chapel door.
Tak a stick an' knock him daan,
That's the way to Chapeltaan.


The Lady-bird

Cow-lady, cow-lady, hie thy way wum,(1)
Thy haase is afire, thy childer all gone;
All but poor Nancy, set under a pan,
Weyvin' gold lace as fast as shoo can.

1. Home.


The Magpie

I cross'd pynot,(1) an' t' pynot cross'd me.
T' devil tak t' pynot an' God save me. .

1. Magpie.


   Tell-pie-tit,
   Thy tongue's slit,
An ivery dog i' t' toon 'll get a bit.


The Bat

Black-black-bearaway
Coom doon by hereaway.


The Snail

Sneel, sneel, put oot your horn,
Your fayther an' muthel'll gie ye some corn.


Hallamshire

When all the world shall be aloft,
Then Hallamshire shall be God's croft.
Winkabank and Templebrough
Will buy all England through an' through.


Harrogate(1)

When lords an' ladies stinking water soss,(2)
High brigs o' stean the Nidd sal cross.
An' a toon be built on Harrogate moss.

1. Attributed to Mother Shipton.  2. Gulp.


The River Don

The shelvin', slimy river Don
Each year a daughter or a son.(1)

1. Compare the Dartmoor rhyme:

River of Dart, oh! river of Dart,
Every year thou claimest a heart.





End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of Yorkshire Dialect Poems
by F.W. Moorman



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