A Poem on Thursday

Coom, don on thy Bonnet an' Shawl 

by Thomas Blackah (1867)

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

Sea coom, let us tak a walk oot,
For t' air is as warm as a bee;
I hennot a morsel o' doot
It'll help beath lile Willy an' thee.
 We'll gan reet throo t' Middle Toon,
As far as to Reavensgill Heead;
When thar, we can sit wersens doon
On t' crags close at side o' t' becksteead.

An' then, oh! hoo grand it'll be
To pass a few minutes away,
An' listen t' birds sing on each tree
Their carols for closin' the day.
An' all aboot t' green nobby hills,
T' lile daisies their beauties will show;
An' t' perfume at Flora distils
Like breath o' the mornin' will blow.

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

I'm off to Yorkshire for the Easter break so I thought it would  be appropriate to choose a Yorkshire poet for today.  I'm visiting some old uni friends of mine who are now living in Leeds and London.  So, so excited!!  I'm leaving my computer behind, but will still be posting on Saturday for the next C&C photography assignment. 


A "cheery" disposition said...

so lovely.

maggie said...

T'is a bonnie verse, that be sure.

Sue said...

A little late but I do like to send a poem as a rejoinder to a poem, so here's a Scottish one - the brogue may be a tad more difficult to decipher than your Yorkshire offering, so there's some help at the end! Hope you've had a sunny break in Yorkshire.

The poem refers to the crofting system of smallholdings in the Highlands of Scotland which originally gave the tenant few, if any, rights. He and his family could be removed at any time at the whim of the landowner or when another tenant was prepared to pay a higher rent. This happened during the Clearances when sheep farmers moved in. While some of the worst aspects of the crofting system have been removed by legislation, it is still a hard life, full of uncertainties on poor soil and in a harsh climate and dependent on UK and European Union subsidies.

This poem, by an unknown author, points to the omnipotence of the titled landowner in days past.

Some of your ancestors were crofters on the West Coast of Scotland around Gairloch.

The Highland Crofter

Frae Kenmore tae Ben More
The land is a' the Marquis's;
The mossy howes, the heathery knowes
An' ilka bonnie park is his;
The bearded goats, the towsie stots,
An' a' the braxie carcases;
Ilk crofter's rent, ilk tinkler's tent,
An ilka collie's bark is his;
The muir-cock's craw, the piper's blaw,
The ghillie's hard day's wark is his;
Frae Kenmore tae Ben More
The warld is a' the Marquis's.
The fish that swim, the birds that skim,
The fir, the ash, the birk is his;
The Castle ha' sae big and braw,
Yon diamond-crusted dirk is his;
The roofless hame, a burning shame,
The factor's dirty wark is his;
The poor folk vexed, the lawyer's text,
Yon smirking legal shark is his;
Frae Kenmore tae Ben More
The warld is a' the Marquis's.

But near, mair near, God's voice we hear -
The dawn as weel's the dark is His;
The poet's dream, the patriot's theme,
The fire that lights the mirk is His.
They clearly show God's mills are slow
But sure the handiwork is His;
And in His grace our hope we place;
Fair Freedom's sheltering ark is His.
The men that toil should own the soil -
A note as clear's the lark is this -
Breadalbane's land - the fair, the grand -
Will no' be aye the Marquis's.

Meaning of unusual words:
howes=valley, glen
knowes=knoll, hillock
towsie stots=shaggy young bull
braxie=diseased mutton
birk=birch tree