Echoes from the Loom (II)

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AT MY FATHER'S GRAVE.

"Th' owd crayther's laid by — we may haply be t' next."

                                                                             —EDWIN WAUGH.


TREYD gently o'er that new-filled grave,—
    Mi dad lies restin' theer!
Let him sleep on i' dreamless peace —
At last he's gained a sweet release
    Fro' t' pain he suffered here.

We little thowt, three week to-day,
    To see him here at rest.
What memories within us rise
When lingerin' near him, as he lies
    Wi' t' cowd earth on his breast!

Mi childhood rushes back ageean
    As tho' 'twur yesterday;
Aw see him in his hearty prime,
Long ere his broo wooar t' marks o' time
    'At point to life's decay.

Aw see him as he owder grew,
    An' th' years rowl swiftly past;
Aw see his strength begin to fail—
His cheeks grow sunken, thin, an' pale,
    Life's neet approaches fast.

Aw see him lyin' patiently,
    While sufferin' racks his broo;
Aw hear his words i' t' room so still —
Forget thoose words aw never will:
    "Be gradely, childer, do!"

Ageean aw see him on his bed,
    An' th' end comes surely on;
Aw see him struggle — then a pause —
Another struggle — th' curtain fo's —
    An' him we luv'd wur gone!

Still on mi ears seawnds t' passin' bell —
    Aw hear its mournful toll,
'At seemed to say quite plain to me:
"Deeath's gained another victory,
    An' Heaven another soul!"

Aw see his coffin lowered deawn —
    Aw hear his funeral prayer:
"Ashes to ashes! — Dust to dust!" —
O, Lord, we know Tha'rt good and just —
    Sooa tek him to Thy care!

An' neaw aw sadly turn away,
    An' drop a silent tear.
But when mi end comes — late or soon —
If e'er aw get to t' land aboon,
    Aw know aw'st meet him theer!


――――♦――――

 
TH' CRICKET ON TH' HEARTH.


SING on, merry cricket, sing on! —
    Thi song's ever welcome to me;
Ther's nowt aw like better, when o
            mi wark's done,
    Nor sittin' an' hearknin' to thee.
Tha helps to cheer up mi iireside,
    As tha chirrups awav i' thi mirth;
An' mi heart feels a comfort 'at meks
            sorrow glide,
    As aw list to thi music on th' hearth.

Tha'rt t' minstrel o' th' cottager's whoam,
    An' thi presence oft brings gladness theer;
A chap 'at likes harmony's no need to roam,
    If theaw should be onywheer near:
Tha'rt full on't — as full as con be —
    An' tha adds to his pleasure an' mirth;
For what con be sweeter nor thy melody
    As tha sings blithe an' gaily on th' hearth?

Sometimes, when aw sit sad an' lone,
    An' brood o'er this life an' its cares;
Aw start up to find 'at mi troubles are flown,
    An' mi burden grown leet unawares.
For while aw've bin hearin' thee sing,
    Fresh fancies hev sprung into birth;
Mi hopes hev gone breeter — mi fears tekken
            wing,
    Wi' hevin' thy music on th' hearth.

It's strange when aw list to thi lay,
    Heaw visions o' childhood appear;
For mi thowts journey back to a long vanished
            day,
    When life's sky wur sunny an' clear.
Oh! then aw wur shielded fro' care,
    An' mi young heart beeat happy wi' mirth;
An' oft did aw wonder whatever tha wur,
    As tha merrily chirruped on th' hearth.

When t' cowd days o' winter come on,
    An' t' winds whistle wildly an' free;
An' o t' feathered songsters to fresh climes
            hev gone,
    We con allus rely upo' thee.
For it's then 'at theavv sings at thi best,
    Creatin' good feelin' an' mirth;
Contentment an' joy rules i' mony a breast,
    Wi' t' comfort tha brings 'em on th' hearth.

Then sing on, blithe cricket, sing on!—
    Tha'rt welcome to mooar beside me;
When false friends forsake us, we're not quite
            alone,
    For we hev a companion i' thee.
Tha'rt t' minstrel o' t' cottager's whoam,
    An' to pleasure tha often gives birth;
A chap 'at likes music hes no need to roam,
    When t' cricket sings gaily on th' hearth.


――――♦――――

 
YON MUSICAL FOLKS AT T' NEXT DOOAR.


AW'VE bin pestered to deeath for this last month or two,
    Wi' yon musical folks at t' next dooar;
Fro' daybreyk to midneet ther noise never stops-
    It's a lot woss nor bedlam, for sure.
Fro' th' owd chap to t' young'st lad, they're o music mad,
    An' it mun be a sayreous complaint,
Or they'd never keep carryin' on as they do —
    It's enuff to draw growls fro' a saint.

Neaw, aw'm fond o' good music, whate'er it may be,
    Fro' an overture deawn to a song;
But sich music as yon 'ud disgust ony mon,
    An' varra soon send his brain wrong.
Aw've suffered mooar agony throo 'em uv late
    Than e'er t' tongue o' mortal could tell;
But some o' ther doin's aw'll try to relate,
    An' then yo con judge for yorsel.

To start wi', ther's Tum — an' he's larnin' t' big drum —
    An' yo'll o know heaw nice that'll seawnd;
He starts o at sudden as hard as he con,
    An' freetens o t' folks 'at live reawnd.
He seems to imagine 'at mooar he lays on,
    An' sweeter is t' seawnd 'at he'll mek.
If aw'd mi way wi' him aw know what aw'd do —
    Aw'd gooa in an' wring his young neck.

After him, ther's th' owd fella — he plays on t' trombone,
    An' he tootles away on't o neet;
It seawnds for o t' world like a horrible groan,
    As if someb'dy wur murdered i' t' street.
Oh, me! it's delightful! — yo should hear him play;
    Yo'd feel quite set up wi' 't, aw'm sure;
But ther'll be a nice funeral, yo'll see, deawn eawr way,
    If he plays on mi patience mich mooar.

Then th' owd'st lass 'll brast off at warblin' some tune,
    An' hoo fairly rives eawt i' good glee;
Hur favourite song begins: "Why do I sing?"
    An', bi t' mass, that's what just puzzles me.
A voice sich as hurs isno' heeard ony day,
    It's nooan too melodious, that's true;
For if, when hoo's singin', a jackass should bray,
    Yo could hardly tell t' difference i' t' two.

Their Jane plays t' piano — well, leastways, hoo tries —
    But hoo's same as o t' rest, or else woss;
Hoo hes but one tune, an' a poor 'un at that,
    Aw con noather mek sand on 't, nor moss.
Then their's Dick wi' his fiddle — but he's varra fair —
    Barrin' t' others, his music 'ud suit.
Their Giles, wi' his 'cordeon, sends discord on th' air,
    An' Joe mends its nooan wi' his flute.

When aw passed th' heawse this mornin', mi heart leapt
             wi' joy —
    They'd a papper i' t' window — "To let."
Ther'll be some rejoicin' that day as they gooa,
    Among lots o' t' nayburs, aw'll bet.
They've done me mooar harm sin' they coom livin' yon
    Nor owt 'at e'er happened afooar;
But aw'm thankful to know we'st hev quateness ageean,
    When we're shut o' yon folks at t' next dooar.


――――♦――――

 
TH' PRIDE O' RACHDA' TEAWN.


EH! aw'm allus glad when week-end comes,
    But not for t' sake o' t' rest;
For it's t' thowts o' summat far dearer still,
    'At leeten's up mi breast.
It's o for a lass so sweet an' fair,
    Wi' een so soft an' breawn;
An' thoose 'at know hur speyk uv hur
    As t' pride o' Rachda' Teawn.

Yo may boast o'er maidens o' noble birth,
    But still whate'er they be,
Ther's nooan i' th' world 'at aw ever seed,
    Looked t' same as hur to me.
Ther's lots 'ud like mi place, no deawt,
    For t' lads wi' envy freawn,
Whene'er they see me walkin' eawt
    Wi' t' pride o' Rachda' Teawn.

O, aw wish yo could see hur bewitchin' smile,
    An' hear hur voice so meek;
Or gaze i' thoose tender een uv hurs
    Wheer luv plays hide an' seek.
Yo'd marvel nooan at t' joy aw feel,
    When on mi way aw'm beawn
To get t' fond greetin' aw like so weel,
    Fro' t' pride o' Rachda' Teawn.

Aw know ther's plenty 'at pine for wealth,
    As if it browt content;
While thoose wi' riches sigh for health ―
    Th' best gift 'at Heaven e'er sent.
Some folks are never satisfied,
    Let fortune smile or freawn;
But o aw crave for's bin supplied
    In t' pride o' Rachda' Teawn.

Ther's a cosy church up Spotland way,
    An' soon it's my intent
To leead hur to it as mi bride,
    For neaw aw've full consent.
Aw wouldno' change mi low estate
    To weear a monarch's creawn,
Unless aw shared mi happy fate
    Wi' t' pride o' Rachda' Teawn.


――――♦――――

 
TH' FIRST O' MAY.


IT'S t' first o' May to-day, owd lad, sooa draw thi
        cheear to mine,
An' let's sit deawn an' talk a bit o'er t' days uv "owd
        lang syne."
It hardly seems, when one looks back, to be so varra
        long,
Sin' thee an' me, as lad an' lass, joined in wi' t' merry
        throng
'At danced reawnd t' village May-pole, wi' joysome hearts
        an' leet,
An' took eawr parts i' t' revels theer, fro' early morn till
        neet.
What sheawts o' mirth rung leawd on th' air! — what
        spooart ther used to be!
While th' owd folks sat, as lookers on, i' t' shade o' th'
        owd oak tree.
Eh, me! — thoose happy days o' youth hev long sin'
        passed away,
Yet memory co's 'em back ageean, whene'er it's t' first
        o' May.

Eawr May-time's vanished years sin' lad — heaw swift
        time hurries past!
We've getten far i' th' afternoon an' neet-fo's comin'
        fast;
Thi hair's quite thin an' snowy, neaw, 'at once wur wavy
        gowd,
An' wrinkles line thy broo an' mine,—owd mon, we're
        gettin' owd!
We're gettin' owd, yet spite uv o, ther's one thing aw
        con say,
Eawr luv wur never stronger, lad, than what it is
        to-day.
Let time rowl on an' pass us by, let fortune freawn or
        smile,
If God spares thee to comfort me, aw'll rest content o
        t' while;
But, bless mi life! — aw'm ramblin' off fro' what aw meant
        to say,
Aw're talkin' heaw things used to be, uv owd, at t' first
        o' May.

Aw allus think wi' pride o' t' time when aw wur med
        t' May-Queen,
What sheawts o' welcome greeted me as aw stepped on
        to t' green! —
A wreath o' roses for mi creawn, a garland i' mi
        hand,
Aw'm sure aw felt as preawd that day as t' Queen 'at
        ruled o'er t' land.
They put me on a fleawer-decked throne, an' raised it up
        fro' t' greawnd,
An' mony a luvvin' glance wur cast bi t' lads 'at stood
        areawnd;
But o ther glances wur i' vain, to reych this heart
        o' mine,
Tha'd won it fro' me, long afooar, an' t' prize wur fairly
        thine;
An' tho' aw smiled at mony a one on t' village-green that
        day,
Tha knew 'at aw wur thy Queen too, as weel as t' Queen
        o' t' May.

When th' first o' May coom reawnd ageean mi heart felt
        some an' glad,
Aw're th' happiest lass i' t' village then, an' theaw wur
        th' happiest lad;
For theer, i' t' church on th' hillside yon, tha led me as
        thi bride,
An' t' villagers turned eawt an' cheered, as we walked
        side bi side.
An' then, when t' knot o' luv wur teed, t' bells rung a
        merry peal,
An' booath eawr hearts throbbed time to t' chimes — tha
        knows it gradely weel.
A holy feelin' filled eawr breasts we never knew afooar,
As, listenin' to ther joyous notes, tha led me back once
        mooar;
Eh! if aw'd life to live ageean, aw'd live it just t' same
        way;
An' tek thee as aw took tha then, that joyful first
        o' May.

It's true we've known what trouble is, — we've hed eawr
        share o' woe,
But if we've seen t' dark side o' life, we've seen t' breet
        side an' o;
We've fowt misfortune bravely as we've trudged along
        throo life,
An' allus poo'd together, lad, an' shared i' t' joy an'
        strife.
It's t' first o' May ageean, to-day, Eh! bless thi soul,
        owd mon,
Tha's allus bin a mate to me throo th' years 'at's past an'
        gone;
We're gettin' on tort t' latter end, — may be it's varra
        near,
But we've done t' best at e'er we could, an' sooa we've
        nowt to fear;
An' when, at last, Deeath claims his toll, an' side fro'
        side we're riven,
We'st only bid "Good-bye!" on earth, to meet up theer
        i' heaven.


――――♦――――

 
OWD GRONIES.


WEEL met, weel met, owd crony!
    Aw'm gradely fain, for sure;
Aw'd nobbut just bin thinkin'
    We'd never meet no mooar.
Whatever's bin to do, like?
    Wheer hesta put thisel?
Aw med plump sure tha'd gone
             away,
    But why aw couldno' tell.

Bin eawt o' t' village, hesta?
    Aw thowt tha'd left th' owd place;
Aw've often wondered o'er tha,
    An' longed to see thi face.
At times, aw've ceawered i' t' nook
            here,
    As mopin' as could be;
Feelin' 'at life wur summat short —
    An' t' summat short wur thee.

We've passed some neets together,
    Inside this varra inn;
An', mind, we hed enjoyment,
    When once we did begin.
Ready for fun an' frolic,
    We'd be at every stir;
Witheawt a chap meks t' best o' life,
    It's one dull reawnd o' care.

Hello! here's Ben o' Nanny's,
    An' "Tricky," an' their Joe;
An' Owd Long Dick fro' t' bottoms,
    An' Singin' Tum, an' o.
Just look at th' hearty welcome
    Tha gets fro' everyone;
Thee never leeave us ony mooar,
    Thy place is here, owd mon!

An' neaw for joke an' banter,
    An' t' cheerin' tale an' song;
A fig for strife an' sorrow —
    Let mirth ring leawd an' long!
Altho' life's not o sunshine,
    Yo'll find ther's parts on 't breet;
Sooa, come, owd cronies — dreawn
            yor cares,
    We'll o be lads, to-neet.

Aw know we're nooan so limber,
    As what we used to be,
For age hes left it's wrinkles
    On t' broo's o' yo an' me.
An' locks, once dark as t' raven,
    Are changin' fast to grey;
But yet what matters it for that —
    If th' heart keeps young an' gay?

Ther's nowt i' t' world mooar cheerin'
    Nor simple harmless fun;
An' while we're spared together
    We'll hev what bit we con.
Away wi' melancholy —
    We've met for summat else,
We're here to-neet wi' spirits leet,
    An' we'll enjoy eawrsels.


――――♦――――

 
A RAMBLE I' T' LANCASHIRE LANES.


O, give me a ramble i' t' Lancashire lanes,
    Away fro' t' teawn's hubbub an' rooar!
Wheer blossoms deck t' trees, an' a fragrance fills t'
           breeze,
    Mekkin' age feel quite youthful once mooar.
It's a pictur' o' gladness, delightful an' fair,
    'At meks t' blood course wild throo mi veins;
An' mi heart feels respited fro' every care
    When ramblin' i' t' Lancashire lanes.

It's pleasant to ramble i' t' Lancashire lanes
    When spring sheds hur beauties on earth,
An' t' throstle's wild tune greets yor ears fro' aboon,
    As he carols away in his mirth.
Every hedge at yo pass wears a new cooat o' green ―
    An' churlish is t' mon 'at disdains
O t' joys 'at Dame Nature presents to his een,
    When ramblin' i' t' Lancashire lanes.

An' then when comes summer, oh! what con ther be
    Mooar luvly, refreshin', or sweet,
Than restin' a while bi some owd-fashioned stile,
    Wheer t' daisies grow thick at yor feet?
Ther's music areawnd yo wheerever yo turn,
    An' everywheer happiness reigns;
An' freedom's true meeanin' fro' t' brids yo may learn,
    When ramblin' i' t' Lancashire lanes.

When autumn gets here, an' a change comes o'er t' scene,
    Aw tek a delight in it still;
For aw pick eawt some track rich wi' berries so black,
    An' theer aw con pluck 'em at will.
Yo may meet some farm waggon as onward yo roam,
    'At groans under t' weight it contains;
An' hear t' gladdenin' sheawts as they bring th' harvest
            whoam,
    When ramblin' i' t' Lancashire lanes.

An' even i' winter aw ramble eawt theer,
    An' aw seem to enjoy it as weel;
For tho' t' scene looks bare, ther's a keen bracin' air
    'At thoose into t' teawn never feel.
An' when snow covers t' meadows, an' t' north winds
            blow chill,
    Mi heart never tires or complains;
For then, even then, aw con find pleasures still,
    When ramblin' i' t' Lancashire lanes.

It wur in thoose owd lanes 'at mi ancestors trod,
    In th' ages 'at's long passed away;
An' mi thowts journey fast to t' grim history o' t' past,
    As aw travel t' same greawnd o'er to-day.
No matter what time or what seeason it be,
    For th' owd spots mi luv e'er remains;
An' nowt brings t' same joys or t' same comforts to me,
    Like a ramble i' t' Lancashire lanes.


――――♦――――

 
GILES BUMBLETON'S DUMMY.


THER'S a policemon reawnd eawr way, weel known as
    Long Joe,
An' lately he's caused a sensation i' t' row;
Aw've heeard mony a tale, but this fairly licks o,
        An' if yo've a mind, yo shall hear it.
A joke wur played on him a week or two sin',
An' whenever aw think on 't, aw connot but grin,
Sooa if yo'll just listen, mi tale aw'll begin,
        It's true ― every word, an' aw'll swear it.

Yo see this Long Joe hes but lately joined t' force,
An' he wanted to shine as a matter uv course;
He put on sich airs, an' he med hissel hoarse,
        Wi' sheawtin' an' bawlin' at t' childer.
Yo'd hev seen 'em o fly when he coom into t' street,
An' no wonder they did, for he filled 'em wi' freet,
For when he bawled eawt, he wur like one nooan reet —
        His noise ony mon 'ud bewilder.

Folks geet plump disgusted wi' t' noise 'at he med,
An' as for ther childer — no pleasure they hed;
Sooa one afternoon Owd Giles Bumbleton sed:—
        "Aw'll trick yon mon, sooner or later!
If he'd only behave like a dacent chap should,
He'd get weel respected — aw'm certain he would,
But aw'll teych him a lesson 'at might do him good,
        An' mek him mooar civil an' quater.

"Aw've a dummy i' th' heawse 'at aw bowt t' other day,
At t' sale i' yon tailor's shop o'er across t' way,
An' it's struck me 'at wi' it a joke aw con play,
        'At'll tek yon mon off o his swagger.
He may rave eawt an' rooar like a chap 'at's gone mad,
When he's tryin' to freeten some innocent lad;
But he's nooan too mich courage — his natur's too bad,
        An', to say t' leeast, he's nowt but a bragger."

His merry een shone wi' a mischievous leet,
As he muttered: "Aw'll try what he's med on, to-neet;
He'll not hev t' same beawnce when he marches throo
    t' street;
        If aw con judge owt as is human.
Aw've getten mi plans o drawn eawt ready-med,
But aw'st not do owt wi' 'em till folks are i' bed,"
An' as Giles turned away, two or three on em sed:
        "Eh! thee — tha'rt a reg'lar rum un!"

That neet, while o t' nayburs wur sleepin' i' t' row,
Giles wur sat in his room, lookin' eawt for Long Joe,
Th' dummy hed a long shirt on, a neet-cap an' o,
        Sed Giles: "It's real lookin', that's certain!"
Just then, at a corner, Long Joe he espied,
Sooa he unfastened t' window, an' oppen'd it wide,
An' he leet t' dummy hang bi a rope to the eawtside, —
        Then he stood back an' peeped eawt throo t' curtain.

As Joe passed Owd Giles's, he stopped an' he stared,
An' his knees fairly whackered, bi' t' mass he wur scared,
When his breath coom back to him, to run he prepared,
        He ne'er stopped to look ony further.
He flew fro' that spot at a good rattlin' pace,
An' rushed i' t' police station wi' pale haggard face,
"Come on, chaps!" he cried, "ther's a terrible case,
        It's suicide, certain, or murther!"

Wi' four policemen wi' him, Joe went back to t' street,
An' he took 'em an' showed 'em at th' horrible seet,
Th' sergeant went up to t' dummy, an' then laffed eawtreet,
        An' he cried: "Why, tha'rt woss nor a mummy!
What is it," he sed, "'at tha's browt us to see?
A corpse does ta say?  Nonsense!  Come here to me,
Ther's someb'dy bin mekkin' a rare foo' o' thee,
        For it's nowt but an owd tailor's dummy!"

Ther wur some broad faces wi' laffin' next day,
When Giles towd us t' tale in his droll-fashioned way;
Young women an' childer, owd men worn an' grey,
        Joined i' t' laffter wi' hearty good glee.
An' as for Long Joe, he's a different mon,
If yo look for his swagger, yo'll find 'at it's gone,
But yo've only to ax him, to just get him on,
        When th' inquest on t' dummy's to be?


――――♦――――

 
TH' BONNIEST SEET UV O.


"WHAT'S t' bonniest seet 'at tha ever seed?"
    A friend axed t' other day;
As we sat enjoyin' a social chat,
    To pass dull time away.
"Aw know tha's travelled abeawt," he sed,
    "Sooa try an' do thi best,
To tell what t' scene wur 'at seemed to thee,
    Far gronder than o t' rest."

Aw studied awhile, an' wi' fancy's aid,
    Aw pictur'd mony a scene
O' nature's beauties i' t' woodland glade,
    Wheer o bloomed fresh an' green.
O' pleasant rambles bi t' riverside,
    An' on to some fleawery dell;
But aw gav' mi task up, an' shook mi yed,
    An' sed aw couldno' tell.

But he wouldno' hear me — he urged me on
    To start o' mi task anew;
Sooa to humour his fancy aw sattled deawn,
    An' once mooar buckled to.
Aw thowt o' t' spots 'at aw'd luv'd to see,
    In places far an' wide;
But nooan could aw think on, 'at seemed to me,
    Fairer nor owt beside.

Aw spoke o' Keswick, that beautious vale,
    An' mi memory wandered back,
To t' time when aw stood on Derwent's banks,
    An' traversed t' meawntain track;
Wheer Lodore's music ― a mournful song,
    Wur echoed afar on th' hill;
An' t' sunbeams shimmerin' on t' lake below,
    Med t' pictur' luvlier still.

But for t' scene 'at aw wanted, aw seeched i' vain,
    Aw couldno' find it theer;
Sooa aw turned mi thowts in a different groove —
    To th' ocean wide an' clear.
Aw thowt uv its splendour at day's decline,
    Ere t' sun bids t' world "Good-neet!"
But aw murmured, "Ther's summat mooar grond
            than this,—
    Simpler, an' yet mooar sweet."

An' sooa we chatted an' talked away,
    Till darkness crept o'er t' sky,
An' t' glare o' th' heawse-lamps shone eawt throo
            t' panes
    O' t' cottages close by.
Then aw drew a pictur' o' t' cotter's whoam,
    Wheer toil brings its share o' bliss;
An' t' childer throng reawnd ther daddy's cheear —
    Awaitin' ther bedtime kiss.

Then t' scene aw'd bin seechin' for, crossed mi
            brain,
    An' on it aw fixed mi choice;
"Neaw, aw con tell tha t' bonniest seet!"
    Aw cried in a tremulous voice.
"Ther's nowt i' this world 'at seems to me,
    So touchin'ly sweet an' fair, —
As a child 'at kneels at its mother's knee,
    Lispin' its simple prayer!"


――――♦――――

 
TH' OWD CLOTHES BOX.


THAT clothes box wur mi gronny's, but it's welly twenty
        year
Sin' t' day hoo dee'd an' left it me, along wi' t' sofey theer;
It's just as strong an' seawnd to-day as when it first wur
        med,
But th' eawtside's getten dinged a bit, wi' th' ups an'
        deawns it's hed.
It's full o' curious odds an' ends, but simple tho' they be —
Aw know aw wouldno' part wi' 'em for o 'at aw could
        see.
Ther's mi gronny's owd poke bonnet, ther's hur ribbins
        an' hur frocks,
Stored up wi' t' rest o' t' treasures i' that owd clothes
        box.

An' then ther's t' white frilled cap hoo wooar — an' weel
        hoo used to look! —
Wi' t' strings bunched nice below her chin hoo'd sit an'
        rock i' t' nook;
Aw liked to see hur weearin' it, for then hoo seemed to
        me
As fair an owd-time pictur' as mi een could wish to see.
Aw hev hur black silk geawn as weel — it's one o' th'
        owden style,
An' when hoo put it on at times, heaw t' young 'un's
        used to smile!
They're keys 'at oppen t' dooar o' t' past, for memory's
        gate unlocks
When aw gaze on thoose fond relics i' that owd clothes
        box.

Aw've some things in o' mi grondad's, an' aw'll tell yo
        what they are —
Ther's a fancy Indian tomahawk he browt fro' lands afar;
Th' owd chap hed bin a sowjer, an' served one-an'-twenty
        year,
An' t' sword an' th' armlets 'at he wooar yo'll see on t'
        wo' up theer.
His long guard-coat's i' t' box an' o, it coom deawn to
        his toes,
He wur covered in 't completely when yo went below his
        nose;
It's sheltered him on mony a field — borne t' brunt o'
        battle's shocks,
But neaw, like him, it's restin' in an' owd wood box.

Ther's summat else i' t' box beside — so carefully put by,
An' sometimes when aw look at 'em, aw sit me deawn
        an' cry;
Aw know it's wrong to do it — but mi breast feels sad
        an' sooar
Whene'er aw see thoose little things — thoose things eawr
        babby wooar!
Oh, heaw it helped to cheer us up! — wi' it we felt
        content,
But t' fleawer wur snatched away — an' then we knew
        what sorrow meant.
Its little things aw meean to keep, along wi t' gowden
        locks
'At aw hev lapped up securely i' that owd clothes box.

Ther's lots o' things aw might describe 'at hev a place in
        theer;
But they might not interest yo, tho' to me they're prized
        an' dear.
To yo they'd hev no vally, sooa aw think enuff's bin
        towd
To show yo why aw treasure 'em altho' they're worn
        an' owd.
It's crammed fro' top to bottom, an' i' every corner, too,
Wi' nick-nacks uv a day gone by — ther's nowt inside
        'at's new —
Ther's jackets, ribbins, caps, an' coats — ther's slippers
        an' ther's frocks,
O packed up theer together i' that owd clothes box.


――――♦――――

 
DICK PRINGLEYS KESMAS HAMPER.


YO'LL know owd Dick Pringle 'at lives up on t' broo! —
Neaw dunnot act numb, for aw'm certain yo do;
Ther isno' a mon aw could point to i' t' teawn,
Better known nor what he is bi folks up an' deawn.
He's a jovial an' mirth-luvvin' crayther, is Dick,
An' among his companions he's co'd a "rum stick;"
But aw fancy his temper for once 'ud give way,
If t' tale should be true 'at aw heeard t' other day.

As yo're inclined to listen, aw'll tell it yo reet:
He wur sittin' a-whoam yon wi' spirits quite leet;
It wur t' day afooar Kesmas, an' that med him glad,
For t' thowts o' good doin's browt joy to th' owd lad.
"We'st hev a rare time on 't," he sed to hissel,
"Ther'll be me, an' eawr Becca, an' Ruchut, an' Nell;
An' they'st not be owt short, for enuff aw'll provide,
Ther'll be plenty for o, an' a bit mooar beside."

He rattled away i' this strain for awhile,
An' his face wur lit up wi' a satisfied smile;
Till a voice rung throo t' dooarway, quite bowd-like an'
            clear: —
"Con yo say if Dick Pringle lives reawnd abeawt here?"
"Ay, aw'm t' chap tha'rt seechin'," at once he replied,
"But what are ta after, like? — come here inside."
Sooa then t' fella entered, witheawt mooar ado,
An' put deawn a hamper — a heavy 'un, too.

Owd Dick fairly stared, he wur plump thunderstruck,
"Egad!" he exclaimed, "but this is rare good luck!
But are ta quite sure 'at it's mine, did ta say?"—
"Ay, it's yors," t' chap replied, "but ther's t' carriage
            to pay."
"An' heaw mich is t' carriage on 't?" Dick axed him
            then,
Ageean t' chap med answer an' sed, "Two-an'-ten."
"Well, that bit o' t' matter we soon con arrange,
Here, tek this five shillin', an' never mind t' change."

Th' chap thanked him, an' med off as fast as he could,
"Well, raylee," sed Dick, "but ther's someb'dy bin
            good;
It's a couple o' geese, or else turkeys, aw'll bet,
But aw'll just hev a peep for aw hevno' looked yet."
Sooa he cut th' hamper oppen — an' didno' he sweear,
When he'd lifted o t' straw eawt an' seen what wur
            theer:
"Confeawnd it!" he cried, "but this is a nice fix,
For aw've paid two hawf-creawns for a hamper o'
            bricks!"

He wur grievin' o'er t' creawn 'at he'd never see mooar,
When another chap coom wi' a hamper to t' dooar;
"Tha'rt too late!" Dick bawled eawt, "aw've been done
            once for o,
Tek it in to Giles Swigger 'at lives i' t' next row.
Just tell him aw've sent it, an' t' carriage he'll pay,
Ther's someb'dy be sawved beside me, onyway!"
Sooa t' chap took it eawt, tho' he looked quite perplexed,
An' Dick laffed reet hearty for o he wur vexed.

But his smiles disappeared, an' a freawn took ther place,
When Owd Giles coom in wi' a breet shinin' face;
"Mich obliged, Dick," he sed, as he entered at t' dooar,
For yon turkey yo've sent me's a fine un, for sure."
Dick raved like a madman for t' rest o' that neet,
For he hed to admit 'at he'd done hissel reet;
An' he'll give yo a look 'at 'll sting yo — an' quick,
If yo happen to say "Ther's a hamper come, Dick!"


――――♦――――

 
EAWR CHILDER.


WHEN th' owd sun sinks o'er t' distant hills.
    An' darkness creeps o'er t' sky;
An' t' brids sing eawt ther joyful song,
    As to ther nests they fly;
Then, wearied eawt wi' t' toil o' t' day,
    An' glad for t' welcome rest,
Wi' leetsome heart aw mek mi way,
    To thoose 'at luv me best.

Aw know ther's someb'dy lookin' eawt,
    Fro' th' oppen cottage dooar;
Aw know ther's anxious een on t' strain,
    To see mi face once mooar.
An' when, at last, aw get i' seet,
    What happy faces shine!
As t' childer run to welcome me,
    An' cheer this heart o' mine.

Aw feel repaid a theawsand times,
    For what aw've done throo t' day;
To hear ther merry voices seawnd,
    An' see 'em o so gay.
An' when aw've getten sat i' t' cheear,
    An' reawnd mi knees they cling;
No care nor trouble do aw feel,
    Aw'm happier nor a king!

Ther prattlin' music rings throo t' place,
    While t' wife sits lookin' on,
Wi' sich a smile 'at couldno' fail
    To comfort th' heart o' mon!
Eawr Kate an' Bob 'll tell sich tales —
    They've allus summat new;
An' Dick 'll show me o his sums
    He's hed to do at t' schoo'.

When t' table's set, an' t' cups are filled,
    O t' chatterin' then 'll cease;
Wi' every cheear to t' table drawn,
    We get eawr meal i' peace.
No costly dainties grace eawr booard,
    But simple, whoamly fare;
But such as 'tis, we're never short,
    Ther's allus some to spare.

Aw'm poor so far as riches gooa,
    Aw'm but o' low degree;
But if contentment ceawnts as wealth,
    Ther's nob'dy mooar nor me.
Booath me an' t' wife know t' sweets o' life,
    For eawr three childer yon,
Mek t' world a Heaven to hur an' me —
    God bless 'em every one!


――――♦――――

 
AT THE GRAVE OF TIM BOBBIN.


AW'M stood beside thi restin' place, owd bard o' bygone
        times!
Oft hev aw heeard thi vagaries towd, an' read thi merry
        rhymes;
An' as aw linger here alone in silent reverie,
Aw muse an' think on what tha art, an' what tha used
        to be.
Ay, Tim! on what tha used to be, i' th' years long
        passed away,
When sich as thee wur rare in t' world — far rarer than
        to-day;
When t' lamp o' knowledge glimmered dim, a radiance
        reawnd theaw threw,
An' left thisel a name behind — a name we're preawd
        on, too!

Oh! what a sweet surprise it wur, when first tha sung
        thi lays!
Tha banished care fro' mony a heart, an' breetened t'
        gloomiest days;
An' when tha towd thi weel-worn tales, so thickly tinged
        wi' mirth,
Tha med monkind a happier race, an' browt new joys to
        birth.
No pen could cheer 'em up like thine, or charm 'em hawf
        so weel;
Tha wrote 'em only what tha knew, an' what they o
        could feel;
An' when thi web o' life wur spun, an' here they laid
        thee deawn,
They blessed thee for o t' good tha'd done, an' cherished
        thi reneawn.

Sin' t' time they browt thee here aboon a century's
        passed away,
An' yet thi memory lives as fresh as tho' 'twur yesterday;
New generations bloom areawnd, but still they seawnd
        thi praise,
An' pause in awe bi t' sacred dust 'at hides thee fro' ther
        gaze.
No longer does ta crack thi jokes, while t' listeners
        reawnd thee throng;
Nor play thi pranks on t' Milnrow folks, while t' laff
        rings leawd an' long!
For death — that mighty leveller — thi further progress
        barred,
An' here tha calmly slumbers on in Owd St. Chad's
        Churchyard.

An' wheer are they 'at knew thee, Tim, i' th' hey-day
        o' thi life?
Gone! — gone like thee, released and free fro' worldly
        care an' strife!
Like thee they rest in dreamless peace, deep under t'
        graveyard sod,
Ther virtues an' their faults laid bare at t' judgment
        Seat o' God.
But aw mun pause, for eventide throws reawnd its
        shadows grim,
An' t' stars peep eawt i' th' heavens aboon, sooa good-
        neet, dear owd Tim!
When us 'at live are co'd away to quit this earthly
        scene,
Posterity shall prize thy name, an' keep thy memory
        green.


――――♦――――

 
WHY SHOULD MONKIND BE SO CRUEL TO
MON?


"Man's inhumanity to man,
    Makes countless thousands mourn."

― Burns.

 

OH! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?
For life at its longest is nobbut a spon.
Why should men be so reckless o' everyone else?
An' crush others deawn 'at they might rise thersels?
Oh! why should so mony seek fortune an' peawer,
When it's nobbut a bauble — a thing uv an heawr?
This earth wur intended for o to live on,
So why should monkind be so cruel to mon?

Oh! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?
An' ceawntenance evil, wheer good might be done?
Why should rank an' position breed pride an' contempt?
Why should t' poor hev to suffer, while t' rich are
        exempt?
Why should t' sharp cries uv hunger ring keenly on
        th' air
Unheeded bi lots 'at hev plenty to spare?
Oh, tell us, yo moralists — tell if yo con! —
Why should monkind be so cruel to mon?

Oh! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?
An' Truth be a failure, while Knavery gets on?
Why should thoose 'at are lowest sink deeper in t' mire?
While thoose far aboon 'em, con keep climbin' higher?
Why should greed sap o t' good fro' so mony men's
        lives?
Hev they never read t' story o' Lazarus an' Dives?
Ther's ajudgment to face — ther's a heaven to be won —
So why should monkind be so cruel to mon?

Oh! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?
An' gowd gain respect, while true worth seldom con?
Why should some look on Labour as Capital's slave —
To be drifted, when age comes, to t' warkheawse or t'
        grave?
Why should theawsands be toilin' for starvation pay,
While t' Sweater adds mooar to his wealth every day?
Heaw con t' Christian creed flourish while sich things
        are done?
Oh! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?

Oh! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?
In t' battle for gain every virtue seems gone!
Why should t' rich be so vain abeawt high pedigree,
An' point back wi' pride to ther family tree?
Aw smile at sich things, for aw connot believe
They con trace back mich farther than Adam an' Eve.
Every mon, king or beggar, is Adam's own son,
So why should monkind be so cruel to mon?

Oh! why should monkind be so cruel to mon?
It allus wur t' same sin' this world first begun;
But it never wur t' will o' t' Creator, aw'm sure,
To mek life a curse, an' a burden to t' poor.
Th' earth wur med for us o, an' not meant for a few
To revel i' plenty, while t' rest struggled throo;
If sich wrongs ceased to be, life 'ud glide smoothly on,
So why should monkind be so cruel to mon?


――――♦――――

 
YON MALLY.


WHEN neet-fo' comes on, an' mi day's wark is done,
    Aw mek mi way deawn i' yon valley;
For theer stan's a cot, in a nice shady spot,
    Wheer oftimes aw gooa to meet Mally.
Hoo's t' joy uv her parents, an' t' pride o' my heart,
    For eh! hoo's a sweet little treasure;
An' when on life's journey together we start,
    Joy's cup 'll be filled beyond measure.
Eh! yon Mally, — oh! yon Mally, —
    Hoo's t' bonniest fleawer i' yon valley;
Aw care nowt for riches, nor titles so grond,
    For aw want nowt i' t' world but mi Mally.

Whenever we meet bi th' owd cot uv a neet,
    Hoo smiles, eh! so soft an' so tender;
An' hur two een so blue, wheer luv's leet twinkles
            throo,
    To me rival t' stars i' ther splendour.
My heart bumps away pit-a-pat i' mi breast,
    Whenever aw'm gooin' to see hur;
An' aw've never no comfort, at wark or at rest,
    Except durin' t' time at aw'm wi' hur.
                                Eh! yon Mally.

It's quite plain to see 'at hoo think's t' world o' me,
    Tho' hoo's ne'er put hur thowts i' expression;
An' aw know hoo con tell what aw feel like misel,
    For mi een oft tell t' tale o' confession.
Aw wouldno' exchange hur for oceans o' wealth,
    To me it would have little vally;
Aw'd sooner live humble, if blessed wi' good health,
    An' a smile fro' t' sweet lips o' mi Mally.
                                Eh! yon Mally.

Hur parents an' me are as thick as con be,
    For they know 'at their Mally's mi treasure;
An' when t' time comes to pass 'at aw ax 'em for t' lass,
    Aw think they'll consent to 't wi' pleasure.
Aw'm scrapin' up brass 'at 'll furnish a cot,
    An' eh! heaw mi bosom keeps swellin';
As aw think heaw contented aw'st be wi' mi lot,
    Wi' Mally as t' queen o' mi dwellin'.
                                Eh! yon Mally.

Ther's a spot bi th' owd mill, wheer when o's quate an'
            still,
    Mi Mally an' me often linger;
An' this mich aw'll say, when we next pass that way,
    Aw'll slip this gowd ring on her finger.
Aw fancy aw know what hur answer 'll be,
    When aw ax mun we share life together;
An' wi' hur as mi partner life's shadows 'll flee,
    An' mek it like sunshiny weather.
                                Eh! yon Mally.


――――♦――――

 
TH' OWD SINGER.


TH' owd singer's welly gone —
    He's lyin' varra ill;
His earthly singin's done,
    For mend he never will.
His een are sunk an' dim,
    His breath comes thick an' fast;
Life howds no joys for him —
    He's drawin' near to t' last.

He's bin i' th' owd church choir
    For just o'er sixty year,
An' never seemed to tire,
    For he wur allus theer,
His heart wur in his wark,
    An' when he used to raise
His voice, 'twur like a lark
    Seawndin' its Maker's praise!

Fro' bein' quite a lad,
    His voice wur rich an' sweet;
Wi' childish frolics glad,
    He'd sing fro' morn till neet.
His melody, so clear,
    Filled mony a breast wi' pride;
He're known, booath far an' near,
    As "t' brid o' t' countryside."

When childhood passed away,
    An' monhood's days coom on,
Throo life he fowt his way,
    An' weel his wark wur done.
His true an' monly heart
    Ne'er harboured vile deceit;
He's gone weel throo his part,
    An' allus acted reet.

No mooar his voice 'll blend
    Wi' t' choir on t' Sabbath Day;
His journey's near its end,
    He'll soon hev passed away.
We'st miss his weel-known face
    When fro' eawr midst he's gone;
An' nooan 'll e'er fill t' place,
    Left vacant bi th' owd mon.

But when t' Last Trump shall seawnd
    Its warnin' leawd an' clear;
An' t' nations gather reawnd
    In t' judgment Ho' up theer.
Bi t' throne o' th' Heavenly King,
    Secure fro' earthly woe,
Th' owd singer's voice 'll ring
    In t' last grond chant uv o!


――――♦――――

 
EAWR NELL'S BIN AXED EAWT FOR T' FIRST
TIME.


EH dear! aw'm upset aw con tell yo,
    Aw care nowt whatever aw do;
For th' owd'st lass hes only just left me,
    An' neaw t'other's leeavin' me, too.
If hoo'd nobbut ha' acted streyt-forrud,
    It wouldno' hev bin sich a crime;
But aw ne'er geet to know till this mornin',
    'At eawr Nell wur axed eawt for t' first time.

An' this wur just t' way aw larnt t' saycret ―
    Aw'd getten hur dress eawt to air,
An' reyched deawn hur hat an' hur jacket,
    But hoo ne'er made an offer to stir.
"Arta not gooin' to t' church, like, this
            mornin'?"
    Aw axed in a blunt sooart o' way;
Hoo blushed, then hoo answered — "Nowe,
            mother,
    Aw think aw'll nooan bother, to-day."

"What's thi reason," aw sed, "'at tha'rt missin'?
    Come, let's hev it streyt, what's ta meean?"
Hoo tried to speyk eawt, but hoo couldno',
    An' hoo started a-blushin' ageean.
At t' finish hoo managed to utter ―
    "Aw'm axed eawt this mornin', that's o!"
An' wurno' aw gloppen'd to hear it —
    Aw'd ha' tumbled wi' t' weight uv a straw.

Aw did carry on, aw'll assure yo;
    But vast little difference it med;
"It's no use yo mekkin' a rumpus,
    It'll hev to gooa on neaw," hoo sed.
Wi' that aw geet mooar vexed nor ever,
    An' t' wo's fairly shook wi' mi din;
Sooa hoo dressed hursel up, an' hoo left me,
    An' hoo's ne'er shown hur face i' th' heawse
            sin'.

Aw've wondered for mony a week back,
    Why hoo's donn'd up an' gone eawt so mich;
An' whenever hoo hes stopped in wi' me,
    Hoo's done nowt but crochet and stitch.
But neaw aw con see throo it fairly,
    They've studied t' job o'er, aw'll be bun';
Sooa aw'll mek no mooar bother abeawt it,
    For they'll hev ther own way when aw've
            done.

When aw come to think o'er it mooar calmly,
    Aw connot find fault wi' eawr Nell;
If hoo wants to be wed, hoo's a reight to 't,
    For it's nobbut what aw did misel.
But still it wur hur place to tell me,
    An' not keep it fro' me so long;
Aw wur vexed at t' time — aw'll admit it —
    An' maybe aw spooak rayther strong.

Heawever, aw'll try to mek up for 't,
    An' aw dar'say t' poor lass 'll be glad;
Aw do think hoo's picked a good partner,
    For Jemmy's a nice dacent lad.
Sooa aw'll help hur to mek o things ready,
    For hoo's strivin' for t' best, when o's sed;
An' ther'll nob'dy be happier nor aw'st be,
    That day 'at eawr Nelly gets wed.


――――♦――――

 
JIM TRUEMAN'S TRUST.
(Mi Gronny's Tale.)


"PUT t' thresher up to t' dooar, Bill! — for t' draught
        comes reawnd that speer;
Cowd winter's marchin' on us fast, an' soon we'st hev it
        here.
Tha'rt not for gooin', surely, — come, stop a bit, mi
        lad! —
Whene'er aw'm left here bi misel, aw feel quite low an'
        sad.

A bit o' comp'ny cheers me, sooa tek th' owd rocker
        theer,
An' then aw'll tell thee an owd-time tale, an' one 'at tha'll
        like to hear."
Sooa aw drew up close to t' fire, — for t' neet wur bitter
        cowd;
An' mi gronny drew hur cheear up, too, an' this wur t'
        tale hoo towd:—

"Close on for seventy year sin'— ay, welly to a day —
A couple lived i' t' village yon, co'd George an' Alice
        Grey.
An' they'd a little dowter — a sweet-faced, prattlin' thing;
An' its merry voice, an' sunny smiles, med o ther cares
        tek wing.
O, heaw they doted on hur! — its wants wur ne'er denied;
Fro' morn to neet it claimed ther thowts far mooar nor
        o beside.
But soon ther joys wur severed wi' fate's unerrin' knife;
An' George wur left alone wi' t' child, for t' fever took
        his wife.

"For t' sake o' t' child he struggled, he never once gav'
        way;
Exceptin' it, this world for him possessed no cheerin'
        ray;
But grief con breyk deawn t' strongest, an' at last it
        towd its tale,
For t' colour left poor George's cheeks, — his health
        begun to fail.
Laid on his bed o' sickness, Jim Trueman nursed him
        theer, —
Two rare good mates wur George an' him, an' hed bin
        mony a year;
But vain wur o Jim's watchin', for swiftly th' end coom
        on;
An' Jim took th' orphan in his care, when George wur
        deead an' gone.

"He lived wi' his owd mother, o'er yon at t' meadow
        farm;
An' theer he took his sacred trust, an' kept hur safe fro'
        harm.
To him no scene wur hawf so sweet as Alice at hur play;
His heart beeat wild wi' happiness, to see hur blithe an'
        gay.
Sooa time passed on wi' rapid strides, an' Alice grew
        mooar fair;
Jim's fondest smiles, an' tenderest words, wur o
        bestowed on hur.
Years never med no change in him, — he acted kind an'
        true,
Till t' blush o' risin' womanhood shone radiant on hur
        broo.

"Aw know tha'll hardly think it, — but one fine summer's
        neet,
Jim Trueman took hur hand in his, an' whispered low an'
        sweet:
'For twelve year, gentle Alice, tha's comforted mi life;
Say, wilta comfort it to th' end, an' share its joy an
        strife?'
Hoo thowt uv o his goodness, an' hur een begun to fill,
Then hoo murmured 'Jim, thy wish is mine, sooa tek
        me if tha will.
No heart e'er pitied me like thine, tha's done a lot for
        me;
An' neaw it's nobbut reet, tha knows, to do a bit for
        thee!'

"Twur one breet day in autumn when Jim an' hur wur
        wed;
An' then for three an' thirty year, a happy life they led.
He allus did his duty, till his span o' life wur run,
An' never wur t' reward uv Heaven bi mortal better
        won.
Tha thinks tha knew Jim, does ta?   Aw know tha did,
        for sure;
He's rocked thi creddle mony a time, an' toddled tha to
        t' dooar.
An' neaw tha'st hear a saycret, for tha'rt fair i' pins, aw
        see: —
Jim Trueman wur thi grondad, lad, an' Alice Grey wur
        me!"


――――♦――――

 
TH' JOYS O' WINTER TIME.


WHAT'S that yo say o'er winter time? —
    It's heavy, dull, an' drear?
Then we mun differ — for to me
    It's t' merriest time o' th' year.
Fine summer weather's reet enuff,
    But, eh! it's nooan so prime, —
Nor does it bring t' same joys to me,
    As good owd winter time.

True, t' days are short, an' cowder too,
    But when t' sky's dull an' grey,
Astid o' darkenin' o mi thowts,
    It meks 'em breet an' gay.
Whoam shows its comforts plainer then,
    An' seems a spot sublime;
When t' ragin' blast gooas howlin' past
    I' t' neets o' winter time.

As oft as not some friend 'll co',
    To pass an heawr or two
I' social chat an' intercourse,
    On subjects owd an' new.
What yarns we spin! — what jokes we
            crack! —
    As theer at eease we sit;
An' puff eawt cleawds o' bacca smook,
    Between eawr strokes o' wit.

If bi misel, — aw read mi books —
    Thoose owd companions true!
They drive o discord fro' mi mind,
    An' teych me knowledge, too.
For summat witty — summat wise,
    On every page aw see;
Yo talk o' summer as yo like,
    But winter time for me!

An' look at t' childer heaw they'll smile,
    An' draw ther cheears to t' fire,
To hear some weel-worn fairy tale
    Towd bi ther aged sire.
They're rare an' suited — yo con tell,
    Bi t' way ther voices ring,
An' weel they like t' long winter neets
    For t' pleasures 'at they bring.

When King Frost throws o'er lake an' pool,
    A crust so thick an' clear;
Heaw eagerly yo'll see 'em throng
    To find enjoyment theer.
No joys i' winter? — Hear ther mirth
    As on they skate an' slide!
An' then tell them 'at winter's dull —
    An' soon yo'll be denied.

Condemn owd winter as yo will,
    In spite o' frost an' snow;
An' t' winds 'at whistle wild an' chill —
    Aw like it t' best uv o!
For life seems t' merriest then to me,
    Mi heart feels seawnd an' prime;
Eh! weel aw luv thoose whoamly joys
    'At come wi' winter time.


――――♦――――

 
TH' OWD CORNER CUBBORT.


IF that owd corner cubbort could speyk for itsel',
No deawt it would hev a queer hist'ry to tell;
Yo'd never imagine, fro' t' weear yo con trace,
'At for four generations it's stood in its place.
Yo'll varra like wonder, an' stare wi' amaze,
But things wur med gradely, yo know, i' th' owd days;
An', to judge bi its looks, it seems likely to last
Till three or four mooar generations are past.

It could tell uv o t' sorrows an' joys it's looked on,
An' heaw mony friends 'at once knew it are gone;
Heaw it see'd 'em i' childhood, an' see'd 'em when grey,
An' who filled ther places when they passed away.
It would be interestin' if one could but hear
What changes it's seen durin' t' time it's bin theer;
Eh! a lot abeawt t' past that owd cubbort could tell,
If it wur but able to speyk for itsel'.

It oppens eawt t' pages o' memory's book,
Whenever aw chance to be glancin' i' t' nook;
An' aw think o' mi childhood — tho' long sin' it's fled —
When aw looked on th' owd cubbort as t' best friend aw
        hed.
If hungry wi' rompin', aw'd no cause to fear,
For whenever aw went to 't aw fun' summat theer;
An' its weel-laden shelves oft 'ud gladden mi seet,
Wi' o sooarts o' pastry so dainty an' sweet.

Aw fancy aw look on mi gronny once mooar,
When hoo used to put figures wi' chalk on its dooar;
Hoo wur shop-keepin' then in a varra smo' way,
An' hoo'd reckon 'em up mony a time in a day.
Hoo med it hur ledger for t' stuff 'at went eawt,
But a lot wur ne'er paid for, ther isno' t' least deawt;
For t' week 'at hoo dee'd, when hoo felt th' end wur
        near,
Hoo wiped every scooar off, an' set 'em o clear.

Aw'st allus remember when t' panic coom on,
It wur then for t' first time 'at eawr troubles begun;
An', oh! what a feight for existence we hed! —
Tho' afooar we'd bin strangers to bein' ill-fed.
We'd never known t' meeanin' o' want onyway,
But i' thoose fearful times we'd to clem mony a day;
Wi' keen hungry een, o i' vain did we look
For a crust i' th' owd cubbort 'at stan's up i' t' nook.

Thoose hard times hev vanished, an' let's hope for aye,
But they'll live in mi memory till life ebbs away;
An' th' owd corner cubbort to me seems mooar dear
When aw think abeawt t' woes o' that terrible year.
On life's dreesome journey aw've tramped a long way,
But aw'm able to rest fro' mi labours to-day;
An' when owd-time treasures to mind aw reco',
That owd corner cubbort teks t' first place uv o.


――――♦――――

 
YO'RE TREYDIN' ON DANGEROUS GREAWND.


BEWARE what yo do! — for this world's full o' snares,
    Sooa just keep yor een oppen wide;
There's traps as th' unwary fo' in unawares,
    Laid reawnd yo on every side.
Sooa mind an' be careful — nor rush in too bowd,
    But constantly keep lookin' reawnd;
An' if yo get warnin', gooa back as yo're towd,
    When yo're treydin' on dangerous greawnd.

It may be yo're thinkin' o' gooin' i' trade,
    An' it's o varra weel if yo are;
But oh! do be cautious, ther's lots bin misled,
    Wi' tryin' to reych eawt too far.
Yo mun creep for a start, an' yo'll walk later on,
    This advice yo'll find eawt to be seawnd;
An' keep deawn yor credit, or else yo'll be done,
    For yo're treydin' on dangerous greawnd.

An' gamb1in's a thing yo mun try to avoid,
    For it's but a poor pastime at t' best;
An' aw'm sure a chap's time con be better employed
    Nor i' losin' his money an' rest.
It's a habit 'at's followed bi booath young an' owd,
    But misery it often throws reawnd;
Sooa steer eawt o' t' rooad on 't — hev sense when yo're
            towd,
    Or yo'll soon treyd on dangerous greawnd.

An' a word to young fella's on t' look-eawt for wives —
    Yo want to be snug, aw suppose;
Sooa seek whoamly lasses to breeten yor lives,
    An' not thoose 'at weear flashy clothes.
It's a true mate yo want — not a fine ornament
    'At 'll run yo i' debt mony a peawnd;
Sooa think it weel o'er, for yo'll surely repent
    If yo treyd on to dangerous greawnd.

When once yo get sattled i' some little cot,
    Yo mun aim to mek happiness theer;
An' not be like some — discontent wi' yor lot,
    For yo'll find no mooar pleasure elsewheer.
Do o 'at yo con to mek comfort throo life,
    An' yor efforts wi' joy 'll be creawned;
For whenever yo meddle wi' discord an' strife,
    Yo're treydin' on dangerous greawnd.

Sooa try an' pay heed to these words 'at aw've sed,
    Weigh 'em o'er, neaw, an' give 'em some thowt;
In t' bye-ways o' Folly, lads, never be led,
    An' yo'll need be regretful for nowt.
Then look weel abeawt yo, — and let every heart
    Be fearless, undaunted, an' seawnd;
An' choose t' track o Reight, an' fro' t' way ne'er depart,
    Or yo'll treyd on to dangerous greawnd.


――――♦――――

 
NELL MORTON'S PLUCK.
(An Episode o' t' Long Strike.)


THER'S a cottage stan's deawn i' yon hollow,
    Bi t' side uv a clear windin' rill;
Surreawnded bi trees 'at protect it
    Fro' t' keen wintry blasts, cowd an' chill.
It's a snug-lookin', sweet, whoamly dwellin',
    But ther's summat far sweeter inside;
For theer, wi' th' owd folks, lives Nell Morton —
    A lass 'at we look on wi' pride.

Hoo's young an' good-lookin', is Nelly,
    An' hur een are a soft, tender grey;
But a lass wi' t' same nerve, an' t' same courage,
    Yo'll not come across ony day.
Yo may talk o' brave deeds done bi heroes,
    An' boast o'er 'em, just as yo like;
But yo'll read abeawt few wi' mooar darin'
    Than Nell displayed durin' t' long strike.

God bless hur! — we'st never forget hur! —
    For eawr minds often wander to t' time
When hoo stood like an angel i' t' darkness,
    An' saved us fro' bloodshed an' crime.
As yo seem to be strangers among us,
    Aw'll just try to tell yo t' tale throo:
It's what happened here tuthri year back,
    An' it shows what a woman con do.

Yo'd pass that owd factory below theer —
    Well, to start wi', just let me remark
'At it's t' main prop o' life here i' t' village,
    For it finds t' biggest part on us wark.
But at t' time 'at mi narrative oppens,
    Things wur doin' as bad as could be;
An' they showed little signs o' improvin',
    As far as mooast on us could see.

Yet still we kept battlin' on throo it,
    An' hopin' 'at things 'ud soon mend;
But every day med matters darker,
    An' browt eawr fond hopes to an end.
Reduction o' wages wur threatened—
    A thing 'at we didno' think reight;
Sooa we coom eawt on strike to resist it,
    An' entered unflinchin' i' t' feight.

Days rowled thickly o'er one another,
    An' week-ends kept dribblin' in fast;
But booath sides continued t' keen struggle,
    Determined to see which could last.
Ther wur lots 'at faced poverty bravely,
    While others gav' way to despair;
But 'twur plain 'at some trouble wur brewin',
    For dark rumours floated on th' air.


*                *                *                *                *                *


It wur neet, — an' deawn yon, tort th' owd
            factory,
    A wild creawd wur hurryin' on;
Nor wur it a saycret among 'em,
    'At mischief wur meant to be done.
As they landed, one on 'em climbed t' gateway,
    An' motioned for t' creawd to draw reawnd;
Then leawdly he cried "Leet yor torches! —
    An' we'll burn this owd buildin' to t' greawnd!"

As he spoke, who should pass by but th' owner, —
    A grey-yedded, helpless owd mon;
Th' creawd sent up a groan when they seed him,
    As if o ther senses wur gone.
"Seize him! — seize him!" — ther ring-leader
            sheawted,
    An' a mad rush wur med for him then,
When a woman sprung in streyt between 'em —
    An' sheawted—"Shame, shame on yo, men!"

Th' creawd stopped its wild course in an instant,
    An' gav' back wi' looks o' surprise;
For reight in ther way stood Nell Morton,
    Like a vision just dropped deawn fro' t' skies.
"Stan' back, theer! — stan' back!" — hoo cried
            to 'em,
    An' hur breet een seemed piercin' 'em throo:
"Hes yor passion o'ermastered yor reason? —
    Come, speyk eawt! — What is it yo'd do?"

Not a voice ever answered hur question,
    Sooa hoo spoke eawt ageean to 'em then:
"What meeans o this angry commotion? —
    Come, if yo are men, act like men!
Drive discord an' strife fro' yor bosoms,
    An' weigh o'er these words 'at aw say:—
It's seldom 'at force gains an object
    'At connot be won bi fair play."

Then hur kindly een turned on th' owd master,
    Pale, an' tremblin' wi' fear at hur side:
"Yo'd ha' torn him to pieces among yo,
    But would it hev helped yo?" hoo cried.
"Let him pass on his way unmolested —
    These bad times 'll vanish, yo'll see;
Th' first coward 'at raises a finger
    To harm him, mun sattle wi' me!"

Th' creawd sent up a sheawt uv approval,
    An' Nell's voice rung eawt, clear an' sweet;
"'Twur t' Peawer up aboon, aw feel certain,
    'At sent me among yo, to-neet!
For summat kept urgin' me onward —
    An', thank God! aw landed i' time
To save this owd mill fro' destruction,
    An' keep yor souls guiltless o' crime!"

Hoo paused, — an' no seawnd broke throo t'
            stillness,
    Till hur voice dee'd away on ther ears;
Then t' greyt creawd united in chorus,
    An' t' village rung leawd wi' ther cheers!
Ther reason hed conquered ther passion, —
    They could see what hoo'd saved 'em fro', then;
An' mony a lip muttered blessin's,
    As they went to ther whoams like true men.

Th' strike coom to an end shortly after,
    An' fro' that time we've done rare an' weel;
But whenever we think o' Nell Morton,
    We connot tell hawf 'at we feel.
Hoo wur t' village salvation, that's certain,
    For hur deed browt a run o' good luck;
An' oft to eawr wives, an' eawr childer,
    We tell t' tale o' Nell Morton's Pluck.


――――♦――――

 
IN MEMORIAM.


EDWIN WAUGH, the Lancashire Laureate. Born January 29th, 1817. Died April 30th, 1890.

                                                "It was his nature
              To blossom into song, as 'tis a tree's
              To leaf itself in April."

— Alexander Smith.

 

THA'RT gone ,sweet singer! — o thi sufferin's past!
    Th' dread summons coom 'at nooan con disobey;
Thi wearied spirit's landed whoam at last,
    An' t' voice, so tuneful once, is hushed for aye.
Nevermooar wilta chant thi joyous strains,
    An' leeten th' hearts o' strugglin' humankind;
Or give 'em comfort in ther griefs an' pains
    Wi' songs uv hope an' sympathy combined.

Thi task's completed, an' tha'rt restin on! —
    But if affection's tears could co' thee back
Tha'd live ageean, an' shine eawt like a sun,
    Sheddin' thi radiance o'er life's gloomy track.
Lancashire's lost its rarest gem i' thee,
    An' keenly do we mourn eawr loss to-day;
But oh! forgetten theaw con never be,
    Till t' native tongue o' t' ceawnty dee's away.

Theaw could throw breetness on to t' darkest heawr! —
    Mirth, pathos, tenderness, whate'er tha sung
Coom streyt fro' th' heart, and when we felt thi peawer,
    New joys an' feelin's in eawr bosoms sprung.
Throo Fancy's beawers wi' thee we luv'd to roam,
    When, like a brid let loose, thi thowts went free;
Eh, Ned! poor Ned! ther's mony a happy whoam
    Owes its contentment an' its bliss to thee!

Theaw could see beauty reawnd thee everywheer! —
    On t' meawntain top — on t' rough unsheltered coast —
Bi t' pur1in' brook — on t' moorlands wild and drear,
    An' theer it wur tha liked to ramble most.
Nature to thee med o things dear an' sweet,
    An' oft on t' barren moorland would ta stroll,
Wi' t' tufted heather growin' at thi feet,
    Pourin' eawt t' richest music fro' thi soul.

But neaw tha'rt gone! — gone to return no maooar! —
    Tha's paid thi toll to stern unbendin' Fate.
He laffs i' triumph, while eawr hearts are sooar,
    For o monkind mun pay him, soon or late.
Deawn mony a cheek th' hot tears run thick an' fast,
    An' sadness hes its place i mony a breast.
Farewell, owd bard! — for thee t' long journey's past,
    An' neaw tha lies for evermooar at rest!


May 3rd, 1890.


――――♦――――

 
A TOFFY-NEET "BUZZ".


TUM TWISTER is a tackler bowd,
An' lives not far fro' th' end o' t' fowd,
An' o'er him ther's a queer tale towd,
    A true un, too — that's t' best on 't;
It's sure to pleease yo everyone,
An' neaw aw'll tell yo, if aw con,
    But dunnot mek a jest on 't.

At Toffy-neet, Tum med his way
Streytforrud whoam an' geet his tay,
Then sat i' t' nook, an' puffed his clay
    As happy as could be;
His thowts wur in a pleasant train,
No strife nor envy racked his brain, —
    A happy mon wur he.

Well, in a bit, th' owd'st lass fotched t' pon,
Then stirrin' t' fire, hoo put it on;
"Aw'll mek some toffy for tha, John,"
    Hoo sed to t' younger brother.
"Tha'll see two bags o' sugar theer,
Sooa just reych o'er an' hand one here,
    Then wait an' hand me t' other."

When t' stuff wur put i' t' pon o reet,
Hoo went to t' shop in t' other street,
An' left hur little brother wi' 't,
    To mind it when hoo'd gone.
When hoo geet back o t' stuff wur spoiled,
For t' toffy far too long hed boiled, —
    'Twur brunt — an' stuck to t' pon.

Hur mother's face, wi' rage wur red,
"What does ta meean bi this?" hoo sed;
"Aw med full sure mooar sense tha hed
    Nor wastin' stuff like this."
"Oh, do be quate!" Owd Tum chimed in,
"An' mek a-less thi grumblin' din,
    Ther's nowt mich gone amiss.

"What's t' good o' stannin' chunnerin' theer?
Bring t' other pon fro' t' kitchen here,
Aw'll mek some toffy — never fear.
    An' mek it gradely too;
If aw'd a nobbut earlier known,
That stuff away hed ne'er bin thrown,
    Neaw, just watch heaw aw do!"

Sooa t' pon wur browt at Tum's command,
An' when he took it in his hand,
He thowt to show 'em summat grand,
    An' eh! heaw he did smile.
A bag on t' table then he seed,
An' emptied it in t' pon wi' speed, —
    As pleeased as Punch o t' while.

"This 'll be 'tackle' when it's med,
Aw'll bet it's t' best yo ever hed —
But heaw the hangment's this?" — he sed,
    As t' stuff run o'er fro' t' pon;
To stop its course he vainly tried,
"It's risin' up like barm!" he cried,
    An' then o t' gam begun.

His wife at that coom rushin' in,
Fro' eawt o' t' kitchen wheer hoo'd bin ;
Hoo looked at Tum, an' wi' a grin
    Hoo sed —"Theaw art a star!
That toffy's a new sooart, aw'm sure,
For aw've ne'er seen nooan med afooar
    Wi' PATENT RAISIN' FLEAWR."

Poor Tum sat deawn like someb'dy daft,
While t' wife an' children leawdly laffed;
Oh! dear-a-me, — he did get chaffed, —
    Till he piked off to bed.
Sooa if yo meet him ony day,
Just ax him if he'll tell yo t' way
    'At toffy should be med.


――――♦――――

 
SOME FOLKS 'AT ARE NOWT I' MI WAY.


THER'S o sooarts o' folk to be met wi' i' t' world,
    No matter which part on't yo choose;
Some few yo'll find honest, a lot yo'll find knaves,
    But t' bigg'st part yo'll find to be foo's.
Sooa if yo've a mind to be quate till aw've done,
    An' listen to what aw've to say;
Aw'll try to describe yo, as plain as aw con,
    Some folks 'at are nowt i' mi way.

Ther's t' masher 'at swaggers throo t' streets after dark,
    Yo'll hev noticed his ways, aw'll be bun';
To judge fro' his style — tho' he's nobbut a clerk,
    He mut be a millionaire's son.
Heaw he twirls reawnd his cane! — he's mooar collar nor
            brain,
    Tho' he fancies he's doin' it gay;
He may curl his moustach, an' imagine he's flash,
    But for o that he's nowt i' mi way.

Then ther's t' fella 'at boasts o'er his wark an' his skill,
    Th' "pub" taproom's his favourite spot;
His nose is dyed red wi' t' good practise he's hed,
    At swiggin' his ale fro' t' pint pot.
Aw'm sure he's nooan reet, for he'll spend uv a neet,
    Twice as mich as he earns in a day;
Advice is no use, to sich thick-yedded foo's,
    They're folks 'at are nowt i' mi way.

Then ther's th' "anti-soap" lot, — an' they do talk some
            "rot,"
    As they preych on for heawr after heawr;
They wave a red rag, an' they bluster an' brag,
    What they'd do if they'd nobbut peawer.
Let 'em rave on an' rant just as mich as they want,
    It's few 'at they'll e'er leead astray;
For t' dullest-brained ass, con see throo 'em like glass,
    They're folks 'at are nowt i' mi way.

An' t' next aw con think on is t' chap 'at knows o,
    An' he's varra often on view;
Whatever yo talk o'er he knows mooar nor yo,
    An' he'll set abeawt provin' it, too.
If he gets agate talkin' just let him keep on,
    For it's t' nature o' donkeys to bray;
He's an eyesooar an' pest, an' a nuisance at t' best,
    An' a fella 'at's nowt i' mi way.

Ther's another chap yet, an' aw rank him as t' worst,
    For he's shallow, an' meean, an' two-faced;
He comes an' pretends to be one o' yor friends,
    Till yor confidence in him yo've placed.
If yo've towd him a saycret, it's sure to come eawt,
    To mek mischief's his aim, neet an' day;
He'll fawn an' he'll smile, but he's plottin' o t' while,
    He's a scamp, an' he's nowt i' mi way.

Ther's plenty uv others 'at daily we see,
    They're scattered abeawt everywheer;
It's sich like 'at help to mek t' world what it is —
    No wonder 'at cynics should sneer!
Sooa be square i' yor deealin's, be upreight an' bowd,
    In o 'at yo do or yo say;
An' men 'll admire yo ― yo'll never be towd
    'At yo're folks 'at are nowt i' ther way.


――――♦――――

 
SMASHED.
(A Tale o' t' Corner.")


OWD Solomon Grab wur a greedy soul,—an' as selfish
        as mon could be;
An' so long as he managed to live an' thrive, he cared
        for nowt else — not he.
But he'd freawn an' sceawl like a savage bull, if things
        didno' wark just reet;
An' he'd sit in his office quite grumpish-like, fro' early
        morn till neet.
Eh! heaw he gloated o'er t' glitterin' gowd, — his een
        fair flashed wi' joy! —
As he lingered, an' played wi' 't, an' turned it o'er, like
        a babby does its toy;
He'd chuckle an' ceawnt it at t' deead o' neet, wi' t' gas
        turned low an' dim;
For if ever a chap did worship brass, — Owd Solomon
        Grab wur him!

Owd Solomon Grab kept prosperin' on, till his back wi'
        age wur bent;
He'd med a fortune ― a nice un too ― but still he wur
        nooan content.
He studied an' studied for weeks an' months, heaw to
        mek mooar money still;
"Aw want it — aw want it!" — Owd Solomon sed, " An'
        aw'll hev it, too, come what will!"
Sooa at t' finish uv o, he formed a plan, 'at ameawnted
        just to this:
He'd buy a lot o' t' cotton up, for t' chance looked too
        good to miss;
Sooa streyt away he set to wark, an' varra soon t' job
        wur done;
"Aw'll reeap my harvest neaw," he sed, "so heaw other
        folks gooa on!"

Owd Solomon Grab did rub his hands, an' he chuckled
        an' laffed wi' glee;
"These masters thowt they wur fause!" he cried, "but
        they're nooan so fause as me!
It's me they hev to depend on neaw, they mun mend it
        if they con, —
But aw'll mek 'em pay me t' price aw ax, an' humble 'em
        everyone."
Well, weeks passed o'er, an' t' stuff grew scarce, an' t'
        masters stood aghast;
What could they do? ther wur cotton theer, — but Owd
        Solomon hed it fast;
They couldno' afford his eawtrageous terms, but he
        wouldno' budge an inch,
Sooa some on 'em shut ther places up, an' t' toilers
        soon felt t' pinch.

Owd Solomon Grab heeard t' cries o' t' poor, but pity
        ne'er stirred his breast;
"They mun look to thersels, like me," he sed, "aw'm
        gooin' to line mi nest."
Sooa they bravely struggled an' suffered on, for long an'
        weary days,
An' smookless chimleys, on every side, exposed thersels
        to t' gaze.
But Solomon's face grew cleawded o'er, an' lost its
        merry grin;
For he hed th' owd cotton on his hands, an' t' new wur
        comin' in,
An' heaw to manage to get it off, wur mooar nor he
        could tell;
For wi' t' trap 'at he'd laid for other folks, he'd fairly
        trapped hissel.

Owd Solomon raved! — Owd Solomon swore! — Owd
        Solomon tore his hair!
An' he seeched i' vain to find relief fro' t' pangs uv his
        wild despair.
But nob'dy heeded his leawd lament, they carelessly
        passed him by,
He'd med his bed o' thorns hissel, an' on it he hed to lie.
Just for a bit agenst fortune's rocks, Owd Solomon wur
        dashed;
Then his hopes, — his wealth, — his everything, — at one
        fell blow wur smashed!
Haggard an' pale, an' brokken-deawn, he totters at times
        throo t' street;
But never a soul is ther pities him, for they say 'at it
        serves him reet!


――――♦――――

 
WATCHIN'!


TH' breezes blow soft across t' meadows,
    Mekkin' th' air cool an' sweet;
An' darkness o'er t' world throws its shadows,
    Tellin' th' approach o' neet.
Aw've waited an' watched till aw'm weary,
    For one, eh! so dear to me;
Away fro' his side life seems dreary,
    Oh! wheer con mi Johnny be?

'Twur here wheer he promised to meet me,
    Providin' it kept on fine;
But yet there's no Johnny to greet me,
    An' leeten this heart o' mine.
Aboon me ther's th' harvest moon shinin',
    But t' scene beears no charms for me
As aw stan' here at th' gate, sadly pinin',
    For it's Johnny aw want to see.

Mi heart it's fair ached to be wi' him,
    Ever sin' t' dawn o' day;
An' neaw, when it's time aw should see him,
    He seems just as far away.
Aw've watched for him comin' up yonder,
    But his form's never cheered mi seet;
Whatever's th' lad doin', aw wonder,
    'At meks him so late, to-neet?

O, a nice young lad's mi Johnny,
    An' he knows he's mi joy an' pride;
He's fairer an' truer nor ony
    At lives areawnd t' country side.
But why is he lettin' me wait here,
    An' everything reawnd so still?
He sed 'at he'd meet me at t' gate here,
    An' he'll come yet, aw know he will.

Is yon him?   Ay, it's Johnny! — he's comin'! —
    No longer mi heart feels sooar;
A luv lilt he's merrily hummin',
    As his footstep draws near once mooar.
For mi watchin', at last, aw'm rewarded,
    An' mi bosom throbs wild wi' glee;
For fro' sorrow aw feel safely guarded,
    When Johnny's at side o' me.


――――♦――――

 
A NEETMARE ROMANCE.


O' readin' wild tales an' romances
    Aw've allus bin fond fro' a lad;
But aw'm readin' no mooar, aw con tell yo,
    For last neet aw wur near driven mad.
Yo've deawtless heeard folks talk o'er t' neetmare,
    An' varra like laffed when they'd done;
But just hev it gradely, like aw hed,
    An' aw'll warrant yo'll nooan co' it fun.

Aw'd bin readin' a tale co'd "Th' White Hunters,"
    Wi' grizzlies an' Indians chucked in;
An' they hed mooar escapes an' adventur's,
    Nor o th' heroes 'at ever ther's bin.
Yo talk abeawt murthers an' bloodshed! —
    Yo hed plenty theer for yor brass;
It's a good job Munchausen's not livin',
    He'd ha' dee'd brokken-hearted — bi t' mass!

Aw soon geet enuff o' excitement,
    For it fair med me cringe an' turn pale;
Sooa aw put it away on to t' book·shelf,
    Tho' aw hedno' hawf getten throo t' tale.
An' feelin' a bit tired an' jaded,
    Aw med tracks for gettin' to bed;
An' went off to sleep, i' my fashion,
    But a bigger mistake wur ne'er med.

It wur then 'at this neetmare coom on me,
    An' to try an' describe it's i' vain;
For o t' nonsense an' stuff aw'd bin readin',
    Wur rushin' pell-mell throo mi brain.
Aw fancied misel among th' Indians,
    Wi' ther tomahawks whizzin' throo th' air;
An' aw wur in a mess, aw'll assure yo,
    For mi limbs wouldno' offer to stir.

They dragged me away to a forest,
    An' tee'd me to t' trunk uv a tree;
An' then they'd a confab together,
    As to heaw they mut sattle wi' me.
They yelled like a lot o' wild looneys,
    Till their din fairly cracked i' mi ears;
But didno' aw skrike wi' a vengeance! —
    When they tickled mi ribs wi' ther spears.

Aw wur med in a sooart uv "Aunt Sally,"
    But they threw knives astid uv a stick;
An' every time 'at one missed me,
    It stuck into t' tree wi' a "click!"
Good lorjus-a-me! — heaw aw trembled!
    For mi fate wur decided, aw knew;
But just then, up dashes "Th' White Hunters!"—
    An' th' Indians o left me, an' flew.

Aw wur thinkin' misel varra lucky,
    As t' knots aw'd just managed to slip;
When a greyt rooarin' grizzly sprung at me,
    An' hugged me up tight in its grip.
Mi een started eawt o' ther sockets,
    Aw wur done for that time, aw felt sure;
But aw wakkened up then — an' discovered —
    Aw'd bin wroslin' wi' t' rug on t' room flooar!

Aw ne'er tried to sleep nooan at th' after,
    For aw picked up mi clothes an' geet drest;
An' soon as aw'd getten t' fire gooin',
    Aw brunt o mi tales o' t' Wild West.
Sooa yo 'at read blood-curdlin' novels,
    Tek warnin' bi me, while yo've the chance;
Or yo might hev to suffer, like aw did,
    An' gooa throo a neetmare romance.


――――♦――――

 
THAT YOUNG CHAP 'AT WEYVES ACROSS TH'
ALLEY.


YO should see that new weyver we've getten deawn yon,
    By gum, — he's a regular dasher!
But aw'm forced to admit he's a han'some young mon,
    Tho' he dons hissel up like a masher.
He's nobbut bin warkin' yon two or three days,
    Yet, someheaw, we've getten quite pally;
An' if t' truth mun be owned to, aw'm ta'en up wi' t'
            ways,
    O' that young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.

Neaw, t' first day he started, aw co'd him a fop,
    An' helped t' others on wi' ther chaffin';
Aw med lots o' meemo's to t' weyvers i' t' shop,
    An' o'er him, ther wur some rare laffin'.
He bore it good tempered, an' kept pushin' on,
    Eawr fun never caused him to dally;
For it seemed to pass off as a joke, till we'd done,
    Wi' that young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.

But t' varra next mornin' we grew to be friends,
    An' it o coom abeawt i' this fashion:
He coom o'er to help me to piece up mi ends,
    For one o' mi looms hed a "mash" on.
We soon hed o streytened an' runnin' once mooar,
    An' his service increased in its vally,
When aw thowt heaw aw'd acted misel, t' day afooar,
    To that young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.

Aw looked up an' thanked him, an' eh, heaw he smiled!
    His face breetened up clear an' pleasant;
An' as for misel, well — aw felt like a child,
    When someb'dy's bowt it a present.
Aw felt quite set up, tho' aw couldno' tell why,
    An' oftimes aw looked at mi tally,
To see wur mi "cuts" booked, an' glance o'er on t' sly,
    At that young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.

Aw noticed him mooar nor aw noticed mi wark,
    For like as aw couldno' tee to it;
Aw leet a big "float" gooa, an' wove past mi mark
    An' t' cutlooker bated me throo it.
Aw ne'er felt so strange or so fluttered afooar,
    An' i' vain did aw struggle to rally;
An' t' cause on't, aw think — tho' aw'll not be quite sure,
    Wur that young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.

When stoppin' time landed, aw rushed eawt pell-mell,
    But mi heart give a beawnd o at sudden!
For who should come to me but t' young chap hissel,
    An' he chatted away like a good 'un.
An' t' words 'at he spoke, caused mi heart to grow leet
    An' mi life seemed to double its vally;
An' at t' finish uv o, aw consented to meet,
    That young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.

We've hed some nice rambles together sin' then,
    An' to-neet, too, aw've promised to see him;
Aw'd mek him mi choice if aw'd t' pick among men,
    For aw feel aw could trust mi life wi' him.
But ther's summat aw've getten to tell yo beside,
    An' wi' it no longer aw'll dally:
Aw promised, last neet, 'at aw'd shortly be t' bride
    O' that young chap 'at weyves across th' alley.


――――♦――――

 
TH, OWD DOCTOR.


OWD Doctor Dunn's a reet good sooart,
An' likes a bit o' gradely spooart;
A rare good-natured mon is he,
An' plain as e'er a chap could be.
He needs no "puff," nor idle praise,
His nature's written on his face;
An' when he rides past in his trap,
Folks say, — "Theer gooas a dacent chap!"

Whene'er they see him walkin' eawt,
O t' little childer reawndabeawt
Forget ther play, an' off they'll run,
An' trudge at th' heels o' Doctor Dunn.
They know he's allus summat nice,
I' t' shape o' toffy, nuts, or spice;
An' heaw ther merry voices seawnd,
As th' Doctor gives 'em handfuls reawnd.

Yo'll see him stop an' talk to t' poor,
Whene'er he haps to pass ther dooar;
An' seem so preawd an' pleeased o t' while,
An' cheer 'em wi' his kindly smile.
An' when he's nowt so pressin' on,
He'll sometimes co' at "Th' Oak" deawn yon;
To hev a glass, an' crack a joke,
Along wi' t' rest o' t' village folk.

If e'er he's sent for, soon or late,
It's seldom 'at they've long to wait;
He'll come streyt on, throo storm or rain,
An' try to eease his patient's pain.
An' when it seems a hopeless case,
A pityin' look comes o'er his face;
He'll shake his yed, but never speyk,
His heart's too full t' sad news to breyk.

Th' owd mon geet co'd in t' other day,
To gooa an' look at Tummy Kay;
To tell t' truth, Tummy did look bad,
He never wur a robust lad.
But just at that time trade wur slack,
An' that hed helped to poo him back;
When t' Doctor went, he towd him streyt,
'At physic wouldno' set him reight.

"My stuff"s no good for one like thee,"
Th' owd Doctor sed, "so just heed me;
An' get weel packed wi' gradely meyt,
An' then, mi lad, tha'll soon be reight.
Tha'rt poor just neaw, sooa here's a peawnd,
An' pay it back when trade warks reawnd;
But if tha never pays at o,
Aw'st never miss it mich, aw know."

This isno' o, bi mony a one,
O' t' kindly deeds th' owd Doctor's done;
He's spent his life i' doin' good,
An' helpin' t' needy when he could.
Is it a wonder, then, aw say,
'At folks should seawnd his praise, to-day?
His name meks mony a bosom stir,
For oft he's leetened grief an' care.

When grim Deeath comes to claim his due,
He puts his hand on doctors, too;
For o ther knowledge an' ther skill,
Con rank as nowt agenst his will.
But when life's sand throo t' glass hes run,
An' t' warnin' comes to Doctor Dunn;
He'll be prepared to answer t' co',
An' soar aboon to t' Lord uv o.


――――♦――――

 
DUNNOT STAN' IN YOR OWN LEET.


THER'S a lot o' things wrong, folks, 'at owt to be reight,
    For they've no need to be as they are;
This world's getten crookened an' wants settin' streyt,
    An' t' remedy lies in yor peawer.
Yo mun first uv o shape at improvin' yorsels, —
    Mekkin' life mooar harmonious an' sweet;
Push your own interests forrud — ne'er mind nob'dy else,
    An' dunnot stan' in yor own leet.

It's eeasy to rail eawt agenst th' "upper ten,"
    An' endeavour to fix t' blame on them;
But if thoose 'at sheawt th' hardest wur med wealthy
            men,
    They'd be far worse nor t' folks they condemn.
Th' bigg'st tyrants are thoose 'at hev risen fro' t' ranks —
    If you'll nobbut look reawnd, yo con see 't;
An' for helpin' 'em up yo get snubbed for yor thanks,
    Sooa dunnot stan' in yor own leet.

Th' worst foes 'at yo hev are among yor own clique, —
    It might seawnd romantic, aw know;
But aw'm speykin' eawt plain, for no favour aw seek,
    An' yo'll find 'at it's gospel an' o.
You've theawsands o' black sheep inside yor own fowd,
    Covered o'er wi' a coat o' deceit;
Sooa weed 'em o eawt fro' yor midst, as yo're towd,
    An' dunnot stan' in yor own leet.

Tek ony industry, in city or teawn,
    An' yo'll find 'at whichever yo choose,
Ther's lots 'at top t' wage-list, while others keep deawn,
    An' t' latter are mooar knaves nor foo's.
They're t' first to knock off, but they're t' last to begin,
    An' they loiter fro' mornin' to neet;
It's tactics like these 'at let t' foreigners in,
    Sooa dunnot stan' in yor own leet.

Then yo grumble an' growl agenst t' laws 'at are med —
    But who but yorsels con yo blame?
If bi sense an' good judgment yo'd nobbut be led,
    Yor grievances wouldno' be t' same.
Yo mun mek up yor minds to gooa in for t' best men —
    Let bigotry sink eawt o' seet,
An' yo'll get satisfaction, but not afooar then,
    Sooa dunnot stan' in yor own leet.

Yo con mend yor conditions, an' quite eeasy, too,
    If yo'll just set to wark i' t' reight way;
But remember if ony big task yo would do,
    'At it connot be done in a day.
Yo mun bring abeawt changes for t' good bi degrees,
    For a pushed job is seldom complete;
Then times 'll dawn on yo far happier nor these,
    Sooa dunnot stan' in yor own leet.


――――♦――――


 
VANQUISHED HEROES.
(AN APPEAL FOR T' SUEFERERS O' TH' AUDLEY MINING
DISASTER.)


A bitter wail uv anguish rings wild on t' wintry air! —
Women an' childer wring ther hands, an' moan i' deep
        despair;
Infirm an' aged parents, ther een welled up wi' tears,
Mourn for ther sons, once th' hope an' prop o' life's
        declinin' years.
In th' Diglake Pit at Audley, shut off in deepest gloom,
A band o' miners lie at rest — ther toilin'-place ther
        tomb!
To t' ravages o' t' cruel flood they yielded up ther lives,
Leavin' ther parents desolate—ther childer, an' ther
        wives.

Pictur' these weepin' women wi' ther helpless little
        ones! —
Pictur' distracted parents co'in' vainly for ther sons! —
Brothers an' Sisters sheawt eawt th' names o' luv'd ones
        deawn below!—
Where'er yo turn it's one dark scene uv misery an' woe.
Reawnd t' meawth o' t' pit they stan' i' groups—grim
        spectres o' despair;
While sobs, an' sighs, an' pityin' cries, like dirges, float
        on th' air.
Then men step forth as volunteers, an' t' greyt creawd
        howds its breath
As they prepare to gooa below an' hev a bout wi' death.

When t' rescue party mek t' descent, hope reigns in
        mony a breast,
On Mercy's mission fully bent, they meean to do ther
        best;
Some twenty souls are browt to t' top, an' t' creawd
        sends up a cheer!
An' sobbin' mothers clasp ther sons, an' wives ther
        husbands dear.
Once mooar deawn t' pit they mek ther way — once mooar
        are dangers braved —
Not once they think abeawt thersels, for lives may yet
        be saved;
An' t' creawd at t' top waits anxiously, till hope gives
        way to fear,
For heawrs pass on, an' still no mooar are browt to t'
        surface theer.

Waist deep in th' ice-cowd stream below, these brave
        men labour on,
Duty's ther sole incentive, for good wark may be done.
An' when they stop exhausted, a fresh band teks ther
        place,
An' sooa for live long days an' neets they feight death
        face to face.
But when t' sixth day dawns on 'em ther task they've
        to resign,
Th' flood vanquishes these heroes then, an' victory rests
        wi' t' mine.
An' as they sadly turn away, ther cheeks wi' tears are
        weet,
Thinkin' o' th' fourscore souls 'at lie entombed beneath
        ther feet.

Yo praise yor valiant warriors, but what abeawt these
        men?
Let t' story o' ther gallant deeds be towd wi' voice an'
        pen!
They're far ahead o' thoose 'at's earned ther fame on t'
        field o' strife,
Their mission wurno' slaughterin' foes, but savin' human
        life.
Vanquished they wur in t' conflict — mooar's t' pity, be
        it sed,
They merited a victory weel for th' efforts 'at they med;
In t' pages uv eawr history, some day, shall t' tale be
        feawnd,
Heaw th' Audley miners fowt wi' death in t' surges
        undergreawnd.

Scoffers at unskilled labour — Lord Mayors, or what yo
        be ―
Pluck's still a place in t' toilers' breast ― sooa hes
        humanity;
These men 'at risked ther lives to get ther comrades
        eawt o' th' pit,
Belong to t' class at which yo throw yor insults an'
        coarse wit.
To-day ther's families desolate i' th' Audley district yon;
Ther's close on eighty corpses stretched — as yet unseen
        bi mon;
If yo'd atone for t' wrongs yo've done, lessen these poor
        folks' grief .
Bi plankin' deawn, an' handsomely, to t' fund for ther
        relief.

Yo men 'at speawt Philanthropy — yo've t' chance within
        yor reych
To set a breet example, an' to practise what yo preych;
It isno' platitudes we want, dressed up i' language fine,
But aid for thoose whose every hope lies buried deep in
        t' mine.
Prayers wilno' feed th' bereaved ones — prayers connot co'
        back th' dead —
Ther's need for summat mooar, besides, when hunger
        cries for bread;
Think o' thoose words uv Him divine ― then show yor
        charity:
"As ye have done to th' least of Mine, so have ye done
        to Me!"

To yo, mi toilin' brothers, in vain aw'st not appeal,
Oft yo've responded nobly — yo'll respond this time as
        weel;
Oppen yor pockets just once mooar — as wide as e'er yo
        con,
These poor souls munnot starve, yo know, tho' t' bread-
        winners are gone.
If it's but little yo con spare, it's nooan a fault o' t' will,
But what yo give part freely wi' — it meks t' gift sweeter
        still;
We want to see these sufferers secured fro' every need,
Sooa let's mek one grond eifort, an' we're certain to
        succeed.


January, 1895.


――――♦――――

 
ON AN OWD FOLKS' TREAT.
(Lines to it‘s Donors.)


AW'VE just heeard, wi' feelin's o' pleasure,
    O'er t' treat 'at yo gav' t' other day
To th' owd folks residin' among yo,—
    An' aw feel forced to pen yo this lay.
Yor good wark deserves recognition,
    For it's noble an' monly, aw'm sure,
To try to bring sunshine an' gladness
    To thoose 'at are aged an' poor.

It shows yo've some pity an' feelin'
    For thoose 'at's worse off than yorsels;
'At yo'll sacrifice some o' yor comforts
    To share 'em wi' somebody else.
Yo've proved 'at yo're ready an' willin'
    To give t' poor that solace they need;
God bless yo! — if kind hearts wur riches,
    Uv a truth, yo'd be wealthy indeed!

If we'd nobbut think o men wur brothers,
    An' follow th' example yo've set
Bi tryin' to do good to others,
    We should never hev cause to regret.
Ther'd be less care an' strife to contend wi', —
    We'd be a happier a lot than we are;
An' as for that Heaven we believe in —
    Well, — it wouldno' appear quite so far.

An' th' owd folks thersels — eh, God bless 'em! —
    They'd be suited, aw'll wager, an' weel;
Th' smiles o' pleasure 'at lit up ther faces
    'Ud tell mooar than tongue could reveal.
Mony a heart 'at wur burdened wi' sorrow
    'Ud be leeter, if but for a spell;
When aw think o' th' enjoyment yo've gi'en 'em —
    Aw connot but thank yo misel!

Keep on wi' t' good wark at yo've started,
    Grey hairs should command eawr respect;
They're somebody's parents, remember,
    An' shame if they suffer neglect!
They've fowten th' hard feight uv existence,
    For them t' day o' life 'll soon close;
It's eawr duty to comfort an' soothe 'em
    Till they sink to ther long last repose.

Keep on! — follow t' track yo're persuin'! —
    Ther's One lookin' on fro' aboon;
When t' reckonin' day comes He'll repay yo —
    An' it will come, we know, late or soon.
Sooa be kind to th' owd folks — treat 'em gently,
    Till ther last lap i' life's race is run,
An' yo'll hev yor reward i' th' hereafter
    When t' Monarch uv o says — "Well done!"


――――♦――――

 
A PEACE OFFERIN'.


WAR no longer wields its sway —
    Spreadin' grief an' desolation;
Peace rules in its stead to-day,
    Gladdenin' every heart i' t' nation!
Hushed is t' cannon's deadly roar,
    Silent neaw is t' mauser's rattle;
Th' Bulldog's grit prevails o'er t' Boer,
    After mony a hard-fowt battle.

East an' west, an' south, an' north —
    Th' bells fro' every spire an' steeple
Peal ther glorious message forth —
    Carryin' joy to t' breasts o' t' people.
Clash eawt, bells, on every breeze! —
    Leawder clang yor clarion voices; —
Tell eawr kindred far o'er t' seas
    Heaw ther Motherland rejoices.

"Tommy's" proved hissel a mon,
    Like his grondsires did afore him;
Th' deeds o' valour 'at he's done
    Mek us honour an' adore him.
Britain's might shall never wane,
    Let whoever will attack us;
Foes shall try ther strength in vain
    Whilst we've "Tommy's" breed to
            back us!

To eawr Colonies give praise! —
    Unto them eawr thanks we render;
In ther Mother's darkest days
    They sprung nobly to defend hur.
Far fro' t' wild Canadian snows,
    An' fro' th' arid bush "deawn under,"
On they coom, for th' Empire's cause,
    Whilst o t' world looked on in wonder.

Neaw, 'at blood hes ceased to flow,
    An' eawr conquest is completed;
Let us speyk a word for t' foe —
    Weel they fowt, altho' defeated!
They wur worthy uv eawr steel,
    An' ther pluck we'll not disparage;
For we connot help but feel
    Admiration for ther courage.

Let no bitter feelin's live —
    We're no longer foes, remember!
As we've conquered, let's forgive —
    An' strive to breeten friendship's ember.
Use no taunt to leave its sting,
    Bygone wrongs hev neaw bin righted;
Sooa, as subjects uv one King,
    Let Boer an' Briton stan' united!

Welcome, welcome, smilin' Peace!
    For thy comin' brings us gladness;
Oft we sighed for t' war to cease,
    Wi' its carnage an' its sadness.
Neaw, as t' gory conflict's o'er,
    Every jarrin' note we'll smother;
Then, in time, shall t' vanquished Boer,
    Look on t' Briton as his brother!


June 2nd, 1902.


――――♦――――

 
TO T' NEW YEAR, 1903.


WELL, what hesta browt us, like, neaw 'at tha'rt here? —
    We're feelin' quite anxious to know;
Is it good news 'at 'll gladden eawr hearts? —
    Or is it a message o' woe?
Whichever it be, here's a welcome to thee! —
    For no deawt theaw'll do t' best 'at tha con
To breeten eawr lot durin' t' time 'at tha'rt here,
    An' get a good name when tha'rt gone.

Thi feyther's gone deead, an' theaw fills up his place
    As monarch i' t' Palace o' Time;
Sooa just mek an effort to cheer t' sufferin' race,
    As up life's steep ridges they climb.
Bad trade an' dissensions we've hed long enuiff —
    We want summat diff'rent to this;
Ther's room for improvement, sooa beear it i' mind —
    An' remedy things 'at's amiss.

Let's hev no big cotton "rings" durin' thy reign,
    For they've caused enuff mischief i' t' past;
Just teych t' speculators what honesty meeans, —
    An' see 'at they howd t' lesson fast.
Th' world's comin' to summat — it is, to be sure! —
    An' things mun ha' reyched a fine pitch,
When Trade con be crippled, an' Commerce laid low,
    Just to let tuthri fella's grow rich.

An' let's hev no wars, — we con spare 'em, an' weel, —
    For it's seldom they do ony good;
O t' nations could live on together i' peace,
    If they'd nobbut do that as they should.
It's reet enuff talkin' o'er glory — but then
    Just look what it costs — precious lives!
Greyt victories con never bring gladness to t' breasts
    O' sorrowin' childer an' wives.

Ther's bin some big strikes, too, i' th' year 'at's gone by,
    An' some on 'em's nooan sattled yet;
If theaw could but end labour's disputes for aye,
    We should never be eawt o' thi debt.
Try to mek t' bond mooar close between masters an'
            men —
    Fling t' barriers between 'em aside,
An' t' tongues uv a nation shall ring wi' thi praise,
    An' ever speyk on tha wi' pride.

Nineteen Hundherd an' Two browt us grief in its train,
    An' th' Empire at large felt its sting;
For when t' Coronation wur fixed to tek place,
    Deeath's shadow wur hoverin' near t' King.
Eawr joy changed to sadness, eawr breetness to gloom, —
    Britain's loyalty truly wur shown!
But t' cleawds 'at hung o'er us rowled swiftly away,
    When we knew he wur spared to fill t' throne.

Dame Natur's bin varra unruly uv late,
    An' it's thy job to tek hur i' hand;
For hoo's spread desolation an' sorrow broadcast,
    In mony a far distant land.
Volcanic eruptions, i' th' islands o' t' West,
    Wiped hamlets an' teawns eawt bi t' scooar;
Sooa tell hur, for t' futur', to smile on monkind,
    An' show us hur tantrums no mooar.

Thi post is no sinecure — not bi a lot —
    For ther's plenty to do, tha con see;
But give us good reeason to look back wi' joy
    On th' year Nineteen Hundherd an' Three.
Throw good fortune areawnd! — let contentment
            abeawnd! —
    See 'at th' hungry ne'er want for a meal! —
Mek t' world leet an' gay, banish discord away,
    An' we'll say 'at theaw's done thi wark weel!


――――♦――――

 
Non-Dialect Songs & Poems.


A SONG OF CHEER.


WHAT'S the use of sadly sighing, or of giving way to
            grief,
    Because the clouds hang heavy overhead?
The mute companionship of tears will bring you no relief,
    For by Hope alone can Woe be comforted.
Although the skies above you may be leaden, dull, and
            grey,
    Seek solace in the knowledge that they cannot frown for
            aye,
The gloomiest of weather must give place to fair some
            day,
    And the clouds will change to sunshine by-and-bye.

What's the use of always dreading lest misfortunes
            should draw near? —
    Or of trying to espy them from afar?
For troubles that are looked on through the telescope of
            Fear,
    Are made to seem much greater than they are.
We all must face our trials as this life we journey through,
    But to live in constant trembling is a foolish thing to do,
Don't go forth to meet your sorrows, — let your sorrows
            come to you,
    And your burdens will be lighter by-and-bye.

What's the use of losing courage if, perchance, Fate
            proves unkind? —
    For he who loses heart oft loses all.
Remember that the prize is not for him who lags behind,
    But for him who presses bravely to the goal.
Should obstacles beset your path, assert your spirit then! —
    Prove yourself a man of mettle in the eyes of other men,
Persevere, like Bruce's spider, — try again, and yet again,
    And success will crown your efforts by-and-bye.

Every summer has its showers, every day must have its
            night,
    And the blackest hour is followed by the dawn.
After thorns we get the roses, after darkness comes the light,
    And the joys we deemed as fled are still our own.
So what's the use of sighing when life's skies are dull
            and grey?
    Be comforted in knowing that they cannot frown for aye,
The clouds may soon be breaking, then the gloom will
            melt away, —
    And the future will be golden by-and-bye.


――――♦――――

 
HEALEY DELL.


O, sweet to the vision is Healey's famed dell,
    With its shady retreats, and its pathways so green!
What pen can describe it? — What language can tell
    The charms and the beauties surrounding the scene?
'Tis a picture as fair as the Eden of old —
    Where mankind's first parents were tempted and fell;
Our hearts are enraptured whene'er we behold
    The rich works of nature in Healey's cool dell.

How grand to stroll there at the coming of Spring,
    When the buds and the blossoms are fresh on the
            trees!
To list to the song birds, that soar as they sing,
    And inhale the pure fragrance that comes on the
            breeze.
Our fancies, our thoughts, how delightful they are! —
    Too deep for expression, our bosoms they swell;
Life brings many pleasures, but dearest by far
    To me is a ramble through Healey's sweet dell.

When the leaves by the zephyrs at nightfall are stirred,
    And darkness is lowering upon the earth's breast,
The voice of the cuckoo may often be heard
    As he calls for the mate of his choice to his nest.
And the murmuring stream as it ripples along,
    Looks up at the daisy, and nodding blue-bell,
Which open their petals to list to its song
    That awakens their slumbers in Healey's fair dell.

When the moon sheds her rays on the old ruined mill,
    There the maiden of Shawclough roams forth with her
            swain;
And with breast beating high, in that spot calm and
            still —
    He pleads for her hand, and he pleads not in vain.
When troubles oppress me I thither repair,
    And roam o'er the scenes that I love, oh, so well!
For the Almighty's goodness is shown to me there,
    In the unrivalled beauties of famed Healey Dell.


――――♦――――

 
IN MEMORIAM.

SAMUEL LAYCOCK, (the Lancashire Poet).

"P‘rhaps thee an' me may meet again,
      An' booath shake honds i' Heaven."


ANOTHER singer from our midst has gone! —
    Another harp is silenced now for aye!
His pen is laid aside, — his task is done, —
    For Death's stern hand has beckoned him away.
Upon the air a mournful music floats —
    Slowly and sadly sounds the Poet's knell,
Awaking tender and endearing thoughts,
    Of him we loved so well!

Frail was his frame, but, oh! how great his heart! —
    'Twas ever honest, loving, and sincere;
And, oh! how hard it is that we should part! —
    His tuneful voice no more will greet the ear.
A mist of sorrow springs before our eyes,
    And down our cheeks the glistening teardrops
            roll,
Damping with grief the pall 'neath which he lies —
    Peace, peace, unto his soul!

He worshipped nature! — no man loved it more!
    By the wild sea he passed his closing days;
And as it "dashed its spray on th' pebbly shore,"
    To him it seemed to murmur songs of praise.
Its every sound was music to his ear —
    He "liked to yer it when i' gradely trim:
When pourin' eawt wi' mighty voice an' clear,
    Some grond thanksgivin' hymn!"

Sweet were his strains, and gentle was his lay,
    His homely songs could pierce the hardest breast:
On Poesy's path he dearly loved to stray,
    And robe in verse the thoughts he treasured best.
In all his work truth shone out bold and clear,
    To cheer humanity was e'er his aim;
And tho' no longer he is with us here,
    Honoured shall be his name!

Lay him down gently in the silent clay, —
    He still lives on! — "The Poet never dies!"
When the dread Trump is heard! — on that great
            day —
    His harp shall ring again beyond the skies.
Let him sleep on! — none sleep more sound than he! —
    The waves make music as they kiss the shore,
And they shall chant for him a lullaby
    For ever — evermore!


December 18th, 1893.


――――♦――――

 
HOW TROOPER BAXTER DIED.
A TALE OF BULUWAYO.


HE was only a simple Trooper! — one of Grey's Scouts —
    that's all!
But fearless to every danger, and ready at duty's call
To plunge where the fight was thickest, and enact a
    hero's part,
In the cause of his mother, England—so dear to his
    soldier-heart.

He had ridden forth with his comrades, — he had borne
    his part in the fray,
And the arid plain bore the crimson stain of the blood of
    their foes that day.
Worn out with the heat and the conflict, when the tight
    for the day was done,
He had lagged behind with his corporal while the rest of
    the troop rode on.

The two rode leisurely onward, with never a thought of
    fear,
When a savage yell, which he knew too well, burst
    quick on the Trooper's ear.
"We are trapped," he cried — surrounded, and our
    fellows are far ahead!
In our horses lie our only hope, ride on for your life!"
    he said.

Together they spurred their chargers, uncurbed by the
    bit or rein,
When suddenly from the Corporal's lips there issued a
    moan of pain:
"My God! — They have hit me, Baxter! ― My horse is
    staggering, too;
They have done for both of us, man and steed,—adieu,
    old pal, adieu!"

"What! leave you here?" said Baxter, and he spoke
    with bated breath,
"No, no, old fellow! I shall not go and leave you to
    your death!
Helpless and maimed as you are, you would fall a certain
    prey
To the cruel steel of the Matabele; no, comrade, I shall
    stay!"

Dislodging his feet from the stirrups, he leapt to the sun-
    cracked ground,
And vainly tried to stem the tide that flowed from his
    comrade's wound.
Their foes were close upon them, then the Trooper's eyes
    grew dim,
Duty demanded a sacrifice — that was enough for him.

"Corporal," said Baxter slowly, but his voice betrayed
    no fear,
"Each moment now is precious, for the foe will soon be
    here.
You're badly hit and helpless, so take my horse, old man,
And join your comrades at the front, with all the speed
    you can."

He assisted him in the saddle, then said, "Good-bye, old
    friend!
I'll try my best to follow, if I fall, 'tis a fitting end.
Remember me to the boys in front!" — then he took his
    comrade's hand,
And a moment later the gallant steed was bounding o'er
    the sand.

Making the rocks re-echo their unearthly cries and yells,
The horde surrounded Baxter, like the fiends of a
    thousand hells.
Pierced in a hundred places, he sank without a groan,
And the life of the wounded Corporal be had purchased
    with his own.

He was only a simple Trooper! — but his name, and his
    glorious deed,
Will live in our Island Story for ages unborn to read.
And seated round the winter fire — their features aglow
    with pride,
Our children's children shall tell the tale how Trooper
    Baxter died!


Ed.  ― Frank William Baxter VC (29 December 1869 – 22 April 1896)
was a Rhodesian recipient of the Victoria Cross.


――――♦――――

 
"TO THE MEMORY OF BURNS!"
A TOAST.
(Specially intended for use at Burns' gatherings on the
Poet's Birthday, January 25th.)


"TO the memory of Burns!" — fill each glass to the brim —
    And let the red wine sparkle bright!
For, oh! 'tis the love that we cherish for him
    Which has brought us together to-night!
'Tis our "ploughman bard's" birthday — Auld Scotia's
            proud boast —
    And our every thought unto him turns;
So fill once again, and let this be the toast —
    "To the Immortal Memory of Burns!"

"To the memory of Burns!" — every true Scottish heart
    Feels a thrill at the sound of his name!
We rejoice with a pride which naught else could impart,
    As our sweet Robin's worth we proclaim.
We have chanted his praises in many a strain,
    And, oh! how each fond bosom yearns
That we might have him here, as we drink once again—
    "To the Immortal Memory of Burns!"

"To the memory of Burns!" — he was Nature's own
            bard, —
    Her sweetest of singers alway;
E'en the daisy that grew on the green mountain sward,
    He held none too poor for his lay.
O, great is our Robin! — for e'en in death's sleep,
    The world's loving reverence he earns;
Once more let the toast ring! — and quaff the wine deep —
    "To the Immortal Memory of Burns!"

"To the memory of Burns!" — when we list to his songs
    In our hearts there awakes a new fire;
And when he denounces mankind's bitter wrongs,
    How thrilling the tones of his lyre!
No patriots are they whom his songs cannot move —
    Such cravens deserve but our spurns;
Drink, drink yet again, — 'tis a toast that we love —
    "To the Immortal Memory of Burns!"


――――♦――――

 
NIGHT: A REVERIE.


THE gentle zephyrs croon the dirge of day,
    The twilight fades, and all is calm and still!
    The crimson sun beyond the distant hill
Sinks like a bleeding warrior in the fray.

The queenly moon, in stately majesty,
    Ascends her throne as sovereign of the night;
    Whilst the pale stars shed forth their beams of light
Like glistening jewels in the purple sky.

O, twinkling orbs that brighten evening's hour! —
    Diffusing radiance through the gathering mists;
    Who could behold, and doubt that there exists
Some great, unseen, and Omnipotent Power?

The silent sentinels of Heaven are ye, —
    Keeping unceasingly your watch and ward;
    And none shall learn the secrets that ye guard,
Until the dawn of Immortality.

O, for a glimpse of those celestial plains! —
    O'er which ye hold your vigils constantly;
    Where soars the soul when Death has set it free,
And unpolluted bliss for ever reigns.

Ye light the paths where mortal never trod, —
    Where none but angel feet shall ever stray!
    Ye guide the pilgrim on his rugged way,
And lead the erring wanderer back to God!

Night! — peaceful night! — whose coming brings
            us rest,
    And gives to wearied Nature sweet repose;
    Rule whilst thou may, for thy brief reign shall close
When morn's bright arrows pierce thy sable breast!


――――♦――――

 
THE LOSS OF THE "DRUMMOND CASTLE."



Ed. ― S.S. Drummond Castle, Union Castle Line. Lost in poor visibility
off Ushant, June 1896. Only three of the 245 on board survived.


THE ship Drummond Castle was fast homeward steaming,
    Marking her track with a white line of foam;
Joy on each countenance brightly was beaming,
    For but a few hours lay betwixt them and home.
With never a thought of disaster or sorrow,
    They pictured the greetings awaiting on shore;
Little they dreamt that the sun on the morrow,
    Would shine on a world that would know them no
            more.

The mantle of darkness had long gathered o'er them,
    When loud cries of agony pierced the still air!
For the vessel had struck, and no hope lay before them —
    Each face wore the pallor of helpless despair.
Who shall describe that wild scene of commotion,
        As those awful moments sped swiftly away?
A lurch, and a plunge! — and the pitiless ocean
    Engulfed them beneath its dark waters for aye!

Down in the depths of its bosom they slumber, —
    Their rest undisturbed by the wild shrieking gale;
Of all on that vessel, but three of their number
    Were living at daybreak to tell the sad tale.
For brave souls departed bereaved ones are weeping,
    But vainly alas! are their loving tears shed;
The deep sea will hold them secure in its keeping,
    Till, at the last day, it shall give up its dead.


――――♦――――

 
IN MEMORIAM

HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA.
Born May 24th, 1819. Died January 22nd, 1901.
 

"May children of our children say:
 'She wrought her people lasting good.'"

— Tennysan.

 

BRITANNIA weeps! — Our Empress-Queen is dead! —
    A people's heart is stricken sore to-day!
In silent grief the Empire bows its head —
    For she, whom all revered, has passed away.
The standard o'er the palace floats half-mast,
    Sorrow is ours: the longest reign is o'er !
The hour we dreaded has arrived at last —
    Victoria is no more!

"The Queen is dead!" — Swift speeds the message
            forth,
    And carries sadness with it as it flies;
'Tis flashed from east to west, from south to north —
    And tears unbidden dim the nation's eyes.
The signs of woe are seen on every hand,
    Our anguish is too deep for words to tell;
For three score years and three she ruled the land —
    And ever ruled it well!

Her life was gentle, virtuous, noble, pure! —
    Slander's foul tongue could ne'er assail her name;
Beneath her guidance Britain felt secure,
    And Britain's welfare was her constant aim.
The ship of state she piloted with skill,
    Nor ever faltered when she took the helm;
But she has gone! — 'Tis the Almighty's will —
    And sadness fills the realm!

She loved her subjects with a love sincere, —
    Ah! ne'er was ruler half so good as she!
To grief's appeal she never closed her ear,
    But gave to all her aid and sympathy.
The people's joys and sorrows were her own —
    Her heart was ever with them in all things;
A Queen of queens! — she quits her earthly throne
    To meet the King of kings!

Farewell! a long farewell, belovιd Queen!
    On history's page thy name shall stand alone —
The best-loved monarch earth has ever seen,
    The sweetest soul that ever graced a throne!
Rest on! rest on! — peace, endless peace is thine! —
    An earthly crown no longer is for thee;
But on thy brow a brighter one shall shine
    Through all eternity!


January 23rd, 1901.


――――♦――――

 
IF SORROW WERE A CAPTIVE.


IF Sorrow were a captive
    Committed to my care,
I'd thrust him in a dungeon strong,
    And lock him safely there.
Then, in some fiery furnace,
    I'd melt his prison-key
That none might rob me of it,
    To give him liberty.
Oh, if Sorrow were my captive,
    No more he'd wander free!

If wealth could buy contentment,—
    And the world belonged to me,
I'd give to each an equal share,
    Whate'er their lot might be.
The waif should be as happy
    As the prince of noble line;
Rank envy should be banished,
    And none should e'er repine
If wealth could buy contentment,
    And all the world was mine!

If Heaven were only nearer,
    That we might peep within,
Mankind would surely change its
            ways,
    And flee the paths of sin.
To the needy and afflicted,
    Prompt succour would be given;
And rich and poor together
    The joys of earth would leaven,
If Heaven were only nearer,
    And we were nearer Heaven!


――――♦――――

 
THE GIPSY'S PROPHECY.

(From the Author's Drama, "Beneath Dark Skies.")


WHEN the second son of a second son,
                Shall Squire of Carleton be, —
Smoothly the course of his life shall run,
Till his years have numbered three score and one, —
                Then shall his gladness flee!
And for one whole year, and part of a year,
His life shall be joyless, and sad, and drear,
And his cheeks shall be wet with many a tear!
For his only son, a soldier brave,
Shall be called away o'er the rolling wave,
And be mourned for as dead, but shall come from the
            grave!

Great rejoicings shall there be,
                At the living-dead's return!
But laughing eyes, that sparkle with glee,
And hearts o'erflowing with jollity,
                Shall soon have cause to mourn!
For the Squire of Carleton, honoured and grey,
Before the close of a second day,
Shall be but a mass of lifeless clay!
And the son, who fought death in a far-off clime,
Shall be charged with a foul and terrible crime,
And his life be endangered a second time!

The ill-starred heir, in a prison grim,
                Shall wait for the hangman's rope.
But a murderer's fate is not for him,
They will let him live — and feeble and dim
                Shall flicker the lamp of hope!
Beneath dark skies shall his days be passed,
But villainy's end approaches fast,
And a cruel wrong shall be righted at last!
For after a time of bitter pain,
His name shall be cleared from every stain,
And the heir shall come to his own again!


――――♦――――

 
STANZAS.
ON THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT MCKINLEY.

WILLIAM MCKINLEY
25th President of the USA
January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901.
Assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.

 


"His life was gentle; and the elements
 So mixed in him, that nature might stand up,
 And say to all the world — 'This was a Man!'"

— Shakespeare.


AFFLICTION'S tempest rends Columbia's breast! —
    Oppressed with agonizing grief is she!
To the bereaved Republic of the West,
    The whole world sends its loving sympathy.
The Stars and Stripes droop half-mast everywhere,
    And swift, from lip to lip, the news is spread
That fills a nation's heart with deep despair:—
                    "The President is dead!"

The idol of his countrymen was he!
    For in their service his best years were spent.
His genius helped to mould the destiny,
    And shape the course of half a continent.
His earnestness enabled him to rise,
    And fill the highest place in all the land;
But now, alas! — stretched cold in death he lies
                    By Anarchy's foul hand!

His record and his name were spotless white! —
    Truth was his watchword! — Honour was his guide! —
The foe of Wrong, he battled for the Right,
    And ever took his stand upon her side.
The world pays homage at his bier to-day,
    For none was greater reverence ever shown:
Anarchy's vultures marked him as their prey —
                    Let blood for blood atone!

Shall nations tolerate these pests of earth,
    A who flourish in their midst like evil weeds?
Shall justice quake, whilst this vile scum gives birth
    To murderous doctrines and revolting deeds?
Shall thrones be emptied? — Shall our statesmen bleed
    Because they have the courage to be just?
No! — Down with all who preach so base a creed —
                    Trample them in the dust!

Farewell, thou noble martyr! — fare thee well! —
    Thy nation's eyes, misty with sorrow's dew,
Proclaim more eloquent than tongue could tell,
    A people's anguish for a patriot true!
The cares of state no longer trouble thee —
    Bliss reigns supreme on high where thou art gone!
Thy last faint words are earth's sweet legacy: —
                    "God's will, not ours, be done!"


September 16th, 1901.


――――♦――――

 
MAID OF LODORE.
(Song for Music.)


MAID OF LODORE, 'tis long years since we met!
But oft, in my fancy, I gaze on thee yet;
And I picture in dreams the bright days that are fled,
When the light of thy love o'er my pathway was shed.
My lode-star of joy and existence wert thou! —
As I looked on thee then, so I think of thee now;
And the chords of my heart wake responsive once more,
As memory recalls thee — sweet maid of Lodore!

Maid of Lodore, by the moaning cascade
Have we lingered, full oft, whilst its dark waters played;
And as thy warm cheek nestled closer to mine,
My being was thrilled with a rapture divine!
When night's gentle breezes blew soft from the west —
And the sun behind Skiddaw sank slowly to rest;
In bliss would we wander on Derwent's fair shore,
To breathe love's old story, sweet maid of Lodore!

Maid of Lodore, for thy glances I yearn! —
And I sigh, but in vain, for those days to return
When we roamed o'er Helvellyn, and lofty Scawfell,
Whilst our eyes spoke the gladness our hearts knew so
            well.
I thought thee my own, but it was not to be,
And now bleak and joyless is life unto me;
For those meetings ecstatic earth cannot restore —
We have parted for ever, sweet maid of Lodore!


――――♦――――

 
NORCLIFFE WOOD, STYAL.


NE'ER, since Creation's dawn, did mortal eyes
    Drink in the joys of a more beauteous scene!
Thou art, in truth, an earthly paradise! —
    Of all fair spots the veritable Queen!
Thy sylvan glades, — thy wild, romantic glens, —
    Thy murmuring streams that ever onward flow,
Bring power and inspiration to the pens
    Of those whose breasts are fired with poesy's glow.
Oh! ne'er, whilst life remains, can I forget
    Thy splendours so majestic, and so grand!
In my mind's vision I behold thee yet —
    Recalling childhood's dreams of Fairyland.
To Norcliffe Wood my thoughts will often stray,
And its sweet charms live in my heart for aye!


――――♦――――

 
A CORONATION ODE.


SOVEREIGN lord of the Empire! — King of our Isle of the
        Sea! —
The eyes of thy countless subjects to-day are turned on
        thee —
On thee and thy Royal Consort, who with thee shares
        the throne.
Within her veins flows the blood of the Danes, but her
        love is ours alone.
List to the drums' loud beating! — List to the trumpets'
        blare! —
List to the sounds of rejoicing that rise on the balmy
        air!
Banished is care and sadness, gaily the joy-bells ring,
In every heart reigns gladness at the crowning of thee—
        our King!

Great son of a greater mother! — a heritage vast is thine!
On thy dominions the sun ne'er sets, but ever and aye
        doth shine.
Thy sphere of rule is boundless — it stretches across the
        seas,
Away to the Land of the Maple, and the far Antipodes.
No single point of the compass, but thy flag is flying
        there;
In north and south, in the torrid zone — it flutters
        everywhere!
From the towering minarets of the east, to the wigwams
        of the west,
Thou wieldest sway o'er millions who obey thy least
        behest.

Remember that those of thy subjects who dwell o'er the
        rolling foam,
Are as staunch in their allegiance as those in our island-
        home;
They have proved both ready and willing to take up the
        Empire's cause,
And have shed their life-blood freely in battle against its
        foes.
Nobly they came to the rescue! — and wherever our
        flag is unfurled
We have kinsmen ready to answer the call, and show
        unto all the world,
That those who would seek our downfall, and wrest from
        us pride of place,
Must fight and vanquish, not Britain alone, but the
        whole of her dauntless race!

The sons of the Mother-country, who cling to their
        native shore,
Are made of the stuff their fathers were, in the bygone
        days of yore;
With the self-same warrior spirit, and the bulldog
        courage, too,
That won our battles on Crecy's plains, at Blenheim, and
        Waterloo.
No quarrel is of their seeking; no malice lives in their
        hearts;
But, once aroused to action, right well do they play
        their parts!
When danger threatens the dear old flag, to arms they
        eagerly spring —
Ready to fight for England! — Ready to die for their
        King!

Many and great are the burdens of him who fills a
        throne!
Our prestige is in thy keeping, so guard it as thy own;
Keep thou its honour unsullied, preserve its spotless
        fame,
That those who come hereafter may have cause to revere
        thy name.
Light up the land with learning, bid strife and discord
        cease;
Encourage the march of Progress, and foster the arts of
        Peace!
Follow the golden footsteps of her who has gone before,
And the hearts of a grateful people shall bless thee
        evermore.

Seventh of the line of Edwards! — and noblest of all the
        seven —
Our love and our allegiance to thee is freely given!
The charge of a mighty Empire is handed unto thee,
And we feel thou wilt guide us safely, hard though thy
        task may be.
Gladly thy subjects hail thee as ruler of the realm;
With shouts of acclamation they see thee take the helm!
Through the lips of thy loyal millions this prayer is
        passed between: —
"Long live our new-crowned Monarch! — God save the
        King and Queen!"


August 9th, 1902.


――――♦――――



Ormerod Bros., Printers, Blackwater Street, Rochdale.

 



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