Pebbles fro' Ribblesdale (I.)

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IDYLLS BY THE HEARTH


Another weary day had fled, —
The fire was burning low and red;
T'was late, my Ruth and babes in bed,
        Were soundly sleeping.
Outside the door the wintry rain,
Came tapping at the window pane;
When calmly, softly, to my brain,
        Sweet thoughts came creeping.

The mouser watched beside the hole;
The cinders one by one did fall,
And darkly on the kitchen wall
        Were shadows flitting:
And many an old familiar face,
Among the cinders I did trace,
While I, in my accustomed place,
        In thought was sitting.

Now ope the gate of vision swings!
Gay fancy lendeth Past her wings,
Who bringeth me delightful things,
        From boyhood's hours;
And lureth me to sylvan dells,
With music sweet as distant bells,
Where round me groweth pimpernels, —
        Sweet scarlet flowers.

Every flower in beauty bloometh —
Roses, woodbine, everywhere —
Shed a fragrance that perfumeth
        All the air!
And the sun in beauty flingeth,
Jewels on the violet's bed;
And the lark its matin singeth,
        Overhead.

Blushingly the clover glanceth
Upwards, saying, "Canst thou love me,
Beauteous butterfly that danceth
        Up above me?"
Then the butterfly alighteth,
At these love-words spoke in bliss,
And the clover he requiteth
        With a kiss!

Then he flyeth on and smileth
Like a reckless wanton rover,
And the other flowers beguileth
        Like the clover.

"Sing, oh sing to me, thou poet!"
Thus a rose to me did say,
"And the brooklet shall requite thee
With a tuneful roundelay,"
        And thus I sung
        While o'er me hung
The wild red rose that Summer's day: —

"Oh, thou art a beauteous flower,
    The fairest in the grove,
Or ever graced the bower
    Where I am wont to rove;
And in the emerald bushes,
Where sweetly sing the thrushes,
Thou hang'st thy head and blushes,
        Sweet flower of love!"

Then the rose exhaled a perfume
    To requite me for my song,
And the brooklet help'd to cheer me,
    Singing as it went along;
But as I 'mong the daises sat,
    Entranced with the applause
Of the humming bee, the butterfly,
    The brooklet, and the rose,
I suddenly awoke and found,
    Alas, the vision fled!
And my Ruth, forsooth, there standing
    With the candle o'er my head,
Most earnestly imploring me
    To betake myself to bed!


――――♦――――

 
TO MY YOUNGEST SON


[The following pathetic lines, written by the late Mr. Richard Rawcliffe, having been found between the leaves of a book in Australia, where that gentleman died, are recently to hand, and, as the MS. bears date November, 1886, they are in all probability the last lines of poetry that he wrote, which fact, we have no doubt, will lend a melancholy interest to their perusal.]

 

DEAR Richard, how I long to hear
Thy voice in this fair hemisphere;
And long to look once more on thee!
Thy presence here I feel would be
To me a source of pure delight,
To guide thy conduct day or night;
And, in this distant clime, a ray
To cheer me thro' my life's dull way.

This sunny land would yield thee flowers
And fruits , and all thy youthful hours,
My unsophisticated boy,
Would pass in bliss without alloy.
But ah! 'tis but an idle dream —
The orchards and the gardens teem
With fruits and flowers, but then the sea
Too far divides us; constantly
I see the waves lash into foam, —
Hear old familiar words from home,
With voices and unwilling sighs;
'Tis then that tears spring to my eyes —
'Tis but a dream!   But come what may,
Improve thy mind, dear boy, each day,
And let thy every action shine
Among the good, while youth is thine;
Then, wheresoever I may be,
I still, as now, will cling to thee.
What matters it how far I roam,
My heart, dear boy's, with thee and home!


――――♦――――

 
LINES TO A POET FRIEND.

(REPLY TO "I AM THINKING, DEAREST,"
BY MR. JOHN WALKER.)


THE music of thy song rings in mine ear,
    A pity 'tis that thou wert not more free —
Thou warbler with glad notes so loud and clear —
    That thou might'st sing and share my home with me.

Awhile ago and we were both together,
    Expecting not a change from youth to age ,
Exiled from verdant moorland, bush and heather,
    Like two lone vassal song birds in a cage.

And I would fain have borne with every ill,
    Excluded from the sun, content to pine
Away from Nature's ever-flowing rill,
    That I might every effort link with thine.

But duty led me, as a man asleep,
    Away from smoke, to where the breezes free
Do kiss the flowery mead and craggy steep,
    And thus my presence snatched away from thee.

I think oft-times of walks to Parlock hill —
    The purple ling that bloomed in beauty wild;
And how the scene did us with rapture fill,
    Just as a flower with wonder fills a child.

While standing by the river's fitful side,
    The other day before the rains did fall,
A little robin-redbreast I espied
    Arising from the grass and sedges tall.

And straightway towards the hamlet it did fly,
    As if 't would say "King Winter, black and drear,
Approaches with his chilling breath, and I
    Unto some house must hie and seek for succour there."

And then I thought of many a wintry hour
    We two have passed with Shakspeare, Shelley, Moore,
And other bards who left the world a dower —
    Whose thoughts embodied are a constant store.

Oh! that their hands did write in these our days —
    The truthful, fearless, and heroic band —
To make again the earth with wonder gaze,
    And nurse and strengthen freedom in the land.

Oh! sing thee, poet, in thy cage of gloom,
    For thou art happy, though with toil confined,
More than a palace is thy humble room;
    Thy brightest heaven is a stainless mind.

Sing on! and let thy clear accented song
    Be oft repeated by the meanest slave,
Fight on! and aim thy piercing darts at Wrong;
    And if thou wounded art, thy wounds are brave.


――――♦――――

 
OWD BLACKIN' BILL.


ID wur th' middle o' December an' th' northern wind
        dud blow,
A wake owd mon, hofe blind an' lame, went journeyin'
        i'th' snow;
Id wor so cowd, his limbs did shake as he went up the
        hill.
"God love tho, lad," he sed to me, — he's code Owd
        Blackin' Bill.

"God love tho, lad! ay t' same to thee; God help tho
        on thy way,
An' gie tho strength that tha may poo throo th' moyderins
        o' th' day."
An' then he went on limpin' wi' his basket reet up th'
        hill,
An' every child did run wi' joy to meet Owd Blackin'
        Bill.

Ah! there never is a prattlin' child 'at plays i'th' village
        street
Bud runs to seeze his basket when they hear his trudging
        feet,
An' then he kindly gi's em bread an' cheese, wi' 'earty will,
'At fermers' wives i' charity have gi'n Owd Blackin' Bill.

Bud, eh! one neet when id wur derk — there wornd a star
        i'th' sky,
Id 'ed bin rainin' durin' th' day, an' th' rooads wur nooan so
        dry —
Some reckless, drunken men wur coming past th' owd
        bobbin mill,
An' chanced to meet, an' by his feet, detect Owd Blackin'
        Bill.

One seized him roughly by the erm, another took away
His basket, — an' its contents wur his labours o' the day!
A long, long way he'd trudged that day — he'd bin past
        Copstert Mill —
Yet into th' dam, o' side o' th' mill, they dipped Owd
        Blackin' Bill.

Id wurnd becose they spited him that they dud use him
        so,
An' if yo'll ax 'em wot 'twur for, they'll say us they durnd
        know,
An' even to this day they'll own as they regrettin' still
Th' unlucky neet as they did meet an' wrong Owd
        Blackin' Bill.

Oh! oft, when bonny, tuneful birds their summer carols
        sing,
Owd Blackin' Bill limps on his way as happy as a king;
He sits him deawn at th' foot o'th' wood, o' side o' th'
        ripplin' rill,
An' every bird i' th' wood 'll sing to cheer Owd Blackin'
        Bill.

There's nobry knows where he does live; he's like a
        runnin' brook
At preedles on its way, an slyly peeps i' every nook;
An' th' toper into th' aleheaws set invites him to a gill,
"By gow," sez he, "aw am so fain to see Owd Blackin'
        Bill!"

Then meet him, rooasy childer, as he comes along the
        street ―
Aw like to see an agθd mon an' little childer greet;
An' where aw wander into th' world, tho' friends may
        shun me still,
Aw's allus 'ev a kind regerd for poor Owd Blackin' Bill!


――――♦――――

 
SUMMER ― A LYRIC.


LEAVE the city's gloom and care,
For the morn is wondrous fair,
And the Summer with its mirth,
Gladdens all the face of earth.
Bound by no set form or rule,
Like a child released from school,
Shouts the cuckoo o'er the lea —
Shouting, shouting mellowly!

Far away from noisy mill,
Speedeth on the crystal rill,
By the foxglove and the rose,
Singing sweetly as it goes, —
Kiss'd by flower, and leaf and bud,
As it wanders thro' the wood —
As it journeys o'er the lea,
Singing, singing cheerily!

There's a freshness in the breeze,
Waving gracefully the trees;
Here the burnished oak that shines;
There the darkling group of pines;
Zephyrs o'er the fields of corn,
Steal the fragrance from the thorn, —
Waft the fragrance o'er the lea,
Wafting, wafting constantly!

Perching high on birchen bough,
That o'erlooks the busy plough,
On the hawthorn's snow-white bush,
Pipes the yellow-throated thrush, —
Flinging mirth mid Summer hours,
O'er the dell and thro' the bowers,
Oh, its heart is full of glee,
Piping, piping merrily!

Lo! the lark is mounting high,
Soaring upward to the sky,
With its bosom wet with dew,
Filled with joy in Heaven's blue,
And its psalm at Heaven's gate,
Makes me listen, watch and wait, —
Gladsome bird, so blythe and free,
Chanting, chanting holily!


――――♦――――

 
HOW PEACEFUL PAT WAS MISTAKEN
FOR A
FENIAN.


The morning was cold, for the frost it was keen,
And scarcely a soul in the street could be seen;
The sharp wind from the north without mercy did blow,
And the houses were white with the new-fallen snow.
The factories hummed with monotonous sound,
The milkman as usual was going his round,
When Paddy (excuse me for stating his name)
Whose toes with the pavement in contact they came,
With his coat without sleeves and his hat without crown,
Came along through the streets of our beautiful town.
Tho' his nose was quite blue with the frost that was keen,
Yet he hummed the sweet air of the shamrock so green;
Tho' his toes were but low, yet his spirits were high,
And you might have detected a joke in his eye!
He stopped at a pawnshop — the name I'll not mention —
To ransom some clothes with a part of his pension;
So he went to the door with a shout and a knock,
With, "Hello! D'ye know it is past eight o'clock?"
But no answer was made, and 'twas more than a joke
There to stand in the cold; so he took a short walk.
A policeman soon noticed the movements of Pat, —
He examined his shoes and he looked at his hat; —
He had studied the fellow — had formed his opinion,
And had not the least doubt he had dropped on a
        Fenian!
So he watched him, but kept out of sight in a lobby,
With his truncheon in hand, did that valiant bobby.
Now Paddy bethought him he'd rattle no more,
But would patiently wait till they opened the door;
So he leaned his long back 'gainst the door like a sentry,
When Bobby springs on him him from out of the entry,
Saying, "What want you here — give me hold of your
        name,
Then make yourself scarce — I am up to your game!
You have no business here, with your back to the
        shutters."
But Pat soon retorts — mark the words that he utters: —
"Ye Englishmen boast of the laws of your nation,
But I do not admire them if on this occasion,
You shove me from here, . . . but, bedad, I'll not go,
For this is my clothes box, I'd have ye to know!"


――――♦――――

 
TO THE ROBIN.


OF all the birds that sing and fly,
On tree-top or in azure sky,
Thro' smiles of Spring or Winter's sigh,
        I like thee most, Red Robin!

When Winter winds, across the moor,
Sweep by, and shake the cottage door;
In frost and snow, unto the poor,
        Thou sing'st thy song, Red Robin!

And when the sun has lost its glow ,
And when thy spirit sinketh low,
I love thee most, for then I know,
        'Tis hard to sing, Red Robin!

And when it shines on wintry day,
And sends abroad its feeble ray,
It cheers me more than I can say,
        To hear thee sing, sweet Robin!

And when the pleasant voice of Spring
Is heard abroad, thou takest wing,
Among the choristers to sing,
        Thy pretty song, Red Robin!

By cottage door, or in the woods —
Among the fresh reviving buds, —
All thro' the year thy music floods
        Our little world, Red Robin!

On leafy branch or dewy spray,
Twittering gladly thro' the day;
I would my lot were half so gay,
        And glad as thine, Red Robin!


――――♦――――

 
MONEY MAKES THE MARE TO GO.

IF you are wealthy, you are great,
    No matter what they say;
And men of stamp on you will wait,
    If you've the gold to pay;
'Twill raise you up, however low,
For "Money makes the mare to go."

"Gold is the root of evil," so,
    Some moralists will teach,
We might believe them, but we know
    For gold they write and preach.
Will they refuse the "root"?   O, no,
For "Money makes the mare to go."

If you are poor, alas! you'll find
    That you must humble be;
You walk a step or two behind,
    And sometimes bend the knee
To those who have the gold; and so
'Tis "Money makes the mare to go."

What sullies many an angel face?
    'Tis abject poverty;
And brings to woman sad disgrace
    And, everlastingly,
Doth sink her more than we can know,
For "Money makes the mare to go."

What fills our workhouses and jails?
    What vice and misery spreads,
And every good intent assails —
    On each good action treads?
'Tis poverty, for well we know
That "Money makes the mare to go."

Refining learning you may gain,
    And things for aye untold,
For you may buy another's brain
    If you have got the gold.
T'will shield you safe from every foe
For "Money makes the mare to go."

Be honest in whate'er you do,
    While young, or when you're old,
Get learning and refinement too,
    But don't forget the gold ―
It is the soil where both will grow
For "Money makes the mare to go."


――――♦――――

 
THE BIRDS ARE SINGING.


THE birds are singing in the woods,
    The primrose from its bed is peeping;
Adown the wold the crocus buds;
    Around our house the ivy's creeping;
The cowslips bloom upon the lea,
    Yet I am sad, bereft of thee.

'Tis not the singing birds or flowers
    Afford this heart of mine relief;
The music from the woodland bowers
    Comes but to add unto my grief;
The lapwing moans unceasingly,
    Or loudly chants thy obsequy.

O, would I were a little flower,
    A wild wood-rose, a light bluebell,
That I could smile amid the shower,
    No cheerless heart, no grief to tell;
And I would bloom and flourish free
    Without a sense to feel for thee!

Our little boy of five years old,
    With rosy cheeks and azure eyes,
To me his simple tale he told
    Of happiness beyond the skies;
He told me God had taken thee
    To make a home for him and me.

The birds are singing in the woods,
    The primrose from its bed is peeping;
Adown the wolds the crocus buds;
    Around our house the ivy's creeping;
The cowslips bloometh on the lea,
    Yet I am sad, bereft of thee.


――――♦――――

 
LINES ON THE DEATH OF
COUNCILLOR BEADS, J.P.


ONE more to the majority hath gone,
This one a leader of the many, — one
Who took his share in great affairs of state,
And loved the working-class to elevate.

For to that order he belonged.   His pride,
Thro' all their strivings, was to be their guide;
He worked unceasingly with pen and tongue,
And battled for the weak against the strong.

In politics was sound unto the core,
And for the truth he many an insult bore.
What cared he?   He was affable and kind
To all, nor leaves an enemy behind!

He trod the footprints of the saints, and taught
The doctrines of the One whose grace he sought;
With wondrous power and with fervour preached,
And thus the hearts of those who heard were reached.

He soared above all parties, and our town
Owns not a man of more deserved renown,
For who could half defend its rights so well?
Let those he leaves behind, and history tell!

Toll the slow bell and lower the flags half-mast,
The soul of a true patriot has passed
Away!   Tears shed!   For he will weep who reads,
In type of mourning, of the death of Beads!


――――♦――――

 
MAY SONG.


                THE storm is hushed to-day,
                Sleeping in the lap of May,
And yet there's strife and tumult in the town;
                Then come, O, come away,
                Enjoy the charms of May,
For the Robin to the woodland wild hath flown.

                Let's go at early morn,
                Where the tender blades of corn,
Rejoicing in their soil congenial seem;
                And hear the merry thrush,
                Sing above the verdant bush,
A song inspired by morning's golden beam!

                O, come along with me,
                Where the zephyrs moving tree,
Steal the fragrance from the hawthorn as it blooms,
                Let's go among the fields,
                While Nature smiles and yields
Fairest landscapes that are breathing rich perfumes.

                See the cowslips in their pride,
                Blooming down the meadow side,
And the primrose of its parent sun's own hue;
                Lo, the lark is on the wing,
                Blissful chorister of Spring,
Soaring upward with its bosom wet with dew!

                The storm is hushed to-day,
                In the downy lap of May;
Alas! there's strife and tumult in the town;
                Then come, O, come away,
                Enjoy the charming May,
For the Robin to the woodland wilds hath flown!


――――♦――――

 
IN BLACKBURN PARK ― TO FLORA.


FAIR Flora!   Lovely goddess of the flowers,
Who holdeth sway thro' Spring and Summer hours,
Henceforth I hold myself thy devotee,
So hear my song, tho' much unworthy thee!
Scarce had fell winter, tyrant among kings,
Swept from earth's lap all dear, delightful things ―
Which made each song-bird mute, and every flow'r
Had perished 'neath his arrogative power, ―
When lo!   Thou tripping cam'st and took thy stand,
Upon thy rocky throne; and thy command,
Linked with thy modest form and witching grace,
Dethroned, and hurled the tyrant from his place!
Then every little shrub, and flower, and tree ―
Etherial butterfly, and bird, and bee ―
Came gladly forth — invited thee to stay,
And on thy forehead placed the crown of May!


――――♦――――

 
CHERLEY SHEPSTERD.


YO' see yon heawse a-top o' th' hill,
    Aside o' th' owd Stydd barn;
An' deawn at th' bottom ther's a schoo',
    Wheer childer gooas to larn:
It's theer wheer Cherley Shepsterd lives,
    A chap wot's ne'er bin wed;
He looks as if he wooar at mask,
    His nooas end bein' so red!

Yon little lad's moor sense than him
    Wot's trudgin' off to schoo';
He clams hissel to save his brass
    Then spends id like a foo';
He never weyves aboon a month
    Befoor he's toddlin deawn,
An' his iron'd clogs he swings away
    To Jooan's at t' "Rooas an' Creawn."

One Frida' he wer tekkin' up
    Fro' one of his drukken sprees;
His lips wer white an' his nooas-end blue,
    An' th' wind rooar'd leawd i' th' trees:
Aw'd just popp'd in to see him
    An' he look'd i' sich a state,
I' th' midst o' cowd December,
    Wi' t' fire brunt deawn i' th' grate!

A hard owd mon is Cherley, too,
    He doesn'd dine o' treawt,
Or other bits o' niff-naffs
    Whol he brings hissel abeawt,
But weyves until he's hungry —
    He wants no feawl or fish —
An' maks as mony porritch then
    As fills a two-quert dish.

He doffs his cap and sits o' th' stoo',
    Wi' t' dish upon his knees —
That's when he's bravin' t' dismals
    Brought on wi' his drukken sprees —
An' if he corn'd quite sup 'em o',
    He darts ageon i' th' shop
To weyve until his bally yawns,
    Then sups 'em, every drop.

"Aw'll bring tha to 't, preawd stummick,"
    Thus he mutters to hisself;
As t' porritch dish, wi' t' porritch in,
    He puts a-top o' th' shelf;
Then weyves till th' loom an' t' shuttle sings,
    An' his feet goons up an' deawn,
But every piece as he poo's eawt
    Is a stride to'rt t' "Rooas an' Creawn."

Bud, eh!   Th' owd lad is woss for wear
    Aw met him t' other neet
Gooin' mopin' on up th' owd Stydd loyn —
    He's welly lost his seet.
He wer mekkin' to'rt his lonely hooam
    When folk wer o' i' bed:
Aw could tell him bi his limpin' gait
    An' his noons end bein' so red.


――――♦――――

 
IN MEMORIAM.
SAMUEL PERRINS, DIED JANUARY 9TH, 1877.


ONE of the tuneful tribe has gone to rest ―
    A bard whose verse was of the modest kind
Tho' fit to rank companion with the best ―
    To captivate and elevate the mind.

A cripple from his birth and weak his frame,
    His intellect was strong, his life was pure;
And tho' in humble life he moved, his name
    Among our sons of song shall aye endure.

Who hath not seen him in our streets around,
    Confin'd in a rude chair, and trailing on,
As full of energy as if the ground
    Was harass'd with the load that he put on!

And, if you hail'd him, he would give his hand —
    Tho' such a hand as was no hand, forsooth —
And greet you with a smile, serene and bland,
    That made you feel his honesty and truth.

And notes of modest beauty oft he flung,
    To multitudes who listen'd to his lay:
Of Grecian and of Servian slave he sung, —
    Such songs as cheer'd his simple, lonely way.

No pomp, or idle show attendant there,
    When mournfully his corpse was borne away;
But audibly was heard full many a pray'r,
    When his frail form was lowered in the clay.

A genial, kind, and open-hearted friend
    From every care and toil hath found release;
Who fought a hard fight bravely to the end, —
    May his departed spirit rest in peace!


――――♦――――

 
LINES TO THE ROBIN.


FLY from thy shed, thou Robin Red,
    And sing thy pretty song;
Near shady wood, and rear thy brood,
    Among the wingθd throng:
For nights and days are dark and drear,
And I am sad while thou art near.

Full oft I've fed thee, Robin Red,
    Throughout the wintry days;
When winds blew keen ― where thou hast
        been
    Beside my door always:
Now I would have thee far away,
So Robin Red no longer stay!

The crocus buds, and in the woods
    A stir of life is seen;
Lo! hedges bare, and everywhere,
    Freshens with shoots of green;
While lush and strong, above the rill,
Rears up the yellow daffodil!

In shelter'd dells, and mossy cells,
    Beneath the hawthorn bush,
The woodbine creeps, the primrose peeps,
    Up at the piping thrush,
Who sings a loud and measur'd note,
As if he'd bells within his throat!

I long to see the flow'ry lea, ―
    The shooting of the corn!
To see again, in winding lane,
    The dew bespangled thorn ―
The thrifty bees, with constant hum,
That tells us Summer time has come!

I long to hear hear the note so clear,
    Of cuckoo on the wing;
To hear again, thro' sunny rain,
    The lively skylark sing,
So full of joy in heaven's blue,
As if he knew not what to do!

When Autumn's fled, O, Robin Red,
    And flowers and leaves depart;
Fly back to me, and thou wilt be
    The dearest to my heart;
And with thy sweet and plaintive song,
Again we'll pass the winter long.


――――♦――――

 
THE MOTHERLESS CHILD.


A little one, laid by its mother's side,
    A lovely, artless child,
Ere she closed her weary eyes and died,
    Looked up in her face and smiled,
As if it would say, "Thou art going away,
And, mother, I do not wish to stay."

Ere fourteen years their course had run,
    One day in the springtide hours,
An angel did whisper, "Thy task is done!
    Come, lay down thy books and flowers;
The dear ones, too, who have fostered thee
Must suffer thee now to depart with me."

'Twas then it gazed with vacant eyes
    On the few who were in the room,
That the angel did bear it away to the skies
    A flower from the earth in full bloom!
Ah! fondly it obeyed the mandate given
To dwell by the side of mother in heaven!


――――♦――――

 
ODE TO TH' CANARY.


GOOD lad thee, Dick, thy pratty wings
Vibrate wi' joy whene'er tha sings;
Tha's bin a rare good bird to me,
Aw think its time aw sung for thee!

Hung up bi'th window in a cage,
Tha does thi best, although thi wage
Tha geds is watter and sum seed,
An' neaw an' then, sum garden weed.

If aw could mek tha understand,
Aw'd soon explain to thee heaw grand
Id is to keawr me in this cheer,
An', listen to thi songs up theer!

Sumtimes tha'rt singin' when aw'm sad,
As if tha meant to mek mo mad;
Neaw Dick, aw think its owt but reight,
To sing when 't childer's pinched for meyt.

Poor, humble, an' contented bird,
Aw often think thi lot is hard;
Thi heawse looks varra slim and poor,
An' there's no number on thi door.

Jack joiner med id, an' he said —
"Tha stood th' godfeyther for eawr Ned" —
It's bud a tooathri booards cut thin.
An' wired o' reawnd to keep tha in.

If theaw could think and talk thisel,
Tha'd hev some grievances to tell —
Sum strong-accusements would ta find,
No deawt — if tha' could speak thi mind.

One neet, aw know, when aw looked up
At thi feawntain, ther wer nowt to sup;
An' theer tha keawr'd just like a meawse,
An' nod a hit o' seed i' th' heawse!

Tha never geds i' sad disgrace,
Like theawsands do o' th' human race;
An' clumsy mortals, sich as me,
Mut mony a lesson learn fro' thee.

Sing on, then, Dick!   Thy song o' glee
Hes scooars o' times delighted me;
Aw'll keep thi drawer weel filled wi' seed,
An' gie tha bits o' garden weed!


――――♦――――

 
IN MEMORIAM.
 

JOHN RAWCLIFFE, born at Ribchester; died at Padiham, July 31st, 1876; interred at Hurst Green Cemetery, August 3rd, aged 66.

 

A tribute to a father from a son,
Just when a toiling pilgrimage is done,
May be vain idleness, but this I know —
That he was worthy more than I can show.

A "life is but the journey of a day,"
An hour of fitful shade; perchance a ray
Of sunshine then darts forth amid the gloom,
But Sorrow oft escorts us to the tomb.

How strange and how unkind seems death to those
Who watch a loved one sink to his repose!
Yet he was patient, and, with faithful trust
In Providence, shook off his mortal dust.

His faith in Christianity was true,
And all the names of Patron Saints he knew;
Oft good examples in their lives would find,
And teach their precepts to the youthful mind.

In politics, was sound unto the core,
And, like an oak, he every tempest bore!
For, to the strong he never bowed the knee,
But sided with the weak for liberty.

Though in a humble sphere his lot was cast,
He bravely fought life's battle to the last;
The wealthy who in loftier circles soar
Must thus submit — e'en they can do no more.

Of Nature he was fond, and, at the sound
Of warbling birds, the fields he lingered round;
When woodland rose revealed its fairest blush,
He felt enraptured with the piping thrush.

Born in the hand-loom days, his eyes have seen
A change come o'er this fitful world, I ween —
Science advance and rural sports recede;
And cares that were upon his brow we read.

A patient, persevering son of toil,
No foe he's left behind his name to soil.
He said "Good bye, my life has run it's lease!"
We stood and gazed — his spirit fled in peace!


――――♦――――


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