Carols from the Coal-Fields (1)

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 Carols, Songs and Ballads.


LO, a fairy on a day
Came and bore my heart away;
But as she secured her prize,
Sweetest smiles illumed her eyes.
    And, hey, lerry O!

From that moment my career
Lay thro' dells and dingles, where
Pleasure blossom'd out of pain—
Where Joy sang her golden strain,
    Hey, hey, lerry O!




I HAD a merry bird
    Who sung a merry song,
And take it on my word,
    The day it was not long

In presence of my bird with its merry, merry song.

Did fortune strew my way
    With crosses, which, to bear,
Had rendered me a prey
    To sorrow or despair

My birdie trilled its lay, and they vanished into air.

And thus went things with me,
    Till lo, with sudden sweep,
Death came across the lea
    And laid my bird asleep;

And ever since that hour I've done nought but sigh and weep.




MOTHER wept, and father sighed;
    With delight a-glow
Cried the lad, "To morrow," cried,
    "To the pit I go."

Up and down the place he sped,—
    Greeted old and young,
Far and wide the tidings spread,—
    Clapt his hands and sung.

Came his cronies some to gaze
    Wrapt in wonder; some
Free with counsel; some with praise;
    Some with envy dumb.

"May he," many a gossip cried,
    "Be from peril kept;"
Father hid his face and sighed,
    Mother turned and wept.




'Twos on a night, with sleet and snow,
    From out the north a tempest blew,
When Thistle gathered nerve to go
    The little Nettle's self to woo.

Within her father's cottage soon
    He found the ever-dreaded maid;
She then was knitting to a tune
    The wind upon the window played.

His errand known, she, with a frown,
    Up from the oaken table sprung,
Down took the broom and swept the room,
    While like a bell her clapper rung.

"Have I not seen enough to be
    Convinced for ever, soon or late,
The maid shall rue the moment she
    Attendeth to a wooer's prate?

"How long ago since Phemie Hay
    To Harry at the Mill fell wrong?
How long since Hall a prank did play
    On silly Nelly Brown?—how long?

"How ago long ago since Adam Smith
    Wooed Annie on the Moor, and left
The lassie with a stain? yea, with
    A heart of every hope bereft?

"But what need instance cases? lo!
    Have I not heard thee chaunt the lay,
'The fraud of men was ever so
    Since summer first was leafy?' eh?

"When men are to be trusted, then,
    —But never may that time befall;
Of five times five-and-twenty men,
    There's barely five are men at all.

"Before the timid maid they'll fall,
    And smile and weep and sigh and sue,
Till once they get her in their thrall,
    And then she's doomed her lot to rue.

"For her a subtle snare they weave,
    And when the bonny bird is caught,
Then, then they giggle in their sleeve;
    Then laugh to scorn the ill they've wrought.

"As other weary winds, they woo
    The bloom its treasures to unfold;
Extract its wealth—their way pursue,
    And leave her pining on the wold.

"When poppies fell like lilies smell,
    When cherries grow on brambles, when—
When grapes adorn the common thorn,
    Then women may have faith in men.

"Then may we hear what they may swear;
    Till then, sir, know I'm on my guard,
And he, the loon that brings me down,
    He, he'll be pardoned, on my word."

Thus for an hour her tongue was heard;
    By this, her words grown faint and few,
She raised the broom at every word,
    And thumped the floor to prove it true.

In ardent words the youth replied:—
    "Dread hollow-hearted guile thou must;
But deem not all of honour void,
    Nor punish all with thy mistrust.

"A few, not all, the lash have earn'd,
    Let but that few the lash assail;
The world were topsy-turvy turned,
    Did not some sense of right prevail.

"Destroy the weed, but spare the flower;
    Consume the chaff, but keep the grain;
Nor harry one who'd die before
    He'd give thy little finger pain."

On hearing this, she sat her down,
    Took up her needlework again,
And tho' she strove to wear a frown,
    Made answer in a milder strain.

"Forego thy quest.  Deceitful words
    May yet, as they have been, may be,
A fatal lure to lighter birds;
    They'll never prove the like to me.

"Still by my chastity I vow,
    As I have kept the cheat at bay,
So, should I keep my senses, so
    I'll keep him till my dying day.

"The best that man can do or say,
    The love of gold or rubies rare,—
Not all that wealth can furnish, may
    Once lure to leave me in a snare.

"So end thy quest."   He only prest
    His ardent suit the more, while she
At every word he uttered, garr'd
    Her fleeing needles faster flee.

"My quest by honour's justified
    I long have eyed and found thee still
The maid I'd like to be my bride;
    Would I could say the maid that will.

"Hadst thou but been a daffodil
    That with the breezes sport and play,
For all thy suitor valued, still
    Thou so hadst danced thy life away.

"But thou so fair art chaste."  Thus he
    Unto her answer answers e'er,
And that too in a way that she
    Must will or nill his answer hear.

And then a chair he'd taken, his chair
    Unto her side he nearer drew;
Recurred to memories sweet and rare,
    And in a softer key did woo.

"Must all the passion which I've sought
    So long to hide be paid with scorn?
A heart with pure affection fraught
    Be doomed a hopeless love to mourn?

"And must thou still its homage spurn?
    And must thou still my suit reject?
And be to me this cruel thorn?
    Reflect upon the past, reflect!

"A time there was, and time shall pass
    To me ere that forgotten be,
When side by side from tide to tide
    We played and sported on the lea.

"Ay, then have I not chased the bee
    From bloom to bloom—oft chased and
And having drawn its sting in glee,
    To thee the little body brought?

"Then when a bloom of rarer dyes
    Into my busy fingers fell,
To whom was reached the lucky prize?
    Can not thy recollection tell?

"As oft away as summer went,
    Who pulled with thee the haw, bright,
Brown as thy own bright eyes—and bent
    For thee the richest branches down?

"With blooms I've graced thy yellow hair,
    With berries filled thy lap, thy hand,—
That hand as alabaster fair—
    Had every gift at my command.

"Nay, tho' to others dour, yet meek
    I ever was to thee, and kind,
And when we played at hide-and-seek,
    I hid where thou would'st seek to find

"Upon the play-ground still unmatched
    Was I, unless my loved one played:
And then it seem'd to those who watched,
    My failures were on purpose made.

"As sure as e'er a race began,
    The palm was mine unless she joined,
And then I always was out-ran,
    For still with her I lagged behind.

"The ball I drove to others, mocked
    Their efforts to arrest its flight;
But when my ball to her was knocked,
    It would upon her lap alight.

"None, up and down so well I bobbed,
    To skip the rope with me would try;
Did she attempt? my skill was robbed;
    Another skipped her out—not I.

"At play thus wasn't; but childhood past,
    And e'er the lasses reach their teens,
Atween them and the lads a vast
    Mysterious distance intervenes.

"They seldom on the green appear
    In careless sport and play; and if
They join the throng erect they wear
    Their head, and still their air is stiff—

"They ail they know not what.   And such
    The change that on my lassie fell
Then would she shrink my hand to touch,
    And I half feared her touch as well.

"Had I changed too?   This, I can tell,—
    That touch o'er me a spell would cast;
And did I pass her in the dell,
    With slow and snail-like pace I pass'd.

"Her voice had lost its former ring,
    Yet, in that voice such power was flung,
I better liked to hear her sing,
    Than when of old to me she sung.

"Her touch, her tone, would make or mar
    My bliss, and tho' with all my skill
I strove to please, and please but her,
    I in her presence blundered still.

"When by the hearth she sewing sat,
    Did I to thread her needle try?
Still, still my heart played pit-a-pat,
    And still I miss'd the needle's eye.

"As with the needle-threading, so
    We with the skein a-winding fared,
And Auntie's dreaded tongue would go
    Before the dancing end appeared.

"'What ails the lass?' she often said—
    'She's sound asleep!' once said, and flew,
And snatched and snapt the tangled thread,
    While I—I know not how—withdrew.

"Away, too, fled those hours!   Alack!
    They came and went like visions rare,
To mock the heart, delude and wrack,
    And leave the gazer in despair.

"Ah, less—tho' sun-illumed—less fair
    The blobs that dance adown the burn,
And let them burst they'll re-appear
    Ere those delightsome hours return.

"Yet they may live in thought, and could
    They live in Nettle's thought again,
Would she not change her bearing? would—
    Would she not change this bitter strain?

"Would she her lover still disdain
    Would she continue thus to gall
And put him to this cruel pain?—
    Recall to mind the past, recall!"

Thus onward, on, his ditty flows,
    Until—her ruffled brow is sleek,
Till, lo! the lily drives the rose,
    The rose the lily from her cheek.

And now the iron, sparkling hot,
    Around with might and main he swings,
And down upon the proper spot
    With bang on bang the hammer brings

"O, be my suit but undenied,
    And, ere the moon is on the wane,
A knot shall by the priest be tied,
    The priest shall never loose again.

"In heart and hand excelled by none,
    Henceforth I'd front the ills of life;
And every victory I won
    Should be a jewel for my wife.

"So should the people of the dell,
    When they convened to gossip, say
For harmony we bore the bell—
    And bore it with a grace away.

"Nay, lift thy head, be not ashamed,
    If thus to feel—and thus, and O:—
As matters sinful might be blamed,
    Our saints were sinners long ago."

Deep silence here ensued.   The cat,
    That lately to the nook had crept
To mark the sequel of their chat,
    Came forth—lay on the hearth and slept.

The needles bright, that left and right,
    As if with elfish glee possest,
Had gleamed and glanced, and frisked and
    In quiet on her apron rest.

In concert with the storm within,
    The storm without forbears to blow;
And 'tween the sailing clouds, begin
    The joyous stars to come and go.

O'er all delight and silence brood,
    While to her wooer's bosom prest,
Poor Nettle's heart beats, beats aloud
    The tune that pleases lovers best.

And Thistle's pleased and Thistle's blest,
    And Thistle's is a joy supreme;
Aye! now of Nettle's smiles possest,
    He revels in a golden dream.

Dream on, brave youth:—An hour like this
    Annuls an age of cark and strife,
And turns into a drop of bliss
    The bitter cup of human life.

The tear is by a halo gilt,
    The thorns of life are turned to flowers,
The dirge into a merry lilt,
    When love returned for love is ours.

"I've heard," in language low and soft,
    Now Nettle's heart begins to flow;—
I've heard of honey'd tongues full oft,
    But never felt their force till now.

"Still would I fume, as day by day
    I've seen the lasses bought and sold
By some I'd scorn'd to own, had they
    Outweighed their very weight in gold.

"My hour of triumph's o'er.   In vain
    Did I my fellow-maids abuse;
I've snatched the cup, and drank the bane
    Which sets me in their very shoes;

"That turns a heart of adamant
    To pliant wax; and, in my turn,
Subjects me to the bitter taunt,
    The vanquished victor's ever borne:

"That leaveth Nettle satisfied
    To leave her kith and kin, and by
Her ever-faithful Thistle's side,
    To shelter till the day they die."




AH! a lovely jewel was Mary of Crofton,
    And now she is cold in the clay,
We think of the heart-cheering image as often
    As we pass down the old waggon way.

Her air was a magical air, and the very
    Stone heart of the stoic entranced;
While her wee, wee feet beat a measure as merry
    As ever by damsel was danced.

Her accents enchanted; her lay—but the silly
    Bit linnet to vie it would seek;
And the rose in her hair was a daffadowndilly
    Compared with the rose on her cheek.

Sue, Bessy, and Kitty still ornament Crofton,
    And rich are the charms they display;
But we miss the sweet image of Mary as often
    As we pass down the old waggon way.




DIRECTED by a little star,
    I paced towards my own loved cot,
When rushed a meteor from afar,
    And I my little guide forgot.

Bedazzled was I, and amazed,
    When out the meteor flashed, and I
Had never more my threshold paced,
    Had not that star still gleamed on high.




DUSKIER than the clouds that lie
'Tween the coal-pit and the sky,
Lo, how Willy whistles by
    Right cheery from the colliree.

Duskier might the laddie be
Save his coaxing coal-black e'en,
Nothing dark could Jinny see
    A-coming from the colliree.



(The first two lines are old.)

HEY Robin, jolly Robin,
    Tell me how thy lady doth?
Is she laughing, is she sobbing
    Is she gay, or grave, or both?

Is she like the finch, so merry,
    Lilting in her father's hall?
Or the crow with cry a very
    Plague to each, a plague to all.

Is she like the violet breathing
    Blessings on her native place?
Or the cruel nettle scathing
    All who dare approach her grace?

Is she like the dew-drop sparkling
    When the morn peeps o'er the land?
Or the cloud in mid-air darkling,
    When a fearful storm's at hand?

Tut, to count the freaks of woman,
    Count the pebbles of the seas;
Rob, thy lady's not uncommon,
    Be or do she what she please!




MERRY, lark-like, merry,
    At the break of day,
Polly meeteth Harry
    Coming down the way;
And her lips, they quiver,
When her eyes discover
Smiles that speak—ah never
    Peace unto the May.

Merry, blythe and merry,
    'Neath the noontide ray,
Polly meeteth Harry
    Coming up the way
And his accents put her
Fond heart in a flutter—
And no tongue can utter
    What her looks betray.

Merry, yet so merry,
    At the close of day,
Polly spyeth Harry
    Wooing Ely Gray!
And when this she spyeth,
Lo! her reason dieth,
And her heart rent, cryeth
    "Woe, and well-a-day!"



A CHANGE hath come over young Fanny,
    The yellow-hair'd lass of the Dene—
Erewhile she look's cosy and canny,
    But now—now, what aileth the queen?

Erewhile she'd the bearing which blesses
    The heart of the weary and worn,
Now all Percy Main she distresses,
    And burdens the air with her scorn.

Erewhile she was sweet as the lily,
    And mild as the lamb on the lea,
Now sour as the docken, and truly
    More fierce than a tiger is she.

Erewhile she would play with the kitten,
    Averse to contention and strife,
Now Tab on the house-top is sitting
    And dare not come down for her life.

"What aileth the jewel?" Quoth granny;
    "What aileth the winds when they blow?
When the reason's no secret to Fanny,
    The reason we mortals may know."



THE Hartley men are noble, and
    Ye'll hear a tale of woe;
I'll tell the doom of the Hartley men—
    The year of Sixty-two.

'Twas on a Thursday morning, on
    The first month of the year,
When there befell the thing that well
    May rend the heart to hear.

Ere chanticleer with music rare
    Awakes the old homestead,
The Hartley men are up and off
    To earn their daily bread.

On, on they toil; with heat they broil,
    And streams of sweat still glue
The stour unto their skins, till they
    Are black as the coal they hew.

Now to and fro the putters go,
    The waggons to and fro,
And clang on clang of wheel and hoof
    Ring in the mine below.

The din and strife of human life
    Awake in "wall" and "board,"
When, lo! a shock is felt which makes
    Each human heart-beat heard.

Each bosom thuds, as each his duds
    Then snatches and away,
And to the distant shaft he flees
    With all the speed he may.

Each, all, they flee—by two—by three
    They seek the shaft, to seek
An answer in each other's face,
    To what they may not speak.

"Are we entombed?" they seem to ask,
    For the shaft is closed, and no
Escape have they to God's bright day
    From out the night below.

So stand in pain the Hartley men,
    And swiftly o'er them comes
The memory of home, nay, all
    That links us to our homes.

Despair at length renews their strength,
    And they the shaft must clear,
And soon the sound of mall and pick,
    Half drowns the voice of fear.

And hark! to the blow of the mall below
    Do sounds above reply?
Hurra, hurra, for the Hartley men,
    For now their rescue's nigh.

Their rescue nigh?   The sounds of joy
    And hope have ceased, and ere
A breath is drawn a rumble's heard
    Re-drives them to despair.

Together, now behold them bow;
    Their burden'd souls unload
In cries that never rise in vain
    Unto the living God.

Whilst yet they kneel, again they feel
    Their strength renew'd—again
The swing and the ring of the mall attest
    The might of the Hartley men.

And hark! to the blow of the mall below
    Do sounds above reply?
Hurra, hurra, for the Hartley men,
    For now their rescue's nigh.

But lo! yon light, erewhile so bright,
    No longer lights the scene;
A cloud of mist yon light hath kiss's,
    And shorn it of its sheen.

A cloud of mist yon light hath kiss'd,
    And see! along must crawl,
Till one by one the lights are smote,
    And darkness covers all.

"O, father, till the shaft is cleared,
    Close, close beside me keep;
My eye-lids are together glued,
    And I—and I—must sleep."

"Sleep, darling, sleep, and I will keep
    Close by—heigh-ho!"—To keep
Himself awake the father strives—
    But he—he too—must sleep.

"O, brother, till the shaft is cleared,
    Close, close beside me keep;
My eye-lids are together glued,
    And I—and I—must sleep."

"Sleep, brother, sleep, and I will keep
    Close by—heigh-ho!"—To keep
Himself awake the brother strives—
    But he—he too—must sleep.

"O, mother dear! wert, wert thou near
    Whilst sleep!"—The orphan slept;
And all night long by the black pit-heap
    The mother a dumb watch kept.

And fathers, and mothers, and sisters, and
    The lover and the new-made bride
A vigil kept for those who slept,
    From eve to morning tide.

But they slept—still sleep—in silence dread,
    Two hundred old and young,
To awake when heaven and earth have sped,
    And the last dread trumpet rung.



"QUEEN PEARL'S own equal—nay,
    A fairer far am I," May Dewdrop said,
As Sol at break of day
    Did kiss the sparkler on her grass-blade bed.

"None may my charms resist!"
    "None," Sol still kissing answered, when alas!
The proud one turned to mist,
    And with her pride did into Lethe pass.



ANNIE LEE is fair and sweet—
    Fair and sweet to look upon;
But Annie's heart is all deceit,
    Therefore Annie Lee, begone.

To conceive her smiles, conceive
    Smiles the lily's self might own;
But a snare for me they'd weave:
    Therefore Annie Lee, begone.

Sweeter than a golden bell
    Sound her winning words, each one;—
From a fount of fraud they well;
    Therefore Annie Lee, begone.

In those deep blue orbs, her eyes,
    Pity's built herself a throne;
Pity!   Guile in Pity's guise:
    Therefore Annie Lee, begone.

Charming Annie Lee, begone!
    Cunning Annie Lee, begone!
I'd not have thee for a world,
    Tho' so fair to look upon.



ONE day as I came down by Jarrow,
    Engirt by a crowd on a stone,
A woman sat moaning, and sorrow
    Seized all who took heed to her moan.

"Nay, blame not my sad lamentation,
    But oh, let," she said, "my tears flow,
Nay offer me no consolation—
    I know they are dead down below.

"I heard the dread blast and I darted
    Away on the road to the pit,
Nor stopped till my senses departed,
    And left me the wretch I here sit.

"Ah, thus let me sit," so entreated
    She those who had had her way;
Then yet on the hard granite seated,
    Resumed her lament and did say:—

"My mother, poor body, would harry
    Me oft with a look sad and pale,
When I had determined to marry
    The dimple-chin'd lad of the dale.

"Not that she had any objection
    To one praised by each and by all;
But ay his lot caused a reflection
    That still, still her bosom would gall.

"Nay, blame not my sad lamentation;
    My mother sleeps under the yew—
She views not the dire desolation
    She dreaded one day I should view.

"Bedabbled with blood are my tresses!
    No matter!   Unlock not my hand!—
When first I enjoyed his caresses,
    Their hue would his praises command.

"He'll never praise more locks nor features,
    Nor, when the long day-tide is o'er,
With me view our two happy creatures,
    With bat and with ball at the door.

"Nay, chide not.   A pair either bolder
    Or better nobody could see:
They passed for a year or two older
    Than what I could prove them to be.

"Their equals for courage and action
    Were not to be found in the place;
And others might boast of attraction,
    But none had their colour or grace.

"Their feelings were such, tho' when
    By scorn, oft their blood would rebel,
They wept for the little blind kitten
    Our neighbour did drown in the well.

"The same peaceful, calm, and brave
    Had still been the father's was theirs
And now we felt older a-wearing,
    We deemed they'd soon lighten our cares.

"So deemed I last night.   On his shoulder
    I hung and beheld them at play:
I dreamed not how soon they must moulder
    Down, down in their cold bed of clay.

"Ah, chide not.   This sad lamentation
    But endeth the burden began,
When to the whole dale's consternation,
    Our second was crushed by the van.

"That dark day the words of my mother
    In all the deep tone which had made
Me like a wind-ridden leaf dother,
    Rang like the dead bell in my head.

"Despair, the grim bird away chidden,
    Would light on the house-top again;
But still from my husband was hidden
    Each thought that had put him to pain.

"He's pass's from existence unharried
    By any forebodings of mine;
Nor till we the lisper had buried,
    E'er pined he.   But then he did pine.

"Adown when the shadow had falling
    Across the long row gable-end,
He miss'd him, as home from his calling
    With thrice weary bones he would wend.

"No more would his heavy step lighten,
    No more would his hazel eyes glow,
No more would his smutty face brighten
    At sight of the darling.   Ah, no!

"He lived by my bodings unharried,
    But when from his vision and mine,
Away the sweet lisper was carried,
    He pined, and long after would pine.

"Ay, truly.—And reason.—The sonsy
    The bairn with his hair bright and curled,
He still had appeared to our fancy,
    The bonniest bairn in the world.

"As ruddy was he as a cherry,
    With dimple on chin and on cheek;
And never another as merry
    Was seen to play hide-and-go-seek.

"He, yet with his fun and affection,
    His canny bit pranks and his grace,
He wheedled my heart from dejection,
    And put a bright look on my face.

"Full oft upon one leg advancing,
    Across to the door he would go,
Wheel round on his heel, then go dancing
    With hop after hop down the row.

"When—Let my hand go!—When he
    The rest were a balm to my woe:
But now, what remains to be cherish'd?
    But now, what remains to me now?

"Barely cold was the pet ere affected
    By fever they lay one and all;
But lay not like others neglected;
    I slept not to be at their call.

"Day and night, night and day without
    I watched till a-weary and worn;—
When Death took the gem of the number,
    I'd barely strength left me to mourn.

"I've mourn'd enough since.   And tho' cruel
    Mishap like a cursed hag would find
Her way to my door still, the jewel
    Has seldom been out of my mind.

"Another so light and so airy
    Ne'er gladden'd a fond mother's sight—
I oft heard her called a wee fairy,
    And heard her so called with delight.

"Whilst others played, by me she tarried,
    —The cherub!—and rumour avers
That now-a-days many are married,
    With not half the sense that was hers.

"A-down on the hearth-rug a-sitting
    The long winter nights she was heard,
The while her sweet fingers were knitting,
    To lilt out her lay like a bird.

"Did I appear cross!   To me stealing,
    Askance in my face she would keek,
At which, e'er the victim of feeling,
    I could not but pat her bit check.

"She once, when I'd pricked this hard finger—
    No, he who in grave-clothes first slept—
—No, she—with the senses that linger
    I cannot tell which of them—wept.

"She vanished at last.   Ah, an ocean
    Of trouble appeared that black cup
But what was it all to the potion
    I now am commanded to sup?

"My husband, my bairnies, my blossoms!
    —Well—well, I am wicked—yes, yes;
But take my loss home to your bosoms,
    And say if your sin would be less?

"My husband, my bairnies, my blossoms!
    Well—well,—I'll not murmur, but still
The anguish that teareth the bosom's
    Not, not to be bridled at will.

"The dear ones to perish so sudden!
    —'Twas only last night, by the hearth,
While I sat and mended their dudden,
    The bairnies were giddy with mirth.

"Their cousin came in, and they hasten'd
    To hand her, and, handing the chair,
The strings of her apron unfastened,
    And slipt the back comb from her hair.

"On leaving the lassie discovered
    The prank they upon her had play'd;
Awhile hung her head, awhile hover'd,
    Then pinched both their noses and fled.

"They laugh'd, clapt their hands, and the
    —Yea, I too, had laugh's with the rest;
But something came o'er me which rather
    Brought sorrow than joy to my breast.

"The dear ones to perish so sudden—
    Last night of all nights by the hearth,
While I was a-mending their dudden,
    Why felt I no joy in their mirth?"

"The supper was set, and being over
    I help'd them to bed, and I think,
Once curl'd up beneath the green cover,
    They dover'd to sleep in a wink.

"I too laid me down, heart a-weary—
    And when the birds rose from their bed,
Somehow, by a dream dull and dreary,
    My eyes were fast lock's in my head.

"Aroused by their voices, and yearning
    To kiss them, I sprang to the floor;
They kissed me, and bade me 'good
    Then whistled away from the door.

"Long after away they had hurried,
    Their music a-rang in my ears;
Then thought I of those we had buried,
    And thought of the jewels with tears.

"Then thought I—What said I?—Thus
    Was I, when rat-tat went the pane,
And back into sense again shrinking,
    I into bed stumbled again.

"Did I sleep?   I did weep.   To his calling
    The father had gone hours before,
And now in that havoc appalling,
    He lies with the blossoms I bore.

"Did I sleep?   I did weep.   Heart a-weary,
    How oft have I so wept before—
I wept, and to weep, lone and dreary
    I've wandered the broken brick floor.

"Did I sleep?   Well, your kind arm and
    My tottering steps, and now you
Go, get out the winding-sheets ready,
    And do what remaineth to do.

"Spread winding-sheets—one for the father,
    And two for the darlings, our pride,—
And one for the wife and the mother,
    Ah, soundly she'll sleep by their side!"



WILTED is the leaf, and blown
By the cold wind up and down,
That beheld thy promise fair,
Maiden with the dark brown hair!

Shatter'd is this heart, and hurl'd
By its grief-storm thro' the world,
Since it won that promise rare,
Maiden with the dark-brown hair!

Go thy ways! thy locks upbraid!
Thou hast but thyself betray'd,
And must e'en my pity share,
Maiden with the dark-brown hair!



THERE'S not a may in Ellerton
By half so sweet to look upon
In all the country round there's none
        So sweet as Dora Dee.

The blood-red rose to passer by,
May show with pride its precious dye;
There's not a bloom can charm the eye
        Like little Dora Dee.

The linnet's self its head may rear,
And pipe a note wild, sweet, and clear;
There's not a bird can charm the ear
        Like little Dora Dee.

The lady in yon castle grand,
May knees of noble lords command;
There's not a lady in the land
        The peer of Dora Dee.



My heart is away with the lad of Bebside,
And never can I to another be tied;
Not, not to be titled a lord's wedded bride,
Could Jinny abandon the lad of Bebside.

He dances so clever, he whistles so fine,
He's flattered and wooed from the Blyth to the Tyne,
Yet spite of the proffers he meets far and wide,
I'm alone the beloved of the lad of Bedside.

He entered our door on the eve of the Fair,
And cracked with our folk in a manner so rare,
Next morning right early with spleen I was eyed
To link to the Fair with the lad of Bebside.

Last night at the dancing, 'mid scores of fine queans,
The eldest among them just out of her teens,
He chose me, and truly with pleasure and pride
I footed the jig with the lad of Bebside.

To wed me he's promised, and who can believe
A laddie like him can a lassie deceive?
The moon's on the wane—ere another be spied,
I'll lie in the arms of the lad of Bebside.



YE'VE heard of Meg Goldlocks of Willington Dene?
The stoniest damsel that ever was seen;
Yet, her beauty distress'd, with its splendour, the rest
Of the lasses for miles around Willington Dene.

Mary of Howdon, with Robin would rove!
But once to the Dene should his roguish feet move,
A-jealous of Meg's unmatched beauty, her tongue
Was turned to a bell, and a merry peal rung.

Blithe Betsy of Percy, eyed Jim like a spy,
Lest o'er to the Dene he should slip on the sly
Nay, did she but dream it, with heart like to break,
She scowled when she met him for all the next week.

Sweet Nancy of Benton, deemed Willie her own,
Till he went to the Dene on an errand unknown;
The errand to her was apparent as day,
And the rose on her dimpled cheek withered away.

Thus matters went on around Willington Dene,
Till East came a gallant and married the quean;
That moment the rest of the lasses were blest,
And their lovers allowed to tread Killington Dene!



"BEWARE! yon bird now in glee on the bough
    May drop into a snare:"
So sung we when a day of the past had passed
    But not when Alf, was near.

Not Cilla, not I, nor Bessy need sigh,
    That ever he came this way;
But a worthier far than Cilia and her
    Heath rued that evil day.

That hour the dire ban of Rosa began,
    When Alf glode over the hill,
And hailed us each with a blink did reach
    And make our heart-strings thrill.

At the brook we'd stoop'd, and the water scoop'd,
    Our clean green pails into,
When a coal black rook beclouded the brook
    And away o'er the hill-top flew.

We startled, raised our heads and gazed—
    And ere the bird had swept
From sight, heart-light, with his blink so bright,
    The youth the waters leapt.

I felt his spell, and Bessy as well,
    As in her heart she knows;
But Rose—did she look at her face in the brook,
    Or why in the brook look's Rose?

The fact was bared, when the bird ensnared,
    Was the village talk indeed;
But he, the youth, had the look of truth—
    And who the heart can read?

No Cilla; no—not—even so—
    Not Bessy more than Cill,
Tho' she tost her head in pride, and said
    What Rose remembers still.

"I think of the glance that made your hearts dance;
    But ever I think also
Of the grim black rook that darkened the brook,
    And away o'er the hill did go."

"Nay, Bessy, nay—and forbear, I pray,
    By any cold remark,
To deepen the shade that hangs o'er her head,
    If Rosa's weird be dark.

" 'The wilyest bird, on hedge ever heard'—
    Ah, well you know the rest;
The stranger youth had the look of truth—
    And looks deceive the best.

"If love-mad driven poor Rose hath given,
    What to give is woe to her,
Another more wild had been beguiled
    By lures less dazzling far."

At my sharp reply did a fierce red dye
    Bemantle Bessy's cheek,
While Rose turned as pale as the moon o'er the dale,
    But never a word did speak.

With a downcast look her needles she took,
    Till off our neighbour went,
When my hand she took and gave me a look,
    Which worlds of meaning meant.

Her tears out-gushed—in my arms she rushed,
    And kissed her Cilla, and said
What never shall pass these lips till the grass
    Is green above my head.

But oft since then, and ever when
    I think of Rose and her ban,
Will the sad, sad strain awake in my brain,
    By which this ditty began.

"Beware! yon bird now in glee on the bough
    May drop into a snare!"
Alas, even so will the old thing go,
    But when will the best beware?



The following was suggested by a sweet little
lyric, entitled "Resolution," translated from the
German of Uhland.

THE sun is in the western sky
    And thro' the barley, she—
Comes she, the apple of my eye,
    The rose-cheeked Rosa Rea.

Away I slink the maid to meet,
    As if I went away,
Alone to please a pair of feet
    Resolved to go astray.

I whistle as I go, tho' what
    I cannot tell, but know
Right well my heart goes pit-a-pat
    With every note I blow.

Anon, I, silent as the path
    Whereon I tread become,
The power to blow my whistle, hath
    Ta'en wing and left me dumb.

The lark's loud lilt so bright and clear
    Is ringing in the sky;
A dearer tune I hear—I hear
    Two little feet draw nigh.

Two feet I hear approaching near
    —Abashed I hing my head—
Two little feet a hornpipe beat,
    Or isn't my heart instead?

A floweret I of scarlet dye
    Espy as on I tread;
The maid who trips this way hath lips—
    Two lips of richer red.

A floweret I hard by espy,
    A gem of azure hue;
The maid who hies this way hath eyes—
    Two eyes of sweeter blue.

Those tiny blooms my heart might steal,
    Did not a spell profound
Now gar my mortal reason reel,
    Or gar the world go round.

My senses swim, my sight grows dim,
    A-near, more near her tread—
Her little feet a hornpipe beat,
    Or isn't my heart instead?

Ah, am I moving on my feet?
    Or am I on my head?
Do airy dreams my senses cheat?
    Am I alive or dead?

Not dead! away, that notion, nay,
    Not in a dream I move;
Lo, in the clear bright pool I hear
    I see my own dear love.

She nears—appears a blink uprears
    My head—O joy!—ah see!
Till night's o'erhead, locked hand in hand
    Stand I, and—Rosa Rea!



SECURE within his citadel, my heart,
A roystering King, has quaft his goblets brimm'd
At pleasure's sparkling fount,—has quaft and slept
Has hugg'd the phantom of delight—and slept
Not dreaming from his sleep he'd e'er awake
To find his towers a ruin, and his bliss
Sepulchred in the dust: but now, alas!
The truth discover'd, he assumes his staff
And walks the world, and when he'd halt, lest
Should build another citadel, and play
The merry fool he played—a voice exclaims:
"Reflect!—the Earthquake!" and he halteth not.



A KNIGHT right bold rode over the wold,
    Saluted maidens three:
"Now, if each possess'd what she liked best,
    What would her portion be?"

The eldest replied: "A carriage of pride,
    And milkwhite steeds so fine,
With a prince of renown to claim as my own,
    And rapture unpeered were mine."

The second replied: "For no carriage of pride,
    Nor milkwhite steeds, I yearn;
But to move in the ball, the envy of all,
    And laugh the gallants to scorn."

The youngest she sighed, and shyly replied:
    "The sole, sole wish of my breast,
Is to merit the hand of the best in the land,
    And serve my husband the best."

Now alights from his steed the knight, and with
    He takes the shy maid by the hand;—
They mount and they ride—she's now the King's
    And Queen of all the land.



CRIED Ciss to the breeze, as under the trees,
    She lay at her ease, one day,
"From thy rovings cease, and a maiden to please,
    Of thy doings breeze now say!

"Be it so," sang he; "from the west I be,
    And where-ever in glee I rove,
In lane or on lea, with the blooms I'm free,
    And they—ever me—they love.

"The primrose that well may fear when the fell,
    Fierce north winds yell, I seek,
When lured by my spell, she peers from her cell,
    And a smile gilds the dell-pet's cheek.

"The violet meek in her velvet sleek,
    In love with the freak, alway,
To my fancy weak appeareth to seek,
    When I play with her cheek, more play.

"The daisy a-drest in her blood-laced vest,
    In her deep green nest, I know,
When her lips I've prest, with a pleasure blest,
    Is her little breast a glow.

"The glad daffodil oft dances her fill,
    As under the hill glide I,
And her pearly tears spill down into the rill,
    That yet with a trill leaps by.

"See, a fairy bold, her vesture of gold,
    The crocus unfold, in mirth,
And glories untold, where I've kist the mold,
    Illumine the cold, cold earth."

Thus sang sang the breeze a maiden to please,
    And Ciss in the trees, that night,
To rapture a prey sang Robin the lay,
    When a kiss did the may requite.



MY mother bade me go.   I went:
    But beat my heart, ere I returned,
A rat-tat-tan, and what it meant
    Too soon I to my sorrow learned.

Her errand to the youth I ran,
    But had she me some other bade,
I had not felt that rat-tat-tan,
    Nor wept to think I ever had.

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