Homely Rhymes and Poems (4)
Home Up Biographical Autobiography Walks Tim Bobbin Glossary Literary Reviews etc. Site Search Main Index



[Glossary of Lancashire dialect]


HA! han they ta'en our cap and flag?
    Whot! han the Dandies ta'en 'em?
An' did Reformers' courage lag,
    An' could they not regain 'em?
An.' did the Gentles ride so gay,
    Wi' Birch and Loyd afore 'em,
To sweep the "Gruntin herd" away,
    Or bravely gallop o'er 'em?

O! whot could ston' afore the might 
    O' Yeomanry so loyal?
Who coom to drive the "herd" aright,
    An' would ha' no denial;
Until the stones began to fly,
    An' yeds began a crackin',
An' then the Gallant Yeomanry
    Wurn fain to find a backin'. 

But furst coom Birch, the deputy,
    Our cap and flag demandin';
I'faith, afore he'd said his say,
    The lubber lost his standin'!
For up there step'd a lusty lad,
    An' knock'd his shanks fro' under;
An' laid his shoon into his ribs,
    Which made him gasp an' wonder. 

An' then came one o' Nadin's cubs,
    An' he essay'd to take it;
But Mister Bang y geet his dubs,
    Which made him soon forsake it,
For Saxton blun'd his thievin' e'e,
    An' gan' his jaw a welter,
Which made "right about" to flee
    As fast as he could skelter.

Then amblin' up the "Gemmen" came
    Towards the front o'th' hustin';
But soon their folly did they blame,
    The "rabblement" for trustin';
For sticks wurn up, an' stones they flew,
    Their gentle bodies bruisin',
And in a hurry they withdrew
    Fro' sitch unmannert usin'.

Then preawdly let our banner wave,
    Wi' freedom's emblem o'er it,
And toasted be the Stopport lads,
    The lads who bravely bore it.
An' let the "war-worn" Yeomanry
    Go curse their sad disasters,
An' count, in rueful agony,
    Their bruises an' their plasters.




YE bards of Britain, strike the lyre,
    And sing the happy Union;
In strains of patriotic fire,
    O sing the happy Union.
Not distant is the welcome day,
When woe, and want, and tyranny,
Shall from our isle be swept away.
The grand epoch of Liberty
        Awaits a faithful Union.

O worthy is the glorious cause,
    Ye patriots of the Union;
Our fathers' rights, our fathers' laws,
    Await a constant Union.
A crouching dastard sure is he
Who would not strike for liberty,
And die to set old England free
From all her load of tyranny:
        Up, brave men of the Union. 

Our little ones shall learn to bless
    Their fathers of the Union;
And every mother shall caress
    Her hero of the Union.
Our plains with plenty shall be crown'd—
The sword shall till the fruitful ground—
The spear shall prune our trees around—
And joy shall everywhere abound,
        To bless a faithful Union. 

Then Britain's Prince shall truly reign,
    His subjects will defend him;
And free from loath'd corruption's train,
    Bright honour shall attend him;
Whilst foreign despots ever more
Shall venerate our Albion's shore;
And war, with all its crime and gore,
Forgotten and for ever o'er,
        Shall crown a nation's Union.




TUNE,—"London, fare thee well."

ADIEU to the Alehouse, where pounds I have spent,
For drinkin' and smokin' bring little content,
    Where laughin' an' grinnin',
    An' bettin' an' winnin',
    Cause sorrowful sinnin',
    The roar and the rant,
A better beginnin' is now my intent.

Adieu to the fiddle, the dance, an' the song,
To the lads an' the lasses I've trip't it among,
    Adieu unto Johnny,
    Who dances so bonny,
    The tightest of ony;
    Yon flag it can tell*
The weight of his steps, an' he timeth them well. 

Adieu to the glance of the love-lookin' e'e,
To the lip that is sweet as the mel of the bee;
    The waist that is charmin'
    The movement so warmin',
    The purpose disarmin',
    Of mortals like me;
An' prudence alarmin' commands me to flee.

Adieu to the lads, who are dons in the fray,
I've borne their sore bruises for mony a day;
    There's Darby an' Dobbin',
    Mad Ab au' Rough Robin',
    For kickin' or nobin'
    Do carry the bay,
There's no country gobbin can bear it away.

Farewell to the lads who love frolic an' fun,
An' gayly support it when once 'tis begun;
    There's Dick, Ned, an' Simon,
    True lovers of joy, mon,
    I ne'er found them coy, mon,
    At fuddle or spree;
The tear an' the sigh, mon, before 'em will flee.

Farewell to the Doctor, whose wit is as bright
As the glim of the glow-worm on grey Summer's night;
    His cordial, delicious,
    His green peas for issues,
    Pills, plasters, and washes,
    Are flitted to Lees,
The sick of the village to free from disease.

"The Gentleman's" company I must refrain,
Although the denial may cost me much pain;
    He singeth so sweetly,
    He diddles so neatly,
    With snuff he will treat ye,
    Ay, "honour" he will;
The toper of topers is "Gentleman Sprill."

So now to my own little nook I'll retire,
I'll bar out the storm, an' I'll trim up the fire,
    This witchery breakin',
    All folly forsakin',
    To study betakin',
    My mind to improve;
My muse ever wakin' to freedom an' love.

*At the Suffield's Arms, in Middleton, a flag is shown broken
by the dancing of Johnny Ogden, supposed at that time to be
the best dancer in Lancashire.





FAIR is the prospect to my view,
    Altho' it be confin'd!
But O! 'tis nothing like the scenes
    Which I have left behind.

Yon eminence but shews a farm
    With trees thick scatter'd round;
My hills rip out the rushin storm,
    And by the clouds are crown'd.

And peaceful seems you group of cots,
    With chimnies painted white,
But there is one, though far away,
    More pleasing to my sight.

And Colwich bells must sweeter ring,
    Before they ring as sweet
As those which o'er Saint Leonard's hang,
    The Sunday folks to greet.

And Trent, too, loiters by the way,
    As journeying to the main;
My streams rush onward rapidly,
    The briny gulph to gain.

O there is something wanting here,
    Which cannot be supplied,
Save on those hills for ever dear,
    Where once I did reside.





TUNE -"Croppies rise Up."

I HAIL thee, because in the day of our danger,
    When tyrants conspired to keep liberty down,
Thou turn'd not, thou shrank not, to terror a stranger,
    Thou dared each threat, thou defied each frown.
A s the oak of thy own native island unbending,
    No storm could uplift thee, firm rooted in right;
Unworn and unwearied, for freedom contending,
    How dreaded the host of oppressors thy might.

Thou raisedst thy voice, and the people awaking,
    Beheld the foul source of corruption display'd; *
And loyal stupidity quickly forsaking,
    They found themselves plundered, oppress'd and 
Then, loud as the storm, in its fury outrushing,
    The shout of the thousands, for freedom arose;
And liberty only can soothe them to hushing,
    And liberty only shall lull to repose.

We saw the fell spy on thy footsteps attending,
    By vengeance-doom'd villains cheer'd on to his prey;
That Sidmouth, that Canning, the lurcher commending,
    And the blood-lapping daemon, the dire Castlereagh.
O! how thy enemies round thee were lying,
    All yearning and longing thy life to betray;
But, the foul ambuscade timely descrying,
    Thou scaped their tangle of black treachery.

Then, thrice art thou welcome—here brave men will
                meet thee;
    The heart-lads of England, the core of the core, 
Thy friends, and thy brothers, will ev'rywhere greet 
    For patriots are brethren dear, all the world o'er. 
Oh! here's not a hand but could strike down a foeman 
    And here's not a heart that would shrink from the 
All steady and ready, mechanic and yeomen,
    The traitors may tremble, the tyrants take heed.

* Certainly more due to the writings of William Cobbett.




THE winter wind is blowing,
    With mournful sigh, o'er moor and dale;
The mountain stream is flowing,
    With torrent rush, adown the vale,
            So dreary, and weary,
        The bird doth seek the leafless grove,
            Which once run g as he sung,
        In am'rous strain, his tale of love:
Now all is gloomy, dark and drear,
    And nature mourns the summer o'er;
Bright Phoebus soon the scene will cheer,
    But joy and love are mine no more.

No damsel e'er was fairer
    Than her for whom in vain I mourn;
The beauteous, sweet ensnarer,
    Bright as the gem from India borne:
Enchanting, nought wanting
        To rivet fast the bonds of love;
            Enchained and pained,
        The horrors of despair I prove: 
And ah!   I nothing can bestow,
    Save my poor heart that's wounded sore;
And she her proud disdain doth show,
    And joy and love are mine no more.





        O HERE is no repining,
    Every heart is true and steady;
        Here is no declining,
    Still for England's service ready;
        Here is not a tear shed
    Such a weakness we disdain it;
        Here is not a bowed head,
    Sign of sorrow, we refrain it;
The more the bloody tyrants bind us,
The more united they shall find us.

        The Patriot on his cell-bed,
    Can sleep an undisturbed sleep;
        The Pander on his hell-bed
    Kay curse, and groan, and madly weep,
        When daylight dimly breaketh
    In stony cell, through bars on high,
        And innocence awaketh,
    It looketh with a thankful eye.
Though Justice dash her scales away,
Shall murder fearless front the day?




YE lovers of nature attend unto me,
I'll sing you a ditty concerning the Bee;
The noblest of insects for industry,
And well worth a song I am sure is the Bee.

When Sol darts his beams over meadow and moor,
The Bee, ever active, exploreth each flower,
Returns home with honey to lay up in store,
To serve him when winter around him doth roar.

And when the rude storm overshadows the sky,
And abroad to the flowers he no longer can fly:
Still, seeking employment, he works in the hive,
In building, or keeping the young ones alive.

Ye Sovereigns of Europe, in Congress that sit,
This poor little insect would learn you some wit:
Here, rul'd without soldiers, the masses you see;
O, learn then to govern as governs the Bee.




FAREWELL, my native dells and bowers,
Farewell ye fragrant scented flowers;
No more your dewy tints I twine,
My love to deck- with garland fine;
Farewell ye rindles gushing clear,
Where often I have met my dear;
I now must bid a long adieu,
To the greenwood shady bowers and you.

Farewell, ye honey-winged gales,
Farewell, ye sloping hills and dales;
Ye waving woods that sweep the sky,
Ye daisy'd meads that lowly lie;
No more to pluck your sweets I rove,
My fond arm lock'd around my love;
I now must bid a long adieu,
To shady greenwood bowers and you.

And, O farewell, thou heart-lov'd dear,
Wipe from thy cheek that pearly tear;
I now must bid a long adieu,
To scenes of happiness and you;
No more transported shall I sip,
The nectar of thy rosy lip;
But still my constant heart shall stay
With thee when I am far away.




MY true-lover told me, when he went away,
    (For hard fortune did part us in twain),
He would pour his complaints to the moon's silver ray,
    When it gilded the wide tented plain.
Then, rise up, O moon! he will whisper to thee,
And thou wilt convey my love's sorrows to me.

Methinks, when I hear the wild winds whistle by,
    Comes mingled my love's mourning strain;
That they bring from afar a sweet kiss or a sigh,
    As slowly they sweep o'er the plain.
Blow softly, ye gales, if ye faithful would prove,
And bring me a kiss or a sigh from my love.




WHEN flattering fortune promis'd kind,
That she a store of gold would find,
Would I her intimations mind—
                        Then every day
Acquaintance came with greetings kind
                        Respects to pay.

How grateful did my bosom feel.
They took such interest in my weal,
Their open, candid, ardent zeal
                        Did me insure—
That their professions must be real,
                        Their friendship pure.

Sure ne'er was man more bless'd than I,
Oft in a transport would I cry
A wife belov'd for company,
                        And one sweet chuck,
My little Ann, my darling joy,
                        My dearest duck.

So smiles the morn in April gay!
So blooms the flower in lovely May!
But, ah! before the close of day
                        Rude storms arise:
The rattling hail doth fiercely play,
                        And low it lies.

This blessed calm, how soon it past—
Then came adversity's keen blast;
O'erturn'd—and to the ground were cast—
                        My foolish schemes!
Strewn like the leaves o'er winter's waste
                        My idle dreams.




ON Mount St. John's too dearly purchas'd day,
When broken Gallia fled the bloody fray;
And he, the mighty chief that's now afar,
Reluctant left the frightful wreck of war;
Whilst England's hardy sons to victory bore,
O'er hills of slain, through floods of smoking gore.
And vengeful Prussia, scatt'ring death around,
Cut many a gallant hero to the ground.
On that great day, sore wounded on the plain,
Bleeding to death, and mingled with the slain;
A poor dragoon slow rais'd his drooping head,
And thus in dying accents faintly said:
"Farewell, dear England's peaceful, happy shore!
For I, alas! must visit thee no more.
Farewell, ye dearer ties that my fond heart
Hath vainly cherish'd, thus at last to part.
My mother, brother, sister unto you
I bid a long, and ah! a last adieu.
And ye to whom my tenderest cares extend,
My wife, my children, mighty God defend.
O watch them with a father's tender care!
Supply their wants and guard them from each snare.
Alas! how little do they think that I
To-day on this dark bloody plain do lie:
Am glad to pillow my poor weary head,
On mangled corse of gallant comrade dead.
O! will my wedded love remember me,
Amid the world and all its vanity?
Embalm my name in many a heart-sprung tear,
And in her bosom hold my memory dear;
Or, will she thoughtless join the giddy throng,
Promote the laugh, and listen to the song?
Dark thought! that deeper wounds my parting soul,
Than death triumphing in the battle's howl.
Away, away, I sigh thee to the wind;
My Mary's heart can never be unkind.
That mournful night, that agonising day,
I tore myself from all that's dear away.
O! what a weight lay on my bursting heart,
Though I in hopes of sweet return did part.
Delusive hopes, that lured me away,
My carcase upon Flander's plain to lay.
Ah, me! I feel warm gushing from my side,
The reeking stream of life's dark crimson tide."
The dying warrior ope'd his dimned eye,
His soul addressing unto Him on high.
Wav'd his bright helm, his slaughter'd comrades o'er,
And, fainting, sunk upon his bed of gore!




WOULD ye view a bonny lass,
That all others doth surpass,
Come with me and take a glass,
    And look at lovely Mary;
Dare ye venture near a snare,
A nymph seducing, syren fair,
Eyes of jet and raven hair;
    This is lovely Mary.

Rubies on her lips are seen,
Pearly white, her teeth between,
O! she is a very queen,
    Soul-subduing Mary:
Music in her voice doth flow,
Bosom white as mountain snow,
Further charms I dare not know,
    Lest I die for Mary.

Smileth she, it is a smile
All my woe away to wile;
Can I think of care and toil,
    When before my Mary:
Angel sent from heaven high,
Venus in her majesty,
Beauty, love, and purity,
    Is my charming Mary.

Flowers may wave in meadow sheen,
Birds may sing in woodlands green,
How imperfect is the scene
    If without my Mary:
Life, and love, and all to me,
Genius of my destiny,
Shall I live, and not for thee?
    Never, dearest Mary.





TUNE—" Falmouth" -
1st vol. Harrison's Collection.

GREAT God! who did of old inspire 
    The patriot's ardent heart,
And fill'd him with a warm desire
    To die, or do his part.
O let our shouts be heard by thee,
Genius great of liberty.

Here 'fore creation's million worlds,
    Our wrongs we do proclaim,
And when thy banner thou unfurls,
    We will redress the same.
Triumph ever waits on thee
God of love and liberty.

When fell oppression o'er the land,
    Hung like a darksome day;
And crush'd beneath a tyrant's hand
    A groaning people lay;
The patriot band, impell'd by thee,*
Nobly strove for Liberty.

And, shall we tamely now forego
    The rights for which they bled!
And crouch beneath a minion's blow,
    And basely bow the head?
Ah! no—it cannot, cannot be;
Death for us, or Liberty.


Behold! yon midnight dark divan,
    The plunderers of our right,
Fell sorcerers, mustering ev'ry ban
    Our happiness to blight;
Why lingers yet the nation's ire,
Why bursteth not the flood of fire?

The dungeon door hath opened wide,
    Its victims to immure;
And blood hath yonder scaffold dyed,
    Betray'd by hellish lure.
O Justice, why so long delay,
To bare thy sword of equity?

Have we not heard the infant cry,
    And mark'd its mother's tear;
That look which told us mournfully,
    That woe and want were there.
And shall they ever weep again?
And shall their pleadings be in vain?

By the dear blood of Hampden shed,
    In freedom's noble strife,
By gallant Sydney's gory head,
    By all that's dear to life,
They shall not supplicate in vain!
No longer will we bear the chain!

Souls of our mighty sires, behold,
    This band of brothers join,
O never, never be it told,
    That we disgrace your line
If England wills the glorious deed,
We'll have another Runnimede.

* Hampden and his compatriots.




MY daisy sweet is drooping,
    Alone upon the lee;
A frost there came in evil hour
    And nipt it cruelly.

But when the winter's over
    I'll back return to thee,
And thou shalt rise and smile again
    In beauty on the lee.

And lest the winds of heaven
    Too rudely on thee blow,
Within a secret bower of mine
    In safety shalt thou grow.

And there I'll gaze upon thee
    With an adoring eye;
And sprinkle thee, my bonny flower,
    With gushing tears of joy.

And when the sun no longer
    Doth cheer thee from above,
I'll warm thee, as thou fadest away,
    With sighs of endless love.




HAIL! to the lady fair,
    In innocence, who came

And turned with scorn from the proffer'd snare,

The barter of her fame—
                                My boys!
The barter of her fame.

Where is now that threat,
    So cowardly—so mean—

Wherewith this lady they beset—

Our persecuted Queen.

Hail! to our lady brave,
    Whom I have sung before—

She may laugh at the fool and defy the knave,

Their power can harm no more.

And he may shed his tears,
    Who tears at will can shed,

Whilst the blood doth boil in his hollow heart,

Like the fiery lava, red.

And they who sit in lawn,
    From human passion free,

They will turn and pray most fervently

For "Her Sacred Majesty." 

For there they wait with bell,
    And there they wait with book—

"Keeping an eye on the corporal,"

To catch a word or a look.

The sinner may fall to hell,
    The saint may 'scape to heaven,

But without a nod from "the corporal"

Not a word of grace is given. 

And he may doff his gown,
    Who slandered for pay,

And he may either hang or drown,

For "the dog hath had his day."

Then fill the sparkling glass,
    I would if I were free,*

To every lad and to every lass

That would bear me company,

And holding it on high,
    I'd toast that heroine,

Who hath beaten her foes so gallantly—

Triumphant Caroline,
                                My boys!
Triumphant Caroline.

* This poem was written when the author
  was a prisoner in Lincoln Castle.






    BARD, whose eye the tear hath shed,
And whose heart hath sorrow tasted,
    O'er whose soul hath anger sped,
Fierce as lightning ever blasted.
    Anger, raging wild and high,
For a people basely bowed
    To degrading slavery,
Such as Turk hath not avowed.
    Turn thy passion's tide away,
Why should fruitless tears be given,
    Let the ruin have its day,
Burstling like the storm of heaven.
    There are times when hearts may burn,
Sorrow too will have its season,
    Mortals cannot always mourn,
Wrath should ever be in reason;
    Come then to the fields away,
Buds and flowers are growing yonder,
    O, awake thy rural lay,
Wild and fanciful to wander.
    Palace proud, or lordly hall,
Peace doth seldom make her dwelling,
    Far she leaves the midnight ball,
And the banquet's gay revelling:
    Come unto yon cottage nigh,
See how rural and enchanting,
    Lived feats of witchery,
Scenery would not be wanting.


    Now is fled the frozen spell;
Muse, I rise at thy command,
    Brighter scene to picture well,
Than was known in fairy land,
Woven thickets, woodlands grand,
    Where the ouzle softly sings,
Whilst the cooling zephyr bland,
    Sigheth through her downy wings
    And the summer poesy springs.


Now the lonely cot doth rise
To salute my wondering eyes;
With its clasping ivy green,
And windows peeping out between
Thatched roof, which speaks a guest
Only wishing to be blest
As the good deserve to be,
In time, and in eternity.

    Growing strong and towering high,
Forests stretch towards the sky
Where the dove her nest hath found,
Where is heard the throstle's sound,
And the pheasant cock doth crow,
With his crest of golden glow,
Flashing wide a stream of light,
From his pinion burning bright,

    Low the darksome waters lie,
Which the mossy rills supply,
And the bowers are waving gay,
Deck'd with leaves by blooming May;
Witching goddess, looking sly,
With her love entangling eye,
Painting every flower anew,
Dipping garlands gay in dew,
Giving, as she steps along,
Laughter, love, and rural song.

    Braided is the fragrant rose,
There the pink odorous grows,
And the violet, lovely show,
Blushing in its radiant glow,
Whilst is seen the silver broom,
Flowery heather, too, hath room,
And the tiger-lilies pride,
Rhododendron bends beside,
And the virgin-bower hath stray'd
O'er the rural form'd arcade,
Cooling seat, where breezes sing,
To the harp's melodious string;
Sounds combining, which might be,
Murmur of heavenly minstrelsy.

    There the juniper is seen,
Clad in foliage ever green;
And the laurel, and the bay,
Ancient meed of poetry.
And the pebbles, white as snow,
Placed in a tasteful row,
Where the various mosses creep,
Where the mountain plants do peep,
Ranged all in order due,
Give a strangely pleasing view, 

    Fancy there hath formed her seat,
Genius renders it complete,
But, 'tis goodness which hath given.
An air serene as that of heaven.
Widows there forget to sigh,
There is hush'd the orphan's cry;
Cloth'd the naked wretch, and fed
Him who hungereth for bread;
This the grateful poor express
With a tear of thankfulness.

O my God, whate'er betide

England in her darkest hour;

Famine wan, or ravage wide,

Bless the lady of this bower,
Guard her in the trial hour.





I sing of a doctor—a doctor I sing;
God send such a doctor to every bad king;
For this is a quack of superlative skill,—
If he cannot cure, he can certainly kill.

God send such a doctor to Sawney the Russ,
God send such a doctor to Frederick the Pruss,
To Ferdi, and Francis, and Louis the lame,
There's another besides,—need I mention his name?





THEY came at night, and did surround
    My humble dwelling whilst I slept—
And I awoke, and heard a sound
    Of feet, as if they softly crept;
    And then a firmer foot there stept;
And then I heard a number more,
    As if a marching pace they kept—
I guess'd there might be a score,
And then they knock'd at my door.

"Awake, my love," I softly said—
    "Awake! the enemy is near;
"Come, kiss me—do not be afraid,
    "A wife of mine should never fear—
    "Arise, and dress yourself, my dear:
"These fellows do not brook delays,
    "Here is your petticoat, and here
"Your bed-gown, handkerchief, and stays—
"For me, love, I can 'bide their gaze."

"Open the door," a ruffian cried
    "Open, or I will break it down;"
"Break and be damn'd," I straight replied,
    But I should not have sworn, I own,
    Besides, 'tis out of fashion grown;
"Until I find my clogs or shoes,
    "For all the butchers of your town,"
That bar of mine I will not loose,
"So break away, sir, if you choose."

And so we huddled on our clothes—
    And, as I fumbled about,
The ruffian swore a thousand oaths—
    (Joey can turn some rare ones out)—
And when, at length, the door I sought,
    And took my trusty bar away,
There was a staggering, methought,
    Amongst the police gentry,
    Which seemed rather cowardly.

But in they came—a mighty rout
    Of thief-catchers and soldiers brave,
(Our British red-coats ever ought
    A gallant character to have—
    You know they did the country save,
And our religion, and our right);
    The very dogs of war, who gave
The troops of France so keen a bite,
When they at Waterloo did fight.

And Joey rummagad every drawer,
    And every box within his ken:
Bless us, thought I, what mighty power
    The Lord hath given to some men;
    And whilst he scratched like a hen,
What should a sinner do like me,
    But mutter, piously, amen!
And bend me low and reverently,
For "God ordains the powers that be." 

Yes, that is what I should have done—
    But, ah! how prone to err are we,
For with contempt I looked upon
    Joey and his authority,
    Whilst, coolly and deliberately,
Papers he packed up, and books—
    And then a smile he cast on me,
And one of those sardonic looks,
Which hell grins in her darkest nooks.

He found some Cobbetts—and, what's more,
    A weaver's tie-up, and a draught—
(And as he wisely conn'd them o'er,
    He shook his head, and then I laugh'd)
    A sugar cane, perhaps for shaft
Of pike, the cavalry to gore—
    A book about the weaving craft,
A pair of breeches, torn before,
And Statesman newspapers a score.

A stocking, and a cloven clog,
    A pair of shoes the worse for wear;
The kennel, in which lay my dog
    But Joey never groped there,
    Poor Mora would have bit the bear:
A spoon, a platter, and a knife,
    Some articles of crockery ware,
Though they were not so very rife,
A cap belonging to my wife.

And now for what he did not find—
    He found no beef, he found no beer,
No crumb of bread of any kind,
    No coffee, tea, or sugar near,
    No crusted wines, the soul to cheer,
No brandy, rum, nor any gin,
    So that there was but little fear,
Of me betaking to that sin
Which caught old Noah in its grin.

Nor did he find my trusty sword,
    A friend had taken it away;
My pike and gun were safely stor'd,
    And so had been for many a day—
    My pistols incognito lay,
Beyond both Joey's reach and mine—
    My letters and my poetry,
Which would have been a prize divine.
Whew! there was not a single line.

Nor did he even find at length
    My golden letter'd banner gay,
    (John Gartside bore it gallantly,
    Throughout the fatal meeting day),
Stitched in a damsel's petticoat,
    Without the range of thought it lay—
O, it again shall proudly float,
When freedom sounds her clarion note.

I cock'd my finger by my nose,
    And winked at the busy fool;
The daft ones, how could they suppose
    That I, who'd been before at school,
    Should not have learnt a better rule
Than leave these things within their grip.
    I should have been a stupid mule
To suffer nine whole days to slip,
And not for action clear my ship.




        BURNING fever I defy,
        Swollen dropsy, atrophy,
        Agonizing pleurisy,
Soon shall flee before me:
        Cholic, with its death so dire,
        Madness, with its raging ire,
        Anthony's consuming fire,
Never overbore me.

        I can stay the tooth-ache pang,
        Or extract a faded fang,
        Straight or crooked, short or long,
Sure am I and safe too:
        Ulcer foul, or eye so dim,
        Bruised body, broken limb,
        Rightly, tightly, I can trim,
And assist the deaf too.

        Whilst the fair will ever find
        Doctor Healey soft and kind,
        Delicacy most refin'd,
They may sure depend on:
        Dreaded measle, frightful pack,
        Shrink if I but show my block;
        Death recoils whene'er I knock;
Whom shall I attend on?




The road from Lyons was literally thronged with soldiers and deserters hastening to the Corsican's standard; every advance added strength to his Cause, and confidence to his followers.  The army under Soult, who has been denounced, has declared for Buonaparte, and the fate of the Royal Family is uncertain."—Saturday's Mail, Second Edition, 16th March, 1815.

In 1814, the people were drunk and mad at Napoleon's overthrow; in 1815, after Waterloo, they were in hopes of some good accruing, but their joy was of a more sober cast than on the former occasion.

An! where are now our bonny white cockades?
Our "ticket dinners," and our grand parades?
Our banners gaily waving in the air,
Free as the wind and as the lilies fair;
And bearing high their flower bedecked groves?
Our lovely damsels, winning many loves?
Alas! the fairy scene delights no more,
Swept like a cloud the rushing storm before.
No more the clergy in their sable gowns
Lead on the well dress'd gawkies of our town;
Our gawkies now the reverends will not follow,
Ashamed to find their skulls were once so hollow.

    Methinks I see that ne'er forgotten day,
When Ebors in the foolery led the way;
When Jammy's hen a dreadful death had died,
Had not good store of mutton been supplied
With which the hungry maws were satisfied.
"Old Blücher," like a second Hudibras,
Napoleon chained on his stubborn ass,
Whilst valiant Cossacks club'd him on the pate,
Knowing the figure was inanimate.
Ah! one short glance from his keen eagle eye
Had made a host so despicable fly,
And from the warrior's face one darkening frown
Had scatter'd all the Cossacks of our town;
But weavers now no more such game will follow,
Their pockets empty and their bellies hollow.

    No more the Orangemen in grand array
Expose to gaping crowds their trumpery;
No more their banners, serpents, rods, and staves,
Carried by fools, or, what is worse, by knaves,
Are trimm'd anew to glut the vulgar gaze,
And fill our wide mouth'd starers with amaze;
Masons and Orangemen parade no more,
Napoleon reigns and all our joys are o'er.

    Where now is Mister G——, "the man of God,"
Who with his "wee" cockade so meekly rode,
Displaying every puritanic grace,
Starch Methodism painted in his face?
Lucky the thought, if Mister George would pray,
The Lord, perhaps, might take "Old Nap" away;
Could holy George, like Jacob, but prevail,
To turn and join his class I would not fail;
But ah! his "wee" cockade he dons no more,
Napoleon reigns, and George's ride is o'er.

    Farewell, ye drunken scenes of noisy joy,
The broken shin, and eke the blacken'd eye;
Farewell, the roaring of the mimic thunder,
The terror of our clodpoles, and the wonder;
Farewell, ye lumps of pudding and roast beef,
To gnawing hunger giving kind relief;
Farewell, ye bursting butts of foaming ale,
Inspiring many a merry song and tale.
No more our wives are blithe with rum and tea,
In bib and tucker donn'd for holiday;
No more the hissing rocket mounts the sky,
O'er gaping mouth and wonder-seeing eye;
And when I future scan, the cheerless scene
Doth almost make me wish I had not been.
Alas! the golden days will come no more,
Napoleon reigns, and feasting joys are o'er;
Ah! crows the cock?   I'll toddle into bed,
And cure with sleep my weary heart and head.




IN 1821.

COME cease from his labour,
Each friend and each neighbour,

And let us be happy and merry to-day;

For down at the hall yon',
They're having a ball yon',

And we shall be welcome as flowers in May.

Sir Charles has invited,
He shall not be slighted,

Too long from our eyes have they kept him away;

But now we will meet him,
And joyfully greet him,

And we will be happy at Wolseley to-day.

We know the occasion,
Of his separation,

From home and from freedom, and all that is dear;

He sought a redressing,
Of burdens oppressing,

He sought to obtain us our birth-right so clear;

The strong arm of power
Hath now had its hour,

The bird that is free let him sing while he may,

We'll give him a chorus,
Whilst mirth cometh o'er us,

And welcome Sir Charles unto Wolseley to-day.

The lady omitting,
Were never befitting,

May the hand of the mighty each blessing bestow,

With o'erflowing measure
Of every pleasure

Allotted to human existence below;

And bless her young smilers,
Those artless beguilers,

With looks full of brightness, and locks that are fair;

Young William we'll toast him,
The Bard hath not lost him,

A bumper, a bumper to Wolseley's high heir.

The old and the young come,
The feeble and strong come,

The husband, the wife, and their children beside;

Each rosy-lipped beauty,
For pleasure and duty,

Is braided so bonny in virtuous pride;

Whilst bright wine is flowing,
And warm hearts are glowing,

Our mirth shall the precepts of wisdom obey;

And we will be merry,
As long as we tarry,

In honour of freedom and Wolseley to-day.




The Author being once pointed out in company in an offensive manner, by a person styling himself a surgeon, as "The Middleton Poet;" and asked if he could not give a specimen of his poetry, repeated the following lines (the last two excepted, which have since been added).

BEHOLD yonder empiric strutting his rounds,
When at shop he can find neither tumours nor wounds;
He's a blackguard when wroth, and a puppy when cool,
And the veriest dunce that e'er stood on a stool.
He was whipt and wore bells, as a zany at school,
What a pity to whip such a natural fool.


Then why flog him now, if you'd spare him at school?
Because he's become something worse than a fool.




[Glossary of Lancashire dialect]

A GONNOR dwells o'th' Barrowfells,
    O, he's a meety gonnor:
Of gonnors o', he bears the bells,
    An' surely that's a honour;
Some time ago, as yo' mun kno',
    Authority wur gin him,
To banish ducks, fro' dams an' brucks,
    If after daylit swimmin'.

As looks "a gentleman o'th' teawn,"
    When stuff't wi' public dinner,
Upon a cholic grip'n cleawn,
    A hungry, wand'rin sinner;
As looks at my poor rhymin' ripp
    A welkin-born Pegasus;
So awful looks his gonnorship,
    As o'er the wave he passes.

He chanc't to look into a nook,
    An' theer espy'd wi' pleasure,
Some duckys bent o' merriment,
    Just tipplin' at their leisure;
Then swell'd his breast, an' he his crest
    Tow'rd heaven he distended;
An' deep he swore, by flood an' shore,
    Their manners shud be mended.

Neaw ducks, yo' known, cry quack, quack,
    An' geese dun hiss and cackle,
An' this, a tawkin' is their mack,
    When they'n a mind to rattle:
So, void of grace, wi' brazent face,
    He in goose-language tow'd 'em,
'At he durst swear, by th' book o' prayer,
    They'rn nowty ducks fro' Owdham.

Beneath his wing he had a thing,
    An' quickly eawt he pood it,
'Twur painted blue, an' yallo' too,
    An' to these ducks he show'd it;
He sed 'twur sent by th' Cormorant,
    At op at Lunnun keawers,
To banish ducks fro' dams an' brucks,
    At after sartin heawers.

The ducks did pray 'at they mut stay
    Just too' thre minnits longer;
But Mester Goose did quick refuse,
    Which caus'd no little anger;
Then swoarn the ducks, wi' pottert plucks,
    Who gaily had been fuddlin',
'At they'dn' stop, while the're a drop
    O' weatur fit to puddle in.

The goose did sail, an' tow'd his tale
    Unto a meety sea-gull;
But wisperin' foke at th' back dun tawk,
    That gull wur but a ray-gull:
Bee't as it may, my neyburs say,
    'At th' drake fro' wom mun wander,
An' the goose wi' th' bell, has provet itsel,
    An addle-yeded gonthur.




IN midst of life we are in death;
And breathing brings to loss of breath;
Our laughter is akin to crying;
Our smiling often leads to sighing;
And our enjoying ends in dying.











THIS Poem was first published in April, 1839; it was inscribed, as at present to the before-mentioned bard, and was addressed to "The Hand-loom Weavers of Lancashire, and the Persons styled Chartists," in the hope that the reading of the piece, with the accompanying introductory remarks, and the post-scriptum (for which see note 16), might have some effect in counteracting the baneful influence of the Chartist demagogues, who, having wickedly devised the plan of "a National Holiday," or "Sacred Month," as they called it, were then urging their followers to attempt carrying it into effect.
    Whatever of an exciting tendency was to be found in the Poem, brought with it, in the same pages, a counteracting admonition; and the author hopes it was not then, nor has been since, altogether forgotten, either by the employers or the employed.



    MISERY our cup hath filled;
Our workmen have not bread to nourish!
    Their breath by cold and hunger chilled;
They faint, and at their looms do perish.
    Yet they are sons of France, the noble;
For three long years their cries resounded;
Was nothing due to faith unbounded?
    But, kings were listless of their trouble.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    Noble and industrious city,
Thy chiefs regard not thy complaining;
    Thy traitor chiefs, remorse nor pity
That felt, when tears of thine were raining.
    Unseen thy tears, unheard thy prayers;
Unto the bayonet they gave thee,
With none to succour, none to save thee;
    The suff'ring thine, the guilt is theirs.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    People and soldiers, silence! silence!
In camp and crowded neighbourhood:
    The boon of food—the doom of violence,
Is bread, is bread!—is blood, is blood!
    You hear these words; who hath them spoken?
They are the words of your elected;
Your traitors, chosen and protected:
    Then, die! or be your fetters broken.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    Elected you those chieftains savage?
Insensible to your afflictions;
    What votes have they, by bribes and ravage?
What votes have you, with all restrictions?
    They scarce two hundred thousand counted; 
To talk of rights is but a fable:
Uplift your heads now, whilst you're able,
    No longer crouch, to be surmounted.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    The public will, in ascertaining,
Each Frenchman's voice should have expression.
    Oh man! cast off thy bonds restraining;
Arise! and claim thy lost possession.
    For forty years our steps were tending
Towards that noble consummation,
When lowest and the highest station
    Were citizen, all orders blending.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    Where suffrage is not universal,
There is no freedom for the nation;
    The blight of tyranny doth curse all
Exceptive modes of legislation.
    The wish of all should be construed,
Whate'er results from their opinion;
Free Sparta gave two kings dominion,
    And kingless Venice was subdued.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    By tame submission sacrilegious,
What fruits do Frenchmen hope to gather?
    Proud deputies and laws outrageous,
To bind and keep them in a tether.
    In brutish silence they would hold us,
Forbidding e'en our just complaining;
While hunger, more and more constraining,
    Our reason scarcely hath controll'd us.

Live citizens and freemen, or perish mid your foes:
Soldiers, before the people, your colours low depose!


    Lo! pale with fury, Lyons trembles!
The steel is pointed, deep to wound her;
    Her voice a myriad brave assembles,
And war awakes within, around her.
    Five days—five horrid days of burning,
Carnage, insatiate and untiring,
Walk'd blood-shod o'er the pale expiring;
    Not even at the altar turning.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    Are these men from a land of strangers?
These men who form the middle classes?
    With fire and poniard as avengers,
Their hatred of the poor surpasses.
    They are not from the Tartar regions,
For Paris Tartar chiefs respected;
But Lyons, ruin'd and dejected,
    Encounter'd more vindictive legions.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    Kill is the word; till all have perish'd—
Seven thousands fall of wrath ferocious!
    From dreams of glory, fondly cherish'd,
We wake to massacre atrocious.
    Those standards, which so proudly floated
When Napoleon led to glory,
With blood of Frenchmen now are gory;
    No longer unto fame devoted.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as 
            their foes!


    Of the Republic unsubdued
Be silent—speak not of its fury;
    Although its track was steeped and strewed
With tears, and blood, and deep injury!
    Its brave defence was ever glorious,
And back it drove the fierce invaders,
None daring to become degraders
    Of a Republic so victorious.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    But in these days, where is the glory
By which we might have been consoled?
    Not soldiers marching to victory,
Base gens d' armes have our rights controlled.
    From giant splendour, how estranged!
Our accents wake but tones of sorrow;
A night is come that knows no morrow-
    Pure gold to bloody bullets changed.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    A wailing comes from Lyons, woeful!
France echoes by her lamentation;
    Fright! horror! hatred! fierce and awful
Awaken the astonished nation.
    The private orders now are ready;
All is foreseen, but nought prevented;
A tempest sweeps the discontented—
    A tempest horrible and bloody;

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    In Paris, the heroic city,
Behold the gens d' armes quickly flying,
    Alert for strife, averse to pity;
They thirst for blood, they scent the dying.
    The army joins them, hesitating:
They vanquish, but the child, the mother—
They will not in that carnage smother
    Those tender ones while supplicating.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    Alas! to their retreats they follow,
The stripling and the grandsire hoary;
    The wounded, as in blood they wallow,
The wife, that weeps beside them gory!
    The feeble dame, devoutly praying,
The angel virgin o'er them bending,
A few brave hearts are still defending;
    An army, mercilessly slaying.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, your chiefs have slaughter'd the people as
            their foes!


    And they are slain! the tumult hush'd!
The people prison-dens encumber;
    The vengeance which a king hath wish'd,
His peers will not permit to slumber.
    To read, to meet, we are denied—
The oppression is beyond our bearing;
Our tyrants more and more unsparing.
    To arms! be tyranny destroyed.

Live citizens and freemen, or life with freedom lose;
Soldiers, come join the people; and cursed be our foes!






"Who steals my purse, steals trash: 'tis something, nothing;
 Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
 But he, that filches from me my good name,
 Robs me of that which not enriches him,
 And makes me poor indeed."—Shakspere.

STEAL but a crust, and by the law
    Thou punished art, of course;
But filch away a man's good name,
    And who shall deem thee worse?
Go take a purse upon the road,
    And banished thou shalt be;
But rob a man of honest fame,
    And few will censure thee.
Nay, thou may'st kill, but mind thou stab
    With private, deadly word;
And poisoning by slander
    Is a murder not abhorred!
So robber, thief, and murderer,
    With coward, too, combined,
Is the poison-breathing slanderer—
    The pest of human kind.
And yet 'tis not the slanderer
    We shun, like rabid hound;
It is the injured victim, sad
    And lonely with his wound.
Ah! would not common-sense and barest
    Justice both demand
That victim be restored, and taken
    Kindly by the hand;
Whilst the execrable slanderer
    Is hooted through the land,
Deep marked with lasting infamy's
    Unmitigable brand.




COME over the hills out of York, parson Hay;
Thy living is goodly, thy mansion is gay;
Thy flock will be scattered if longer thou stay,
Our shepherd, our vicar—the good parson Hay.

Oh, fear not, for thou shalt have plenty indeed,
Far more than a shepherd so humble will need;
Thy wage shall be ample—two thousand or more,
Which rent and exaction will bring to thy store.

And if thou should'st wish for a little increase,
The lambs thou may'st sell, and the flock thou may'st
The market is good—the prices are high—
And butchers are ready with money to buy.

Thy dwelling-house pleasantly stands on the hill,
The town lies below it, all quiet and still;
With a church at thine elbow for preaching and pray'r,
And a rich congregation to ponder and stare.

And here, like a good loyal priest, thou shalt reign,
The cause of thy patron* with zeal to maintain; 
The poor and the hungry shall faint at thy word,
As thou threatens with hell in the name of the Lord.

* The vicarage of Rochdale is in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury,
  and it was conferred on the Rev. W. R. Hay, shortly after his distinguished
  services in the affair of St. Peter's Field, in 1819.




BABBLER of St. Stephen's Hall
Hear a bard's prediction,
Ponder on his warning call,
Deem it not a fiction;
Sure the day and sure the doom,
Sure his prophesying,
Frightful horror, thickest gloom,
Darkeneth thy dying.

Hated as thy deeds have been,
Fearful be thy ending,
Mutes and mourners are not seen
Child nor wife attending;
Rend away the plume and pall,
Coffin, scarf, and shroud too,
*             *             *             *
*             *             *             *
Not respected is thy life;
Die then, unlamented,
Pistol, dirk, or whetted knife,
Take thee unrepented;
Death shall pluck thee from thine height
Of unblessed ambition—
Gripe thee with resistless might,
And dash thee to perdition.

* This prediction was written and published several years
  before the death of Lord Castlereagh.





BRAVE old Sam Bamford!   Rolling years
    Have sunk deep ruts into thy cheeks and brow
But thy brave heart nor frets nor fears;
    Faith waits in patience for the future, now.

Like some old castle I have seen
    Standing in majesty from out the past,
Not yet in ruins, but, I ween,
    Batter'd and worn by many a stormy blast,

Then, in the fullness of thy clays,
    With crowds of yesterday's within thine eye.
And in thy rugged manly face
    A history of thoughts that cannot die—

Art waiting (for thy work is done),
    The summons which shall take thee hence away,
To gain the glory thou hast won,
    And wear the crown that only brave ones may.

England is more in debt to thee—
    Old weaver, with the patriarchal brow—
Than England knows herself to be,
    Yet shall she pay thee, though she holdeth now.

Cobden the reasoner, and Bright
    The Cicero of this our modern day,
Both will confess in truth and right
    Thou wast the "Baptist" who prepared their way.

Europe shall know thee when the truth
    Victor o'er tyranny has set men free;
When nations springing into youth
    Shall sing the natal hymn of liberty—

When Poland, trodden in the dust
    And writhing 'mid the ruins of her fame,
Comes to her life, as come she must,
    Strong in the resurrection of her name—

When Hungary, the seeming lost,
    But only hiding to deceive her foe;
Shall waken up a conquering host
    And strike for "freedom" the predestined "blow"—

When fair Columbia ends her strife,
    Ridding the negroes of the chains they've worn;
When liberty renews her life,
    To all the glories of her mission born:—

Then, in the future that we see,
    Bamford, the Radical, shall live anew,
And be proclaim'd abroad, as he
    Who fought for Freedom when her friends were few!

R. R. B.





[Home] [Up] [Biographical] [Autobiography] [Walks] [Tim Bobbin] [Glossary] [Literary Reviews etc.] [Site Search] [Main Index]