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Full text of "North country poets : poems and biographies of natives or residents of Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham, Lancashire and Yorkshire ... : (modern section)"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



Jo 





^ ? 







NORTH COUNTRY 



POETS. 



NORTH COUNTRY 
POETS 



POEMS AND BIOGRAPHIES 

OF NATIVES OK EESIDENTS OF NORTHUMBERLAND, 

CUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, DURHAM, 

LANCASHIRE AND YORKSHIRE. 



EDITED BY 



WILLIAM ANDREWS, F.R.H.S. 

(PRESIDENT OF THE HULL LITERARY CT.UB,) 

AUTHOR or " HISTORIC YORKSHIRE," " HISTORIC ROMANCE," 
" MODERN YORKSHIRE POETS," ETC., ETC. 



(MODEEN SECTION) 



LONDON : 
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & CO. 

MANCHESTER: ABEL HEYWOOD & SON. 

HULL: 
A. BROWN & SONS, AND J. R. TUTIN. 

1889. 



College 
Library 



A 57 

V/'Z 



PREFACE. 



The kindly reception by the public and the press of the 
first volume of this work has encouraged me to continue 
my labours. 

I am grateful for the valuable assistance I have 
received from the contributors of the biographies here 
presented, and for permission from the owners of many 
copyright poems to reproduce the same. 

Several authors have been good enough to contribute 
original poetry. 

Mr. J. B. TUTIN, of Hull, has kindly compiled my 
index. 

A third volume is now being prepared for early 
publication. 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 

Hull Literary Club, 
1st October, 1889. 



CONTRIBUTORS OF SKETCHES. 



ANDREWS, WILLIAM, 1, 53, 59, 76, 172, 216. 

ASHTON, W. A., 92. 

BARLOW, E. HELEN, 146. 

BARON, JOS., 202. 

BRISCOE, J. POTTER, 119. 

BROCKIE, WILLIAM, 98. 

G., 153. 

HALEY, ALICE, 25. 

HARTMANN, F. C,, 28. 

HUDSON, WILLIAM, 6. 

J. B. S. 109. 

JOHNSON, 11. W., 34. 

LANCASTER, GEORGE, 79. 

LEWIN, WALTER, 128. 

LISTER, THOMAS SPENCER, 206. 

MC.DOWALL, WILLIAM, 211. 

MINTON, E. E., 160. 

PARTINGTON, E. E. E., 101. 

PEACOCK, C., 219. 

PRESTON, J. E., 178. 

QUAIL, JESSE, 71, 223. 

RICHES, EDWARD H., 42. 

ROSS, FREDERICK, 186. 

SHAW, J. G., 167. 

TAYLOR, R. V., 14, 190. 

TOMLINSON, W. W., 47, 141. 

TROTTER, JAMES, 87. 

TUTIN, J. R., 125. 

WALKER, JOHN, 199. 

WALLER, JOHN ROWELL, 66, 83. 

WALLIS, ROBERT, 114. 

WATSON, AARON, 21. 

WILDRIDGE, T. TINDALL, 193. 

W. D., 104. 

WOOD, JOHN, 134. 



NORTH COUNTRY POETS. 



Mrs. Laura A. Whitworth. 




MONGST the sweet singers of the North of England Mrs. 
Laura A. Whitworth is entitled to a leading place. Al- 
though still young, she has for many years been before the 
public and won golden opinions from all sorts and con- 
ditions of men. Her poetry bears evidence of being the 
outcome of a deeply religious nature, and she appears at 
her best when dealing with the soul's aspirations, and the 
delight of mankind in God's wonderful creations. She has 
not ignored the joys and sorrows of humanity, but depicts them with truth 
and much feeling, as one of whom it may be said " a deep distress has 
humanised her soul." 

She is the eldest daughter of the Kev. Richard Dudding, and was born* 
at Manchester in 1851. From her childhood she wrote what she called 
poetry on every scrap of paper that she could find. She carried in her pocket 
a little book to jot down the poetical thoughts which passed through her 
mind. At the age of five years her first verse on record was written 
down by her mother, and at eight, poems were printed on cards for her 
friends, and shortly afterwards a tiny volume called " Forget-me-not," 
was produced, and a few years later a book of hymns. 

She was educated at St. Mary's Hall, Brighton, a school for clergymen's 
daughters. At school she gained great distinction for her musical attain- 
ments, and has since published not a few musical compositions which 
have been favourably received. The organ is her favourite instrument. 
Music rivals her love for poetry. 

The first fifteen years of her life were passed at Bennington Rectory, 
near Boston, Lincolnshire, where her father was the Curate. He is now 
Vicar of Saleby, near Alford, in the same county. 

In 1875, she married Mr. Edwin Whitworth, an inventor and engineer. 
They first resided at Manchester, next at Eipon, then at Sleaford, and have 
their abode now at Nottingham. Her chief literary work was done at 
Sleaford, but she has left some pleasing memorials in poetry of her home 
at " the fair city " of Ripon. Two of her volumes of poems were published 
during her residence at Sleaford, and these established her reputation. 
The critics found much in the books to praise, and the reading public 
gave them a cordial welcome. The first appeared in 1882 under the title 
of " Thought Waves," and the second in 1884, entitled " Glimpses ' Beyond 
the Veil,' " and it is from these books that our selections are made. 

Mrs. Whitworth has contributed numerous stories to the English and 
American magazines and journals. 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 



North Country Poets. 



THE DESERTED MANSION. 



Its chambers are deserted now, 

No sound of voices from within ; 
No happy children romp about 
With all their merry din. 

The echoes sound through empty halls, 
As the grey dusk of evening falls., 

Deserted is the white rose bower, 

No fluttering robe flits down the walk ; 
Neglected hangs each lovely flower, 
All dead and drooping from its stalk. 
Bank weeds are trailing all about. 
"Pis dark within, and drear without. 

Eed lichens cling about the walls, 
The solemn rooks flit over-head, 
Waking the echoes as they go. 

It seems as though the place were dead. 
So mournful is the slow decay, 
When signs of life have passed away. 

At nightfall shadows haunt its glades, 
Which give the place an evil name ; 
The people cross themselves and pass, 
Low muttering of its ghostly fame. 

And none dare pass within its gate, 
For fear of some dark awesome fate. 

Yet once fair women graced its rooms, 

Love whispers sounded in its bowers ; 
Proud courtly forms of young and old, 
Passed in and out amongst the flowers. 

While sights and sounds of life were there, 
To make the picture passing fair. 



Mrs. Laura A. Whitworth. 



A LITTLE GRAVE. 



Only a little grassy mound, no headstone marks the spot, 
But primrose pink, and primrose pale, and blue forget-me-not. 
And yet how much of love lies here, all hidden from the sight 
Of her whose arms are empty now through all the dreary night. 
Who toiling through the sorrowing days in poverty and pain, 
Yet missing that one winsome face would wish it here again ; 
Tho' others climb about her knee, and play around the door, 
One entereth not their play to share, and entereth never more. 
Yes, dearer now than all the rest, seems that one angel child, 
Whose little soul is safe in heaven by sin all undefiled. 
Enshrine his memory in your heart like some sweet holy thing, 
But go no more with heavy grief yea, cease thy sorrowing. 
You would not wish those wings were soiled, so spotless now 

and fair, 

Or live to see that angel face all clouded with despair : 
For God knows best what flowers to cull for bloom in Paradise, 
So cherish those He leaves thee still, and own His ways are 

wise. 



A SUNNY PICTURE. 



We stood amidst the golden corn. 
All bright and smiling was the morn, 
The reapers, singing, passed us by, 
And not a cloudlet flecked the sky. 

Love flooded o'er our lives with light. 
Our hearts had ne'er known sorrow's blight 
If sorrow in the world might be, 
We knew it not, and what cared we ? 

We knew what love and summer meant. 
" The winter of our discontent " 
Seemed yet so very far away, 
Grim Time might never bring the day. 



North Country Poets. 



So kissing 'midst the golden corn, 
Our hearts were one that summer morn, 
When Hope and Sunshine seemed to say 
True love can never pass away. 



ST. BOTOLPH'S BELLS. 

[BOSTON] . 



Oh ! sweet St. Botolph's bells, 
Again your chiming swells 

In floods of music on the still night air ; 
Of many a bygone year it tells, 

And many a home scene fair. 
Within their sound I dwelt long years ago 
Their distant music set my heart aglow, 

When listening to its chime, 
We watched the Old Year dying solemnly and slow, 

In that dear bygone time. 
Our childish hearts untouched by grief or care, 
We had no sorrow for the passing year, 

And heard no sadness in the bell's sweet sound ; 
Flung wide the casement to the keen night air ; 

Thus we a New Year's presence gladly found, 
Whilst all the neighbouring bells with clash and clang, 
To greet the infant Year wild paeans rang. 

Then we in gentle sleep 

Its early hours would keep. 

Ah ! now we greet the sound through mists of tears 
And half-forgotten memories of past years - 

So wake to weep. 



BY THE OCEAN. 



I heard the voices of children 
Float in thro' the open door, 

As they played beyond in the meadow, 
That stretched to the sea-girt shore. 



Mrs. Laura A. Whitworth. 



Voices and rippling laughter, 

With the sea's soft murmur wrought 
A spell o'er my weary spirit, 
That happier memories brought. 
Play on, happy children, 

By the murmuring mystic sea ; 
Life is a deep, vast ocean, 

But its depths are not for thee. 

What tho' thy sand-built palace 

Is swept away by the tide, 
Build them still higher and higher, 

With castle and keep beside. 
We too have built our castles 

On the shifting sands of time, 
But the waves of life o'erswept them 

In the days of our youth and prime. 
Play on, happy children, &c. 



CRADLE SONG. 



Sleep, baby, sleep, 
Soft pillow'd is that little head, 
And mother watches by thy bed ; 

Sleep, baby, sleep. 

Smile, baby, smile, 
Angels are whispering in thine ear 
Sweet soothing words of heavenly cheer 

Smile, baby, smile. 

Weep, baby, weep, 
Thy father tossing on the sea, 
This moment may in danger be ; 

Weep, baby, weep. 

Eest, baby, rest, 

Enshrin'd within thy mother's arms, 
Safe from the world and all alarms ; 

Eest, baby, rest. 



North Country Poets. 



John Holland. 




OHN HOLLAND was an active literary man and a volumi- 
nous author. His first book was published in 1820, and his 
last in 1870; and for a much longer period he was a frequent 
contributor to newspapers and periodicals. His separate 
publications comprise biography and history, topography 
and local antiquities, botany and other branches of 
science, industries and manufactures, theology and belles- 
lettres. We have not space for a complete list of the 
volumes published by him, but must be content to name his poetical works. 
Of these the principal are "Sheffield Park" (1820), "The Methodist" 
(1820), " The Cottage of Pella, and other Poems " (1821), " The Village of 
Eyam " (1821), " The Hopes of Matrimony " (1822), "Flowers from Shef- 
field Park" (1827), "The Pleasures of Sight" (1829), " Tyne Banks" 
(1832), "Handley Church" (1845), " The Great Exhibition" (1851), "Diurnal 
Sonnets " (1851), " A Poet's Congratulation in Verse " (presented to James 
Montgomery on his 80th birthday, 1851), and " The Bazaar, or Money and 
the Church " (1861). 

In " The Tour of the Don " (1837), " Memoirs of the Rose " (1824, re- 
published in 1840 under the title of " The Queen of Flowers), " Evenings 
with the Poets by Moonlight" (1867J, and other prose works, there are 
inserted some original poems. 

The volumes named are far from containing all Mr. Holland's verses. 
" Annuals," magazines, and newspapers were enriched with his effusions ; 
and much fugitive verse was circulated by him on leaflets. He also wrote 
hymns for Sunday School anniversaries and similar occasions. It is to be 
regretted that his poems have not yet been collected and published. 

Mr. Holland was a warm friend and a generous benefactor according 
to his means. He lived in the fear of God and did his work under a deep 
sense of duty. He considered himself a member of the Church of England, 
but regularly worshipped with the Wesleyan Methodists. Some of his 
friendships were very happy. He was for many years the close companion 
of James Montgomery, memoirs of whose useful life he eventually pub- 
lished. Mr. Holland was never married, but many of his poems were 
addressed to ladies. He was a man of great tenderness of feeling. "When he 
was touched by something pathetic the natural result was a poem, and in very 
many cases the poem was a sonnet. He was distinguished as a writer of 
sonnets. Few if any poets have written more in that form. As a son- 
netteer he was publicly complimented by Montgomery. If he had written 
less in respect of quantity, and had revised with greater rigour, his labours 
would have been less pleasant, but his works might have become more 
widely known. But he was not guided by considerations of popular favour. 
He read extensively, and was very helpful as a referee. One who knew 



John Holland. 



him well has said of him, " He could always tell what no one else could 
tell, and his stores of information were placed freely at the disposal of all." 
Another has said truly that he " was a large part of the complex idea Shef- 
field." He had intense local sympathies, and much of his work related to 
Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire (Sheffield particularly). 
Accordingly, his biography, published by Messrs. Longmans & Co. in 1874, 
has been described as "a supplementary history of Sheffield." But he 
had no lack of versatility. 

Mr. Holland was a Christian. In the Report of the Sheffield Literary 
and Philosophical Society, published after his death, it was said that " his 
devotion to literature was only surpassed by the rare excellence of his heart 
and his many Christian virtues. In his daily calling, in society, and in his 
literary capacity, he ' adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour.' " 

WILLIAM HUDSON. 



THE RAINBOW. 



The evening was glorious, and light, through the trees, 
Played the sunshine, the raindrops, the birds, and the breeze 
The landscape outstretching in loveliness lay 
On the lap of the year, in the beauty of May. 

For the Queen of the Spring, as she passed down the vale, 
Left her robe on the trees and her breath on the gale ; 
And the smile of her promise gave joy to the hours, 
While rank in her footsteps sprang herbage and flowers. 

The skies, like a banner in sunset unrolled, 
O'er the west threw their splendours of azure and gold ; 
But one cloud, at distance, rose dense, and increased 
Till its margin of black touched the zenith and east. 

We gazed on the scenes, while around us they glowed, 

When a vision of beauty appeared on the cloud ; 

'Twas not like the sun, as at mid-day we view, 

Nor the moon, that rolls nightly through starlight and blue. 

Like a spirit, it came in the van of the storm ; 
And the eye and the heart hailed its beautiful form ; 
For it looked not severe, like an angel of wrath ; 
And its garment of brightness illumed its dark path. 



North Country Poets. 



In the hues of its grandeur sublimely it stood 
O'er the river, the village, the fields, and the wood ; 
And river, fields, village, and woodland grew bright, 
As conscious they felt and afforded delight. 

'Twas the Boio of Omnipotence, bent in His hand 
Whose grasp at creation the universe spanned ; 
'Twas the presence of God in a symbol sublime, 
His vow from the flood to the exit of time. 

Not dreadful, as when in the whirlwind He pleads, 
When storms are His chariot, and lightnings His steeds ; 
The black clouds His banners of vengeance unfurled, 
And thunder, His voice to a guilt- stricken world ; 

In the breath of His presence when thousands expire, 

And seas boil with fury, and rocks burn with fire, 

When the sword and the plague-spot with death strew the plain, 

And vultures and wolves are the graves of the slain : 

Not such was that Eainbow, that beautiful one ! 
Whose arch was refraction, its keystone the sun ; 
A pavilion it seemed which the Deity graced ; 
And Justice and Mercy met there and embraced. 

A while, and it sweetly bent over the gloom, 
Like love o'er a death-couch, or hope o'er the tomb 
Then left the dark scene, whence it slowly retired, 
As love had just vanished, or hope had expired. 

I gazed not alone on that source of my song ; 
To all who beheld it these verses belong ; 
Its presence to all was the path of the Lord ; 
Each full heart expanded, grew warm, and adored. 

Like a visit, the converse of friends, and a day, 
That Bow from my sight passed for ever away ; 
Like that visit, that converse, that day on my heart, 
That bow from remembrance can never depart. 



John Holland. 



"Pis a picture in memory, distinctly defined 
With the strong and unperishing colours of mind, 
A part of my being, beyond my control, 
Beheld on that cloud, and transcribed on my soul. 



TO A PRIMROSE. 

(On finding one in a solitary walk). 



Meek little flower, retired and shy, 
I will not pluck thee ; no, not I ; 
And though no other poet's eye 

E'er gaze on thee, 
Thy smile may tempt some passer by 

Less kind than me. 

No, pretty floweret, blossom still ; 
Expand thy moon-beam-tinctured frill ; 
Adorn and scent this little hill : 

Thy vernal day, 
Ere the first linnet wakes his trill, 

May pass away. 

Why should I pluck thee ? Soon enough 
Perhaps some heifer's trampling hoof, 
Without regret, without reproof, 

May break thee down. 
Such crushing stroke, untimely rough, 

May be mine own. 

Yet thou shalt live when I am dead ; 
And when the grass springs o'er my head, 
Perhaps my grave's cold hallowed bed 

Shall bear a flower, 
Like that which once its sweetness shed 

On life's warm hour. 



io North Country Poets. 

0, could I tinge thee with my name, 
And sweet, sweet, the poet's claim 
Inscribe, without a blush of shame, 

On mossy seat, 
Perennial then would spring my name, 

With primrose sweet ! 

Affection then might mark thy peep ; 
There Morning's dewy eye would weep ; 
And Spring's young sunbeams love to sleep 

Upon thy breast. 
Her earliest court would Flora keep 

Beneath thy crest. 

The village maiden, wandering there, 
Would cull thee, braid thee with her hair, 
Or place thee on her bosom fair, 

With guileless art. 
The poet's flower her breast would share, 

Himself her heart. 

Yet vain this anxious wish for fame ; 
The poet's dear but envied claim 
May never bless my humble name ; 

And should it not, 
I'd still pursue the poet's aim, 

Then be forgot. 

Then modest floweret, fade and die. 
A humble Spring flower too am I ; 
Yet, as the early smiling sky 

Warms thee to birth, 
Be thou to friendship's partial eye 

My star on earth. 



John Holland. 1 1 



NATIVE SCENERY. 



Born where the Sheaf and Don unite their streams, 
Near that old town, far-famed Brigantium's pride, 
Sheffield, for arts and industry renowned, 
My eyes, first opening, there beheld the light. 
My very cradle was a scene outspread 
Of panoramic splendour. Summits blue 
Defined the fair perspective to the west ; 
East, on the horizon Laughton's lofty spire 
Attracts the eye ; or, farther still, like a dim speck 
Seen in the flush of morn, proud Lincoln Minster ; 
The wooded hill of Beauchief to the south ; 
While northward, in luxuriant charms runs out 
The vale of Don, by shaggy Wharncliffe bound 
The far-famed region of the dragon's den. 
O charming spot of my nativity ! 
Where all things, from my first-remembered glance 
Conspiring, tended to pervade my soul 
With landscape beauty and poetic dreams ! 

True, there are mountains by Jehovah's hand 
Piled more sublimely high than yonder hills ; 
And there are woods and forests nobler far 
Than yon sweet amplitude of scattered trees, 
Or yonder scatter'd clumps ; and there are vales 
Of more capacious sweep than those I see, 
And in their bosoms lakes surpassing much 
Those neighbouring dams ; and there are rivers, too, 
More deep, more wide, and more magnificent, 
Rolling their ampler volumes to the sea. 
But say, thou travell'd artist, say, my friend, 
Where is the spot afar, or where at home, 
In earth's wide circuit or in Britain's isle, 
That in sweet combinations doth surpass 
This chaste and charming landscape ! Oh, I feel 
These scenes inspiring to my partial pen ! 



12 North Country Poets. 

So when the limner with a filial heart 
Paints a dear mother's portrait, love may yield 
Unwitting, undesign'd, some better line, 
Some graces to the contour, yea, some tints 
Which the cold critic judgment scarce may hope 
In fhe beloved original to find. 



SUMMER EVENING. 



Oh, what a glorious harvest-field of thought 

Is a rich Summer's evening. 'Tis the time 

When friendship's golden grain, if fully ripe, 

Should aye be reaped, and bundled up, and housed. 

Evening is friendship's friend. It hath a charm 

To tranquillise, to sweeten, and draw out 

That converse mutual and reciprocal, 

Which, passing from the lip into the ear, 

Doth make true hearts in friendship truer still. 

Summer evening, thou art dear to me, 

As ever thou hast been ! A boy, I loved 

To ramble and to mark thy various vest, 

As gorgeous, when in sunset beauty dipped, 

Or in that grey sobriety of shade 

Which twilight gives, or when 'twas spread 

With here and there a star. I loved in youth 

Thee, sweet Summer evening. Golden dreams 

Oft haunted me alone ; but neither gold, 

Nor gems, nor aught else precious deemed of wealth 

Had ever power to tempt me from thy charms. 

And now in manhood, though the flying years 

Have borne my youth away, still have they left 

Me all the exquisite delights of youth, 

Yea, left me much of boyhood's young romance 

In loving thee, Summer evening sweet ! 



John Holland. 13 



SOLITUDE. 



The man who, when with toil or care distraught, 
Or when at ease in body or in mind, 
In self-communion can no joyance find, 
Hath not in Wisdom's school been fully taught : 
To dive in silence for rich pearls of thought, 
Deep in the waveless ocean of the soul, 
Is to enjoy, beyond the world's control, 
A bliss in tumult often vainly sought : 
Thus, in my chamber, or the flowery field, 
When with me human form or voice is none, 
I feel nor sad, nor dull, nor all alone ; 
For still the intellectual part doth yield 
To its own powers companionship ; the while 
O'er all my inner being spreads contentment's smile. 



THE SWALLOW. 



Bird of strange instinct and untiring wing, 
Thou art as welcome as the smile of May, 
Herald and earnest of that gentler sway 

Which nature wields o'er every living thing, 

What time stern winter to the genial spring 

Eesigns our changeful year. The sloe's white bloom, 
And daisies springing from their grassy tomb, 

At thy return their flowery welcome bring. 

Come, rest thee from thy long, mysterious flight ; 
Come ; and, ere yet the beech unfolds its leaves, 
Build up thy plaster nest beneath the eaves ; 

And if thy summer song but half -aright 

I may interpret, it will doubtless be 

Of trust in Providence, a lesson read to me. 



North Country Poets. 



John Ryley Robinson, LL.D. 




OHN RYLEY ROBINSON was born at Dewsbury, on the 
5th day of September, 1829, and is the son of Mr. Joshua 
Robinson, a popular local preacher among the Wesleyan 
Methodists. This Joshua Robinson married a daughter 
of John Ryley, who for twenty-six years was the master 
of the Blue Coat School at Leeds ; who also wrote a brief 
" History of Leeds," and is spoken of by Taylor, in his 
"Leeds Worthies," as having "enriched almost every 
periodical publication in mathematics for nearly half a century, and was also 
justly admired for his problems and demonstrations, possessing a soundness 
of judgment and a quickness of perception in mathematical knowledge 
which deservedly ranked him as one of its first professors." 

The subject of our sketch was partially educated under a noted teacher, 
George Elam, of Birstal, near Leeds, a man whose abilities endeared him 
to many business men in the West Riding, who were proud of the honour 
of having been under his tuition. To this day Dr. Robinson has made his 
home in Dewsbury, where he is a member of the Town Council, Chairman 
of the Gas and Water Committee, a Director of the Grammar School, and 
also a noted literary and antiquarian student, as well as a celebrated poet. 
Though he has commendably cultivated his poetical powers, he has by no 
means been indifferent to other studies, not being one of those who imagine 
that poetry and the exact sciences are diametrically opposite, and that a 
poet must of necessity be an impracticable person, if not an idle dreamer. 
At school he had distinguished himself by an ardent devotion to languages, 
especially the ancient Greek, and the arts and sciences have always had 
charms for him. He has had the honour of being elected Fellow of the 
Royal Geographical Society (in 1865), and subsequently of the Society of 
Antiquaries of Scotland, the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries, Copen- 
hagen, a member of the Geological Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Asiatic 
Society, the German Oriental Society, the Asiatic Society of Paris, and 
several others of a similar nature. In 1868 the Senate of Tusculum College, 
at Greenville, in Tennessee, conferred on him the degree of LL.D., the 
diploma being signed by the President of the United States, along with the 
Senate of the College. 

To an extended knowledge of the beauties of his native land, and 
especially of his own county, he has added an intimate acquaintance with 
the sunny climes of the south of Europe, the winter habitat of our summer 
birds of passage. On visiting Italy in 1867, he wrote several pretty fragments, 
which have since appeared in Mr. Wm. Smith's " Trip to Rome," and other 
publications. Still, with all the charms of Italy brightening the remem- 
brance of his visit, he is able to express his feelings in favour of the coun- 
try of his birth. " Steer, father, straight to me," has, with others, been 



John Ryley Robinson, LL.D. 15 



set to music, by Mr. J. Waring, of Heckmondwike, which do credit both to 
the West Hiding poet and the West Biding musician. A host of similar 
smaller poems by Dr. Robinson have been printed by Messrs. Campbell & 
Tudhope, of Glasgow, as illuminated leaflets, and published in cheap 
packets, which will be acceptable to Christian philanthropists and Sunday 
School teachers. We believe they have had, as they deserve, a large circu- 
lation. Several of the tracts of the Weekly and other Societies are from 
his pen, such as " John Asquith, the pious shoemaker," and " The Evil of 
the Love of Gold," <fcc. His larger poems are chiefly on Scriptural subjects, 
as " The Messiah " (now in the second edition), " Joseph," " The Deluge," 
" Esther," " Daniel," &c., several of which have appeared in the Methodist 
Quarterly, to which he was a regular contributor. Others have appeared in 
numerous publications besides those mentioned in this sketch, as well as in 
the various newspapers throughout the country. 

Dr. Robinson has been Vice-Chairman of the Dewsbury School Board 
for about nine years ; President of the Dewsbury Naturalists' Society 
from its commencement until quite recently ; Wesleyan Circuit Steward 
for several years ; and for over twenty years has had a Sunday Bible Class, 
which contained at one time nearly one hundred members ; and is also 
President of the Chemists' Association, numbering over thirty members. 

Though still residing at his native Dewsbury, he has rambled through 
most of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Switzerland, climbing 
Alpine summits in the Mont Blanc range with the same vigour that had 
taken him to the top of Snowdon, and other mountains of his native land. 
His "Reminiscences of a Visit to Switzerland and Northern Italy" 
appeared in Yorkshire, Nottingham, and London papers, and others 
appeared in the Argonaut, &c. His latest printed poems are " Esther " and 
" The Deluge," which first appeared in the Methodist Quarterly, and after- 
wards in a separate form. He has also several other poems on " David," 
"Moses," Joseph," "Daniel," "Samson," and "Ruth," ready for the 
press ; and he is the author of a number of North of England tractates, 
including " Yorkshire Worthies," " Howley Hall," " Halifax Gibbet," and 
the battles of " Towton," " Marston Moor," and " Adwalton Moor," &c. 

Dr. Robinson is a writer of whom Yorkshire has no cause to be 
ashamed, and an earnest worker for many a good object. He has also 
published hundreds of short poems, mostly of a religious character, or with 
a moral attached, which ought to be re-published in book form, pro bono 
publico. 

R. V. TAYLOR, B.A. 

KIRKSTALL ABBEY. 



Behold these hallowed walls ; these ruined towers : 
The moss-grown cells, where monks in days of yore, 
Studied and prayed, and wept. Where abbots proud 
Planned their ambitious schemes ; and, hiding deep 



1 6 North Country Poets. 

Their secret thoughts, went forth to those who lay 
Just on the verge of death, and, holding up . 
Before their glazing eyes, the holy cross, 
Drew such a picture of their past career : 
Indulgence in the vanities of earth, 
Neglect of God, and of the church, with all 
The crimes, the open sins, which in the time 
Of the stern warrior's manhood, they nor dared 
To speak or hint at. And, despite of all 
The cloak of their religion, threatened him 
With endless misery, in torments dire, 
Unless he made atonement for the past ; 
By leaving to the Church his vast estates. 

How did thy roofs re-echo to the sound ' 
Of the Te Deum, when thy Abbot came 
Rejoicing, and victorious in his suit, 
And told the anxious monks, how at the feet 
Of the old Earl, Hugh Bigot, he had knelt, 
Beseeching him, with tears and earnest prayers, 
With protestations of his innocence ; 
Imploring mercy, till the Earl, o'ercome 
By his well-feigned humility, restored 
The Bernoldswick estates, from which the monks 
Had been by law ejected ; and the King, 
The second Henry, witnessed and confirmed 
The charter. Short-lived triumph : for erelong 
The Abbot Alexander died, and he 
Who came from Fountains, Hageth, struggled hard, 
But all in vain, to grapple with thy foes. 
Of no avail his costly gifts, although 
With chalice of pure gold, and holy text 
Of the four gospels, with the greatest care 
Engrossed by scribes, he sought to gain the King. 
'Twas fruitless all. Disheartened and distrest 
At thy decaying fortunes, he resigned, 
And left thee to thy fate. Then Lambert came, 



John Rylcy Robinson, LL.D. 17 

Who, with high hand, regardless of the hate 
Of all beneath him, from their homes expelled 
The cottagers ; but, as the timid worm 
Will turn again when trod upon, they rose, 
Burned down his grange, with all that it contained, 
And slew the three lay brothers he had placed 
In charge of it. He died, and passed away. 
Then came Turgesius, gloomy and devout. 
No secret license now ; no revellings ; 
No feasting on rich dainties, with choice wines ; 
No lovely damsels at confessional, 
Breathing their secret hopes into the ears 
Of young, unmarried, and licentious monks. 
Austere, and clad in sackcloth ; tasting not 
Wine or strong drink ; barefooted, for the space 
Of nine long years he practiced abstinence, 
Resigned, and died, and went we hope to heaven. 

Then came a change in thy affairs, for he 
Who followed him was Heylas, and, by means 
Of Industry, and Prudence, once again 
Fair fortune smiled on thee. For centuries 
Thy fame and thy prosperity increased. 
Endowments rich thy abbots gained from those 
Whose deathbeds they attended ; and thy monks 
Lived on the choicest dainties, till the time 
Of retribution came, and he whom they 
Pompously called " Defender of the Faith " 
Decreed thy dissolution, and the fate 
Which, soon or late, o'ertakes all human things, 
Attended thee. The sharp, corroding tooth 
Of Time hath eaten deep into thy stones ; 
Thy lofty towers, which pointed to the skies, 
The fierce, wild, wintry winds, the frequent storms 
Of centuries have wasted. Massive walls, 
Which seemed to mock decay, defying time 
Itself to work their ruin, yield beneath 



1 8 North Country Poets. 

A meaner foe ; pierced by the tender shoots 
Of ivy, which, enlarging as they grow, 
Feed on the mouldering dust which years have made, 
And vanquish the firm, strong-built masonry 
Which in their infancy a lodging gave. 
Above seven hundred years have passed away 
Since thou wert founded ; and the noble lord 
Who owned these lands, and vast estates beside, 
Soon passed away. His honour and renown 
Well-nigh forgotten where his will was law, 
His word command, which none dare disobey. 
His body mingled with its kindred dust. 
And thou, by thy admirers almost deemed 
Imperishable, hasteth to thy fall. 

May we this lesson learn from thy decay : 
That, though the solid rocks in sunder cleave, 
And earth's most firmly built foundations fail, 
Yea, all beneath the skies shalt pass away ; 
There is a changeless mansion for the just, 
Eternal in the Heavens ; and he who lives 
A blameless, holy life on earth, shall dwell 
In happiness and joy unspeakable, 
Enthroned at God's right hand for evermore. 



GO R D A LE . 



Mid scenes like this how sinks the human mind 
When man, and all his deeds, we contemplate. 
Dwarf 'd by the giant force around display 'd, 
We shrink into ourselves, and own that all 
Which we had thought worthy our boast, was nought 
Compared with nature's powers when thus set free. 
Here, far from earthly things, and busy scenes 
Of toil, and bustling, anxious, worldly care, 
We see ourselves more as we ought, and own 
That, trusting in our strength, we are but weak 



John Ryley Robinson, LL.D. 19 

And feeble mortals ; void of all the fond 
And proud pretence of power which some have claim'd ; 
Yet, claiming, show in that their folly too. 
'Tis in His strength alone that we are great : 
His strength, who form'd the world, the sun, the moon, 
And myriad stars which gem th' ethereal sky, 
Each one the centre of a system ; each 
A sun itself to other worlds like ours. 
Yet, though His might, all powerful to control 
The universe itself, did first create, 
And now sustains, upholds, and governs all : 
Sees nought beneath His care. The smallest germ 
Of vegetation springs, grows, ripens still 
At His command. The meanest worm that crawls, 
Shares the same Providence which feeds the great, 
And noble animals that shake the ground ; 
When their huge figures tread the forest path. 
The smallest particles of moss, which here 
With loveliest green relieve the solitude, 
Are known to Him, for He directs their growth. 
And shall we then, the noblest of His works, 
Forget that He hath made us ? and that He 
Hath promised by Himself, the greatest, best 
Security that we can wish to have, 
He will be ours, our God ; if we but serve, 
And worship Him sincerely, and obey 
His every law, and His commands perform ? 
Oh ! may we then, with heartfelt gratitude 
For all His mercies, give to Him ourselves, 
I All that we have and are, and live to Him 

So long as our earth's pilgrimage endures : 
That, when the end shall come, the end of all 
Life's troubles, griefs, and cares ; Death may but be 
The portal to that blest inheritance, 
Which He hath promised in the realms above, 
He will prepare for His own chosen ones. 



2O North Country Poets. 



FLAMBOROUGH LIGHTHOUSE. 



Brightly from the beacon streaming, 
Comes a light across the sea, 

Through the darkness ever gleaming, 
Warning sailors constantly, 

Lest they here might find their graves, 

Underneath the treacherous waves. 

Light of mercy ! still shine brightly, 
Guiding vessels on their way ; 

May thy rays direct them nightly, 
Safe into the welcome bay : 

From all fear of danger free, 

Riding in security. 

Emblem of that glorious beacon, 
Guiding with its heavenly ray, 

O'er the darkness of life's ocean, 
Pilgrims on their homeward way : 

Eocks of sin and sorrow past, 

To their blessed home at last. 




Robert S pence Watson, LL.D. 



21 



Robert Spence Watson, LL.D. 




SHOULD like to write the life of Robert Spence Watson 
at such length as would be quite out of proportion to a work 
of this kind. His poems are the least part of his achieve- 
ment. They were written chiefly for the delight of his 
family, and mainly on the subject of his travels. Only 
in one instance has he appealed to the wider public 
through the medium of verse, this being with a group of 
songs entitled " The Children's Christmas," written to 
the music of Myles Birket Foster, the son of his distinguished cousin, 
Birket Foster, the artist and illustrator. Robert Spence Watson, born 
in 1837, educated at the Friends' School, York, and University College, 
London, is a man of exceptional activities, both of body and mind. He is 
a member of the Alpine Club, and he has written an admirable little mono- 
graph on " Caodmon," the first Euglish poet ; he is one of the leading 
English politicians out of Parliament, and he has travelled in Morocco ; he is 
a solicitor in successful practice, and is deeply instructed in ancient and 
modern art ; he was the first Christian to enter the sacred city of Wazan, and 
he was condemned to death by the French during the Franco-German war. 
In Newcastle, of which he is a native, Mr. Watson is much the foremost 
man in the Liberal party, and he might long ago have been in Parliament 
if the honour were not one which he is resolute in declining. A member of 
the Society of Friends, he went out to France, as one of the Commissioners 
of that body, to distribute relief to the starving peasantry during the war. 
He has written "A Visit to Wazan," published by Macmillan ; "The 
Villages around Metz," an account of his relief experiences ; the afore- 
mentioned book on " Caodmon ; " numerous pamphlets on an and political 
subjects ; two volumes of poems for private circulation ; and a paper on 
" Wordsworth's Relations to Science," in the recently published tran- 
sactions of the Wordsworth Society. Mr. Watson's remarkable and 
winning powers of oratory have made him known throughout all England, 
and during a recent period of political excitement he probably addressed 
more meetings, in widely separated places, than any other politician of 
the day. 

AAEON WATSON. 

PYGMALION AND GALATEA. 



She was not woman ! No too doubting wife : 
With the rude rock thou watched my daily strife 
Till painfully it took its perfect form : 
Then the Gods breathed on it and gave it life. 



22 North Country Poets. 

Yet 'twas my work that lived and breathed and moved ; 
My work, by thee so watched and praised and loved : 
How could I fail to love her when she grew 
A thing of beauty, by the Gods approved. 

I watched the sunbeams toying with her hair 
As the light zephyr tossed it here and there, 
And kissed it in an ecstasy of love : 
Gods never made a creature half so fair. 

She trod as though upon the necks of men ! 
The flowers kissed her glancing feet, and then 
Eose sweeter, brighter, happier, than before 
Longing to feel that proud foot-fall again. 

But when I gazed into those tranquil eyes 
Beaming with new-born consciousness' surprise, 
As when the sun, awakening the world, 
In floods of self-created glory lies, 

Each simple movement seemed a world of grace, 
Fresh pictures shone forth with each change of place, 
And best loved poems grew weak words beside 
That which I read writ in that perfect face. 

Soul-wak'ning song breathed in her slightest word, 
Her softest tones the heart's recesses stirred ; 
Surrounding silence truly told her power, 
And men grew noble when that voice they heard. 

No more they hear it : never, never, more ! 

The image stands as perfect as before ; 

The marvelling crowd still cry " the marble lives ; " 

I know, alas ! the glory that is o'er. 



Robert Spence Watson, LL.D. 23 



LOVE ONLY LIVES. 



Ah love, if love had willed that I should ne'er 

Hear the soft music of thy gentle voice, 
Or press the silken rapture of thy hair ; 

Willed that thy presence, wherein all rejoice, 
Thy life, which is to mine a fount of gladness, 
Had been to me unknown, thought near akin to madness 

Could the earth then have seemed to me so fair, 
The summer moon still smile, the planets roll, 

The wee birds sing, the flowers perfume the air, 
Spring gaily bound from winter's stern control ? 

Would not all joys to me be cold and dumb, 

Untaught by her from whom their truest beauties come ? 

Love whilst love lives, for even love must die ; 

The tenderest flower first fades 'neath winter's breath : 
Love whilst we may ; our love shall one day lie 

Withered, yet sacred, in the grasp of death. 
Weep not because night ever follows day : 
Love's light alone may shine when all things else decay. 



SPRING. 



Sweetest time of all the year, 
When the gentle Spring awakes, 
And, with scarcely opened eyes, 
Quietly and softly lies, 
Lest by moving the spell breaks : 
When the sun-light warmly falls, 
Out across the moorland brown, 
In the weary smoke-dried town, 
Gladdening the dull brick walls 
With its magic making. 



24 North Country Poets. 

Winter lieth on her bier 
To be buried 'neath fresh roses : 
Soon the violets appear : 
Every day fresh joy discloses ; 
Every day some bud comes peeping, 
Every day some flower quits sleeping, 
Every day some stranger bird 
In the busy woods is heard ; 
Darkness sooner flies away, 
Heaven's light holds longer sway. 

Hearts beat gladly when they feel 

The sweet influence of renewing : 

Modest lilies ring a peal 

Soft and low as lover's sueing, 

And the brooklet gaily dances ; 

Gentle days bring gentle fancies. 

Leaflets clad the naked branch, 

And wee flowerets once more launch 

Fragrance into dewy air, 

Sweetness seemeth everywhere ; 

Whilst from forth her boundless treasure 

Bringeth Spring, in bounteous measure, 

Nights of calm and tender beauty, 

Days of undefined pleasure, 

When the earth in quiet lies 

Smiling at the smiling skies. 

Joy exists without alloy ; 

Life itself is full of joy ; 

And the world is full of beauty ; 

Happiness becometh duty. 



John William Inchbold. 



John William Inchbold. 




OHN WILLIAM INCHBOLD, the author of "Annus 
Amoris," a volume of sonnets, and other poems, better 
known to the world of art as a most refined and poetical land - 
scape painter, was born at Leeds, but at a very early period 
in his career left Yorkshire to take up his abode in London. 
His father, Mr. Thomas Inchbold, publisher, of Leeds, 
was one of the first to introduce the art of lithography, 
both as an art and a trade ; and doubtless this fact had 
much influence in his son's choice of a profession. Of Mr. Inchbold's fame 
as an artist, it is not for us to speak here, saving that ftiis fame is in- 
separably linked with the poetical inspirations to which reference is now 
made, for each single poem may be regarded as the expression, only in a 
different mode, of one of those exquisite pictures on canvas drawn by this 
master. " Annus Amoris " was the only volume published by Mr. 
Inchbold, and is the expression in song of his ardent worship of Nature in her 
loveliest, no less than in her sternest, aspects. The book was received with 
marked pleasure by all true lovers of poetry, and was most favorably 
reviewed by the leading journals. The Spectator speaks thus : " The book is 
full of graceful imagery and of suggestive thought, and the poems are marked 
throughout by delicacy of feeling, beauty of expression, and an entire free- 
dom from the conventional diction so dear to the poetaster;" and the 
Athenaum declared "the compositions to bo remarkable for the manner 
in which outward phenomena are made the mouthpieces of inward thoughts 
and moods." 

Mr. Inchbold's death, which took place January 23rd, 1888, was deeply 
lamented by a large number of distinguished friends and admirers, among 
some of the most intimate of whom may be mentioned Mr. John Dennis, 
Mr. Coventry Patmore, Dr. Russell Reynolds, and Mr. Geo. Howard (now 
Earl of Carlisle), with whom he stayed at Castle Howard some months 
before his death. 

We think it is not inappropriate here to quote briefly from an exquisite 
poem to the memory of Mr. Inchbold by Algernon Charles Swinburne, 
a friend of early years, which appeared in the Athencfinn, and was afterwards 
quoted in other journals, as a " Poet's tribute to a Painter." 
For if, beyond the shadow and the sleep, 

A place there be for souls without a stain, 
Where peace is perfect, and delight more deep 

Than seas or skies that change and shine again, 
There none of all unsullied souls that live, 
May hold a surer station : none may lend 
More light to hope's or memory's lamp, nor give 

More joy than thine to those that called thee friend. 
And we conclude this notice with the following beautiful and most pathetic 



26 North Country Poets. 



lines, by one of his closest and dearest friends, Mr. John Dennis, which 
appeared in the Spectator. 

Bleak is the wind, and all the woods are bare, 

No rift of blue gladdens the wintry sky, 

But nature mourns her lover with a sigh, 

Hiding beneath her snow-white veil her care ; 

Ah ! well he wooed her when her face was fair 

In the warm summer, 'midst his Yorkshire hills ; 
And dear to him the music of her rills, 
And dear the stillness of the moorland air. 
O loyal painter ! steadfast to thy vow, 

Scorner of men who make art merchandise ! 
O loyal friend ! weak though these words be now, 

Sweet are the memories that bedim my eyes ; 
Farewell ! God's love has called thec to thy rest ! 
Bless'd art the pure in heart, and thou art blest." 

ALICE HALEY. 



ART. 



Mysterious force, as beautiful as strange, 
And pure with beauty and with mystery ; 
Queen of the world in wide extent of range, 
Through every motion of the sky and sea, 
And the sweet mother of all joy, our Earth 
Whether in moment of her snowy rest, 
Or autumn eve, or summer noon, or birth 
Of spring time o'er an Alpine mountain's crest, 
To touch thy robe is life, but to receive 
Thy touch of fiery lip, then pierce with eye 
Made clear and strong, and afterwards to weave 
With all our heart, fair forms that cannot die : 
This bliss supreme being ours, thine own free gift, 
Makes life one joy and dull time keen and swift. 



STRATFORD-ON-AVON. 



Just as of old sweet Avon winds its way, 
Embracing yellow corn and meadow-land, 
The harvest moon makes night a sweeter day, 
Just as of old on Shakespeare's brow and hand, 



John William Inchbold. 27 

The willows droop upon the river's breast, 

The silvern swan is in its loveliest dream, 

An image beautiful of twofold rest ; 

O mellow sky, and moon, and stars, and stream ! 

All Nature's spirit, free as song of bird ! 

Send now sweet Love upon the fruitful earth, 

And let the exulting song far off be heard 

Of Love's wide melody and purest mirth, 

Until the gentle conquest be complete, 

And Death, and Sorrow are in full retreat. 



ONE DEAD. 



Is it deep sleep, or is it rather death ? 

Best anyhow it is, and sweet is rest : 

No more the doubtful blessing of the breath, 

Our God hath said that silence is the best ; 

And thou art silent as the pale, round moon, 

And near thee is our birth's great mystery : 

Alas, we knew not thou wouldst go so soon ! 

We cannot tell where sky is lost in sea, 

But only find life's bark to come and go, 

By wondrous nature's hidden force impelled, 

Then melts the wake in sea, and none shall know 

For certain which the course the vessel held ; 

The lessening ship by us no more is seen, 

And sea and sky are just as they have been. 





28 North Country Poets. 



Allison Hughes. 

LICE HALEY, who writes under the nom de plume of 
" Allison Hughes," is a native of Leeds. From early 
childhood she displayed a predisposition to poetry and 
poetic expression, which may be attributed to the fact 
that from both parents she inherited a literary taste. 
Her father, in the leisure permitted him during a busy 
life, devoted much of it to the composition and adaptation 
of sacred music, most of which had far more than a local 
crculation ; and at the present time a published collection of his work is still 
admired and cherished by those fortunate enough to possess copies. On the 
other side, her maternal grandfather, Mr. Thomas Inchbold, was a well- 
known publisher in Leeds, and was at one time proprietor of the Leeds 
Intelligencer, now incorporated with the Yorkshire Post, to which he was a 
regular contributor. But what perhaps had the greatest influence in guiding 
and directing the literary predilections of Miss Haley, was the advantage 
she possessed of frequent association and correspondence with her 
distinguished uncle, Mr. John William Inchbold, the well-known artist and 
poet, whose untimely death last year the art and literary world, generally, 
deplored. Mr. Inchbold, as a friend of Tennyson, Ruskin, Rossetti, 
Swinburne, and others, would be apt to imbue his young disciple's mind 
with some of the impressions which he himself, no doubt, had received by 
association with such poetical luminaries. At any rate, her poetic 
nature began to find expression at an early age, as when still in her teens 
she composed many of the pieces which compose the bulk of her first 
volume of poems, published by Henry S. King & Co., London, entitled 
" Penelope, and other poems," now out of print. When published, it was 
received with the greatest favour in literary circles. Most of the London, 
and the principal provincial reviewers, considered it worthy of special and 
extended notice. One critic compares her to Mrs. Barrett Browning, 
Christina Kossetti, and Jean Ingelow, contending that she possesses in a 
degree something of the distinctive graces of each. Another says of her verse 
that " if it moves stiffly it is because the substance is rich and carefully 
wrought." Another, referring to some word-painting in the poem entitled 
"Penelope," says: " Here is a picture of sunset of which the Laureate 
might be proud." Many more references of an equally eulogistic character 
might be cited. It is said that much of her work is composed in a mournful 
key. This may perhaps arise from the comparatively secluded surroundings 
of her early life ; but of late years Miss Haley has resided a good deal abroad, 
and the vivacity and continuous changes of foreign life have no doubt im- 
parted to her more cheerful views of life, which find expression in her newly - 
published book, " Reed Music " (Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co.). Miss Haley 
has been a contributor to Good Words, Glasgoiu Weekly Citizen, &c., and has 
received the eulogies of such authorities as the late Principal Tulloch and 
Professor John Stuart Blackie. The three pieces published here will give a 
fair idea of her quality and style. 

F. C. HAIITMANN. 



Allison Hughes. 29 



JOYS OF LIFE. 



Just to lie at early morning, 

Half asleep and half awake, 
When the first faint flush of dawning 

In the East begins to break. 
Just to muse in mute quiescence, 

Beauteous visions hovering nigh, 
Subtle in their evanescence 

As the changeful Eastern sky. 

Such are joys God gives when giving 
Man to breathe of mortal breath 

Joys too brief, since round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 

Just to climb steep upland passes 

Scarce to mortal footsteps known, 
Just to roam through dewy grasses 

By scent-laden breezes blown, 
Just to catch a fading glimmer 

Of the sunset waning West, 
Just to watch white moonbeams shimmer 

Coldly fair on Ocean's breast. 

Such are joys God gives when giving 
Man to breathe of mortal breath 

Joys too brief, since round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 

Just to mingle with the flowing, 

Surging, heaving human sea, 
With the heart's blood fiercely glowing, 

Just to mingle and to be. 
Just to feel the warm pulsation 

Of that life whose weakest aim 
Ne'er shall know annihilation, 

Ever dull or fair shall flame. 



30 North Country Posts. 

Such are joys God gives when giving 
Man to breathe of mortal breath 

Joys too brief, since round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 

Just to mark dear eyes gleam brighter, 

Lit by fire from eyes as dear, 
Just to know light hearts grow lighter 

When some form beloved draws near, 
Just to clasp some bright form visioned 

Far off once on Fancy's shore, 
Just to catch a smile, safe prisoned 

In the breast for evermore. 

Such are joys God gives when giving 
Man to breathe of mortal breath 

Joys too brief, since round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 

Just to labour 'mid the yearning 

Myriad souls of brother-kind, 
Striving oft to ease some burning 

Grief, or soothe some restless mind. 
Just to laugh that happy laughter 

Sunlike, rippling round life's pain ; 
Just to sing, forgetting after 

Silence shall ensue again ! 

Such are joys God gives when giving 
Man to breathe of mortal breath 

Joys too brief, since round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 

Just to track with dauntless daring 
Lonely heights of fair renown, 

Just to tread earth's low vales wearing 
Hope's imperishable crown. 



Allison Hughes. 31 



Just to wander through life's mazes, 
Led by gentle unseen Friend, 

In whose hand bright love-torch blazes, 
That shall guide unto the end. 

Such are joys God gives when giving 
Man to breathe of mortal breath 

Joys too brief, since round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 

Such are mortal joys and fleeting, 
Shed like blossoms round our feet, 

Transient as the rainbow's greeting, 
If as transient, still as sweet. 

Such are joys which men receiving 
Hail with thankful heart and breath, 

Since for ever round the living 
Floats the mystery of Death ! 



THE GRANDMOTHER. 



Through the wide-open door the westering sun 
Streamed in warm splendour ; in the casement set 
Bed summer roses and sweet mignonette. 
Beside her wheel the old grandmother spun 
Her flaxen thread against the day was done, 
And seemed in smiling reverie to forget 
Long vanished years of fevered toil and fret 
Time led more gently toward life's boundary stone. 

The little children played around her chair, 

Their laughter made light music in her dreams. 

Each passing neighbour gave " good night." Faint gleams 

Of gold within the west heavens lingered fair. 

" Grandmother, wake ! the evening meal is spread ! " 

" Hush, children dear ! she banquets with the dead ! " 



32 North Country Poets. 



SILENCES! 



The silences that float 

Between two kindred souls aflame with love : 

Those brief, sweet seasons, when that life is drowned 

In magic quiet, and far, far remote, 

Dim, shadowy, and strange, the vast world seems ! 

When fancy idly folds her lightsome wing, 

When speech swoons on the rippling breeze and dies, 

And even thought is lulled and lost in dreams, 

By drowsy, hushful stillness circled round. . . . 

The silences that lie 

Between our souls and the beloved dead : 

Those regions of ineffable despair, 

Those shrouded depths unseen by mortal eye, 

Those dreary wastes of empty nothingness, 

Which border the abode of spirits fled. 

What though we stretch into the vacant air 

Mute hands that plead for one sweet whispered word 

To dissipate the dread infinitude 

Of silence that for ever is unstirred ? 

No sound e'er steals across the motionless 

Abyss of separation which doth brood 

Between the voiceful living and the voiceless lost ! . . . 

The silences that fall 

Within that secret chamber of the soul, 

When mystic strains steal from heaven's viewless shore, 

And mingle with life's tumult, until all 

About our hearts great waves of music roll, 

And earthly discords weary us no more 

For a brief season, but forgotten sleep. 

Then comes a sudden hush, the refrain dies 

And, as of old the Temple's child did hark, 

In wond'ring awe, for speech to fill the deep 

And sudden void between him and the dark 

Unrestful world that stole, so hearken we, 

And toward the Infinite dumbly passionate cries 

Our waiting soul, but answer none none none 

Save silence ! This the deathless voice of God. 



John Harbottle. 



33 



John Harbottle. 




HE surroundings of the modern man of business are ill- 
fitted to inspire the spirit of poetry. The bustle and din 
of city life, the eddy and whirl of the times, the engrossing 
cares of business, the relentless competition and the 
callousness of the commercial regime all tend to dull 
those finer sensibilities and crush those softer emotions 
which are the very fountain of the poet's inspiration. 
The business man to-day must be practical whether 
be will or no. In his high-pressure life there is no time to nurse 
impressions ; in his pre-occupied mind there is no room for sentiment. He 
is a struggling swimmer down the stream of time ; not a musing way- 
farer on its banks. Others may stop to note the beauties by the way ; he 
irust act. 

But if the environment of the business man of to-day is not of the kind 
to produce poets, there are, nevertheless, those who have so far freed them- 
selves from it as to aspire to poetry. Despite the influences which militate 
against it, there are in the ranks of our commercial men those who have 
wooed and won the muse. One who has done so very successfully is Mr. 
John Harbottle, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Living and working in no more 
congenial environment than is afforded by a business life on Newcastle Quay- 
side, he is at heart a singer, and never tires of tuning his lyre in praise of 
his native hills and streams. 

John Harbottle was born in Newcastle, in 1851, and is the eldest son 
of Mr. Thomas Harbottle, an old and respected tradesman of that city. 
The rhyming faculty which ultimately developed into genuine verse, betrayed 
itself early in youth, and numbers of fragments and acrostics which he 
produced while still in his teens, served to indicate the bent of his mind. 
But it is to another and stronger characteristic that we owe the numerous 
songs and poems which have made the cognomen of " Streams of the North " 
familiar to many in Newcastle. The mere faculty for rhyming does not make 
a poet, and poetry is not the product of fireside ease in a cosy parlour. 
There must be communion with nature, or the song that rejoices in field 
and flower, in the music of the murmuring stream, in ' the brightness of 
morning," and the "red of the gloaming" will never be written. An 
enthusiastic angler, he has for twenty-five years, from boyhood to man- 
hood, and from manhood to middle age, plied his rod in the streams of his 
native Borderland with a devotion that only a fisher knows. Wandering 
by the banks of the lovely Coquet, or amid the wilder scenes of the 
Tyne and Reed he has learned to note their charms and sing their 
praises in joyous measure. His songs have the freshness of the moun- 
tain breeze ; their music is of the waters. They are now bright and glee- 
some as the dancing of the brook in the morning sun, or now softly pathetic 



34 North Country Poets. 



as the low murmuring of the placid river. Almost their one theme is the 
sport he loves to praise. But though his songs have one theme they are not 
lacking in variety. The associations and reflections called up by each are 
distinct and different, and their metrical treatment is as diversified. He 
handles the stately heroic couplet, and the ranting rollicking measure of 
" Cappy's the dog," with equal facility. Some of his best productions are 
little pastorals, written in the Northumbrian dialect, of which he is a com- 
plete master, but his more humorous poems are penned in the broad Doric 
of the Newcastle keelman, which he uses with a facility thoroughly racy of 
the soil. These latter, however, written mainly for the Northumberland 
Angling Club, of which Mr. Harbottle is an active member, will not appeal 
to the general reader on account of their personal allusions and purely local 
character, and they are not therefore included in this selection. 
Some of his poems of a more general character have from time 
to time appeared in the Newcastle papers, and when the Northern 
Weekly Leader, a few months ago, offered a prize for the best poem 
on the Tyne, " Streams of the North " competed and won the first prize. 
This poem is by far his most comprehensive effort. It is dignified in style, 
chaste in expression, and tenderly pathetic in sentiment, recounting the 
history and industrial achievements of a great river with honest sympathy 
and poetic insight. The " Dawn of Morning " is a little poem which for 
beauty of conception and delicacy of touch is unsurpassed by anything he 
has written. This together with the poem on " The Tyne," just mentioned, 
will serve to illustrate his serious side. Of his fishing songs it is difficult 
to make a representative selection in the limited space at disposal in this 
volume, but there are two which could not be overlooked without loss to 
the reader. These are " A song to the Coquet," and " The Angler's 
Courtship." The first of these sings the praises of his favourite stream 
with the tenderness of a lover. Indeed, there is about it a keen appreciation 
of the charms of that lovely river which recalls the poems of Koxby and 
Doubleday. " The Angler's Courtship " is in a more humorous vein. It is 
remarkable for the completeness of its allegory, and the aptitude and point 
with which the comparisons between the lover and the fisher are worked 
out. It requires an angler to thoroughly appreciate this poem. 

These are but specimens from some thirty similar songs of almost 
equal merit, which "Streams of the North" has penned as the result of 
brief fishing excursions. They of course appeal most strongly to anglers ; 
but there is in them an inborn love of Nature, a bright and lively fancy, 
and a vein of moral reflection, which make them true poems. They are 
essentially the product of the soil, and it may yet be found that since the 
days of Roxby and Doubleday, no lay poet has sung so well the natural 
beauties of our North Country fishing haunts. 

R. W. JOHNSON. 



THE TYNE. 



" I know not where to seek, even in this busy country, a spot or district 
in which we perceive so extraordinary and multifarious a combination of the 



John Harbottle. 35 



various great branches of mining, manufacturing, trading and shipbuilding 
industry, and I greatly doubt whether the like can be shewn, not only with- 
in the limits of this land but upon the whole surface of the globe." Extract 
from speech of Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., on his visit to Newcastle-on 
Tyne, 1862. 

Drear is the heart, no pleasant past recalls, 
No ivy tendrils clinging round its walls : 
No bright green spot, no sunlight on its sea, 
No memory's land where it may wander free. 
And sad my own, if e'er the image fade 
Of those fair scenes wherein my childhood played, 
Where all the joys of life have found their birth, 
And spread their wings around a Tyneside hearth. 
Home of all Northern hearts my Muse's shrine ; 
Once loved, still loved, the dear old banks of Tyne. 
Hail, glorious stream ! thy shore is hallowed ground, 
Where'er thy sturdy Northern sons are found, 
For through the heart of each Northumbrian son, 
Throughout all time thy gentle streams shall run. 
I've wandered all thy beauties near and far, 
From moss-girt cradle to the harbour bar ; 
What hours were mine spent by thy Northern stream, 
By heather blooms, where lonely lapwings scream, 
O'er Belling's crest, wild Wannie's heaving fells, 
By Kielder's moors and lone romantic dells, 
Where thy young life, fed by thy creeping rills, 
Wakes all to mirth amidst thy sleeping hills. 
Down rocky vales thy crystal cascades pour 
The boisterous stream of boyhood's happy hour, 
Here by thy pebbled shore, with hope-lit eye, 
Bent the old rod and led the mimic fly 
O'er linn and pool, and from thy waters cold 
Oft dragged the gleaming salmon from his hold. 
On, rolling on ! no backward thought is thine ; 
No slogan cry no feud of " auld lang syne ; " 
No clash of steel disturbs thy peaceful way, 
Unstained thy tide by reiver's bloody fray. 



36 North Country Poets. 

On, rolling on ! by many a cairn and mound, 
Marked by the fireside tale as haunted ground. 
Beneath the shade of moss gray tower and keep, 
The rugged heroes of the Border sleep. 
On, rolling on ! no time to sleep or dream, 
Thy panting heart yearns for the parent stream, 
Where thy sweet sister South, the gentler one, 
Bids kind farewell to moorland, bleak and lone, 
To Alston's hills and all her verdant plains, 
Where dwell Tyne's rosy maids and sturdy swains, 
Until at last, all youthful wanderings done, 

:;: North blends with South their beating hearts in one. 
Deeper thy currents now by Hexham town 

fAnd Wilfred's sacred pile of old renown. 
Here in the past the fires of conflict burned, 
When every eye in England on thee turned ; 
The mouldering tower on Dilston's ancient walls 
The days of Edward and King Charles recalls. 
When princely blood o'er all the margin shed 

^Proclaimed the White Eose victor o'er the Eed ! 
Here friendship's hand signed truce 'twixt Tyne and Tweed, 
And hushed the feuds that made our noblest bleed. 
Historic stream ! on thy green banks a home 
Once found the conquering sons of ancient Koine. 

*The river Tyne is formed by the junction of North and South Tyne, a 
little westward of the ancient town of Hexham. 

fThe Bishopric of Hexham, founded in 674, by Wilfred, Archbishop of 
York. Hexham Abbey said to have been the fifth stone church erected in 
England. 

{Battle of Hexham, fought May, 1464. Defeat of the Lancastrians by 
the Yorkists, between Dukesfield and the Linnels, on the soutli side of the 
Devil's water. The year book, Edward IV. states about the Feast of 
Pentecost the Lancastrian Lords " took their King Henry with all their 
power of people and took their field in Hexhamshire, in a place called 
Linells, on the Water Devylle, against the Lord of Montague, brother of 
Lord Warwick, who joined battle witli them and had the victory of the 
enemies aforesaid ; and there Lord Somerset was taken and his head cut 
off." In the Arundel MSS., the executions at Hexham are recorded as 
follows : " 15th May, beheaded at Hexham, the Duke of Somerset, 
Edmund Fitzhugh, Knight, Bradshaw, Walter Hunt, Black Jack, or Jaques, 
&c." History of Newcastle, 14(/i and 15th century, by Richard Welford. 



John Harbottle. 37 



We trace their mighty works by time revered ; 
From sea to sea their mighty barriers reared." 
Here in the shrine of many a lovely vale 
Bold Aidan taught the Gospel's gentle tale ; 
Here noble Bede, the learned, wise, and good, 
Shed o'er the land the truth's pure vital flood. 
The voice of ages bids us ne'er forget 
The days of Norman and Plantagenet, 
Nor when thy plains were trod by Danish horde, 
Who dipped in Saxon blood the wasting sword. 
Through Time's dark shadows we the struggles trace, 
Of all that made our sturdy Northern race. 
These fevered, fierce, and fitful days now o'er 
Leave not a trace of sadness on thy shore. 
What rustic scenes here meet the wanderer's eye, 
Those bright green fields of patient husbandry ! 
The clustered flocks o'er all thy plains are seen, 
The gay flower bank and pine wood's darker green. 
These pictures past, now thy broad bosom wears 
The darkening hues of all thy future cares. 
Thy sunny hours of youth and play are done, 
Now life's stern duties with thee are begun. 
On by the Northern city rolling still, 
Deep are the channels now thy waters fill ; 
Where yonder spire rears high its head sublime, t 
And Norman keep defies the waves of Time ; [ 
Where all those thronging fabrics rise to view, 
Might of the old and triumphs of the new. 

Hail, stream of progress ! Now thy furnace tires 
Glow like the zeal that Northern hearts inspires. 
Hark to the hammer's clang, the rushing steam ; 
See whirling wheels and lamps electric gleam, 

*The Roman Wall, eighty miles in length from sea to sea, built in the 
year 120 by Hadrian. 

tThe spire of St. Nicholas Cathedral, one of the finest in England. 
\ Keep of the old castle of the days of William Ruf us. 



38 North Country Poets. 

Tall tapering masts, from towering chimneys pour 
Dark breath of toil in all her busy hour. 
Here grim King Labour sits on high enthroned, 
His regal sway by all his subjects owned. 
Tyne's grimy sons to honest toil inured, 
Strong hearts, strong minds, by honest toil matured. 
Here Armstrong's genius is bequeathed to fame, 
His glorious lot to guard his country's name. 
Here float those ships like belted knights of yore, 
Old England speaks where'er his cannons roar. 
Where'er the rushing engine thunders on, 
There rides the soul of mighty Stephenson ! 
And 'twixt thy shores high in the murky air, 
His wondrous skill hath hung a pathway there. : ' : 
Far down below in womb of Mother Earth 
Our hardy miners pour Tyne's treasures forth, 
Heroes in labour 'midst their deadly toil, 
Bugged in speech and racy of the soil. 
Mark well the ships, those racers of the sea ! 
That speak their builders' glorious energy. 
The noble docks, and estuary wide, 
Where laden fleets steam safely o'er the tide ; 
Those mighty piers that mark the untiring will, 
The stable monuments of intrepid skill, 
O'er all thy banks, art, science both combine ; 
While o'er their works the beams of genius shine. 
Honour to thee old Tyne, still proudly roll, 
The gentle nurse of many a noble soul, 
Strong sons of freedom, whose undying names 
Shall rouse our own to great and noble aims 
The first to strike in freedom's glorious cause, 
And shield the weak from stern oppression's laws. 
Hail, glorious Tyne ! thy banks, thy woods, thy streams, 
Thy toil-stained tide with inspiration teems ; 
Theme of historian, poet, and of sage, 
A glorious epic thou in every age. 
*The renowned High Level Bridge, built by George Stephenson. 



John Harbottle. 39 



Hail, gentle Tyne ! the birthplace of the free, 
Strong are the links that bind our hearts to thee. 
Where'er, in distant climes, thy sons may roam, 
Kind are the thoughts that turn to thee, their home ; 
And when their lamp of life but dimly burns, 
Still to thy shores their lingering vision turns. 
In life's last hours give them a Tyneside friend, 
The light of heaven, then welcome is the end. 



THE COQUET. 



The wind blaws saftly frae the west, the dew hings on the lea. 
The spreckled lark aboon my head sings a' his sangs to nfe ; 
The glint o' Coquet's lovely charms, my heart can ne'er with- 
stand, 
Sae with my trusty rod ance mair I'll try my eager hand. 

The morning cloud is lifting fast, aboon wild Cheviot's brow, 
The bleater's plaint is sounding sweet frae ilka grassy knowe ; 
The thrush upon the hawthorn spray pours forth his sweetest 

strain, 
The joys that burst frae Nature's breast but waken a' my ain. 

I'll wander then by Coquet's brink adoon her flow'ry vale, 
And freedom breathe, my native air, the scented heather gale ; 
And lightly fling my " heckle flee " across the foaming gleam, 
Where mony a bonnie dimpled trout lies waiting in the stream. 

The music o' thy waters clear an angler's heart shall fill, 
Thy crystal deep shall hide for me a store o' pleasures still ; 
And glorious memories linger round e'en as thy mosses cling, 
Nae ither stream in east or west the same sweet sangs can sing. 

Tho' little leisure is my lot and mony cares oppress, 

If parted often frae thy side I love thee nane the less ; 

And when life's slender line shall break, this blessing I shall 

crave, 
To hear the murmur o' thy stream and sleep beside thy wave. 



40 North Country Poets. 



THE DAWN OF MORNING. 



Upon a couch of dreams the morning lay, 
And gently slept the dewy hours away, 
While nature meekly lingered by her bower 
With patient longing for the waking hour. 
Till weary of her vigil, nature said, 
Come, angel sunbeam, wake my sleeping maid. 
Soft breathes my love, the perfumed eglantine, 
While pearly dewdrops in her tresses shine. 
My love is fair but, oh ! I long to see 
Her bright eyes radiant, beaming upon me. 
Come, bid her wake, nor twilight hour prolong, 
The world doth patient wait her matin song. 
As from the flower the bee the honey sips, 
The sunbeam softly stole and kissed her lips, 
The lingering dews of sleep kissed from her eyes 
And \vhispered, oh so softly " love arise." 
Thus woke tha rosy morn in golden light, 
And cast aside the mantle of the night. 
Hark ! now afar o'er mountain hill and dale, 
A thousand notes wing on the scented gale. 
Earth lives again list to the city's din, 
Where some to pleasure wake and some to sin. 
The ponderous wheel of life now slow revolves, 
To bear our hopes or crush our heart's resolves. 



THE FISHER'S COURTSHIP. 



Sae blithe owre the hills when the spring breezes blaw, 

Gans the keen fisher lad ti the courtin' awa, 

An' where yon green valley dips doon ti the West 

Is the love o' his leal heart, the stream he loves best. 

What virtues aye shine in her waters sae clear ; 

For the stream is the maid that the fisher holds dear. 



John Harbottle. 41 



Her sweet modest features \vi smiles still await 

Her warm hearted lover be he early or late ; 

While her pure heaving bosom wi beauty doth shine, 

As coyly she waits for the kiss o' the line. 

What glances o' love frae her fountains she flings, 

An' aye as they wander what love sangs she sings ; 

Or whispers sae saft in the shades o' the dell, 

Where the birds a' a tale fu' o' tenderness tell. 

An' aye she will gie him affection's best seal, 

In the bright glitterin' treasures that lie in his creel. 

Like the fish oft' the heart is ensnared wi the silk, 

Fine dressin' an' feathers an' things o' that ilk, 

Tho' the barbs o' the Cupid hae caused grief and pain ; 

" Bide a wee," like the troot, " he gans at it again ! " 

An' the times he's been " hookit " he still will forget, 

Till at last he is ta'en in the inesh o' love's net ! 

There's a link o' fine hair he'd fain use in the art 

Tho' t'will scarce haud a troot, it may bind fast a heart ; 

An' love's sceptre, the rod, that he aye loves to bend, 

Has a re(a)el ring an' splice that won't break at the end ! 

Oh ! little ye think o' the pleasures that beam, 

When a fisher gans courtin' awa to the stream ! 




North Country Poets. 



Rev. Arthur Vine Hall. 




N these hurrying days we are apt to suppose that there is 
not a tendency amongst us to give a welcome to the 
delights of "imagination" and "feeling" when meet- 
ing them in the form of what is commonly called poetry. 
Imagination and feeling are, nevertheless, most necessary 
and constant factors of our daily life, though not general- 
ly recognised as such. It is doubtless a fact though 
that people as a rule, who say that they do not care for 
poetry, and cannot be induced to read it, have never rightly considered 
what poetry really is. 

A little thought would soon convince such that poetry is a something 
which, though not recognised by them, is nevertheless, greatly enjoyed by 
them. The idea of poetry to some is but a hazy notion of a kind of tedious 
metrical expression of sentiments which, to appreciate with relish, should 
be written in what they would ignorantly describe as prose. They fail 
to see that the poetic germ exists whatever the setting may be. If, how- 
ever, poetry be regarded in its generic and larger sense, it should be plain 
to us that it is in reality the expression of imaginative truth in any form, pro- 
vided that form be suggestive and symbolic. And it is in this sense that 
there is poetry in painting, sculpture and architecture, in fact, all nature 
is poetical because the Divine Maker of all things has so clothed it with 
forms which are expressive of a vast and various suggestiveness. The man 
or woman failing to recognise as such the poetry existing in the world 
around, can admire the snow-capped mountain, can be moved by the 
rippling music of the lake's shore at sunset, can listen with rapture to the 
forest, and so forth, though all the time quite oblivious of the fact that 
it is the poetry of these things which makes for delight. They could 
exclaim, with the poet before us, 

O thou ever restless ocean, 
How I love the mad commotion, 
Love the thunder and the glee 
Of thy wares so wild and free, 

and yet scarcely recognise that their own emotion was of the very essence 
of poetry. 

In the volume of poems published this year by Simpkin, Marshall and 
Co., there is much which has fallen from the pen of Mr. Vine Hall which 
cannot fail to greatly charm one. There is much thought expressed by 
him with natural taste and exactness of suitable metre, which carries one 
away from the sordid and the every day. One cannot but feel glad that 
so much rich thought has been transferred from manuscript into type. 
Mr. Hall has had the advantage of travel, and his sundry sojourns in 
Switzerland and an extended tour in Egypt and Palestine, have greatly 
influenced much that he has written. Mr. Hall is fully alive to the fact 
that one of the most powerful instruments of vice, and the most fatal of all 



Rev. Arthur Vine Hall. 43 



its poisoned weapons, is the abuse of words by which good and bad feeling 
are blended together, and deformity concealed by an apparent 
alliance to some proximate virtue. One of the evils of refinement is to give 
harsh deeds soft names, but to the attuned mind of Mr. Hall, covetous- 
ness is not frugality, flattery is not good breeding, prodigality and dis- 
sipation are not liberality and high spirit. There is much in Mr. Hall's 
writing which peeps out suddenly and forcibly with a charm and surprise 
which is truly appetising. He is evidently fully alive to the sterling fact 
that the best of poetry is ever in alliance with uncorrupted Christianity, 
that with the degeneracy of the one of necessity comes the decline of the other, 
that it is to Christianity we owe the fullest inspirations of the celestial 
spirit of poetry. There is an originality too of no mean order in Mr. Hall's 
poems, ever bubbling to the surface, and there is a grace and finish per- 
vading all that he has penned with so much freshness and vitality. 

A tantalizing obscurity, too difficult for the ordinary apprehension, in 
which so many poets license themselves to indulge, is entirely absent 
in Mr. Hall's writing ; in rhythmical music, irresistibly pleasant even to the 
most unattuned ear, come here bounding upon our senses, beautiful senti- 
ment and dazzling flashes of sublime thought. In reading Mr. Hall's 
poems, one recognises to the full that metre acts as a powerful auxiliary to 
the senses, that he has well suited his metres to the soul of the poems, in 
the same sense that the painter puts in the sky which is appropriate to the 
movement or repose of the picture beneath it. 

Mr .Vine Hall is the son of the Kev. Arthur Hall, and nephew to the Eev. 
Newman Hall, LL.B. He was born at Luddenden Foot, Yorkshire, in the 
year 1862. He entered Cheshunt College in 1883, where he took the Arts and 
Theological courses ; and in 1887 was elected to the pastorate of the South 
Cliff Congregational Church, Scarborough, as the successor to the Eev. K. 
Balgarnie. The volume of poems from which we give a few short extracts 
is dedicated by permission to Dr. George Macdonald. In the three verses 
selected from the poem entitled " To an Eagle," there will be perceived a 
fine illustration of the union of sound and sense. There is an example of 
musical verse in "After the Wreck," which we also append. In " On a 
Picture " will be seen pathos, a description of natural scenery in the poem 
" Mont Blanc." and a specimen of imagination from " Night." 

EDWARD H. RICHES, LL.D., F.B.A.S. 



From "TO AN EAGLE." 



What though them seem'st but a speck in the blue, 
Sweeping still up as if hast'ning to woo 
The Goddess of Fire from her home in the sun, 
Careless of where the round earth may have spun ! 



44 North Country Poets. 



All is but seeming ! thou never can'st rise 
Half of the distance that Fantasy flies 
Glancing not back till from planets afar, 
Earth glimmers faint as the tiniest star. 

Eying the sun as thou whirlest along, 
But pouring no greeting of rapturous song ; 
Plumage of gold in the westering glow, 
Thoughts all the time with some carcase below. 



AFTER THE WRECK. 



We took her away, 
Far from that bleak northern bay ; 
Away to where the scented air 
Might be a sweet narcotic to despair. 

But still she said that evermore 

She heard the roar 

Of waves upon a rock-bound shore ; 

For ever evermore. 

In cities antique, 
Gemmed with palaces, to seek 
Kelease from spell which was her knell, 
We wander, then mid Alpine chalets dwell. 

But still she said that evermore 

She heard the roar 

Of waves upon a rock-bound shore ; 

For ever evermore. 

One morn, snowy, wild, 
Came a hunter with a child 
Found closely pressed to frozen breast ; 
That babe looked up, and smiling, was caressed. 

But still she said that evermore 

She heard the roar 

Of waves upon a rock-bound shore ; 

Though fainter than before. 



Rev. Arthur Vine Hall. 45 



The lonelier one, 
That day forward was her son ; 
As after shower up looks the flower, 
Her drooping spirit lifted from that hour. 

And she would say : " Now nevermore 

I hear the roar 

Of waves upon a rock bound shore ; 

Never nevermore." 



From " NIGHT." 



O loveliness sublime ! 

Weird, awful Goddess of the Kaven Locks ! 
Thy streaming tresses by hushed winds upborne ; 
The dazzling darkness of those glorious eyes, 
The spell-bound twilight lingers to behold ; 
That peerless brow the constellations crown ; 
Her right hand holds a magic wand, it waves ! 
The nations sink in sweet unconsciousness ; 
And from her left by starry chains suspended 
The pearl-set silver casket of the moon, 
O'erflows with splendour pale. 



ON A PICTURE. 



He loved her as they love who early throw 

The arms of manhood's strength and tenderness 
Around a gentle wife ; while soft caress, 

And thousand little things would daily show 

Her love was such as hearts must feel to know. 
And yet a quarrel came ! They part with less 
Of farewell love, but, in their proud distress, 

Conscious how soon forgiving tears will flow. 



46 North Country Poets. 

And thus they meet ! Within this darkened room, 
He kneels beside a pale and lifeless form, 

And round his head her long dark tresses lie ! 

Ah, did we pause to think how soon the bloom 
May quit the lips we love, would April storm 

Chase for an hour the sunshine from the sky ? 



MONT BLANC. 



Dread monarch ! mountain king ! well may we gaze 
In silent awe, as thy vast snow-fields lie 
Serene against the blue immensity ; 
Or, as resplendent in the level blaze 
Of setting sun ; or when through pearly haze 
The Moon beholds thee with a loving eye, 
Glad that her silvery beams, beneath the sky, 
Can rest on purity ; as she arrays 
Thy head with crystal coronets of light, 

Awful e'en then thou art ! but how much more 
When from thy frozen caves at dead of night, 

With shriek unearthly, and with deafening roar, 
Th* imprisoned Spirit of the Storm breaks free, 
And tempest, lightning, whirlwind circle thee ! 




Canon Dixon. 



47 



Canon Dixon. 




HEKE is," wrote the late D. G. Rossetti in a letter to Mr. 
Hall Caine, " an admirable but totally unknown living 
poet named Dixon. ... If I live I mean to write 
something about him in some quarter when I can. His 
finest passages are as fine as any living man can do." 
This poet whose volumes Eossetti valued so highly was 
born in London in 1833. His father was the Rev. James 
Dixon, for many years one of the most eminent preachers 
in the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion, remarkable no less for the beauty 
and force of his personal character than for the brilliancy of his intellectual 
powers. His mother was the daughter of the Rev. Richard Watson 
another great preacher and theologian in the same community. Receiving 
the ground-work of his education at King Edward's School, young Dixon 
afterwards proceeded to Pembroke College, Oxford. In 1856, while yet an 
undergraduate, he started in conjunction with Mr. Burne Jones and Mr. 
William Morris, The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, to whL'h Rossetti 
contributed some of his finest poems. He took his degree of B.A. in 1857, 
and M.A. in 1860. Ordained in 1858, he commenced his career in the 
Church of England as curate of St. Mary-the-Less, Lambeth. In 1863 he 
was appointed second master in the High School, Carlisle, and in 1874 he 
was made Hon. Canon of Carlisle Cathedral. He accepted the vicarage of 
Hayton in 1875, and that of Warkworth in 1883. His various literary 
works were published in the following order, viz : " Christ's Company, and 
other Poems," 1861 ; " Historical Odes," 1863 ; " Essay on the Maintenance 
of the Church of England as an Established Church, being the essay which 
obtained the second of the prizes offered by Sir H. Peek ; " Life of James 
Dixon, D.D., Wesleyan Minister," 1874 ; History of the Church of England 
from the Abolition of the Roman Jurisdiction," Vol. I., 1877 ; Vol. II., 
1880; Vol. III., 1885; "Manor a Poetical History," 1883; Odes and 
Eclogues," 1884 ; " Lyrical Poems," 1886. As a prose-writer Canon Dixon's 
reputation is firmly established by his important work on the history of the 
Church of England a learned and deeply interesting account of the 
Reformation from the Anglican stand-point. Whether recording the events 
that led up to the suppression of monasteries, or discussing the principles 
underlying the great religious movement of the 16th century, his style is 
always clear and vigorous, attaining in the weightier passages an appropriate 
elevation and distinction. His portraitures of the leading statesmen and 
ecclesiastics of the Tudor period manifest a singularly penetrative insight 
into character. This power is especially displayed in the sympathetic analy- 
sis that he gives of the character of his father in the last chapter of his life 
of that great preacher. Among the poets of the 19th century, Canon Dixon's 
position is unique. There is little trace in his work of the modern spirit. The 
religious sentiment of his poem, " The Holy Mother at the Cross," like that 



48 North Country Poets. 



of Newman's "Pilgrim Queen," or Lanier's "Ballad of Trees and the 
Master," is purely mediaeval. The effect of the quaint symbolism and 
archaic diction is somewhat bizarre, though not inartistic. In his pre- 
sentment of religious ideas through the medium of sensuous images he 
resembles George Herbert, with whom he might sing : 

When first my lines of heavenly joys made mention, 

Such was their lustre, they did so excel, 

That I sought out quaint words, and trim invention ; 

My thoughts began to burnish, sprout and swell, 

Curling with metaphors a plain intention, 

Decking the sense, as if it were to sell. 

His longest and most ambitious poem is " Mano," a poetical history 
of a very picturesque period the close of the 10th century, when Christen- 
dom believed that the end of the world was at hand. The story of 
the adventures of Mano a Norman knight sent from Italy by Count 
Thurold to bring succours from home as told by an old monk named 
Fergant, is written in the manner of a chronicle, and abounds in striking 
incidents. The metre adopted is the ' Terza Rima,' which is hardly suited 
to the genius of English poetry, and even in Canon Dixon's hands proves 
but a refractory instrument. Though the excessive use of obsolete words 
many of them not worth reviving is undoubtedly a blemish, yet we gladly 
pass over it in admiration of so much real poetry ot the highest order of 
excellence that Canon Dixon has given us. 

W. W. TOMLINSON. 



IOANNA. 

[From " Mano," pp. 174-5.] 



Fair was loanna ever, I avise : 
But I have heard of certain that e'en now 
Her day of fairest beauty seemed to rise, 

When sorrow and long love had made her brow 
Tenderly radiant, as the hanging skies 
When the south wind moves every winged bough : 

Such o'er the changing wood the May cloud flies, 
Soft, bright, and light, was she : one lovely fold, 
That seemed to gather to grave thought her eyes, 

Of bygone sorrow and old anguish told, 
One sweet contraction, delicate and fine : 
But youth to bear love's burden still is bold : 

Her looks were strong ('tis age that has to pine) 
Her eyes were quick, and lightsome as of yore, 



Canon Dixon. 49 



Her rounded cheeks as perfect as their line : 

Her step was like the deer on ferny floor, 
Her figure tall, and like a balanced tower, 
Which from his place seems stepping evermore, 

So wondrously 'tis fashioned through art's power. 
She had those years which bring perfectness, 
And stood full blown, like to the lily's flower. 

Ah ! now consider well in her fair dress 
This lily of earth's field, her lovely head 
Who rears amid the waste, companionless : 

Wide open stands her heart : no secret dread 
Bids her enfold her petals, like the rose, 
Over her golden bosom undismayed. 

Oh, undefended thus to friends or foes, 
Shall she endure, then, in her perfect state, 
Until she ripen to a timely close, 

By the kind season carried to her date ; 
Or must she tremble on her lofty stem 
At the rough hand of sudden working Fate, 

Scattering to the winds her diadem, 
Brushing the tender gold-bloom from her heart ; 
And die in her full hour, a perfect gem, 
In whose fair essence all sweet things have part ? 



HUMANITY. 



There is a soul above the soul of each, 

A mightier soul, which yet to each belongs : 
There is a sound made of all human speech, 

And numerous as the concourse of all songs : 
And in that soul lives each, in each that soul, 

Though all the ages are its lifetime vast ; 
Each soul that dies, in its most sacred whole 

Keceiveth life that shall for ever last. 



D 



5O North Country Poets. 

And thus for ever with a wider span 
Humanity o'erarches Time and Death ; 

Man can elect the universal man, 

And live in life that ends not with his breath : 

And gather glory that increases still, 

Till Time his glass with Death's last dust shall fill. 



THE HOLY MOTHER AT THE CROSS. 



Of Mary's pains may now learn whose will, 

When she stood underneath the groaning tree, 
Eound which the true Vine clung : three hours the mill 

Of hours rolled round ; she saw in visions three 
The shadows walking underneath the sun, 

And these seemed all so very faint to be, 
That she could scarcely tell how each begun, 

And went its way, minuting each degree 
That it existed on the dial stone : 

For drop by drop in wine unfalteringly, 
Not stroke by stroke in blood, the three hours gone 

She seemed to see. 

Three hours she stood beneath the cross ; it seemed 

To be a wondrous dial stone ; for while 
Upon the two long arms the sunbeams teemed, 

So was the head-piece like a centre stile ; 
Like to the dial where the judges sat 

Upon the grades, and the king crowned the pile, 
In Zion town, that most miraculous plat 

On which the shadow backward did defile : 
And now towards the third hour the sun enorme 

Dressed up all shadow to a bickering smile 
I' the heat, and in its midst the form of form 

Lay like an isle. 



Canon Dixon. 51 



Because that time so heavily beat and slow 

That fancy in each beat was come and gone ; 
Because that light went singing to and fro, 

A blissful song in every beam that shone ; 
Because that on the flesh a little tongue 

Instantly played, and spake in lurid tone ; 
Because that saintly shapes with harp and gong 

Told the three hours, whose telling made them one ; 
Half hid, involved in alternating beams, 

Half mute, they held the plectrum to the zone : 
Therefore, as God her senses shield, it seems 

A dial stone. 

Three hours she stood beside the cross ; it seemed 

A splendid flower ; for red dews on the edge 
Stood dropping ; petals doubly four she deemed 

Shot out like steel knives from the central wedge, 
Which quadranted their perfect circle so 

As if four anthers should a vast flower hedge 
Into four parts ; and in its bosom, lo, 

The form lay, as the seed-heart holding pledge 
Of future flowers ; yea, in the midst was borne 

The head low drooped upon the swollen ledge 
Of the torn breast ; there was the ring of thorn ; 

This flower was fledge. 

Because her woe stood all about her now, 

No longer like a stream as ran the hour ; 
Because her cleft heart parted into two, 

No more a mill-wheel spinning to time's power ; 
Because all motion seemed to be suspense ; 

Because one ray did other rays devour ; 
Because the sum of things rose o'er her sense, 

She standing 'neath its dome as in a bower ; 
Because from one thing all things seemed to spume, 

As from one mouth the fountain's hollow shower ; 
Therefore it seemed His and her own heart's bloom, 

A splendid flower. 



52 North Country Poets. 

Now it was finished ; shrivelled were the leaves 

Of that pain-flower, and wasted all its bloom, 
She felt what she had felt then ; as receives, 

When heaven is capable, the cloudy fume 
The edge of the white garment of the moon, 

So felt she that she had received that doom : 
And as an outer circle spins in tune, 

Born of the inner on the sky's wide room, 
Thinner and wider, that doom's memories, 

Broken and thin and wild, began to come 
As soon as this : St. John un wrapt his eyes, 

And led her home. 




George Cotterell. 



53 



George Cotterell. 




COTTEKELL is a new-comer in the North of 
England. He removed to York from London in the 
autumn of 1887, to take the editorship of the York Daily 
Herald. Born in 1839, at Walsall, in Staffordshire, he 
adopted the profession of the law, and for some years 
practised as a solicitor, but yielding to the strong bent of 
his mind he eventually exchanged the law for literature. 
His first published compositions consisting chiefly of 
poems on classical subjects appeared in Once a Week, in the flourishing 
days of that periodical. At a later period Mr. Cotterell became 
an active contributor to the literary journals and the daily press, as well as 
to the magazines. A volume of poems by him was printed for private 
circulation in 1870. He is the author of a satire in verse, called 
" The Banquet," published anonymously by Messrs. W. Blackwood and 
Sons, in 1884, and a second edition of which appeared a few months later. 
A volume of Mr. Cotterell's miscellaneous poems is shortly to be published, 
under the title of " Yesterdays and To-Day." Professor Dowden says of 
Mr. Cotterell's poems : " They seem to me to be remarkably free from the 
vice of being manufactured poetry. They seem rather the overflow of true 
feeling through an imagination that can interpret the feeling. And the 
general impression they leave is that of a many-sided nature, in which 
external beauty and humanity, public events, and private joys and sorrows 
find a place." 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 



ENGLAND AND GREECE. 



I. 

Queen, O Queen of the Sea ! 

Mighty by hearts that are steadfast and ships that arc 

strong, 

England ! hater of wrong ! 

This thing that thou doest is all unworthy of thee : 
Never hath England fettered the brave and the free ; 
Never till Egypt groaned, and her people uprose, 
Did fleet of thine, that had scattered thy proudest foes, 



54 North Country Poets. 

Strike at the weak and crush them never till then ! 
Penance be thine, O mother of nations and men, 
Shame for that tyrannous thing thou didst amiss, 
But let not thy penance be this. 

II. 

What name stands fairest by thine ? 

What fount hath fed thee with wisdom and made thee bold 
What name but Greece ? And did her lore divine 
Give thee no higher courage than to spurn 
The lessons thou didst learn ? 
Great England, nurtured by that Greece of old, 
Is it, then, nought to thee 
That Moslem banners wave in Thessaly ? 
That vales made lovelier by Apollo's face, 
And hills that were the high gods' dwelling-place, 
That these are Greek no more, and glad no more, 
But from Olympus to the Ionian Sea 
Are darkened by disaster and made sore 
By tyranny and by treachery ? 
Nay, for though glory of arms endure but a day, 
And the glory of pride be quenched, and of beauty cease, 
Her gods and her greatness are glories that pass not away- 
Immortal Greece ! 

III. 

Out of the depths she cried to thee, then, 
When the hordes of the Crescent were drawn afar 
For the Moslem's war, 
And thine heart went out to her once again ; 
Thy pledges were fair, thy words were brave, 
And cheered by these she strove no more with fate, 
But waited, nothing loth to wait, 
Certain that thou at last wouldst help and save. 

IV. 

At last ! and there did come at last a time 

When thou couldst help her, when a word from thee 



George Cotter ell. 



Had made her all that she had hoped to be ; 

Not the proud mistress of her olden prime, 

The Greece of Marathon and Thermopylae; 

But once again a country, once again 

The ruler of her lands from sea to sea, 

The mother of one people brave and free, 

The Greece of Byron's dream and Shelley's strain. 

V. 

That time hath been ; 'tis gone ; thou lett'st it go. 

Now, rashly prodigal of thy ships of war, 

With bigger cannon than carried Trafalgar, 

Thou settest thyself again to overthrow 

A helpless city, a land that looked to thee, 

A little loyal land that claims its own. 

Beware ! beware ! for the record shall all be known ; 

Thou wert great, so great, how great ! in the ages gone 

Let the sons of thy sons deem thce great in the ages to be ! 



IN THE TWILIGHT. 



Far off? Not far away 

Lies that fair land ; 
Shut from the curious gaze by day, 

Hidden, but close at hand : 
Let us seek it who may. 

Lie by me and hold me, sweet, 

Clasp arms and sink ; 
There needs no weariness of the feet, 

Neither to toil nor think ; 
Almost the pulse may cease to beat. 

Eyes made dim, and breathing low, 

Hand locked in hand, 
Goodly the visions that come and go, 

Glimpses of that land, 
Fairer than the eyes can know. 



56 North Country Poets. 



Is it not a land like ours ? 

Nay, much more fair ; 
Sweeter flowers than earthly flowers 

Shed their fragrance there, 
Fade not with the passing hours. 

Soft are all the airs that blow, 

Breathing of love ; 
Dreamily soft the vales below, 

The skies above, 
And all the murmuring streams that flow. 

No sorrow is there, no sin, 

Nor any snare ; 
And death cannot enter in, 

That comes with care, 
But. rest that is sweet to win. 

Hunger, nor thirst, nor tears, 

Age, nor its fruit ; 
But youth grown younger with years, 

And living at root 
With love that lives and endears. 

There are daughters of beauty, the host 

Of nymphs of old time, 
All the loves of the poets who boast 

Of their loves in their rhyme 
Loves won, and the sadder loves lost. 

Fair, passionless creatures of thought, 

Most fair, most calm ; 
The joy of whose beauty has brought 

To the soul its own balm ; 
Not desire that cometh to nought. 



George Cotter ell. 57 



There are dreams that were dreamed long ago, 

Unrealized still ; 
Though the things that the dreamers foreknow 

The years shall fulfil, 
The fleet years and slow. 

Dreams, memories, hopes that were bright, 

And hearts that are young ; 
All the stars and the glories ot night, 

All the glories of song ; 
In that dear land of delight. 

Wilt thou seek that land then, sweet ? 

Yea, love, with thce ; 
Fleet, as thy soul's wings are fleet, 

Shall our passage be : 
Soft, on wings of noiseless beat. 

Bid my wings with thine expand ; 

So may we glide 
Into the stillness of that land, 

Lovingly side by side, 
Hopefully hand in hand. 



A CHILD'S THOUGHT. 



I lie awake in my bed, 

When you think I am fast asleep, 
With the coverlet over my head, 

But a fold through which I may peep 
And I peep sometimes as I lie, 

And out through the window I see 
A little twinkling star in the sky, 

Winking and peeping at me. 



58 North Country Poets. 

A star, if you call it a star, 

For it seems no more than a spark, 
And I cannot think that it shines so far 

Through all the air and the dark ; 
But if it be what you say, 

Then would I had wings to fly 
Perhaps I could go and come in a day 

The nearest way through the sky. 

And what if I never came back ? 

Well, Heaven, you say, is up there, 
And the nights down here are dreary and black, 

While the stars are white and fair : 
And here there are tasks to be done, 

And endless lessons to learn 
But you sometimes would miss me for one, 

And I think I should want to return. 




Alfred Lishman. 



59 



Alfred Lishman. 




LFRED LISHMAN is a native of Leeds, and was born 
June 28th, 1854. His father, Mr. Matthew Lishman, was 
a notable man, and in his earlier manhood followed the 
same trade as Hugh Miller, the famous man of letters 
and science, namely that of a stonemason. Mr. Lishman 
had a thirst for learning, and gained an unusually com- 
petent knowledge of classics and mathematics. His 
scholarlike tastes and attainments caused him to give up 
the work of the artisan and enter into the scholastic profession. In his 
new calling he was successful, and for the last seventeen years of his life 
occupied the position of head master of the Fockerby Grammar School. His 
wife was a Miss Walker, a member of a well-known yeoman family of 
Wharfedale. He enjoyed the close friendship of some well-known men, and 
amongst the number the llev. Robert Collyer, " the poet preacher of 
America." Mr. Matthew Lishman died on June 7th, 1885. 

Alfred Lishman received his earlier education under his father, and 
was intended for the university, but eventually his plans were changed, 
and at the age of sixteen he proceeded to Middlesboro'-on-Tees, as a 
teacher and student in an educational establishment conducted by a 
learned gentleman named W. Grieve, LL.D., of Trinity College, Dublin. 
Here he made excellent progress and passed the Senior Local Examination 
at the Durham University, gaining the title of Literate of Durham 
University. He next entered the York Training College for Teachers, and 
had a successful career, closing with obtaining a certificate of the First 
Division. From his boyhood he has had a great love for literature, and 
from his earliest years has enjoyed the pleasures of authorcraft. At college 
he conducted the " College Magazine," and has since contributed to many 
publications, including the well conducted columns of the Leeds Mercury 
Weekly Supplement. It is in the latter journal that his best work has 
appeared, and one of his poems in it was largely quoted and much 
admired by competent critics, namely, " Ye Labourers of England," which 
we reproduce. His published poems are by no means numerous, but all 
the work of a true poet, and much above the verses that usually fill the 
Poets' Corner of the newspaper press and the pages of popular periodicals. 
We are confident that he will win a high place in the ranks of the leading 
poets of the North Country. 

Mr. Lishman has held three schools under Government, and on the 
death of his father he succeeded him as head Master of the Fockerby 
Grammar School. In addition to his duties as a teacher he fills the impor- 
tant offices of Clerk to the Drainage Commission, and of two School Boards 
of his district. 

His amusements are chiefly literary in their character, consisting of 



60 North Country Poets. 

writing and studying the works of the master minds of his own and other 
lands which are to be found on the shelves of his library. 

Mr. Lishman, shortly after finishing his training at college, married 
the daughter of the late Mr. W. H. Monkman, solicitor, of York. 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 

GLENCOE. 



With eye undimmed and stalwart form 
Maclan breasts the raging storm, 

An aged chieftain he. 
The wintry blast with might and main 
Essays to stay his course in vain, 
Clan Campbell's castle keep to gain 

He presses steadfastly. 

Full well the hoary w r arrior knows 
Submission to his haughty foes 

Alone can safety bring ; 
And he whose eye with fervour bright, 
Erst gleamed the foremost in the tight, 
Must swear before to-morrow's light 

To serve an alien King. 

" Campbell," said he, " with heavy heart 
I come to play a recreant part, 

A nobler cause to rue ; 
Far from my misty mountain home, 
Twice twenty tedious miles I roam, 
To save my 'minished clan I come 

To swear allegiance true." 

" Alas ! the day of grace is past, 
Why tarried thou, Glencoe, the last 

Thy tardy vow to take ; 
Argyle is mad with hate and scorn, 
Lord Stair a fearful oath hath sworn, 
Ye mountain wolves, your cubs forlorn 

Shall perish in your lair." 



Alfred Lishman. 61 



That eye inured to martial deeds, 
With unaccustomed tear now pleads 

His helpless tribe to save. 
"Whoe'er," said he, " in wild Glencoe 
Against the King his blade shall draw, 
Shall meet Mclan's self as foe ; 

The Glen shall be his grave." 

With pity moved, Sir Colin said 
" Tho' tardily thy vow be paid, 

The King accepts thy plea. 
Henceforth, Mclan of the Glen, 
Thyself, thy bairns, thy hardy men, 
Secure may roam o'er moor and fen, 

O'er mount and vale and sea." 

And now the chieftain turns his face 
Towards the hamlets of his race ; 

The vale of frequent fears, 
Where tardy spring doth visit last, 
Where winter blows its chillest blast, 
Where autumn's mistiest cloak is cast 

'Tis called the " Glen of Tears." 

Oh ! fiercely blows the blinding storm, 
As o'er the mountain's awful form 

The old man wends his way. 
Sad omens of disaster seem 
The raven croaking by the stream, 
The lonely eagle's piercing scream, 

The fen's delusive ray. 

Secure at length the chieftain trod 
The heather of his native sod ; 

Nor sought he yet to rest ; 
For round his form the clansmen drew 
With eager love their chief to view, 
And soon the welcome tidings knew 

The safety of their nest ! 



62 North Country Poets. 

But hark ! the tramp of armed men 
Is heard adown the lonely glen 

The soldiers of the King ! 
"We come," cried they, " this clan to greet, 
Mclan's friends as friends to meet ; 
No harm to thee or thine we seek ; 

But peace and love we bring." 

For full twelve days and nights they stay, 
And feast the fleeting hours away ; 

No stinted welcome there ! 
And vows of amity are made, 
The plighted cup to friendship paid, 
And hand to hand in kindness laid 

O'er hospitable fare. 

But oh ! Mclan's dreams are sad ; 
And dismal thoughts and omens bad 

Oppress his weary brain. 
He nightly feels unwonted fears, 
He nightly sheds unwonted tears, 
And dismal sounds afflict his ears 

With unaccustomed pain. 

One awful morn the guests arose 
To hurl their unsuspecting foes 

To their appointed doom. 
Not mine the pen to trace aright 
The horrors of that fearful sight 
The sun of heaven had veiled its light 

In melancholy gloom. 

The palsied grandsire in his bed 
Before his slayers bowed his head, 

Nor 'scaped the cruel blow. 
The mother to her heaving breast 
In vain her clinging infant pressed 
The dagger of her cherished guest 

Laid babe and mother low ! 



Alfred Lishman. 63 



Strong men in agonising rage, 
Unarmed, a vain resistance wage 

Against the recreant foe ; 
And 'ere Maclan's foot had trod 
His threshold, on th' encrimsoned sod 
His soul was sent to meet his God 

He died without a blow. 

'Tis done ! That morning's work is o'er, 
And on the bleak and silent moor 

The bloated ravens feed. 
But in that ruin stricken vale 
The bard shall chant the mournful tale, 
Nor shall successive ages fail 

To curse the ruthless deed. 



YE LABOURERS OF ENGLAND. 



Ye labourers of England ! 

Ye children of the soil ! 
With ready skill, and steadfast will, 

How patiently ye toil ! 
'Tis yours, with yellow waving corn 

To make the landscape shine, 
To pluck the metals from their home, 

And tempt the dismal mine. 

Ye labourers of England 

Who make our country great ; 
With fruitful vales and pleasant dales 

Who deck the brave old state ; 
Whose gallant hearts and sinewy hands 

Beneath far distant skies 
Still raise new homes, still till new lands 

And bid new England rise. 



64 North Country Poets. 

Ye labourers of England 

Who make our country wise, 
Whose sons though born to lots forlorn 

To highest honours rise ; 
The shining talents of your race 

On countless pages glow, 
Comes genius from a lowly place, 

Comes poesy from the plough. 

Ye labourers of England 

Who make your country brave, 
Your fathers' dust, in quarrel just, 

Filled many a nameless grave ; 
And how they fought, those stalwart men, 

The breath of fame attests ; 
The bulwarks of our country then 

Were British workmen's breasts. 

Ye labourers of England, 

Your grateful country's pride, 
Long may the great, who rule the state, 

Retain you by their side ; 
Your homely faith, your hardy life, 

And simple valour prove 
That England ne'er need fear the strife 

With you to guard and love. 



INTEGRITY. 



Hast thou against grim poverty 

A silent fight sustained ? 
Hast borne thy evil fortunes here 

With heart and hands unstained ? 
And hast thou ever spurned the thought, 

By servile arts to stand, 
Thy simple manhood guiding thee ? 

Then let me grasp thy hand. 



Alfred Lishman. 65 



Dost thou, by secret pity moved, 

Bestow an alms by stealth ? 
In light of day dost thou refuse 

To cringe to upstart wealth ? 
Then poor thou art and poor shalt be, 

Small pelf at thy command ! 
But thou hast riches of the heart 

So let me grasp thy hand. 

Canst thou for thine integrity 

A healthy motive prove ? 
Hast thou done the right because 'tis right, 

Unswayed by fear or love ? 
Then hast thou missed thy meed of praise 

E'en from the good. Yet stand, 
That I may claim thee as a friend, 

And let me grasp thy hand. 

Canst thou admire the perfum'd rose 

Nor pluck it from its stem ? 
Dost value all created things 

And love thy fellow men ? 
Canst thou forbear thy just revenge, 

Thy neighbours' wrongs withstand ? 
Then I would brave all human ills 

To grasp thee by the hand. 

And hast thou real humility 

Thy virtues to enshrine ? 
Then hath the world true benefit 

From every act of thine ; 
Part of thyself each deed remains, 

And beacon-like will stand 
To guide us to thy destined home ; 

There let me grasp thy hand. 



66 North Country Poets. 



Richard Abbot. 




ICHARD ABBOT was born at Burton, in Westmoreland, 
in 1818. The Lancaster and Kendal Canal was being 
extended to Tewit Field at that time, and the poet's father 
was a sub-contractor on the works. Losing that best of 
guides, a mother, when he was only three years old, he 
was left to the rugged care of a parent whose life had 
been moulded by the hardest toil with the rudest class of 
men as associates. At the age of four he was sent to 
what was known until only recent years as an Old Dame School. His 
father had removed to the borders of Shap Fell, and later, pursuing his 
shifting avocation, he settled at Galgate, near Lancaster ; shortly after- 
wards, however, they were stationed at Ingleton, where the poet was kept at 
school until the age of eleven. His father having married again and added 
farming to his other occupation, Richard became his shepherd on the 
slopes of Ingleborough. Some years later he came further north, working 
in the construction of railways in Scotland and elsewhere. For the past 
twenty-three years or so Mr. Abbot has managed the extensive limestone 
quarries at Forcett, between Darlington and Richmond. 

In 1876, Mr. Abbot issued his first volume of verse with the title of 
"War, and other Poems," and again in 1879, he published " The Pen, the 
Press, and the Sword." 

Byronic in structure, chiefly ; massive and thundering in execution, 
his verse rings of the rocks and seems to beat time to the music of 
hammer and pick. He is quaint and double-edged in humour, rasping 
and peppery, almost fierce, in satire ; gentle and soft as early motherhood 
in pathos and pity and love. He still resides in the beautiful Forcett dale, 
white and straight and seventy, an oak with the top leaves frost-nipt. 

JOHN RoWELL-WAIiLEB. 



THE SONG OF TNGLETON BELLS. 



Come listen ye people, the song from the steeple, 

Dingle-ding, dingle-ding, dingle-ding, ding. 
A spirit is singing and through the bells ringing, 
Dingle-ding, dingle-ding, dingle-ding, ding, 
" Hearken the voice of me ; 
" Come and acknowledge me ; 
" Come and rejoice with me ; 
" Come and made holy be." 



Richard Abbot. 67 



Through the sweet chiming of Ingleton bells, 

Musical bells, 
Through the sweet chiming of Ingleton bells. 

Oh ! God of the mountains ! 

Oh ! God of the dales ! 
Thou fountain of fountains 

Who spread out the vales, 
Established t"he caverns those archives of Thine, 

Where truth has been stored for all ages to come ; 
Permit me to draw, as from heavenly mine, 

A small precious portion my soul to illume. 
Dingle-ding, dingle-ding, dingle-ding, ding, 

Musical Ingleton, Ingleton bells, 
Hark ! 'tis the music of Ingleton bells ! 

Oh ! fountain of beauty, of music and song ! 

The might of the mighty the strength of the strong, 

Who raised up the hills, made the rivers to flow 

Through the land for the use of Thy creatures below, 

Inspire me, I pray Thee, to sing with the bells 

Whose music this moment resounds through the dells ; 

Listen the bells ! Ingleton bells ! 

The music is charming, its influence warning, 

It strengthens your souls as onward it rolls, 

Far up the valley and down through the dale 

Where it dies in the distance like Philomel's wail. 

Dingle-ding, dingle-ding, dingle-ding, ding. 

Musical Ingleton, Ingleton bells, 

Hark to the music of Ingleton bells ! 

Come, come do you hear it ? 

The voice of the spirit 
" Come old men and women ; 

Come young men and maidens." 
The bells softly ringing 

With sweet mournful cadence ; 



68 North Country Poets. 

Come beautiful children, 

With bloom on your faces, 

And heavenly graces. 
(Your numbers bewild'ring.) 

Approach ye the altar, 
Come, come, do not falter, 
The bells are inviting, the spirit inditing 

The song of the bells. 
Ingleton bells sweetest of bells 
Heard on the hills, 
Heard on the fells, 
Heard by the rills, 
And heard in the dells, 
Beautiful, musical, Ingleton bells. 
Oh ! come from the mountains, 

And come from the valleys. 
Dingle-ding, dingle-ding, dingle-ding, ding. 
Come ye by the fountains, 

From lanes, streets and alleys, 
Come at the calling of Ingleton bells. 

Come, come with decorum, and with the bells sing, 

Come, ye from the woodlands, 
And ye by the river ; 

Come birds from the cloudland 

Sing praises for ever, 
Sing praises for ever with Ingleton bells, 

Sweet Ingleton bells, 
A song to the Saviour through Ingleton bells ! 



O, TURN ASIDE THY LOVING EYES. 



O, turn aside thy loving eyes, 
They shoot into my very soul ; 

'Tis not thy wish to victimize, 
But now my heart is past control. 



Richard Abbot. 69 



Is this a modern paradise ? 

Art thou life's glorious, mystic tree ? 
0, turn aside thy loving eyes, 

Nor bend their powerful light on me. 

0, turn aside thy loving eyes, 

Who can resist their influence ? 
Their darts my utmost power denes, 

They wound my frail heart past defence. 
I fear thou never can be mine, 

Then why should I but wear love's chain? 
A slave unto thy eyes divine ! 

Nay ! rather kill me with disdain. 

0, turn aside thy loving eyes, 

Or teach them some repulsive art ; 
Teach me thy beauty to despise, 

And how we may be pleased to part. 
Alas ! it is not in thy power, 

Thou art attraction all in all, 
And I must, till my latest hour, 

Before thy glorious image fall. 



FADING BEAUTY. 



Fading beauty, bending o'er thee, 

Here before high heaven I swear, 
Doubt me not, love, I adore thee, 

Thou art still my joy and care. 
Still devoted and unchanging, 

Through all change my heart shall be, 
Nor, through all my fancies ranging 

Can it rest on aught but thee. 



7O North Country Poets. 



Fading beauty ! nay, not fading, 

'Tis but change of loveliness, 
And my heart needs no persuading, 

To believe thy charms no less. 
True, the rose is turning whiter, 

True, thy locks are silvery now, 
But thy loving eyes, once brighter, 

Still with love to me o'erflow. 

Fading beauty ! still unfaded, 

Still the charms of riper years 
Keep the light of love unshaded, 

While thy beauty brighter wears ; 
And, though time at length succeed in 

Leading captive thee, iny bride, 
Shall not I the same path tread in, 

Linked for ever by 'thy side? 




William Billington. 



William Billington. 




ILLIAM BILLINGTON, who is colloquially known in 
Lancashire as " The Blackburn Poet," was the son of a 
man who discharged the important function of road con- 
tractor, and at the same time, to eke out his livelihood, 
worked at home both at basket-making and hand-loom 
weaving. His " cottage was a thatched one," and 
situated in the quaint, old-world hamlet of Samlesbury, 
midway between Blackburn and Preston. Here William 
first saw the light some sixty-two years ago. He was the eldest of three 
brothers. The father died when William was seven or eight years old, and left 
the family, as the poet puts it, to " scrat on as they could." William got very 
little schooling and ac an early age went to a neighbouring mill to learn 
throstle spinning. But he had a share of the " imperishable stuff of 
genius " in him, and having learned to read, assiduously applied himself 
to studies of various kinds. The family removed to Blackburn when he 
was fourteen, and while working first at one mill and then at another, he 
made considerable progress in self -education. He especially prided himself 
on being a good grammarian, and at a later stage of his life taught evening 
classes of young men in the rules of syntax. He also early manifested a 
disposition to cultivate the Muses, and before he was twenty-one began to 
contribute verses to a local journal. Having by his steadiness raised 
himself to the better paid work of taper in a cotton mill, he was able to 
save sufficient money to commence business as a publican. Not a very 
literary calling, certainly, but his house, the Nag's Head, Northgate, Black- 
burn, became the resort of such literati as Blackburn could boast. Sub- 
sequently he removed to another house, which he called the " Poet's Cor- 
ner." He was a frequent contributor both of verse and prose dialect 
sketches to Lancashire journals, and in 1801 published his first volume 
of poems, entitling it " Sheen and Shade." This met with a favourable 
reception, and was noticed in a highly complimentary way by many 
journals. In September, 1888, he published a second volume of verse, " Lan- 
cashire Songs, Poems, and Sketches." But he did not live long to enjoy 
whatever fruits he might have reaped from this book, for on January 3rd, 
1884, in his 57th year, he fell a, victim to bronchitis, an old enemy, from 
which he had suffered much all that winter. He was twice married. His 
first partner proved a suitable helpmate to him, ami two children were 
the issue of the union, whom he describes in one of his poems as " a boy and 
a girl, a rose and a lily, a pink and a pearl." His second matrimonial 
venture was not a happy one, Some idea of Billington's political views 
may be gathered from the fact that he called the only child whom his 
second wife bore him, John Bright Billington. During the later years of 
his life Billington suffered from vicissitudes of fortune and he died in com- 



72 North Country Poets. 



parative poverty. He was buried in Blackburn Cemetery, and a simple 
monument was erected over the spot by local admirers. Much of his verse is 
in the Lancashire dialect, which he wrote very fluently, but his productions 
in orthodox English also contain some fine word painting. His poetry 
has been compared to that of John Critchley Prince ; in some respects 
Billington showed more poetic power than that writer, though his verse 
lacked artistic finish. He wrote both descriptive and introspective pieces, 
some of the latter dealing with his own theological doubts and difficulties. 

JESSE QUAIL. 



THE SINGER. 



A singer there dwelt in a city of yore 

A populous city and proud ! 

And his spirit was love, and his speech lit with lore, 
But, bashful and timid, he trembled before 

The gaze of the gaping crowd ; 
And he sang like a seraph at heaven's blue door, 
And his aim and his hope were to sing and to soar 

Like a lark in the heart of a cloud. 

That city grew rich with the sound of his praise, 

And the wealthy, soon, everyone 
Seemed hanging with rapture and love on his lays, 
And would wish him God speed, ever fanning the blaze 

Of his fame, which so brightly had shone ; 
And they called him Our singer and poet always, 
Little deeming how fleeting and few were his days, 

And how soon would the singer be gone. 

He wove in his life with the woof of his lay, 
And that good city gave him its breath, 

Its emptiest homage, the poet's sure pay ; 

From its loftiest spire, in the sun's golden ray, 
He suspended an evergreen wreath, 

Far out of the reach of those sleepless and gay 

Destroyers, Old Time and his kinsman, Decay, 
And too high for the arrows of Death ! 



William Billington. 73 



One morning, as wont, when the world had awoke, 

And the people were prying for news, 
The blue, bending heavens were dimmed by the smoke 
Which in dark wreathing columns rose threatening to choke 

The pure air from a forest of flues ; 
On the ear of that city a rumour there broke, 
Like the autumn wind sighing through forests of oak, 

'Twas the death of that son of the Muse. 



That city then draped it in mourning most deep, 
And said " Since our light, which had shone, 
Like a midnight lamp from a castled steep, 
For the guidance of travellers bound by that keep, 

Through the desert where path there is none, 
Hath faded too soon, it is meet we should weep, 
For, alas ! many ages may over us sweep 
Nor behold such a Luminous One ! 

" Our bard was our brightest and daintiest dower, 

But the richest robes soonest will soil ! 
that \ve had but the magical power 
To rekindle our lamp, even but for one hour, 

Whatever the cost of the toil ! 
It should flame on the top of our regalest tower, 
Secure from the wind, from the wintry shower, 
And the storm, nor be stinted of oil." 

Thus ever the Christ hath been crucified, 

Our chalice of joy ever spilt ! 
Our hearts are with Evil so strongly allied, 
Until they thought the Curtains of Death are descried 

Our Gods must be branded with guilt ! 
The grave yawns before thee, deep-throated and wide, 
Sweet poet, enthroned on the heavenward side 

Sitteth Fame : freely choose which thou wilt. 



74 North Country Poets. 



FRAUD : THE EVIL OF THE AGE. 



With what unutterable shame and scorn, 

Humiliation and indignant rage, 
The bosom of the honest man is torn, 

Who contemplates the evils of this age 
Light weights, short measures, packing, paint and gloss 
One half the world kept by the other's loss 

Chicane, cheating, bankruptcy, liquidation, 
Clayed-cloth, damped yarn, short counts, and wasted weft. 
With antiseptic's scientific theft 

All trades worm-eaten by adulteration ! 
What folly what short sightedness what sin 
Enough to make the very Devil grin ! 
By cheating, one may win some paltry pelf ; 
But, as a whole, the World can only cheat itself. 

Oh ! Commerce, thou hast much to answer for, 

Cold, callous King of Trade's unconscion'd mart ; 
No bolt of Jove, no hammer-stroke of Thor, 

Could singe or dint thy adamantine heart ; 

From morals, from religion far apart, 
Thy God is Gold, thy Gospel selfish gain, 
Thy bastard twins, pale Poverty and Pain, 

Foul imps by thee begotten upon Fraud, 
Infest our cities, fill our cots, and fain 

Would shrink from our existence, or have thawed 
The heart of Avarice, blocking Pity's way ! 
When rings and corners swindling guilds hold sway- 
When vices rise which pulpits fail to reach, 
The poet, not the parson, then must claim to preach. 



William Billing ton. 75 



CAPITAL AND LABOUR. 



Once Capital and Labour pulled 

Together, both one way ; 
Till one demanded profit and 

The other wanted pay ; 
The point to be arrived at was 

That each should have his share. 
But Capital was master and 

Would not divide things fair. 

Then Labour yoked with Union 

And gathered greater strength, 
And wrestled long with Capital 

And won his rights at length. 
The world became much wiser then, 

And Wealth obtained respect, 
For Work had gained his guerdon and 

Came forth with soul erect. 




76 North Country Poets. 



Joseph Readman. 




HIS widely known contributor to the Northern press is a 
native of Kipon, and was born on the 16th February, 1860. 
He was educated at the famous Grammar School of his 
native city. From boyhood he had a taste for literature 
and wrote many poems and sketches, but it was not until 
1878 that he submitted to an editor any of his productions. 
Since that time he has contributed very freely to the press, 
and in 1884, a volume of his verse was issued by Heavi- 
sides and Son, Stockton-on-Tees, under the title of " Sunbeams and 
Shadows of Life, and othef Poems." It contains many pleasing verses and 
was favourably received. Mr. Eeadman is engaged in business at Stock- 
ton-on-Tees, and for recreation takes a keen delight in authorship. 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 



SHAROW BELLS.* 



The day's turmoil is ended, 

The tranquil eve hath come 
Each son of toil hath wended 

His way to peaceful home, 
As Luna in the starry sky 

Sends down her fairy light, 
To lend a charm to even's calm 

From out her fretted height. 

The old Yore sings in cadence sweet, 

As o'er wide pebbly bed 
He flows, his lover Skelll to meet 

Long centuries since they wed ; 
Across the water softly floats 

The chimes of Sharow's bells, 
And music near, enslaves the ear 

As on the breeze it swells. 

* The sound of these bells, floating as it does across the river Yore 
to Ripon, is hoard to great advantage on a still night. 

t The river Skell flows into the Yore about half a mile from Kipon. 



Joseph Re adman. 77 



The heart is thronged with gladness, 

The mind hath joy anew, 
No ling'ring touch of sadness 

Doth course the senses through, 
As on this night, when all is calm, 

O'er Eipon city floats 
The music soft, kind zephyrs waft 

From Sharow's mellow throats. 

Long years have flown since last I heard 

Those simple village chimes, 
Yet often is my memory stirred 

With those dear by-gone times, 
When like as from some fairy realm 

The silvery voices o'er, 
All touched with glee, with notes so free, 

Flew 'cross the limpid Yore. 



AWAKENED MEMORIES. 



I sing of a charm which to music is wedded, 
That holds o'er the feelings a magical sway. 

A power quite resistless to mem'ries embedded 
With records of actions in years far away. 

Though memory perchance will e'en slumber for years, 
Yet cometh the time when its powers will awake, 

Bringing back to the mind's eye past pleasures and fears, 
Illumed by the vividness fancy can make. 

An air it is simply, with concord unblended, 
Possesses the spell of some magical thing, 

Unlocking the feelings from which are descended 
The joys and the sorrows that unto men cling. 



78 North Country Poets. 



How sweet are the moments when fondly surveying 
Those early impressions of life's rapid stream, 

That crowd on the senses, fresh gladness conveying, 
Divine as the workings of youth's brightest dream. 

By this tend'rest of powers the veil o'er Time's hollow 
Seems lifted again to our wondering gaze, 

And old friends and faces then quickly do follow 
The dictates of Fancy's mysterious ways. 

Sweet are the memories of those who no longer 
Do mingle their cares with the rest of mankind ; 

Though Death hath divided affection is stronger 
More deepened the pathos that lingers behind. 




Rev. Richard Abbay } M.A. 



79 



Rev. Richard Abbay, M.A. 




HE Rev. RICHARD ABBAY is a true Yorkshire poet. 
He is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Abbay, and was 
born in the parish of Aldborough, in the West Riding (the 
Isurium of the Romans), on the llth February, 1844. 
His education proper, that is the scholastic part of it, 
may be said to have begun at St. Peter's School, York, 
and since entering that ancient foundation, he has gone 
on taking degree after degree, and winning distinction 
after distinction. Here are some of his achievements. At St. Peter's 
he obtained a Free Scholarship, 1858, and a Foundation Scholarship, 1861 ; 
Open Scholarship at Exeter College, Oxford, 1863 ; First Class Mathe- 
matics, 1865 ; Proxine Accessit, University Mathematical Scholarship, 
1886 ; First Class Final Mathematical Examination, 1867 ; B.A., 1867 ; 
Lecturer and Demonstrator in Natural Science, King's College, London, 
1868 ; Elected to Fellowship in Natural Science, Wadham College, Oxford, 
open to both Universities, 1868 ; M.A., 1869. He has been somewhat 
of an athlete, having played two seasons in his college eleven, and won 
several prizes in his college sports. 

After all these achievements, it is not surprising to find that Mr. 
Abbay is able to write M.A., F.R.A.S, and other capital dignities after his 
name. He has been a great traveller, and has left useful records of his 
observation and research in the numerous communications made by him to 
the several societies and to periodical literature both abroad and at home. 
His papers, embracing an extremely wide range of topics in Botany. 
Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology and other scientific fields, relate chiefly 
to matters of interest in the various countries visited by him. It is chiefly 
as a poet, however, that we are now concerned to consider him, rather than 
with his scientific researches in New Caledonia, Ceylon, Java, Australia, 
New Zealand, and California. 

His poetical works are contained in a volume of 340 pages, 270 of 
which are occupied with a narrative poem in octosyllabic verse, entitled 
" The Castle of Knaresburgh." This poem therefore is Mr. Abbay's opus 
magnum, and besides it we have in the volume a number of short poems of 
a more reflective kind, and a legendary rhyme entitled "The White Mare 
of Whitestone Cliff." " The Castle of Knaresburgh " is spirited throughout, 
and often rises into passages which have the true poetic ring. Mr. Abbay 
seems to have an almost Homeric fondness for battle scenes, and urges his 
heroes to the conflict with all the enthusiastic energy of a poetic major- 
general. Amongst his miscellaneous poems are some exquisitely tender 
things, notably, "The Dying Naturalist," " Love," " Life and Death." 
Ac. Mr. Abbay's volume is eminently enjoyable throughout, and that is 
what we cannot say of many volumes of verse of so large a size. Messrs. 
Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., are the publishers of Mr. Abbay's work, which 

merits a place in every Yorkshire library. 

GEORGE LANCASTER. 



8o North Country Poets. 

TEMPLUM VENERIS. 

[Claude.] 



Oh, for the touch of that deft hand which drew 
This stately splendour on the Baian shore, 
The dreamy landscape and the waters blue 
With azure skies for ever vaulted o'er, 
The wealth of drowsy foliage and the store 
Of shadows cool, beneath tall, slumb'rous trees, 
The sunlit cliffs on distant mountains hoar, 
The clouds above, so light and full of ease, 
And clear air resonant with summer melodies. 

Here slowly wends, amid the ivies cool, 

The glad procession, tuneful, laurel- crowned ; 

And two fair suppliants for the sweet control 

Of love half recognised and half disowned, 

On timid feet with doves and fruits are bound 

To pay the tribute Love demands from all, 

Peasant or prince, in lofty palace found ; 

Love met them, in a guise ethereal, 

And threw around their breasts his soft yet ruthless thrall. 

There, on the marble steps, the wreathed faun 

Holds drowsy panthers in his listless thrall ; 

And, bearing wands with vine leaves deckt at dawn, 

The eager suitors mount unto the hall, 

Nor heed the pipes that for their worship call ; 

And on the terrace stand the shrine of Love, 

And white-robed priests with praises musical 

As spring-time birds within the neighbouring grove, 

While Venus and her boy bend lovingly above. 

Oh, for that ear to hear, that eye to see 
The spirits, moving in the summer air, 
To know that gladness such as theirs can be, 
And sift the sadness from our landscape fair, 



Rev. Richard Abbay, M.A. 81 



And in all lovely things to have our share ; 

With ear attuned unto a wakeful eye 

To hear the music of the evening star 

And all earth's glad and various minstrelsy ; 

Young lives were always ours, and summer ever by. 



THE DYING NATURALIST. 



I care not for splendours that man can achieve, 
The pomp and the pageant of power ; 

Their glitter may dazzle, it does not deceive, 

It cannot console, it will not relieve 
My sadness of heart for an hour. 

I heed not the praise and the plaudits of men, 

The honours that fame can bestow ; 
They ravish the heart that is honest, and when 
We dream we are blest as immortals, oh, then 

They satiate, sadden, and go. 

Oh, give me the joy of unclouded skies, 
The smiles and the raptures of earth, 
When she wakes from her sleep in a glad surprise, 
And, uplifting her myriad of laughing eyes, 
She bursts into innocent mirth. 

Oh, give me the hope of the lengthening day, 

The childhood and youthtide of flowers, 
The hawthorn bud on the drooping spray, 
Ere the bloom is touched with its soft decay, 
And the sombre hue that is ours. 

Let me watch the pale primrose unfolding its bloom, 

Let me swoon in the violet's breath ; 
They can lure my heart from its pensive gloom. 
My immature hope from its early tomb, 

And my love from its lingering death. 



82 North Country Poets. 

Let me list till my fancy can hear the sweet strains 

They sing to each other whilst growing ; 
They will soothe me to rest from my desolate pains, 
Till my spirit shall burst from its shadowy chains 
With joy of their song overflowing. 

Oh, give me the joy and the sadness of earth, 

The sunlight and shadows I love, 
When the flow'rets come to a timely birth, 
And the summer falls with its sweet young mirth 

From the overfull skies above. 



ADVICE. 



Gan yam, gan yam, ma bonnie lass, 
Thoo mawn't be oot alaane ; 
There's mony a man '11 deea tha wrang, 
They've nowt bud hearts o' staane. 

Gan yam, gan yam, ma bonnie lass, 

Ah'l see tha doon to 't dike ; 

There's waiistril Tom, Will Louse-i'-t-heft * 

An' hauf a scoor o' sike. 

Gan yam, gan yam, ma bonnie lass, 
Wharl thoo's an honest naame ; 
They've bonnie wods an' bonnie deeds, 
An' then there's nowt bud shaame. 

Gan yam, gan yam, ma bonnie lass, 
Thoo mawnt come here an' stot ; i 
Thee faather'd lowp fra oot his graave 
If owt sud deea tha hot. :|: 

Ah will gan yam, at yance, Ah will, 
Thoo's better nor a brudder ; 
There's naan sail saay, Ah yance gat wrang 
Ah'l bide at yam wi' rnudder. 

* Loose in the haft a worthless, unreliable fellow, 
t Walk jauntily. { Hurt. 



Thomas Burns. 



Thomas Burns. 




HOMAS BURNS was born on the 15th September, 1848, 
at Cessford, a farm situated in the parish of Eckford, 
Roxburghshire. He was sent to the parish school of that 
place at the age of five, and after four years of school life 
he was compelled by a hard necessity to grapple with the 
stern realities of life, his mother being widowed some 
time previously. At the age of thirteen he crossed the 
Border to Ford, Northumberland, being hired to farm 
work by Mr. Elliott of that place. Very bright and grateful are his 
recollections of this good farmer and his family, for here he was brought 
under such religious influences as tended not a little to mould his after life, 
and to produce in him those trustful Christian traits that well up to the 
surface of everything he has written. In the early part of 1876, tired of 
and dispirited with the monotonous drudgery of agriculture, he sought to 
extricate himself by joining the police force at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Only 
three years, however, did he remain in that position, when he was appoint- 
ed to an office in connection with the School Board, which post he yet 
occupies. Many of his poems have appeared from time to time in the 
newspapers of the Borderland during the past few years ; it was not, how- 
ever, until the autumn of 1887 that he ventured into publicity in anything 
like substantial form. This was the red-letter period of an uneventful life, 
the publication of his first volume of verse with the title of " Chimes 
from Nature." It includes noble sentiment vigorously expressed, and 
much sweet and pure sympathy purely and sweetly spoken. 

JOHN ROWELL WALLER. 



COME, SING A SONG TO ME, MY LOVE. 



Come, sing a song to me, my love, 

Thou knowest how I long, 
Eesume thy harp again and give 

Another melting song. 
I've listened oft with secret joy, 

And half-veil'd swimming eyes, 
Unto the soaring minstrel boy 

Who sings with such surprise. 



84 North Country Poets. 

Men shall adore thee, I contend, 

Of every creed and clime, 
And forth thy name on history send 

Throughout the course of time ; 
The wise in speech, in sense, end mind, 

The soldier, sage, and priest, 
King, prophet, hero, bard, will find 

Within thy lays a feast. 

The old, the young, the rich the poor, 

Coy maiden, and strong youth, 
Shall draw sweet pleas are from thy store, 

And praise its flavoured truth. 
When Time's grey wing shall winnow all 

Base metal from life's gold, 
And every warranty appal, 

And love herself grows old. 

The rising wavelets of your song, 

Light as galactic air, 
Will dance on every human tongue 

Dame Nature doth prepare. 
The boundless elemental whole 

Of incarnation's train, 
Tears from the socket of its soul 

Will on thy memory reign. 

That rich, mysterious gift divine, 

Self-conscious of its life, 
Imbues itself on every line 

Without a sign of strife. 
Around thy wide-spread disc of fame 

Shines honour's blazing star ; 
Spite, lust, and pride quake when thy name 

Sounds on the field of war. 



Thomas Burns. 85 



A brainless mass of copyists 

May flicker, flash, and vie, 
But soon their laboured, rayless lists 

Beneath time's gaze will die. 
Like shifting shadows in the sun, 

Or waves that mark the sea, 
They'll sigh the syllables undone, 

And shift with woe is me 



THE HUMAN MIND. 



How facile and free is the mind, 
No fetters forg'd by man can bind 

Or bar its spacious way ; 
It skims this \vide terrestial sphere, 
As light as winged elysian air, 

As jubilant and gay ; 
It drinks the cordial from love's cup, 

And leads'the victor's train ; 
It lifts embrown'd industry up 
On honour's throne to reign. 
So quaintly and gently, 
Singing as it goes, 
Aye flashing and dashing, 
Eevealing what it knows. 

The mind has secrets to reveal 
That yet lie under God's own seal ; 

"What wonders of research 
Is in its well-fledged, downy wings; 
What light from Heaven's court it brings 

Down yonder starry arch. 
It wanders where the silvery sun 

Has never sent one beam, 
Unswerving onward it doth run 
By hallow'd joy's sweet stream. 



86 North Country Poets. 

Inspiring and firing 
Devotion's upward glance, 
Still watching and catching 
At every passing chance. 

It sounds Eraca's rocky dells*, 
And rings imperial Salem's bells ; 

It wakes the minstrel's song, 
The Great Creator's Name to praise, 
Draws down on earth fair glory's rays 
Upon the blood-wash'd throng. 
The choicest gems in nature's mould, 

Or dark Golconda's mine, 
Pales down before the lustre bold 
That from the mind outshine. 
It's charming and warming 
The nations with its bliss, 
Soft blushing and flushing, 
With animation's kiss. 




William Longstaff. 87 



William Longstaff. 




ILLIAM LONGSTAFF was born at Soulby, a small 
village in the county of Westmoreland, in October, 1849. 
The name, which is essentially Saxon in its origin, 
has long been recognised as a north country one ; and 
variously spelled Langstaffe, Longstaff and Lang- 
stoft, has been associated with the counties of Northum- 
berland, Durham, Cumberland, Westmoreland and York, 
for hundreds of years. We have it on record that a 
person named Langstoft published a volume in the city of York in the 
17th century : and since then more than one individual of the name has 
rendered himself conspicuous for literary talent. 

The immediate progenitors of William Longstaff appear to have been 
of a wandering and unsettled disposition, a characteristic inherited by their 
present descendants. William's grandfather, who was at one period a 
gamekeeper, removed from Durham county to Cumberland, where he acted 
in that capacity to the Musgraves, at Edenhall. Having married " a 
Cumberland lass " locally famed for her vocal powers as a singer, thus 
presumably introducing musical talent into the family, he ultimately 
settled down as a small farmer at Soulby, in Westmoreland. 

It is a well known fact that towards the latter end of the last and in 
the beginning of the present century, many of the small farmers were 
forced to succumb to adverse circumstances, which then, as now, specially 
affected the agricultural interest. This proved to be the case with the quondam 
gamekeeper, and it was in consequence of such adventitious circumstances 
that the father of our poet, a man widely known for his musical talent, was 
under the necessity of commencing life in a position little better than that of 
an agricultural labourer. His early death at the age of 30, leaving a widow 
and four young children, of whom William was the third, plunged them into 
absolute poverty, against which the widow bravely battled for years in the 
endeavour to provide for her helpless family. The recollection of this un- 
fortunate period of his existence and the reminiscences recalled by the kind- 
ness and sympathy of humble friends in their adversity, have tinged with 
sentiments of melancholy and pathos some of William Longstaff's poetical 
effusions, rendering them singularly effective in their appeal to the affec- 
tions and the tiner feelings of the heart. At an early age, William was sent 
to school, the necessary fees being paid by local landowners and others, 
whose charitable aid to the distressed family is deserving of all praise. 
Under the old-fashioned tuition then in vogue, he made rapid progress in 
his reading lessons, which consisted almost entirely of scripture history 
and narrative, supplemented by the catechism of the Church. When the- 
and-a-half years old he was presented with a copy of " The Wharton 
Bible " for having successfully repeated seven of the Psalms of David, 
comprising 111 verses, and the Church Catechism aforesaid. 



North Country Poets. 



At the age of twelve he quitted school to work as " nipper lad " on a 
railway then in process of formation in the Eden Valley. Leaving this 
employment, he engaged himself as a boy gardener, &c., to the Rev. John 
Collinson, M.A., formerly incumbent of Lamesley, in Durham (but then 
living in retirement at Soulby), This excellent clergyman, a man of parts 
and a scholar, though a strict disciplinarian, was kindly and benevolent ; 
and from him William Longstaff received lessons in moral rectitude and 
upright conduct, for which he has ever since expressed his indebtedness 
and grateful acknowledgment. 

Leaving this employment, his next occupation was that of a hired 
farm servant, when, like Eobert Burns, he followed the plough with happy 
musings " along the mountain side." 

His next venture as a navvy on the Settle and Carlisle extension of 
the Midland Railway, was not at all to his taste : broken time and 
irregular wages, principally due to the rainy weather, disgusted him with 
the work, though he found his fellow-workmen, as a rule, the most generous 
hearted and genial body of men with whom he had yet been associated. 
Making his way to Shildon the cradle of the railway engine and then to 
Gateshead, with the intention of qualifying himself as a fireman, and with 
the idea of becoming an engine driver, he met with a series of disappoint- 
ments. In 1873 he found himself, after fulfilling minor duties, promoted 
to the responsible position of relief signalman in the services of the North 
Eastern Railway Company, in which capacity he is still employed. 

In 1887 Mr. Longstaff published his first brochure, a small collection of 
poems, which was favourably received by the public. This collection con- 
tains an ode on Her Majesty's Jubilee, and received the acknowlegment 
and thanks of the Queen through Sir H. Ponsonby, after publication. 

As a contributor to the " Poets' Corner " in the local press, Mr. Long- 
staff is well and favourably known in the north. As a humorous and 
sarcastic writor of poetry, he has recently gained a wide celebrity in that 
extensively circulated comic Annual, known as " Eraser's Blyth andTyne- 
side Comic Illustrated Almanac," for which some time ago was purchased 
the copyright productions of the late firm of Chaters, comic publishers of 
Newcastle-on-Tyne. In the prize competitions for honours in Eraser's 
Almanac Mr. Longstaff has secured both the gold and silver medals 
awarded by the judges. Some of his satirical pieces are of a high order of 
merit. They are easy in versification, playful in fancy, and display a 
fine sense of humour. 

His more serious pieces are highly creditable to hia humanitarian 
feelings, and possess the sterling ring of poetry. 

_______ JASIKS TROTTEK. 

THE WILD HELM WIND. 



My own, my bonnie native hills, 
The Helmcloud gathering on your crest, 

Hath settled there again and fills 
My musing inind with sweet unrest ; 



William Longstaff. 89 



A pall from Stanemores height above, 

Far down the Pennines lengthy range, 
Is weird, as mists together wove 

Seem seethed in masses wild and strange : 
Hark ! wails the wind in many a gust, 

See ! rolls the scudding whirling dust ; 

The Helm is on ; as blows a gale, 

Adown the mount adown the vale ; 

But every sound my bosom fills 

With love for ye, my native hills. 

Down Crossfell's breast, with maddening roar, 

The gusts commingle, race, and growl ; 
Each grander, wilder than before, 

O'er crumbling shale and stones to howl 
Around the pikes. Now :;: Knock to creep, 

Now from the peak of : Dufton skim, 
Down higher ;: Murton next to s\veep, 
With mocking voices harsh and grim ; 
Kocks many a tree, and many a wall, 
As many a gap is seen to fall, 
And many a bush, and many a tree 
Is bent, as if to bend the knee ; 
But every sight my bosom tills 
With love for yc, my native hills. 

The cowering sheep instinct hath taught 

In sheltering nooks again are found ; 
A cairn, a hedge, a rock is sought ; 
A hollow deep behind a mound. 
The croaking crow, the rooks soft caw, 
Seem silenced, as with weary wing, 

The magpie and the saucy daw, 
Behind the fences seem to cling. 

The blast assumes a mightier power ; 
? Tis gathering strength from hour to hour ; 
* These picturesque conical hills Knock, Dufton, and Murton are 
seen from the Vale of Eden. 



90 North Country Poets. 

Leaves are upturned, as forests pale 
Before the yet increasing gale ; 
While every blast my bosom fills 
With love for ye, my native hills. 

From :|: Meerlaw Hill, to fStanemore Fell, 
Where is there aught to this akin ? 

Where clouds regather and reswell 
And now disperse in wildest din ; 

Eeborn with every gift of wealth, 

The boisterous gale say not 'tis death ; 

For cheeks and lips show ruddy health 

Who brave the Helmwind's giant breath. 
Nor sights, nor sounds in other lands 
Have grandeur such as this commands : 
Nor breeze, nor winds like this can wreathe, 
Wild charms like these for me to breathe ; 
O, every breath my bosom fills 
With love for ye, my native hills. 



WHEN THE SWALLOWS COME AGAIN. 



When the swallows come again, 
As they journey o'er the main : 
Who hath not a willing welcome 
For their airy flitting wings, 
For the light and merry twitter 
The approaching summer brings ? 
Beauty's heralds, bright and joyous, 
At the close of winter's reign ; 
Hath the summer ever being 
Till the swallows come again ? 



* Meerlaw Hill, in Cumberland, 
t Stanemore Fell, Westmoreland. 



William Longstaff. 91 



When the swallows come again, 

In the April's sun and rain ; 

If the primrose and the snowdrop 
May together speed away, 
Then we look for other flowers, 
For the hawthorn's scented spray, 
For the rosebuds to develop, 
Which to look for, 'twere in vain, 
Till the summer's glowing sunshine, 
When the swallows come again. 

\Vhen the swallows come again, 

Winging like a living chain ; 

With a light and loving message 
From the southern sunny shores, 
Coming nigh us, to us, with us, 
Building high above the doors ; 
Clinging to the eaves and windows, 
What can summer's smile attain 
Till the starting of their houses, 
When the swallows come again. 

When the swallows come again, 
Skimming o'er the grassy plain ; 
We have joying at their presence, 
Swifts and martins free and gay, 
Bright and happy in the morning, 
Never weary through the day ; 
Fleet, nor halting in their flitting, 
Life hath longing, and would fain 
Haste the spring a little onward, 
Till the swallows come again. 



9 2 



North Country Poets. 



Rev. James Gabb, B.A. 




HE REV. JAMES GABB was born at Ebley, in Gloucester- 
shire, on the 3rd of February, 1830. He was educated at 
Dame Schools till 1839, then at the endowed Parish 
School until 1845. During the later years of this period 
he received free instruction in Latin and literature from 
the incumbent curate of the parish church, and in Euclid 
and algebra from the incumbent of the district church. 
By the influence of the former, in 1845 he obtained an 
appointment at Dawlish, in the office of Mr. J. T. Harrison, brother of Mr. 
T. E. Harrison, of the N. E. Railway, a principal resident engineer on the 
South Devon Railway, then in course of construction, where he was soon 
joined by his younger brother, Samuel. In 1848 he was promoted to a post 
in the immediate employment of Mr. Brunei, the eminent engineer, in ful- 
filment of a promise made by the latter to Mr. Harrison in 1845 that if his 
protege continued to give satisfaction in the performance of his duties he 
would befriend him. A year afterward, in 1849, chiefly induced by religious 
feeling, and at the suggestion of the latter of the two reverend friends already 
mentioned, both of whom are still living he left the service of Mr. 
Brunei, and returned home for six months to read for the University, to 
which, after reading another six months at Matlock Bath Vicarage, he 
proceeded in Oct., 1850, at the cost of friends who were mostly strangers to 
him. He was entered at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where, in 
the following year, he was second mathematical prizeman, and obtained an 
exhibition. In hig second year he obtained a similar prize, and a scholar- 
ship, followed in his third year by the Chapel Clerkship. He read mathe- 
matics with Mr. Ferrers, now the master of his college, and with Mr. 
Todhunter, the eminent private tutor and writer of mathematical class 
books for the University, with whom he was a favorite. In the degree 
lists, at the beginning of 1854, he passed as a wrangler, and in June was 
appointed to the curacy of Barton-le-Street, Yorkshire, being ordained 
deacon in York Minster by the Bishop of Madras, on behalf of Archbishop 
Musgrave, on which occasion, by reason of his standing in the Bishop's 
examination, he was appointed by him to read the Gospel in the Minster. 
Taking up his residence at Coneysthorpe, in the parish of Barton-le-Street, 
he found himself very near to Castle Howard, the family from which 
regularly attended the little village chapel, in addition to attendance at the 
service held in the Castle chapel, where their own chaplain officiated. In 
the autumn of this year, 1854, Lord Carlisle returned from the Turkish 
and Greek waters ; and in the following year, 1855, on the death of his 
chaplain, his lordship requested Mr. Gabb to take the office, remaining still 
at Coneysthorpe. Here he began again to write verses. He also went out, 
as a volunteer helper, to preach and speak for the Church Missionary 



Rev. James Gabb, B.A. 93 



Society, of which his rector, the Rev. Charles Hodgson, was then the secre- 
tary for Yorkshire. Still later, he went out in the same way for the British 
and Foreign Bible Society. During the few years which followed his settle- 
ment at Coneysthorpe he had several livings proposed for his acceptance, 
all by Archbishop Musgrave ; but finding himself possessed of much less 
physical vigour than a heavy sphere of labour demanded, and being happily 
placed in other respects, he declined these. In 1864 he was offered the 
curacy of Bulmer-with-Welburn, also on the Castle Howard estate, within 
sight of the Castle, and to be held with the chaplaincy, which, with 
Lord Carlisle's approval, he accepted. A few months later his lordship 
died, his latest public act having been to attend service at the Welburn 
Church, where Mr. Gabb officiated, to a seat in which his lordship was 
with difficulty assisted, after having already attended the Castle Chapel 
service, which Mr. Gabb had performed as his chaplain. Mr. Gabb con- 
tinued to reside at Welburn until 1867, when his rector died, having been 
more than half a century incumbent of the parish. Mr. Gabb had 
previously married, in 1H66, Jane, the youngest daughter of Prebendary Hird, 
of Low Moor, and of York, and youngest sister of Mr. Wickham, formerly 
member for Bradford. In 1875 Mr. Gabb's attendance at the Castle Chapel 
ceased, it having been determined to re-arrange the structure, and employ 
a higher ritual than had been previously in use there. Mr. Gabb's muse 
lay comparatively dormant during this later period, but has reawakened 
during the last three years. He published, however, " The Welburn 
Appendix of Original Hymns and Tunes," in 1875 ; " Hymns and Songs of 
Pilgrim Life," in 1871 ; and " Steps to the Throne," in 1864 ; having 
previously adjudicated, in 1861, in conjunction with the late Dean Champ- 
neys and Bishop Alford, four essays, of 50, 20, etc., on the subject of 
"Missions," which were published, with an introduction by Dean Champ- 
neys, under the title of " The Golden Opportunity ; " also a visitation 
sermon, entitled " Church Reform," preached at Malton in 1869. 

Mr. Gabb's brother Samuel left Dawlish at the same time as himself, 
and afterwards, having executed engineering works in a subordinate 
capacity in South Wales and Belgium, he received from the Russian 
Government the appointment of chief resident engineer in the Caucasus, 
for the construction of the Poti and Tiflis railway, dying of erysipelas at 
the latter place after the construction of the railway, in 1880, at the age of 
48 years, having received a liberal salary during the long period in which he 
served that Government, and also a decoration from the Emperor. 

The only sister of the two brothers has recently commemorated, in 
conjunction with many of her former scholars, her jubilee anniversary as a 
Sunday School teacher, in association with the only religious community to 

which she ever belonged. 

W. A. ASIITON. 



94 North Country Poets. 



WELCOME REST. 



Beyond the hill I watched the bright-haired sun 
Weary, and stooping as he neared the west, 
Sink down, as if he would in climes more blest 
Cease from the course which yet he had to run. 

Of thousands that beheld him, there was one 
Who yearned like him for some fit place of rest, 
Some downy couch, on which to lean his breast 
And think with joy " The day's work now is done.' 

How strange that all things here so droop and fall 
That men so earnest, and with aims so high 
The cheerful birds that rouse at morning's call 
The very sun that leaps into the sky- 
Should crave for rest, and night's descending pall, 
That bring such deep unconsciousness to all ! 



RECOLLECTION. 



I sometimes sing a weak and broken song, 
As if a linnet, in a leafless grove, 
Attuned his lay, still mindful of his love, 
In drear December ! hoping that among 
My scattered notes, by breezes borne along, 
Some may be wafted to the world above, 
Where, in Elysian fields, for aye will move 
One whose dear love to me on earth was strong. 

Nor all in vain ! I hear her far away 
Answer me sweetly from that happy land ; 
The strain breaks on my heart, as in a bay 
The low sea-music breaks upon the strand, 
Or as the voices of an angel band 
Heard in the dawning of some holy day. 



Rev. James Gabb, B.A. 95 



SPRING BREEZES. 



Blow, winds, blow, 
O'er the winter's snow ; 
From the south and west 
Blow, blow, blow ; 
Bid the flowers spring, 
And the sweet birds sing, 
Till, in beauty drest, 
Earth with music ring ! 

Haste, winds, haste 
O'er the barren waste ! 
With your bugle-horn, 
Haste, haste, haste ; 
Call to field and wood, 
Where the trees have stood 
All too long forlorn 
Of their leafihood. 

Breathe, winds, breathe, 
And with verdure wreathe 
All the rural scene ; 
Breathe, breathe, breathe ; 
Hence no longer roam, 
But, returning home, 
Clothe the fields between 
In accustomed bloom. 

Come, winds, come, 
Bearing sweet perfume ; 
From your foreign bowers 
Come, come, come ! 
Hither speed, and bring, 
On your downy wing, 
Soft and sunny showers 
To the opening Spring ! 



96 North Country Poets. 



TO-MORROW. 



On bright to-morrow much we love to dwell, 
Thinking of all the good that shall befall ; 
Of bright to-morrow many a tale we tell, 
As if that good would come to one and all ! 

But soon we put to proof dark-dealing Time, 
Aye on the wing, mysterious, fateful, weird, 
Whether we call to mind last evening's chime, 
Or think how fair this present morn appeared. 

The morrow's here ! Yet, even now, how sad 
His face appears ! Then, other morrows loom 
Large on our inward sight, and make us glad, 
For Bows of Promise span the distant gloom. 

These say to us, " Be cheerful still, and live 
For fairer days to come ! To-morrow may 
More than fulfil its promise loth to give 
Scope to the storm that gathered at noonday." 

Still trace we, then, Heaven's bow on every cloud, 
The faithful sign of God's continuing love ! 
Yea, see one shining on the very shroud 
That briefly holds us from our home above ! 



LIGHT IN DARKNESS. 



Time flies, and from his waving wing 
Flash beams of light upon us here, 

As on a dark embosomed spring 
The noon gleam flashes clear. 

And though they flash to fade again, 
They lighten up the narrow span 

Of those brief years that come to men, 
In wondrous Nature's plan. 



Rev. James Gabb, B.A. 97 

From the vast Infinite they come, 

Clear sunbeams from a Source Divine, 

The smile of Heaven, to cheer our gloom 
And make earth's darkness shine ! 

Nor do we think of them amiss, 

If God looks down on those He made ! 

Nor of their end, were it but this 
To gild each earth-born shade ! 

For when the heart is dark with care, 

Deep, anxious care, to act aright, 
They shed a radiance brighter there 

Than comes with morning light. 

Thus, while the years successive go, 
And men are born, and doubt, and die, 

They know 7 the bliss, and feel the glow, 
Of heavenly sympathy. 

And all these smiles one day shall fall 
On some bright spot in realms above, 

Where souls that trust shall, one and all, 
Live on for aye, and love ! 




North Country Poets. 



George Oswald Wight. 




EOKGE OSWALD WIGHT was born in Sunderland, 
on the 10th August, 1853. He is the third sou of the late 
Mr. William Wight, head of the firm of Robert Wight & 
Son, forge masters and iron founders, Sunderland and 
Seaham. He was educated at Mill Hill, near London, 
and Richmond Grammar Schools. He resided in Spain 
from November, 1871, to May, 1874, atGarrucha deVera, 
in the province of Almeria, at which rising port he was 
acting, when only nineteen years of age, as British Vice-Consul, when the 
Intransigente Cartagena insurgents, under Galvez, visited the place. After 
his return home, he lived in Sunderland till September, 1878, and from that 
time till October, 1881, he travelled over Spain and Portugal, France, Ireland, 
etc., for a Welsh Colliery Company. Since that time he has resided in 
Sunderland, where he carries on a flourishing business as an iron merchant. 
He is likewise Belgian Consul and Secretary to the Local Chamber of Com- 
merce. He takes a deep and intelligent interest in social and political 
questions ; is a Radical Reformer or Advanced Liberal of the most genuinely 
enlightened type ; is a good platform speaker, without a particle of either 
bounce or bunkum ; takes a prominent part in every important local move- 
ment ; and is highly esteemed by sensible men of all parties for his 
gentlemanly bearing and conduct. He is the author of several pamphlets 
of a miscellaneous kind, including one entitled " Life, Whence and 
Whither," which deals critically with a difficult metaphysical subject ; and 
synopses of some of his popular lectures on Spain, Home Rule, Equitable 
Taxation, etc., have appeared in sundry papers and periodicals ; but 
hitherto he has published no elaborate work. It is worthy of mention that 
his maternal grandfather, Mr. John Murray, was one of the Secretaries of 
the Glasgow Emancipation Society, instituted in 1833, with the object of 
bringing about the universal abolition of slavery and the slave trade, the 
protection of the rights of the Aborigines in the British Colonies, and the 
improvement of the condition of our fellow subjects the natives of British 
India. His grandson may be said, in Scottish law parlance, to have duly 
served himself heir to his grandsire's principles. 

WILLIAM BROCKIE. 

BLINDNESS COMING ON IN YOUTH. 



And I am growing slowly blind, and feel 
The twilight ever darkening, day by day, 
Into a night which throughout life must last. 
At first there faded from me distant views ; 



George Oswald Wight. 99 

But now the foe attacks my chiefest love, 

And having shut from me th' unthinking world, 

Which lies in others' view, but not in mine, 

Would close entirely up that world of thought 

In which my mind has revelled until now, 

Relying for the work on the eye's strength, 

Which, poor slave ! is, alas, nought but a tool, 

Arid like ought else wears out with overwoi'k. 

Henceforth I must sink back into myself, 

With what more I may have caught from out 

The minds of those who've thought on life and death ; 

With whom I've journeyed o'er too little ground, 

And feel that much there is beyond my grasp. 

(Perhaps beyond the grasp of all who live !) 

Still though since the world began, life's aim 

Has been the riddle which has puzzled all, 

Yet would I ne'er give up th' unravelment, 

For we do know that oft the first who'd cross 

A country wild, and then before unknown, 

Dies in the trial, so may be the next, 

But comes a third and does fulfil the task, 

By taking heed from failings of the rest, 

And aid from sayings which they left behind. 

Yet, I through failing strength must cast aside 

All hopes of aiding in this work of life. 

My mind, untarnished, eager for the fray, 

Scorns the base tools which cannot go its pace, 

Yet feels without their help its uselessness. 

" God ! Is this life ? and is this being ? 

When I cannot control this body mine, 

But on my road with halting steps must creep, 

With drag unlifted from my wheel of life ? 

And in reply there comes a voice which says : 

" This is not life. You are but in the womb. 

Death is the birth-pang which shall open out 

A new existence, boundless, grandly free, 



ioo North Country Poets. 

In which the mind, unfettered by the needs 

Of a poor shell, shall work for soul alone, 

With strength unfailing, and with task as wide 

As is the universe, with time to work 

Long as the durance of eternity." 

At this my heart leapt up and gladly sang, 

As one of old, " Where is thy sting? O Death i 

Grave ! o'er me thou hast no victory." 



THE SEA 



Oh changeful mirror of the skies how dull thy look ! 

Thy cheerless face of cold, grey blue does not invite 

A voyage o'er thee, nor a swim athwart thy waves ; 

And as I watch thy white crests tossing to the shore, 

They gleam with vicious menace, like the iv'ry teeth 

Of some wild beast, which, sudden roused from dreamy rest, 

Shows, by the quick withdrawal of the curling lips, 

The fierce revengeful nature couching deep within. 

I do accuse thee thus, and this is thy reply : 

" My nature is not wild nor restless, but reverse ; 

I would that I could lie unbroken and becalmed, 

And ever show the brilliant, phosphorescent blue, 

Which in the South my waters offer to the sight. 

But I am like unto thyself, oh changeful man : 

I am no master, but am moved by ev'ry wind 

Which bloweth o'er me. The hue which thou upbraidest 

Is reflex not mine own. Look upwards to the sky : 

If it be bright, then so am I ; if it be dull, 

Then I but shadow back the coldness I receive." 

So spake the sea to me, and straightway I reflect 
Our hearts are like the sea, for they responsive are 
To what there is about them, and we each express, 
In our emotions, things beyond our wish and thought, 
Which make us what we would not be unkind untrue, 
And leave it hard to bear the weight of daily life. 



Rev. John Bernard Me. Govern. 



101 



Rev. John Bernard Me. Govern. 

[ J. B. S. ] 




MONG poets of the Northern Counties John Bernard 
Mc.Govern [J. B. S. j; novelist and prolific sonneteer, 
justly claims a place. A native of Liverpool, he was 
born August 16th, 1849. His father, Bartholomew S. 
Mc.Govern, a member of a well-known Irish family and 
a successful shipbuilder, died in 1801, leaving two sons, 
the subject of our notice and J. H. Mc.Govern, a well- 
known architect in Liverpool, and the author of several 
works on architecture and kindred subjects. John Bernard Mc.Govern, 
after a preliminary education in his native city, finished his studies in 
Belgium and took orders. From an early age literature had fascinated 
him, and when only twelve years of age he had published a little work 
entitled " Jacob's Ladder, or Steps to Heaven," which was followed seven 
years later by a similar work, " Thoughts at the Foot of the Altar." 
These puerile effusions were printed for private circulation. When 
stationed in Ireland and discharging his duties as a clergyman, he con- 
tributed fugitive pieces to the Limerick Reporter and other Irish papers, but 
it was not until 1880 that he commenced regular literary work. In that 
year he published a translation of " Lamartine's Graziella," and he was 
the first, we believe, to present in English that pathetic story. Three years 
later he published a novel, " Imelda, or a Romance of Kilkee," which was 
favourably received ; and in 1H84, under the title of " Cupid's Darts," a 
collection of celebrated love letters. In addition to these works he lias 
written several short stories, and (in conjunction with his brother) " An 
Irish Sept," being a history of the Mc.Govern or MacGauran Clan. 
This work, which was unfortunately printed for private circulation, is 
a valuable addition to early Irish history. Mr. Mc.Govern is a frequent 
contributor to periodical literature, and to Xotes and Queries, and its French 
counterpart Ulntermtdiare. As a poet he has devoted himself of late years 
to the cultivation of the sonnet. Many of these have appeard in the 
columns of Northern newspapers, where they at present lie buried with a 
mass of ephemeral literature, and it is to be hoped that Mr. Mc.Govern may 
be yet induced to publish a collection of his sonnets, many of which 
show more than ordinary poetical ability. We append four specimens. 
It may be added that Mr. Mc.Govern at present discharges the duties of 

curate of All Saints' Church, Manchester. 

E. E. E. I'AHTINOTON. 



IO2 North Country Poets. 

KEATS . 

[1796-1820] . 



Not Britain, but the land the Tiber laves 

Shelters the mortal frame now long since cold 

Of Keats, the poet of Hellenic mould. 

He rests not where we keep our heroes' graves, 

'Neath that high dome where sleep his country's braves, 

But lies where Eoman tribunes trod of old, 

His ashes mingling oft the story's told 

With those great Dead of whom the schoolboy raves. 

Why, gifted youth, why did'st thou leave so soon 

This orb to soar aloft to worlds unseen ; 

And leave us 'ere thy life was scarce begun ? 

Yet I am grateful for that priceless boon 

That thy few works for me have ever been, 

Which for thy brow a poet's laurels won. 



THE TOMB OF SCOTT. 



'Mid Nature's beauties and a fane's decay, 

The poet sleeps. Pierced not by shafts of sound, 

The lucent air hangs tranquil all around, 

Save but by music from the Tweed and lay 

Of tuneful birds. Calm Peace doth here alway 

As sovereign reign supreme ; 'tis sacred ground, 

Where pilgrim hearts, full often thrilling, bound 

At thoughts that seem at once both sad and gay. 

Fit spot, ! Dryburgh, for great Walter's frame, 

Where Art and Nature struggle for the best 

Both types of him who's laid in thee to rest. 

Thy crumbling ruins figure what here lies, 

Whilst Nature, ever living, typifies 

Those works that gain'd for him a deathless name. 



Rev. John Bernard Me. Govern. 103 



OUR WEDDING DAY. 



'Neath chancel arch we stood ; without, a sea 

Of golden sunlight gleam'd ; unseen, within, 

A brighter stream of lovelight did begin 

To lave our souls, for there it was that we 

Knew all our fears were o'er, henceforth to be 

But shadows of the past ; and bliss akin 

To poets' dreams began for us to win 

Unclouded hopes for all futurity. 

The binding words that trembled on our lips, 

From deepest awe and consciousness of love, 

But ratified the fusion of thy soul 

With mine ; not then the panting heart first sips 

Love's nectar ; it but asks the pow'rs above 

To bless the fact such sanction is love's goal. 



I E R N E . 



Thou, Niobe of Nations, sad lerne, 
What storm-clouds eddy round thy marble brow 
Erst deck'd with gladness but with sorrow now ; 
Long centuries of wrong have cast a stern 
Grave look athwart thy face ; thy poor eyes burn 
With scalding tears ! How could great Jove allow 
Thy crownless head in woe so low to bow. 
And on thy foes his lightning shafts not turn ? 
Yet, mother, raise thy face and smile ! 
Mark'st not yon writing on the walls of time 
In fiery letters which the blind may see? 
" Thus saith at last, white winged Hope : O Isle 
Of Destiny, throughout thee soon shall chime 
The bells, long muffled, of thy liberty ! " 



104 



North Country Poets. 



Abraham Stansfield. 




BEAHAM STANSFIELD, botanist and poet, was born on 
the 12th February, 1838, at Platt's House, in the romantic 
Vale of Todmorden, and was brought up amid surround- 
ings most favourable for the development of the poetic 
temperament. He had been for many years a contributor 
to the provincial press, before he appeared as a verse- 
writer, by the publication, in 1876, of a volume of original 
poems and translations, under the title of " Ground- 
Flowers and Fern-Leaves," which was well received both by critics and 
public. All Mr. Stansfield's best work, however, in the way of verse, has 
been done subsequently to this ; and a considerable portion, at least, has 
appeared at intervals in various magazines and periodicals. Of the original 
poems, and they are numerous, his longest effort is his " Death of Sir 
Philip Sidney," a poem which has been much and widely admired. But it is 
by his masterly renderings from modern French and German poets, especially 
the latter, that Mr. Stansfield's name is best known; and in this depart- 
ment he has probably no rival in the North Country. In fact, apart from his 
claims as an original poet, Mr. Stansfield's permanent place in English 
literature is assured by his exquisite translations of the works of modern 
European poets. 

With respect to the general character of Mr. Stansfield's original poetry, 
all who read it must be impressed with the absolute truthfulness and 
sincerity of the author, in treating his many and various subjects : there 
is nothing strained, all is natural and spontaneous his poems are so many 
impromptus. Perhaps the prevailing tone is one of melancholy ; yet it is 
no morbid but rather a pleasing melancholy. It is the utterance of a man 
whose thoughtful habit has led him to ponder too often and too deeply the 
everlasting problem. But the solace which the poet himself obtains he 
indicates to others, and this solace he finds in nature, his descriptions of 
which are as accurate as they are simple, and beautifully written, " O 
Nature ! " he says, 

through all years thy lover I ; 

Thee have I followed still ; upon thy breast 
Have lain secure, when the rude, pelting storm 
Did rage without ! Thy sweet society 
To me is all-sufficing. I have friends, 
Faithful and kind, dear to my heart, and true 
As ever Earth did bear ; but even they to me 
Are less than thou, O mistress of my heart ! 
Beneficent Nature t Bearer of the Balm ! 
And Sovereign Healer of all earthly wounds : 

We believe it is Mr. Stansfield's intention to issue shortly a second 
volume, containing all his more important poems, sonnets and translations 



Abraham Stansfield. 105 



up to date (1889) ; and as he is still in the prime of his powers, we hope it 
may be followed by many another volume from his facile pen. Resident 
for thirty years in his native valley, Mr. Stansfield removed twenty years 
ago to Manchester, where he at present resides, connecting himself actively 
with various literary and scientific societies of that city. 

Among his more recent prose-writings which, through their direct local 
connection, are of special interest to North Country readers, may be men- 
tioned his " Mossgatherers : a Lancashire Specimen," " Rambles in the 
West Biding (with a glance at the Flora)," ' A difficult Lancashire place- 
name," and "Folk Speech of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Border." In 
addition to these, Mr. Stansneld, within the last few years, has contributed 
to the transactions of the Manchester Literary Club, and other societies, 
a number of papers on various literary and scientific subjects of the highest 
interest, and implying on the part of their author a most unusual acquaint- 
ance with ancient and modern literature. Mr. Stansfield is also editor and 
founder of the Northern Gardener, a weekly journal of wide circulation. 

W. D. 

'ERE MARCH ARRIVE. 



'Ere March arrive, must roll another moon 

Another moon, 'ere yet the snowdrop peeps ; 

Still, nestled in the earth, fair Flora sleeps, 
And far remote, indeed, is leafy June ; 
And yet my heart is in a merry tune ; 

For love, late chilled, hath woke to life anew ; 

The spring has come before the spring was due- 
My spring has come, but is it late or soon ? 

Are whitening locks, and the still-deepening line, 
Graven by Care and Time, emblems of spring ? 

And though, like as of old, this heart of mine 

Carol its joyance, in a festive lay, 

Within the leafless woods, a thrush will sing 

As blithe a song, upon a winter day ! 



AMOR REDIVIVUS. 



Air made sweeter by her breath 
Have I breathed again to-day ; 

Though to breathe it be my death, 
Still I cannot keep away. 



106 North Country Poets. 

Songs I heard her sing, onoe more ; 

Thrilled my heart her every tone ; 
Ah, so like that voice of yore ! 

Scarcely I repressed a groan. 

Though the years have rolled away, 
Stands She here in all but name : 

Love, why dost thou vex me, say, 
When I cannot be the same ! 

Cruel Love, to come so late ! 

Envious Time, thou art to blame :- 
When the birds in winter mate, 

I may hope to do the same ! 



ON A BOOK-WORM. 

[F. S.] 



A man of middle size, and middle age, 

(From out the " middle ages " come, to see 
What this much-boasted age of ours may be !) 

With flowing beard, and glittering eye, whose rage 

Is still to turn o'er some quaint-lettered page. 
Deep in the ancients, you shall see him pore 
A pensive statue, 'mid the city's roar 

Whilst you proceed upon your pilgrimage ! 

A man of learning, cold, impassive ? no ; 
By nature gentle : tender still, his heart 

Hath pleasant places, where the sweet herbs grow 
Of Love, and Friendship, and all herbs of grace : 

A poet he, without the poet's art, 

Whom all must love that look upon his face ! 



Abraham Stansfield. 107 



THE SHEPHERD. 

[Translation of " Der Schiifer," of Uhlaiid.; 



The youthful shepherd, tall and fair, 
He drove so near the royal tower, 
Him saw the royal maiden there, 
And loved him from that hour. 

And sighing, thus she softly spoke : 
" Oh, could I come to thee, my dear ! 
As white as snow thy gentle flock, 
But love lies bleeding here." 

The youthful shepherd thus replied : 
" Oh, wouldst thou come to me, my dear ! 
That I might press that hand so white, 
And kiss thy cheek so fair ! " 

And as, each morn, he meekly drove 
His woolly flock the castle by, 
Upon the turret, far above, 
The maiden he did spy ; 

And greeting her with friendly word : 
" O welcome, the king's daughter tine ! " 
Her gentle answer soon he heard : 

" I thank thee, shepherd mine ! " 

The winter sped, the spring, so fair, 
Was blooming richer than before ; 
The shepherd with his flock was there, 
The maiden never more ! 

Yet sadly thus on her he calls : 

" welcome, the king's daughter tine ! 

A voice it issues from the walls : 

" Adieu ! thou shepherd mine ! ' 



io8 North Country Poets. 



JOURNEY BY NIGHT. 

From the German of Uhland. 



Into the gloomy land I ride, 

No light of moon or star to guide, 

How bitter blows the wind ! 
Here have I journeyed many a day, 
When golden sunshine lit the way, 

And the breeze was soft and kind. 

I ride the gloomy garden by, 
The naked trees are tossing high, 

The seared leaf doth fall. 
Here, 'mid the roses, oft I strayed, 
With her I loved, the darling maid, 

When love was all in all. 

Extinguished is the sunlight now, 
The roses long have ceased to blow, 

My love is lowly laid ! 
I ride into the gloomy land, 
'Mid winter's storm, no light at hand, 

Enwrapped within my plaid. 




Fred. Pratt. 



109 



Fred. Pratt. 




T is pleasant to think that the Ideality of life is not 
incompatible with its Reality ; pleasant to observe that 
the sunny slopes of Parnassus can be and are ascended 
with equal facility by the feet that are accustomed to 
pace the busy streets of a commercial city ; pleasant to 
know that the higher functions of the mind can be 
cultivated without detriment to mercantile pursuits. 
And it is well for the Republic of Letters that literature 
has long ceased to be a monopoly of professional litterateurs ; were it 
otherwise, many priceless gems of thought in prose and verse would have 
been irretrievably lost to it. To say chat Cottonopolis, despite her 
proverbial smoke and inky rivers and general unloveliness, stands amongst 
those votaries nearest to the divine Pallas, would be to assert a truism : 
the literary streams that flow from her into the river of English thought 
are as numerous as the gigantic buildings in which those bales repose that 
give to her her somewhat matter-of-fact soubriquet. 

Not the least amongst these is the subject of this sketch. Born at 
Hendham Vale, Manchester, Mr. Fred. Pratt was educated at Alms Hill 
Academy, Cheetham Hill, where he carried off several prizes for Latin and 
drawing. His career since then has been varied and useful. He was 
apprenticed for five years to Messrs. James Mc.Laren and Nephews, home 
trade and Canadian merchants, at the expiration of which term he made 
an engagement with the well-known shipping house, Messrs. N. P. Nathan's 
Sons, with whom he has remained twenty-one years as buyer and manager 
of one of their departments. His business capacity is much enhanced by 
his practical knowledge of German. 

Mr. Pratt has also for many years been actively engaged in church work 
in connection with All Saints' Church, Chorlton-on-Medlock, of which he 
was four years sidesman, and is in his eighth year as warden, in 
addition to which he is one of the signing managers of the All Saints' 
National Day School, and an active member of the Committee of the 
Adult Deaf and Dumb Institution in the same parish. Nor is he un- 
known in the arena of politics, being one of the founders, and first (as also 
present) Chairman of the All Saints' Ward Working Men's Conservative 
Club. 

The art of war has likewise had an attraction for him from an early 
date, and he holds at present the post of lieutenant in the First Manchester 
Rifles, now the Second Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment ; 
he is also a good shot, and the winner of numerous regimental pri/es, 
company challenge cups, etc. 

But it is as a man of letters that he will be chiefly interesting to the 
readers of this monograph. His versatility is on a par with his activity. 



no North Country Poets. 



He is as much at home in the company of the Celestial Nine as he is in the 
society of hard-headed men of business, brother officers, or church officials, 
and how he finds time amidst his multifarious avocations to worship at 
their shrine is a wonder to those who know him. Poems, songs, and 
anthems for children's services, drop from his pen with marvellous rapidity ; 
nor does their frequency impair their vigour. They lie for the most part 
hidden away in the poets' corner of local and metropolitan periodicals, 
from which obscurity it is to be hoped they will one day be rescued, and 
enjoy a less ephemeral existence in book-form. The subjoined selections 
will serve as specimens of his muse. Mr. Pratt's poetry is remarkable as 
much for its admirable conjunction of the intellectual and emotional as for 
clearness of expression. Nor does he follow any exemplar in the 
distribution of his lines, but yields himself to the guidance of his fancy and 
the genius of his subject. One of his songs, " The Streamlet," has been 
set to music by W. J. Young, and many of his volunteer effusions have 
been sung by his comrades at their regimental gatherings. 

Amongst our author's prose writings I may mention his " Sketches of 
Camp Life," and "For Marion's Sake," a clever comedy-drama in three 
acts, which has been performed with much success several times in 
Manchester, and neighbouring districts. I may add, in conclusion, that 
Mr. Pratt has been from boyhood an omnivorous reader, having, inter alia, 
devoured all the Waverley novels on entering his teens, and that his 
literary life is a consoling witness to the fact that neither a commercial, 
nor political, nor military calling, nor all these combined, need unfit a man, 
if he be so fashioned by Nature, for deeds of literary prowess. 

J. B. S. 



THE BROKEN COLUMN. 



Circled the sea-mews o'er the fishers' haven, 

Each fluttering shadow dashed across the waves 

And leapt the church, girdled by fishers' graves, 
Where rose a column with a legend graven. 

How to the hamlet came, as winter ended, 

Two happy souls from out the world's rough way, 

To dream a short sweet dream each passing day, 
Their tender whisperings with the surges blended. 

Rippled the ocean with a face so smiling, 
That little wist they of its envious wrath, 

Its gentle murmurings seemed to bless their troth, 
And tempted them from shore, with dreams beguiling. 



Fred. Pratt. \ \ \ 

Sprang out a tempest, high the wild spray driving, 
Each crested wave grew white, with passion toss'd 

Aloft with treacherous power the light bark cross'd, 
And madly seethed against their hopeless striving. 

Clasp'd in its folding arms, the jealous foaming, 
With hungry haste parted the stricken twain, 

Then toy'd awhile with sweet possession's gain, 

Flinging the troth-bound shoreward in the gloaming. 



THE LITTLE FOLK. 



By the window there they stand, 
Such a happy little band 

One, two, three 
Gazing through the evening shades, 
Waiting, as the twilight fades, 

Just for me ! 
Such a pattering of feet, 
Then from rosy lips so sweet, 

Many a kiss. 

Now the slippers, now a chair ; 
Welcome from such faces fair 

Who would miss ? 
As they gather all around, 
Sweet their little voices sound, 

Talking fast'; 

Never music's grandest strain 
Echoes such a fond refrain- 
Too soon past ! 
Do they bother never mind ; 
Love so boundless, if you're kind. 

Will they give ; 

And they creep within your heart, 
Nevermore from thence to part, 

While you live. 



1 1 2 North Country Poets. 

Join then in their little pleasures, 
Let them bring their tiny treasures, 

And you'll find 

That their joyous, merry faces 
Quickly hasten gloomy traces 

From your mind. 



THE AVALANCHE. 



The sun had set, and dark'ning shadows crept 

Along the mountains' sides, the shades of night 

Were deep'ning in the valleys, while the hills 

Were wrapt in gloom, far off the heav'ns above, 

The air between, and in its mighty course 

The earth seem'd hush'd to deep repose ; while soft 

The moon stole forth from fleecy clouds, its rays 

But adding to the deep solemnity, 

And Alpine's highest peaks, in snowy robes, 

Grand in their majesty, reflected back 

Those silv'ry rays, e'en now more silv'ry still : 

No handiwork of man was there, below, 

Deep in yon gloomy valley could be traced 

The smallness of his craft ; above, around, 

Were the creative powers of Godhead shown 

Sublime in their own vastness. 

All was calm. 

No breezes swept that mighty range of hills, 
Nor coursed the valleys through, the Switzers lay 
(Secure in thought, beneath the homely roof 
Their toil had raised, their daily task long done) 
In midnight's deepest sleep, no less profound, 
E'en for the calm around. 

But rudely they 

Were doom'd to be awaken'd, from above 
Came thund'ring o'er their homes a pond'rous mass, 



Fred. Pratt. 1 1 3 

Terrific in its course, it sped its way, 

And where the village and its inmates were 

Nought could be seen, deep buried in the vale, 

'Neath loosen'd snows from off the mountain heights, 

Which, gath'ring force and mighty impetus 

The dreaded avalanche its form assumed, 

And in majestic grandeur onward roll'd. 

Swift o'er crevasse, and down the deep abyss. 

With crashing speed it tore o'er craggy rocks, 

And staid but when with its own weight 'twas hurl'd, 

All wildly crushed upon those peaceful homes. 

Those who that night within their cots reposed, 

Now sleep death's dreamless sleep ; and then the wind 

Arose, and on the midnight air it bore 

The wail of death along that mountain range : 

Then hush'd again, and all was peaceful, still. 




North Country Poets. 



Thomas W . Little 




HOMAS W. LITTLE is the eldest son of Mr. Samuel Little, 
grocer, of Mickley, in the county of Northumberland, by 
his wife, Mary Ann Pattison, third daughter of the late 
Mr. Thomas Pattison, formerly of Old Ridley, Stocksfield, 
who was an influential and successful Tyne-side farmer. 
Thomas W. Little, the subject of this notice, was 
born at Mickley, on July 25th, 1858. He went to the 
village school of Mickley when he was only five years old. 
The schoolmaster was his uncle, who at the present time holds an impor- 
tant position at Rockhampton, in Queensland. From there he went to the 
Royal Grammar School at Hexham, where he soon became a favourite 
pupil with the then head master, the late Mr. Thomas Dobson a gentle- 
man who stood very high as a mathematician. This gentleman exerted a 
great influence over the gentle and timid character of his pupil. To this 
day Thomas has a profound respect for his memory, and speaks of him 
" as a capital master, and a good friend to me." 

When he finished his schooling he joined his father in his business ; as 
his brothers grew up they also joined the firm. From comparatively small 
beginnings, the firm of Samuel Little & Sons, as general merchants, has 
become a large concern. They have a wide reputation for integrity and 
honourable dealing. 

While diligent in business, he still continued his studious habits. His 
chief delight was the study of the poets, Milton, Cowper, Thomson, 
Byron, &c. ; he also became a collector of rare and curious books. As a boy, 
he was of a shy, retiring nature probably from overtaxing himself with 
study and business. After leaving school, he became subject to frequent 
severe attacks of dyspepsia, which produced (as it has done in the case of 
many of our illustrious poets) a very depressing effect upon him, mentally 
and physically, for some time, and gave his naturally gentle disposition a 
sedate and melancholy turn. 

It was at this period of his life that he first felt the true inspiration of 
poetry. Fortunately, unlike many of our illustrious poets, who in their 
early struggles were similarly affected, he had not to trust to literature for 
his living he had ample means at his disposal. He gave up both study 
and business for a while, and it was during his rambles in search of health 
through the beautiful valleys and rugged hills of his native county that 
many of his earliest and best pieces were composed. These were only 
distributed to his intimate friends ; but with returned health and spirits 
he took renewed courage, and published numerous pieces in the leading 
journals of the district, notably in the Hexham Courant, Newcastle Courant, 
and the Newcastle Chronicle, and which met with most favourable notice. 
He early established for himself a high local reputation, not only for his 
literary ability, but for his kind and genial disposition. The first volume 



Thomas W. Little. \ \ 5 



of his poems, published under the title of " North Country Lyrics," has 
been most favourably noticed in the critical press. The volume forms one 
of "The Moray Library," published by Stanesby & Co., London, and 
Frank Murray, Derby. 

ROHERT WALLIK. 



BAMBOROUGH CASTLE. 



Hail ! lordly castle on this rocky steep, 
Scorning the lion breakers of the deep 
That dash with thundering sound upon thy base, 
And lash with spray thy brown, majestic face. 
Stupendous castle, let the wild waves roar, 
Thou standest firmly on the rugged shore 
Of bold Northumbria, heeding not the sea 
Moaning, because it can't o'erwhelm thee. 
Here Saxon kings govern'd with stubborn will 
Northumbria's powerful warriors, until 
Came cunning Danes, and robb'd thee of thy vast 
And valued treasures, soon though they were cast 
Out by the Saxons, men of iron frame ; 
Then scores of years roll'd over, and there came 
The keener Norman, with his flashing eye, 
Who held thee bravely : ages have gone by 
Since first his coming ; often hast thou been 
From that time sore defaced, yet still thy mien 
Strikes the beholder as a glorious scene. 
And listening, too, the sea's tremendous roll, 
His spirit soars, and strengthen'd is his soul. 



I THOUGHT OF THEE. 



As on yon bank I calmly lay, 
And look'd upon the grassy lea, 

And view'd the closing of the day, 
Oh ! maid benign, I thought of thee, 



u6 North Country Poets. 

I thought of thee as golden Sol 
Lit up with fire the western sky, 

And ting'd the walls of By well Hall, 
And Tyne's fam'd waters gliding by. 

I thought of thee in yon calm nook 

Where boughs bend down to kiss the stream 

Where joins the Tyne the rippling brook, 
Where blossoms glow, and.insects teem. 

I thought of thee as up I cast 

Towards the foliage dense mine eyes, 

And heard the breezes as they past 
Breathe forth their mild, melodious sighs. 

I thought of thee when all around 
Was full of soul- delighting glee, 

And when I heard the welcome sound 
Of evening bells corne soft to me. 

I thought of thee with soul serene 
As By well" sisters came to sight, 

And as I view'd the ivy green 
Upon the castle walls that night. 

Delightful girl, where'er I turn'd 
My roving eye these joys to see, 

And beauteous though they were adorn'd, 
I thought of thee ! I thought of thee ! 



COUSIN LILLIE 



Across the sea, across the sea, 
A slender form appears to me, 
Yes, Lillie, still I think of thee. 
* The two Churches. 



Thomas W. Little. 117 



And Lillie, still thy sad-liko face 
Comes back to me, and I can trace 
A portion of thy mother's grace. 

Thy gentleness, thy breathings high, 
Thy touching look, thy pitying sigh, 
Come even yet before my eye. 

And that last morning comes again 
When parting gave the bitter pain, 
And down thy cheeks tears fell like rain. 

Though just a thoughtless lad was I, 
Thy tender hand-touch made me sigh, 
And tremblingly I said " Good-bye." 

Since then what ups and downs I've had 

I am no more a boisterous lad 

The world tempestuous makes me sad. 

And thou hast had thy load to bear 
Of sickness, and of wearying care, 
Yet thou art bless'd with children fair. 

What pleasure now 'twould be to me 
To voyage o'er the mighty sea, 
Thy dear ones, and thyself to see. 

I fear though on Australian land 
My weakly form will never stand ; 
In fancy then I'll grasp thy hand. 
And greet each blossom of thy band. 



AS SOOTHING AS THE ZEPHYR'S ROLL. 



As soothing as the zephyr's roll, 
As tranquil as the brooklet's How 

Were those soft eyes, which cheer'd my soul 
Beneath yon shade, long years ago. 



ii8 North Country Poets. 

And oh ! that sweet, transporting voice, 
Which oft I heard with willing ear, 

No longer bids my soul rejoice, 

No longer draws from me the tear. 

Pure innocence upon yon brow 
Displayed itself with lowly grace, 

But now to bitter fate I bow ; 

No more I'll see that matchless face. 

No more I'll see those chasten'd eyes, 
No more that touching voice I'll hear ; 

And memory will awake the sighs 
For one who had no earthly peer. 



A PATTERDALE LEAF. 

To the "Maid of Wansbeck." 



I cull'd this leaf by the Silver Lake,* 

Near the great wild crags, for you, 
Which I hope you'll keep for the giver's sake, 

And the lovely spot wherein it grew. 
Oh ! how sweet is the vale of Patterdale, 

And the charming scenes around ; 
And the 'witching grace on its striking face, 

Is the same that on yours I've found. 

Then maiden, I pray you keep this leaf, 

That grew in a hallow'd dell ; 
Maybe if you're troubled with pain or grief 

'Twill act as a soothing spell. 
And your thoughts maybe it will sometimes wing 

To the friend who cull'd it there ; 
But, maiden, may never its presence bring 

A frown to your features fair. 
* Ullswater. 



Rev. J, W. Kaye. 



119 



Rev. J. W. Kaye. 




WILLIAM KAYE was born February 20th, 1840, 
of parents who were members of the Society of Friends. 
His father was a direct descendant of the Kayes of Totties 
Hall, Wooldale, near Holmfirth, Yorkshire. The subject 
of this notice was educated at the Friends' School, 
Rawdon, near Leeds, afterwards at Spring Street 
Academy, Huddersfield, and subsequently by private 
tutors at home. His favourite study was the languages. 
From his youth he was accustomed to write verses, and his parents 
treasured up many a scrap of paper on which his early rhymes were 
written. Mr. Kaye's first scholastic appointment was that of French 
Master at Tickhill Academy, near Bawtry. He afterwards commenced a 
private school at Crossland Moor, near Huddersfield. In December, I860, 
he was married to Miss Whittenbury, daughter of Mr. W. C. Whittenbury, 
and grand-daughter of Dr. Whittenbury, an eminent physician of Liverpool. 
About this time Mr Kaye began to have a strong desire to enter the 
ministry, and removed from Crossland Moor to Nottingham. During his 
residence in Nottingham, Mr. Kaye attended the theological lectures of the 
Congregational Institute, for about eighteen months. He then was induced 
to undertake the management of a private school at Bentham. The desire 
for the ministry still followed him, and he determined to enter St. Bees' 
College. After passing the full course of study he was ordained by the 
Bishop of Brechin, to the curacy of St. Mary Magdalene, Dundee, in 1873. 
In the following year the reverend gentleman removed to the curacy of St. 
Mary, Ilkeston ; and in 1876 he became Curate of St. Philip's, Bradford 
Road, Manchester. Here he remained for six years, when he was preferred 
to the Rectory of Derrybrusk, near Enniskillen. 

Mr. Kaye has been a contributor to various magazines and news- 
papers frequently writing over iwms-de-ijuerre. Being diffident and 
distrustful of his own genius he has hesitated to collect his fugitive pieces, 
and issue them in book-form. At the urgent desire of many of his friends 
Mr. Kaye, at no far distant period, hopes to issue a volume of his verse. 

J. 1'OTTKlt BlUSCOE. 



LIVE TO A PURPOSE. 



Oh ! rouse you from slumber, 
And \vake to the day ; 

For hours without number, 
Are lost in delay. 



I2O North Country Poets. 

Forbear more to murmur, 
And cast off its mood ; 

And live to a purpose, 
That's noble and good. 

Ah ! Time is a treasure, 

Of value untold ; 
Then waste not in pleasure, 

Its moments of gold. ' 
But bravely endeavour, 

Whate'er is withstood, 
To live to a purpose, 

That's noble and good. 

Despise not your station, 

Whate'er it may be ; 
The world is the nation, 

Of brave men and free. 
What though you may labour, 

In field or in flood ; 
Still live to a purpose, 

That's noble and good. 

Beware of allurement 

'Twill need all your might, 
And powers of endurement, 

Life's battle to fight. 
Yield not to temptation, 

Through fire and through blood 
But live to a purpose, 

That's noble and good. 

One aim be your token, 
One end still in view ; 

One purpose unbroken- 
To that ever true. 



Rev. J. W. Kaye. 121 

Where'er you may wander, 

By mountain or wood ; 
Still live to a purpose, 

That's noble and good. 

Oh ! fear not the battle, 

But struggle right on ; 
And heed not the rattle, 

Till victory's won. 
Then rise o'er each failure, 

Nor fretfully brood ; 
And live to a purpose, 

That's noble and good. 



THE BLUE FORGET-ME-NOT. 



'Tis said that once upon a time, 

A lover and a maiden fair, 
Had pledged their troth, for weal or woe, 

By heaven and all that's holy there. 

The lover was a valiant knight, 
The lady was of high degree ; 

They sat beside the river's brink, 
Beneath a favourite try sting tree. 

" Tis hard," he said, " to leave my love, 
Perhaps to see her face no more ; 

Yet I must go withstand our foes, 
And tight upon a foreign shore." 

" What dearer pledge can I yet give ? 

What further may your lover do, 
To prove his heart is all your own. 

For ever faithful still to you? " 



122 North Country Poets. 

" On yonder rock," the lady said, 
" There grows a little flow'ret blue, 

Give me but that, and in my hair 

I'll wear the pledge your heart is true." 

He climbed the rock, which far o'erhung 
The river's brink and water's flow ; 

He plucked the flower, but plucking fell 
Amidst the deep, dark waves below. 

And grasping still his flow'ret pledge, 
He struggled hard to reach the shore ; 

The tide was strong, his strength grew weak, 
He could, alas ! hold out no more. 

The flow'ret to the brink he threw ; 

She caught the prize unhappy lot, 
" The pledge is yours, my love," he cried, 

" Forget me not " " forget me not ! " 

His strength was gone, his life ebbed fast, 
He sank beneath the flowing tide ; 

And there she vowed, come weal or woe, 
Till death to be his faithful bride. 

The flower she braided in her hair, 
Ere yet she left that mournful spot ; 

And called it by that tender name, 
Love's parting word " Forget-me-not." 

And e'er since then the flow'ret's been, 
The pledge of all fond hearts and true ; 

Then, for that ancient story's sake, 
We still will love the flow'ret blue. 



Rev. J. W. Kaye. 123 

MAKKIN' IT UP AGEEAN. 



Whoay Sally lass, what's happen'd thee ? 

What mak's thee look sa queer ? 
Tha's getten, mun, sa foine and pray ad, 

Oa hardly dar come near. 

It nivver ust ta be loake this, 
Ther's summat wrang o'm suer ; 

Dooan't turn thee owd sweetheart away, 
Befoor tha's fun a truer. 

This huffin fairly caps me mun ; 

Its not at all loake thee ; 
Tha tell'd me we them bonny lips, 

Tha'd geen thee heart ta me. 

Tha ust ta link thee airm e moine, 
Bayaght makkin' sich a fuss ; 

An' on me shoolder laid thee heead, 
Just wol oa stale a kuss. 

True love they sea ne'er runs sa smooth, 

It has its bits a jars ; 
Oa think its true but nowt but deeath, 

Mun pairt two hearts loake yars. 

That chap 'ats been an flattered hard, 
Ta turn thee heart thro' me, 

He's troay'd his hand we other fooak, 
Befoor he coom ta thee. 

Ne'er 'eed him lass just let him gooa, 
An' sweep his doorston cleean ; 

But come into me airms, moa love, 
An' be me own ageean. 

Shoo crept up to his soide, an sobb'd 
Wol he hush'd all her fears, 

An' claspt his airm arayand her waist, 
An' kusst off all her tears. 



124 North Country Poets. 



ME DEAR OWD WOAFE AN' ME. 



Ah ! Sally lass, it's trew enough, 

We'er growin' owd an' gray ; 
But bless thee, mun, tha'rt bonny yet, 

An' bonnier ivv'ry day. 

We've seen some ups an' dayans together ; 

We'en known what trubble's been ; 
But throo it all, a better woafe, 

Moa lass, O've niwer seen. 

Throo rough an' smooith, we'en struggled on, 

Still joggin soide be soide ; 
An' lass tha'rt dearer ta me nayagh, 

Nor when tha wor me broide. 

When hard toimes coom, an' when \ve felt, 

We knew nowt what ta do ; 
The lovin' smoiles, an' wopful words, 

They cheer'd me all t'way throo. 

For yers an' yers, we'en toddled on, 

Loake childer hand e hand ; 
An' still ta ha' thee be me soide, 

Seems reight loake fairy land. 

Me dear owd woafe, tha's allis been, 

Me best an trewest frend ; 
God bless thee lass ! an' bless us booath, 

An* keep us safe ta th' end ! 




H. Ernest Nichol. 



125 



H . Ernest Nichol. 




ERNEST NICHOL is a native of Hull, and was born in 
18()2. Up to his twenty-third year he was engaged in a 
civil engineer's office ; after which time he devoted himself 
to the study of music, for which he has always had the 
strongest love. In 1888 he took his degree of Bachelor in 
Music at Oxford, and is now a teacher of the art. He is 
the author of a cantata entitled "Our Father's Love," both 
the words and music being his own composition, and he 
has also composed a number of songs, piano pieces, part-songs, carols, &c. ; 
and in the case of som3 of these ha has also written the words, thereby 
proving how in him " music and sweet poetry agree." 

Mr. Nichol's natural taste has inclined him towards the serious and 
reflective in poetry, yet he has shown his capabilities for the humorous in 
a capital series which he contributed to Rare Hits under the title of " The 
New Ingoldsby Legends." The merit of these was fully recognised. He 
has been an occasional contributor to Chamber*'* Journal, and Great Thoughtt. 
Mr. Nichol's serious verse of which we give some selections has many 
excellencies. Whenever he writes he has evidently something to say which 
is worth saying, and he has the ability to say it well. This we think will 
especially apply to " The Artist of the Sunset," and " The Snowflake." 
The Rondel commencing, " Let us go home, my love," is an exquisite little 
poem, and if our author had written only " The Artist of the Sunset," it 
alone would have proved him to be a genuine poet. 

J. R. TCTIN. 



THE ARTIST OF THE SUNSET. 



"Behold," said Fancy, pointing to the sun, 
" Behold, the Artist by his picture stands ; 
He waits until your rapture is begun, 
Then blushing, hastens down to distant lands." 

" Believe her not," said Truth ; " the Artist dwelh 
Deep hidden in thy spirit's inmost core ; 
And cloud on cloud he day by day dispels 
That thou inayst worship him for evermore." 



126 North Country Poets. 



A RONDEL. 



Let us go home, my love, the sun is low, 
Our shadows slant along the fallen snow, 

And on the distant hill, across the gloom, 
Our own hearth-fire shines out with waiting glow ; 

The white wan moon among the clouds hath clomb 
Let us go home. 

Let us go home, my love ; thus, year on year, 
The dwelling of our mingled lives grows dear ; 

Out on the world's wide sea the striving foam 
May seek to mount the rocks all steep and sheer, 

For fame and gold the foolish crowd may roam ; 
Let us go home. 

Let us go home, dear love, for we are blest 
That we have found the perfect calm of rest, 

Where all who work and trust at last will come ; 
The love of Love within each quiet breast, 

And o'er our heads the silent starlit dome 
Let us go home. 



MENDELSSOHN'S " GONDOLA SONG." 

[Lioder ohne Worte, No. G.] 



A boat is sleeping underneath the moon, 

Caressed by the ripples which at every plash 
Collect the scattered light in one long flash 

Of quivering fire. Across the air of June 

The boatman's call is borne ; then faintly, soon, 
Two maiden voices sing ; and like a dash 
Of dewdrops from the swaying of an ash, 

The notes of a guitar are lightly strewn. 



H. Ernest Nichol. I27 



The gondola glides onward, and we hear 

One sweet voice singing lonely ; low and clear 

It fades into the distance like a dream ; 
A dying echo of that wild, sad song- 
Then all is still ; save for the boatman's long 

Low cry that creeps upon the silent stream. 



THE SNOWFLAKE. 



O Snowflake, whirling and dancing, 

Whence do you come ? 
With a rush and a dart, 
And a sleep and a start, 

With a swift, subtle sliding like fairy queen gliding, 
Snowflake, whither advancing? 
Where is your home ? 

" From the Spirit living and loving 

In heaven I come ; 
I dwelt in His light, 
And so I grew white ; 

Then clad in His beauty I came to my duty, 
O man, to your heart I am moving, 
That is my home." 




128 



North Country Poets. 



Richard Le Gallienne. 




ICHARD LE GALLIENNE was born in Liverpool on the 
20th of January, 1866. He was educated at the Liver- 
pool College, and then, being intended by his father for a 
business career, he was apprenticed to a firm of account- 
ants in his native city, and by them initiated into the 
mysteries of balancing, auditing, and winding-up estates. 
His tastes were, however, literary. The books he loved 
were not ledgers and journals, but Elzevirs, and, while 
still in his teens, he gathered about him an excellent library, which 
includes many of those scarce volumes that delight the bookworm ; for, 
though a book reader, Mr. Le Gallienne is still more a book lover. He 
early developed a more than ordinary taste for poetry and poetical compo- 
sition, and in 1887 he issued through the press of Messrs. W. & J. Arnold, 
of Liverpool, a " privately printed " volume entitled " My Ladies' Sonnets 
and other Vain and Amatorious Verses." This was well received by the 
critics, the limited edition was soon disposed of, and the author found him- 
self safely placed on the first step of the ladder of literary fame. " We do 
not think there will be much difference of opinion," wrote Mr. James 
Ashcroft Noble, the accomplished critic of the Manchester Examiner, 
himself a poet, " concerning the poetical quality of the contents of 
this dainty little volume, and there can be no difference whatever 
concerning the artistic quality of its external appearance. . . The 
tiny tome is one which will charm the connoisseur who buys his 
books simply to gaze at and fondle them. Mr. Le Gallienne is un- 
mistakably a poet, and his verse is at once so artistic and yet so human, 
so finely wrought and yet so obviously spontaneous, so rich in elaborate 
daintiness and in winning simplicities, that it finds the man in us not less 
surely than it charms the critic." Since then another work, entitled 
"Volumes in Folio," has been published. It consists of the "bookish" 
pieces that had already appeared, together with some others. Of the sonnets 
which will be quoted presently, the first was written for Mr. Alexander 
Ireland's always delightful " Book-lover's Enchiridion," and reproduced in 
" Volumes in Folio." It is, in my opinion, though not, I believe, in the 
opinion of its author (but authors cannot always judge), the best sonnet 
Mr. Le Gallienne has yet composed. The second was printed in the 
Academy at the time of Matthew Arnold's death. " The Song of the 
Morning Wind " is taken from the pages of " My Ladies' Sonnets," Ac. 

Mr. Le Gallienne, though primarily a poet, has a good prose style. 
Grace of form distinguish the essays of his which have appeared in the 
magazines. They make no pretensions to be profound. They are the 
essays of the poet, not of the student. Doubtless, if Mr. Le Gallienne 
were permitted by Father Time to choose his own place among the prose- 



Richard Le Gallicnne. 129 

immortals, he would prefer to rank with Lamb, Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt, 
than with John Locke, Adam Smith and Herbert Spencer. 

It 18 safe to affirm that Mr. Le Gallienne is one of the moat promising 
of our young poets. He is not the man to hide his light under a bushel, 
and, well-endowed as he is with literary tastes and fine talent, if the motive 
force prove sufficient he will surely become famous. 



WALTER LEWIS. 



A BOOKMAN'S CONFESSIO AMANTIS. 



When do I love you most, sweet books of mine ? 
In strenuous morns when o'er your leaves I pore, 
Austerely bent to win austerest lore, 

Forgetting how the dewy meadows shine ; 

Or afternoons, when honeysuckles twine 
About the seat, and to some dreamy shore 
Of old Komance, where lovers evermore 

Keep blissful hours, I follow at your sign ? 

Yea ! ye are precious then, but most to me 

Ere lamplight dawneth, when low croons the fire 

To whispering twilight in my little room, 
And eyes read not, but sitting silently, 
I feel your great hearts throbbing deep in quire, 

And hear you breathing round me in the gloom. 

MATTHEW ARNOLD. 

Died loth April, 1888. 

Within that wood where thine own scholar strays 
! Poet, thou art passed, and at its bou 
Hollow and sere we cry, yet win no * 

But the dark muttering of the forest ma 

We may not tread, nor pierce with any ga; 
And hardly love dare whisper thou hast 
That restful moonlit slope of past 

Set in dark dingles of the songful ways 



130 North Country Poets. 

Gone ! They have called our shepherd from the hill ; 
Passed is the sunny sadness of his song, 

The song which sang of sight, and yet was brave 
To lay the ghosts of seeing; subtly strong 

To wean from tears and from the troughs to save ; 
And who shall teach us now that he is still ? 



THE SONG OF THE MORNING WIND. 



The morning wind came whispering by, 
With breath as soft as maiden's sigh, 
And voice as sweetest lullaby ; 
But seemed a sadness in his tone, 
As one who liveth life alone, 
And for the death of fairest hopes makes moan. 

And so I said : " ! wind of spring, 
Why goest thou a- sorrowing 
While all the vales for gladness sing 
And all the little hills rejoice ? 
Why liftest not a gladsome voice, 
Why makest thou this melancholy choice ? " 

Then came the answer, soft and low 
" Not mine the choice that thus I go 
So sadly sighing to and fro. 
Alas ! I would rejoice with all 
These gladsome voices musical, 
But sorrow knows no merry madrigal." 

And then the voice was hushed again 
With deep intensity of pain, 
And silent was the sad refrain ; 
Then feeling all his depth of woe, 
I cried in ruth" O, weep not so, 
But let a sorrowing heart thy sorrow know." 



Richard Le Gallienne. , 3I 



But still no answer came to me, 
No sorrow for my sympathy, 
For the sad wind had silently 
Stolen away to weep his fill ; 
And soon I found him sobbing still 
In the seclusion of a little hill. 

" Nay, nay ! " I cried, " why this despair V 
Come, tell me ; never yet was there 
A woe beyond a sweet repair." 
Then the sad voice that spoke before 
" Nought can avail of all thy lore, 
Loveless am I, and must be evermore. 

" All know the sweetness of love's power ; 
The bee may love the meadow-flower 
And kiss her many a golden hour ; 
The mountain has the valley's love, 
The river wooes the skies above, 
And only I, alas, must loveless move. 

" Hard, even, is the lot of those 
Whose face and form must ever close 
Love's path that only beauty knows ; 
But harder still, it seems to me, 
To win Love's smiles, and then to be 
Condemned for ever from those smiles to flee. 

" And such my fate, for every day 
Some flower smiles, and bids me stay 
And pass my life with her alway ; 
So sweet, says she, is it to feel 
My breath into her bosom steal, 
And all its dower of loveliness reveal ! 

" But when I fain would stay with her. 
And whisper through her dewy hair 
Low melodies to comfort care, 



132 North Country Poets. 



Straight comes my fate and stills my tongue, 
Breaks off the burden of my song, 
And bears me loveless winds and clouds among. 

" And then the flower will breathe a tale 
Of heartlessness, and her sad wail 
Float mournfully down mead and vale 
' Beware, beware the wind of spring, 
Heed not his tender whispering, 
But to ensnare he doth so sweetly sing.' " 

. Sudden he paused, but not from woe, 
But joy ; for in the vale below, 
Drooping across the river's flow, 
Just waking to the storms and stress 
Of life, from dreams of nothingness, 
A rosebud blushed at her own loveliness. 

Soon are the tears of memory dried, 
Soon was he wooing for his bride 
That rosebud by the river-side ; 
And soothly very sweet the song 
That fell like honey from his tongue ; 
What maiden could resist such accents long ? 

And she, sweet innocent young thing, 
Unused to lovers' whispering, 
Knowing nought of the wind of spring, 
Smiled sweetly at his fatal lay, 
Gave him her love, and bade him stay 
And make for her such melodies alway. 

Then a great joy shook all his soul, 
As when some great despair shall roll 
From off the heart its dread controul ; 
The love he mourned for ever past 
Had dawned upon his life at last, 
And all his sorrows far and wide were cast. 



Richard Le Gallienne. 133 



His love's white anus were round him pressed, 
His head was pillowed on her breast, 
And all his soul was steeped in rest ; 
As when some tierce delirium 
Is laid to sleep by opium, 
And the soul dreams in sweet elysium. 

Ah, me ! from dreams so sweet as this 
How bitter the awakening is, 
And wind and flower knew that, I wis. 
Why should we dwell upon their pain ? 
The wind soon lost his love again, 
The flower listened for his voice in vain. 

Whether or not she pined away, 
Waiting her lover day by day, 
Comes not within my roundelay ; 
Or whether she took heart and thought, 
As all forsaken maidens ought, 
That lovers plenty remain to be caught, 

I know not, for I strode along 
Heedless amid the flowery throng, 
Hearing nought but that sad sweet song, 
Like waves on a desolate shore - 
'" Nought can avail of all thy lore. 
Loveless am I, and must be evermore." 




134 North Country Poets. 



John Thomas Barker. 




?tOHN THOMAS BAKKEE was born at Bramley, near 
- v Leeds, on January 19th, 1844, and is the son of Mr. Ben- 
jamin Barker, an amiable and much respected gentleman, 
and an excellent business man. His uncle was the cele- 
brated Joseph Barker, a man of versatile and extraordi- 
nary talent, whose reputation was high, for many years, 
as a preacher, lecturer, and subtle debater. In this three- 

fold capacity, he was a thorough master of pure Saxon 

English. Some of his ability is possessed by his nephew, the subject of 
this notice. Although engrossed in business pursuits from the age of fif- 
teen, when his school life was cut short, his leisure moments have produced 
a large amount of literary matter, in both prose and verse. A good deal 
of this first appeared in the " Bramley Almanack," and the " Bramley 
Parish Magazine." He has been a frequent contributor to the Yorkshire 
Post, and other papers and periodicals. In 1880, he edited and published a 
charming autobiography of his uncle, Joseph Barker, which was 
highly commended by the leading reviews. 

His first poetical venture, published separately on his own account, 
was "A Midsummer Day's Dream," which appeared in 1869. In 1886, 
there followed a collected edition of his poems, entitled " The Pilgrimage 
of Memory, and other Poems." The longest poem in the collection," The 
Pilgrimage of Memory," is in irregular, unrhymed metre, like that of 
Southey's " Thalaba." It displays considerable inventive power. He is 
most successful, however, in his use of the West Biding dialect, as exem- 
plified in the " Bramla Band," the "Cottar's Setterda Neet," &c. Here 
he is at home. These poems are very pleasing presentations of the 
vocabulary, idioms and peculiarly quaint humour of the artisans of Leeds 
and its neighbourhood. 

_ JOHN WOOD, B.A. 

BRAMLA' BAND. 



Who hcsn't heercl o't'Bramla' Band, 

That's famous far an' near ? 
An' wins sich honor for aar taan, 

Wi' ivvcry cumin' year. 
At Gala, Feast, an* Flaar Shew, 

At Chris'mas, an' May-day, 
At Contests tew, aar Band is suar 

Ta carry t'prize away. 



John Thomas Barker. 135 



Wi' bran' new clothes an' instruments, 

All shining bright an' clear, 
An' lads an' lasses craadin' raand, 

The Big Drum in the rear, 
The men all marching breast ta breast, 

Wi' martial stride an' pomp, 
Who can withstand thur stirrin' strains, 

As daan the taan they tromp ? 

Nah, whether, t'Band chaps played ta inich, 

(For t'trumpets didn't rust,) 
I cannat say, but suar enif, 

They blew 'em till they brust. 
T'poor chaps wor o'most fit ta roar, 

For all thur brass wor spent, 
But t'taan clubbed up, an' bowt each man, 

A bran' new instrument. 

Sum wor silver, an' sum wor brass, 

An' nicely curled i't'middle, 
An' sum they went, trom, trom ! bom, bom ! 

An* sum did nowt but twiddle ; 
An' sum hed keys, an' hoils, an' lids, 

An' wun, a queer consarn, 
Wor two yards long, or theer abaat, 

An' slotted up an' daan. 

But when they played 'cm all at wunco, 

An' mixed 'em weel together. 
An' when the chap upon t'Big Drum, 

Thum, thum ! began ta leather ; 
T'effecfe wor rayther startlin', and 

A Captin from the wars, 
Enlisted 'em as soudgers, in 

The " Prince of Wales' " Hu/xars. 



136 North Country Poets. 

Nah, sum bed nivver ridden a horse, 

Except at Bramla' Tide, 
An' then upon the willy-gigs 

They'd hed a haup'ny ride ; 
So when thur regimentals com', 

An' they began ta don, 
They cuddn't tell what t'spurs wor for, 

Unless ta hod 'em on. 

They thowt if they wor fastened tight 

Ta t'horse they'd somehow stick, 
An' then they cuddn't be thrawn off, 

If it began ta kick ; 
So off they went full trot ta York, 

Though nearly josst ta jelly, 
They stuck ta t'pummil, an' kep' thur spurs 

Weel under t'horse's belly. 

An' when the'y gat ta t'City walls, 

They pooll'd up in a raw, 
An' " See the Conquering Hbro Comes," 

They all began ta blaw ; 
An varry weel they played it tew, 

When t'horses didn't prance, 
But when they heerd a lively bit, 

They seemed abaat ta dance. 

At last that chap wi' t'slottin' thing, 

Wi' cheeks puffd fit ta crack, 
He thrust it aat sa varry far, 

He cuddn't pooll it back ; 
An' t'horse bein* freeten'd at it tew, 

An' feelin' summat prickin', 
It started off a raumin' up, 

An' then began a kickin'. 



John Thomas Barker. 137 



First ^instrument flew on ta t'graand, 

An' jingald tit ta breck ; 
Then he wor fetched all on a lump, 

Eeight on ta t'horse's neck ; 
But t'warst of all, a spur cam off, 

An' t'chap bein' aat o'plumb, 
T'horse sent him flyin' like a shot, 

Heeard tirst into t'Big Drum. 

They pooll'd him aat bi his coit-tail, 

An' sum began ta chaff, 
But t'chap wor suar, he'd ne'er been thrawn, 

If t'spur hed nut cum off. 
So readers, niwer use a thing 

Ye dunnat understand ; 
An" if yer tempted so ta dew, 

Kemember t'Bramla' Band. 



BUBBLES. 

Suggested by Sir J. E. Milluib's Picture. 

A lovely boy of child-like grace, 
With golden locks and upturned face, 

Blows bubbles in the air ; 
His ruddy cheeks and parted lips 
Are like the bubbles that he slips, 

So round and plump and fair. 

The upward glance of his bright eyes, 
Watches the globules as they rise 

Into the sunny sky ; 
Like mimic worlds they lloat away. 
The playthings of a summer's .lay. 

And then collapse and die. 



138 North Country Poets. 

We are but bubbles of the earth, 
Thrown off by Nature at our birth ; 

And down life's glittering river 
Full gaily on our course we glide, 
Buoyant and sparkling, till in the tide 

We nielt like foam for ever. 

Our schemes and plans of daily life, 
With checks and disappointments rife, 

Our very cares and troubles, 
Ambition's heights, all beauteous things, 
And joy and hope with silver wings, 

What are they all but bubbles ? 

The wealth we have amassed in vain, 
Bank and position to obtain, 

And fickle fortune's smile ; 
Esteem of friends and woman's love, 
The shouts of men and gods above, 

Abide but for a while. 

And what is knowledge, fancy's flights, 
The passion's glow, and love's delights ? 

Subjects for a poet's theme ; 
Poems are but bubbles of the mind, 
Filmy, evanescent, and refined, 

A vision and a dream. 



THE NEWSPAPER BOY 



Dirty and ragged, with matted hair, 
His elbows out and legs all bare, 
Blear-eyed, shivering wretch of a child, 
' Nobody's bairn," unkempt and wild; 



John Thomas Barker. 139 



His papers tucked up under his arm, 
Blowing his fingers to keep them warm, 
Hear his cry as he runs on his mission, 
" Evening News here ! Special edition ! ' 

Hoarse he cries through the crowded street, 
With fluttering rags and pattering feet ; 
Hungry and naked, wet and cold, 
And still his papers are not sold ; 
Till, fagged and weary, down he squats 
And counts his pence, and plays and chats ; 
Or coils himself in his rags of state 
On the warm and savoury cook-shop grate. 

He sniffs the tantalising fumes, 
Then, warm and rested, he resumes 
His daily fight for daily bread, 
Though pinched and hungry, still unfed ; 
Out he stretches his skinny arm, 
With staring eyes and wild alarm, 
Crying, " Appalling railway collision ! 
Extery special ! Last edition ! ' 

How strange the streets' familiar sights ' 
There is a blind man selling lights ; 
In the noisy, clattering thoroughfare 
The organ grinds its noiseless air ; 
Ignorant boys and girls dispense 
The brains of men of light and sense ; 
Like crickets cry the merry mites, 
" Football edition, sir ? Box o' lights 

At last the garish sight is o'er. 
The lights put out, and closed the <!(> 
The trains and 'buses all have gone, 
The streets are silent, dim ami lone ; 



140 



North Country 1'oets. 



Sad and weary, we thankful conic 
To well-earned rest, our own sweet home, 
'Tis then our thoughts to others flow, 
O God ! where do these children go ? 

To the squalid hovel, the filthy den, 
A place more fit for beasts than men ; 
To blows and oaths, and what is worse, 
A mother's cries, a drunkard's curse ; 
To straw and rags, a fever bed, 
On which they hang their aching head ; 
To foul disease, such home is his, 
Better the open streets than this. 




Joseph Philip Robson. 



141 



Joseph Philip Robson. 




HE poets of Newcastle, to borrow an expression from one 
of them, are as " thick as curns in a spice singin' hinnie," 
but, though numerous, there are not more than two or 
three who have risen above mediocrity and produced 
work of much literary value. Akenside, whose " Plea- 
sures of Imagination " even Dr. Johnson the great 
Pomposo of style could never read through, was for a 
long time the only representative of his native town in 
the Republic of letters. He, however, never gave poetic utterance to 
Northumbrian thought and feeling. It was not until the advent of .1. P. 
Robson that the reading-world knew anything of the humour and pathos 
concealed in the heart of Tyneside. This amiable poet was born on the 
27th of September, 1808, almost beneath the shadow of the Norman keep, 
in Bailiff-gate a rickety old street, which has recently been removed to 
make way for railway extensions, 

But now they're tumblin' a' things iloon 

In spite o' ancient grace, man. 

His father, who had been educated at Stoneyhurst College for the Roman 
Catholic priesthood, kept a paint shop at the time in Pudding Chare. Here 
the future poet, when ten months old, narrowly escaped being poisoned by 
sucking paper which had contained yellow arsenic. His mother died in 
1814 and his father in 1810, and their children, three boys and a girl, were 
left to the care of a grandfather. At the age of eleven young Rolwon was 
taken from school to commence the battle of life as an errand-boy to a 
grocer. Five years later, when apprenticed to a plane-maker, the impulne 
to sing came upon him, and the bottoms of his planes were soon filled with 
verses. Macpherson's translations of Ossian cast a spell over his imagina- 
tion at this period, and he versified every line of them. At the early age of 
seventeen he wrote his fine, swinging song, " The Tyne Exile's Return. 
In 1819 he was nearly drowned in the river he had celebrated, and was only 
saved by remembering Dr. Benjamin Franklin's advice to persons ii 
similar predicament. In 1830, spraining himself severely I 
heavy log of wood, he gave up the making of planes to become a w 
master. In 1831 appeared his first volume, entitled " Blossoms of 
From this time forward most of his leisure time was t 
composition. He published " Poetic Gatherings " in IH.W ; - 
maniac and minor poems " in 1817 ; a collection of fourteen 
Songs " in 1848 ; " Life and Adventures of Billy Purvis " 
of the Tyne," in which appeared several of his own songs. 
Pencillings " in 1852. For sixteen years, our poet, by reasoi 
of pence, which vexes public men," showed how Apol 
Admetus in a novel fashion by writing a weekly puff for a firm o 



142 North Country Poets. 



In 1854 he left Newcastle and settled in Sunderland, where he assisted in 
the compilation of a shipping register. In 1857 he published " Hermione, 
the Beloved, and other Poems," and received, through Lord Palmerston, 
a grant of 20 from the Civil List. In 1859 he versified " The Song of 
Solomon " in the Lowland Scotch and Tyneside dialects for the philo- 
logical collection of Prince Louis Lucien Buonaparte. He contributed 
from 1862 to 1871 to Chater's " Tyneside Comic Annual," and wrote a 
weekly local letter to the North of England Advertiser under the nom deplume 
of the " Retiort Keelman " a letter which formed quite a new feature 
in north-country journalism. About the middle of 1869, while his last 
work, " Evangeline," was passing through the press, he was seized with a 
paralytic stroke. A painful illness supervened, and on the 16th of August, 
1870, the " Bard of the Tyne and Minstrel of the Wear" died in Clayton- 
street, Newcastle. Robson married in 1831, and had a family of six children, 
only one of whom survived him, and but for a short time. 

The poetic fame of J. P. Robson does not rest on his longer and more 
ambitious poems, readable as they nevertheless are. He was too much of 
a lyrist to excel in a sustained work. The terrible tale of jealousy and 
baffled vengeance which is told by the "Monomaniac" in a letter to his 
daughter, abounds in fine passages I would instance that one describing 
the effect of music in turning for a time the would-be murderer from his 
purpose but exhibits too much the influence of Byron to be considered a 
characteristic work of Robson's. It is in his shorter poems and songs that 
we see Robson at his best. Pathos and humour were equally at his com- 
mand, and he had a delicate and graceful fancy which garnished a subject 
with lovely images. With an almost feminine sensibility to suffering and 
misfortune, his sympathies went out to the helpless, the crushed and the 
unhappy in songs of such beauty as " The Auld Wife's Plaint," " My 
Bonnie Bairn," " The Wail o' the Fallen," and " The Sichtless, Mitherless 
Bairn." The labour question is passionately represented from one point 
of view, in " The Song of the Coal-Mine Sprite." Robson's songs in the 
vernacular are the best of their kind. They are brimful of that broad, 
thougli quaint and homely, humour to which the dialect of Tyneside seems 
to lend itself. He touches many a tender chord in the heart while bringing 
a merry twinkle to the eye, investing his subject with a kindly human 
interest. A note like the following was rare on Tyneside till Robson's time. 
When we were at the skuel, my lads, 

We oft wished to be men ; 
We gnt our wishes ; now we lang 
To be at skuel agyen. 

There being so much that is excellent in Robson's work, it is difficult 
to make a judicious selection. The claims of such poems as " The Dial of 
" The Sichtless, Mitherless Bairn," and " The Pawnshop Bleezing," 
are not readily set aside. Space, however, being limited, the genius of our 
poet may not unfairly be represented by the following three songs, which 
arc printed in this work by the kind permission of Messrs. Allan of New- 
caHtlc-upon.Tyne, and Mr. John Eraser, of Blyth, the owners of the 
copyright. 

W. W. TOMLINSON. 



Joseph I'hilip Robson. 143 



THE AULD WIFE'S PLAINT. 



I hae naebody now ; for my bairns are a' gane, 

And a' the day lang I sit sabbin' alane : 

I hae naebody now ; like a weed on the wave 

I am driftin' awa' to my bed in the grave. 

When, weary wi' weepin' I sink to a slum, 

I dream that my bairns to their mither hae come, 

And I feel their saft lips, and their tears fa' like rain : 

But I waken to find that the tears are my ain. 

I hae naebody now, as in days o' lang sync, 
When Kobie was wi' me ah ! wha could repine ? 
Then the lang simmer days cam as blythe as could be : 
Now Robie is gone, and a's winter wi' me. 
Ah ! there hings his bonnet, but law lies his head ; 
His staff canno' guide his cauld feet frae the dead ; 
And his auld elbow-chair to decay maun sune fa'. 
Oh ! in grief how it moulders its maister's awa' ! 

I hae naebody now : I'm a puir helpless thing- 
Like a tree in the desert, forsaken by Spring ; 
I hae naebody now to console my heart's cares. 
E'en the breeze whistles past as it lifts my white hairs. 
The cloud on the hill, wi' its dark-mantled brow. 
In the smile o' the mornin' shall bonnily glow, 
But the gloamin' that shadows a lane widow's day 
Increases to darkness that lingers for aye. 

I hae naebody now: a' my joy's in the tomb ; 

Like a lamp I am wastin' 'mid silence; and gloon 

I hae naebody now to enkindle its flame 

A' is cheerless and mirk in my heart an' my haim 1 

But my time sune maun come for my spirit 

And langs for its pillow o' death in the clay. 

Oh ! it langs for the land whirr my bairns now abi 

Where the tear of the heart-broken mourner is dried. 



144 North Country Poets. 



THE WAIL O' THE FALLEN. 



I canno' come to thee, mither ; 

My hame I daurna seek ; 
I ken no' where to flee, mither, 

My heart is like to break ; 
The pet I was o' a', mither, 

The youngest wean o' ten ; 
An' why I fled awa', mither, 

I wish I didna ken. 

The warnin' an' the dree, mither, 

Like snaw upon the flood, 
Were wasted things to me, mither ; 

My ears were deaf to guid. 
But the bird is sure to fa', mither, 

That spreads a wilfu' wing ; 
The snare or vulture's claw, mither, 

Destruction sune maun bring. 

Wi' sloe-black, glitt'ring een, mither, 

The tempter smiling came ; 
Ca'd me his winsome queen, mither, 

And whiled me frae my hame. 
The silken gowns and gowd, mither, 

Uncounted, were my ain ; 
An' though he fondly wooed, mither, 

My spirit sank in pain. 

I thoucht o' hame an' thee, mither, 

As tears gushed frae my een ; 
My love proved fause to me, mither, 

As ithers aft had been. 
I wake as frae a slum, mither, 

The gowd and gowns are gane ; 
Thy words o' truth hae come, mither, 

I'm dyin' here alane. 



Joseph Philip Robson. 145 



I canno' come to thee, mither, 

My weary limbs are weak ; 
The grave my hame maun be, mither, 

What ither dare I seek ? 
My brow is red wi' shame, rnither, 

That ance was pure as snaw ; 
Oh ! how can I come hame, mither, 

That broucht disgrace on a' ? 



THE TYNE EXILE'S RETURN. 

From wandering in a distant land, an exile had return'd, 
And when he saw his own dear stream, his soul with pleasure 

burned ; 

The days departed, and their joys, came bounding to his breast, 
And thus the feelings of his heart in native strains expressed : 

Flow on, majestic river, 
Thy rolling course for ever ; 
Forget thee will I never, 

Whatever fate be mine ! 
Oft on thy banks I've wander'd, 
And on thy beauties ponder'd ; 
Oh, many an hour I've squander'd 

By bonny, coaly Tyne ! 

Oh, Tyne ! in thy bright flowing, 
There's magic joy bestowing ; 
I feel thy bree/es blowing, 

Their perfume is divine ! 
I've sought thee in the morning, 
When crimson clouds were burning, 
And thy green hills adorning, 

Thy hills, 0, bonny Tyne ! 

When stormy seas were round me, 
When distant nations bound mo, 
In memory still I found thee, 

A ray of hope benign. 
Thy valleys lie before me, 
Thy woods are waving o'er me ; 
My home, thou dost restore me ! 
I hail thee, bonny Tyne ! 



146 



North Country Poets. 



John Emmet, F.L.S. 




OHN EMMET was born in 1822, at Final Koyd House, 
Birkenshaw, at which place his forefathers acquired a 
large property and settled during the latter part of last 
century. He commenced drawing and Greek and 
Latin when eight or nine years old, and completed a 
thorough classical and mathematical education at Elam's 
Academy, Birstal. He then enjoyed the advantages of 
his excellent father's large library, and became enamour- 
ed of Natural History by reading Gilbert White's " Natural History of 
Selborne," and Waterton's " Wanderings in South America," at the same 
time intellectually devouring all the poets and prose writers on his father's 
shelves. 

His first pilgrimage was to Rydal Mount in 1845. The poet Words- 
worth, and his sister Dorothy, shewed him round their well-known garden, 
and the afternoon was passed with Hartley Coleridge a happy day was 
spent. The second pilgrimage was to Selborne, when he made the 
acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, who were very kind to him ; and 
soon after, an invitation to Walton Hall introduced him to that prince of 
naturalists, Charles Waterton, and an acquaintance began which lasted 
through life. In a letter we have seen, the veteran ornithologist says of a 
monograph our poet had sent him, "Poor Jack! you have indeed given 
roe a most interesting account of his short life. I have never read an 
account of any winged favourite more amusing, sad, and touching. Such 
little pets almost always have an untimely end." 

Soon the feeling for literary expression developed itself, and verses 
were strung together which were accepted by the Leeds, Bradford, and 
York newspapers. In 1848, a series of articles called " Ruralia," with the 
nom de plume of "Paul Puzzlecraft," became popular in the Bradford 
Obterver. Various contributions to the People's Journal and Hogg's 
Instructor followed, during which time Mr. Emmet held a post as 
reviewer on one of our chief Yorkshire newspapers which continued over 
twenty years. 

A joint volume, "Lays of the Sanctuary," appeared in 1859, to which 
our author sent four poems, one of which, "A Litany," is now appended. 
It took Dr. Winslow's fancy, who inserted it in one of his books, and the 
critic and sonnet writer, Samuel Waddington, has given it a place in his 
' Sacred Song." Another old favourite, " Golden Stairs," appeared in the 
Dradfordian, was successful, and highly appreciated at penny readings and 
other gatherings. Of another piece included in this small collection, viz. : 
" Lovo and Beauty," Eliza Cook says " It is a sweet lyric." This is now 
printed for the first time. 

Mr. Emmot does not often write verse sometimes ten or fifteen years 
elapse without a line. His various studies have taken him into botanical, 



John Emmet, F.L.S, 147 

conchological, antiquarian, and other inquiries, and contributions, in prose, 
of course, will be found in the " Archaeological Journal," " Science Gossip," 
"The Naturalist," and elsewhere; but he chiefly confines himself in his 
prose articles to Chambers'* Journal, to which he is a frequent contributor. 
He often, too, employs himself with water colour painting, and John 
Ruskin has passed a high eulogium upon some of his work. 

Although not publishing much on his own account, Mr. Emmet has often 
helped other authors, particularly the editors of several county " Floras," 
the " Life of Eliza Hessel," " Clark and Roebuck's Handbook of Yorkshire 
Vertebrata," &c., &c., and he may be found in some thirty newspapers, 
from the Standard downwards. 

In 1878, Mr. Emmet visited Rome and the classic sites of Italy, and 
had the pleasure of being introdued to Pope Leo XIII, and Victor Hugo 
very dissimilar men ! During the earlier part of his life, Mr. Emmet 
frequently met James Montgomery, who had great influence over him in 
matters of taste and culture. P. J. Bailey, of " Festus," also helped him 
with generous praise in early years. 

Mr. Emmet had the honour of being elected a Fellow of the Linnean 
Society in 1855,and he has resided at Boston Spa, more or less, for over thirty 
years. He enjoys his otium cum diflnitatf, and has not an enemy in the world. 
He lives in a house smothered with roses and filled with old china bric-a- 
brac, antiquarian and other curioaities as Waugh would say, " Crom full 
o' ancientry an' Roman hawpennies," and books and pictures, old and new. 
He leads a cultured life, varied by travel, retaining his intellectual tastes in 
all their freshness, enjoys life and his churchwarden pipe, and is never 
better pleased than when offering hospitality to old friends of similar 
tastes and, indeed, with his quaint, happy way of looking at tliingn, his 
inexhaustible fund of apt anecdote and vast general information, a more 
entertaining companion or genial host would bo hard to find. 

His love for every living creature wins in return the fearless confidence 
of all animals, who seem at once to recognise him as a friend. 

In Mr. Emmet's neighbourhood he is regarded as a sort of walking 
encyclopaedia, and whenever coins or trophies, shells or rare flowers, 
curious stones or old books are discovered, he is supposed to know all about 
them and name them as did Adam in Eden ! 

We have pleasure in knowing that there is a pile of MSS 
the printer, with the title, " Marguerites and Marigolds." verse, c 
new. There is the right ring about the work, and those who like what wo 
have now given will welcome the coming guest. 



E. HKI.KN 



GOLDEN STAIRS. 

There is a cottage by the stream, 
Whose thatch is near a century old ; 

Tis never scorched with summer's beam. 
With winter's ice 'tis never cold 



148 North Country Poets. 

I often watch them in and out, 
The children, and the good old pair ; 

For in that cot, beyond a doubt, 
There is an unseen golden stair. 

Whilst sang the thrush one sultry night, 

Amongst the roses round the door, 
They laid a gentle girl in white, 

I never heard or saw her more 
But those who watched her smile at last, 

And those who heard her latest prayer, 
Aver, that up to heaven she passed, 

Passed upward by that golden stair. 

An autumn morning, cool with mist, 

Brought its raw wind amongst the trees, 
And, just as God's new red light kisst 

The frost-flowers from the lattices, 
A boy lay on his sister's bed, 

He quite as gentle, cold, and fair, 
Some called it death but he, then dead, 

Went upward by that golden stair. 

And others ; some were in their prime, 

Just wedded when that thatch was new, 
Went in and out a little time, 

Lived, loved, and lost, like me and you 
And went away, unseen by me, 

They went, you need not ask me where, 
They went where we oft wish to be, 

Right upward by that golden stair. 

And now whilst pulling vernal flowers, 
And now whilst sings the same old thrush, 

And now whilst fall the autumn showers, 
Upon the beaded hawthorn bush, 



John Emmet, F.L.S. 149 

The loved ones left will gather round, 

Low listening to the dear old pair, 
Who point them to each lowly mound, 

And point them to that golden stair. 

You never saw that rosy cot, 

Or sunned yourself amongst its blooms. 
Or knew the treasures it has got, 

The wealth that lines its cosy rooms ; 
But you would see and hear them oft, 

Still climbing up if you were there, 
And soon they all will be aloft, 

Gone upward by that golden stair. 

Mayhap the cottage where you dwell, 

Is bright with bloom and prankt with green, 
And oh, if you would search it well, 

There may be golden stairs unseen, 
For if to you the grace be given 

To love the God who hears your prayer, 
Be sure you have the road to heaven, 

Your cottage has the golden stair ! 



A LITANY. 

Lord, leave us not to wander lonely, 

Through this dark world unloved by Thee ; 
All other friends are helpless only, 

Though full of love as friends may be. 
Drear are the fondest homes around i 

Sad like our hearts when Thou art far ; 
When Thou hast sought us, heard us, found 

How sweet Thy consolations are ! 
Hear us, cheer us, 
Lord, and leave us not ! 



150 North Country Poets. 

Leave us not when pride and anger 

In the heart would dare rebel ; 
Claim us in our utmost danger, 

Calm us at the mouth of hell. 
Leave us not till we inherit 

Charity that works no ill, 
And \ve hear Thy gentle spirit 

Inly whisper, " Peace, be still ! " 
Hear us, cheer us, 
Lord, and leave us not ! 

Leave us not in days of trial, 

Let us act at duty's call, 
Though it lead to self-denial, 

Though we have to give up all. 
Eaised on high, or humbled lowly, 

Praised or scorned from land to land, 
Bear us up, our Father holy, 

Bear our burdens in Thy hand. 
Hear us, cheer us, 
Lord, and leave us not ! 

Leave us not when all have left us, 

Health and vision, strength and voice ; 
When of friends death hath bereft us, 

Let us still in Thee rejoice : 
Near us, when in doubt, to guide us ; 

Near us, when we faint, to cheer ; 
Near in battle's hour, to hide us ; 

Nearer ever, and more dear. 
Hear us, cheer us, 
Lord, and leave us not ! 
Leave us not when foes come nigher, 

Cheer us when the grave looks cold, 
Lead us onward, upward, higher, 

Forward to the gates of gold. 
Leave us not when ailing, failing, 

Sore depressed, and bending low ; 



John Emmet, F.L.S. 151 

Be Thy love then most availing, 
Then to aid us be not slow. 
Hear us, cheer us, 
Lord, and leave us not ! 

Leave us not, till Thou hast brought us 

To the holy, wealthy place, 
There to see Thee who hast bought us, 

Fought our fight, and won our race ; 
There to hear no more the shouting 

And the thunder of our foes ; 
Dangers past, and past all doubting, 

And the grave's austere repose ! 
Hear us, cheer us, 
Lord, and leave us not ! 



LOVE AND BEAUTY. 

Love makes love where'er it be 
Of all we hear and feel and see, 
Of all things fair or grand or good ; 
The grove, the rainbow or the flood 
The flowers below, the stars above- 
All things give us love for love ! 

Love and beauty o'er the land 
Everywhere go hand in hand ; 
Where there's love, there's something fair, 
Where there's beauty, love is there- 
Nothing fair in heart or mind, 
Who to love would be inclined ? 

Loving one, we feel to move 
Circled by a world of love- 
Looking upward, there's the sky 
Greets us with its laughing eye- 
Looking downward, love is seen 
Ambushed in the rural green. 



152 North Country Poets. 

Loving one, a thousand songs 
Echo from a thousand tongues, 
Tongues that burn with heavenly fire 
To enchant us and inspire 
Thus, whilst loving, all things seem 
Loving, like the lover's dream. 

Love makes love, if love it be 
Of all we hear, think, feel or see 
Of all things fair or grand or good, 
The grove, the rainbow, or the flood, 
The flowers below, the stars above, 
All things give us love for love ! 



AFTER THE RAIN. 



After the rain and the swirl, 
The wind, the rain and the roar, 

Come to my garden, my girl, 
The girl I love and adore 

Who sees thee, never forgets 
Charmed roses and violets. 

And thou art my violet, 

And thou art my blushing rose, 
And thee I never forget, 

However the weather goes 
After the roar and the rain 

And wind thou art mine again. 

violet rose so shy, 

Let the rain pelt, the wind roar, 
The wind will whirl the world dry, 

For us to love and adore 
Who sees thee never forgets 

Sweet roses and violets ! 



Mrs. Tonkin. 



'53 



Mrs. Tonkin. 




RS. TONKIN (we S. E. Jones) is a lady well-known to a 
large circle of friends in the neighbourhood alike of 
Manchester and Stockport. She was born in the first- 
named town, June 12th, 1831, of parents distinguished 
for their uprightness and amiability, and grew, with 
other children, to be a joy and solace to them to the end 
of their days. In July, 1855, she gave her hand to Mr. 
Joseph Tonkin, a native of Bnryan, Cornwall, and in 
due time became the mother herself of a son and daughter. A warm 
admirer of the beautiful county where ho first saw the light, Mr. Tonkin 
delighted to familiarize the mind of his much-loved wife with the varied 
and always romantic charms for which it is renowned. Her visits to 
Cornwall were frequent, and it cannot be doubted that the richly poetic 
abilities of her mind were stimulated, in no slight degree, by the scenery 
and associations to which she was there introduced. Very much of 
what is nearest and dearest to her heart, in its memories, and brightest 
and fairest as a living element of her imagination, is linked for ever with 
consecrated Cornwall. Mr. Tonkin was a man of singularly energetic, 
prompt, and skilful business character. Hence he acquired, while still 
quite young, a position of distinguished value and responsibility in one 
of the very highest classes of Manchester warehouses. He held his position 
for more than a quarter of a century, resigning it, at last, with the sincere 
regret of all who knew him, and most particularly of his employer*, by 
reason of severe and protracted illness, from which, after several years 
of patient suffering, he was released by the hand of Divine mercy. August 
6th, 1882. 

From the days of her early womanhood, onward, unbrokenly, Mrs. 
Tonkin has charmed her friends with sweet and elegant verse ; not in any 
kind of continuous stream, but in that very agreeable way which pleju.es 
the more by its unexpectedness. She makes no pretension to be a |xx>tcwi 
in the lofty sense of the term. She compares herself to a little singing 
bird of the hedgerow, whose notes may perchance enter the ear of the tiro! 
wayfarer, and become to him another form of ' Traveller's joy." 
outbursts of song, very numerous, were an accurate counting to I 
them, are to be regarded as the natural outflow of a spirit ever alive t- 
beautiful in creation. Capable of appreciating, if not of fully 
ing, the grand chords of human life ; sensitively quick to the apprchi 
of human emotions, and taking an almost child-like delight in tl 
and common, so that it is pure and comely, she weaves her tl 
fancies into tunes of never failing melody. Many 
appeared originally in the columns of the Uanchttttr 
were supplied to the Cornish press, and among thr-o I*t *re 



154 North Country Poets. 



be found some of the very best pieces that ever appeared in print. "Corn- 
wall, my Country," may be adduced as one of the most delectable. In 
1866 she published a little volume, called from the name of the opening 
piece, "Rostherne Mere, and other poems." The whole edition was 
rapidly taken up by the public, and it is unquestionable that were a second 
series to be brought out, it would meet with quite as cordial a reception. 
Very remarkable, too, is the diversity of style and subject in this little 
volume. Pieces that breathe an earnest and simple piety, and that are 
worthy of a place in any collection of sacred poetry, stand side by side 
with others that overflow with fun and humour, for Mrs. Tonkin is no 
weeping sentimentalist. The best characteristic of a truly happy .genius is 
that it enjoys a laugh every bit as much as any votary of the comic. 

In Mrs. Tonkin we thus have one who combines the pleasant realities 
of amiable emotion, honoured mother, esteemed friend, and contributor to 
our keenest intellectual enjoyment. The stream, happy to say, continues 
to flow, bright and refreshing as ever. It reminds one of those beautiful 
springs in the Holy Land, for which the ancient Hebrew poets found no 
name so suitable as that of the " eyes " of their lovely land. 

G. 



WIMBERRY RIPE. 



" Wimb'ry ripe ! Wimb'ry ripe ! " Well done, old man 
Go vend thy juicy wares about the street ; 
Awake the " Seven sleepers," if thou canst, 
With thy loud, tuneless voice. I love its ring 
This summer morning. It has awakened me, 
And set me musing of the summer time 
When I was young and rambled on the moors 
About my home, in search of " wimberry ripe." 

bonnie berries ! bountiful and blue ! 
How doth my spirit leap at sight of ye ! 

1 am not old and grey this gladsome morn, 
But blithe and lissome as the moorland maid 
Of fifty years ago, erewhile the mirk 

And .toil of city life had robbed mine eyes 

Of the bright sparkle that belongs to youth, 

Or Time's chill touch had bleached my sunny locks, 

And weary made my once untiring feet. 

Nay, but I am not foolish, though I feel 

The warm tear gushing to my happy eyes. 



Mrs. Tonkin. 



Pictures are floating o'er mine age-dulled brain : 

I am a child upon my native moors, 

And the long fifty years seem but a day ; 

The blue-bells nod once more about my feet, 

And purple heather blends with golden gorse ; 

The oak boughs crouch and spread their leafy boughs, 

As to protect the brown-winged brood below ; 

The mountain ash trees rear their slender stems ; 

Sporting their feathery leaves and scarlet crests 

Beside the tassel'd birch in silver grey ; 

While, under and about, the sturdy shrubs 

Spring free and cultureless, and deep-hued fruit 

Yield to the youngsters without loss of pence, 

Or sanguinary tithe by bramble claimed, 

When, with rash hand, the glossy balls are seized 

And cruel thorns demand a recompense. 

Come, loved companions of my childish days ! 

Come once again, with baskets as of yore ! 

Let us to our beloved blue-shadowed moors, 

To breathe again the freedom of the hills, 

And fill our spirits with the murmurings 

Of thyme-blessed bees, and butterflies made glad 

With scented sunshine and the hymns of birds 

And arching heavens. Ah ! let us once again 

Mount our beloved grey scar, moss coronaled, 

Or in the brook below build mimic mills 

Of magic power, to make the wheel of life 

Roll smoothly round, as in the little space 

That shines above the mist of long ago. 

Here comes the man, with Minnie by his ; 

I hear her chattering like a magpie bold ; 

" Now, go and ask my grandma ; she will buy ; 

For she loves wimberries, I know, old man ; 

And we all want a pudding for to-day 

As big as a cannon ball, with lots of juice 

To stain our lips and teeth, and make us lauph. 



156 North Country Poets 

Do they stain yours, old man? " " Naw, naw, my lass, 

They dunna stain Phil's grinders now-a-days ; 

And for good reason why. Bu' fotch a bowl 

While I shout ' Wimb'ries ! ' just to let folk yer 

As I'm a-comin' ; it's nigh pudding toime ; 

Ay, missus, sure they're fresh, just fresh fro' th' moors. 

And see yo', they're as big and blue as grapes, 

And mebbe full as sweet they're gradeley fruit 

None better grown than Owd Phil's wimb'ry ripe. 

Here come th' young childer ! Bless us, what a troop 

Of laughing little 'uns ! Gi' me th' bowl to fill 

Keet up to th' brim ; good measure yo' shall have 

For your bright faces and th' owd lady's sake. 

Hoo minds Owd Phil when he wur but a boy 

How strange things come abeaut ! Ay, who would think 

Owd Phil wur bred upo' her fayther's moors, 

And worked for years within owd Carrbrook Mill ? 

But, sithee, th' folk are out wi' bowl in hand, 

While I'm a-gapin' o'er th' long buried past. 

Good mornin', missis ! Toimes is changed since then. 

Good mornin', childer ! Now for wimb'ry ripe ! " 

CORNWALL. 



Cornwall, my country ! the home of my childhood, 

Land of my forefathers, land of the free, 
Land of the mighty, the wild, the majestic, 

Land of the beautiful, land of the sea ! 

Ever-loved Cornwall ! though rugged thy mountains, 
How fair and how fruitful thy valleys beneath ; 

How memory recalls the bright haunts of my boyhood 
Thy wild moorland country, empurpled with heath ! 

Ocean-bound Cornwall ! still home of the sea-bird, 
Thy rocks, once the haunt of the Druid of old, 

Still wondrous thy caves, and thy boulders of granite, 
Still wondrous as first o'er thy mountains they rolled. 



Mrs. Tonkin. 157 



Where are thy champions, famous in history ? 

Where are the free-hearted, where are the brave ? 
Where are the bards, and the minstrels poetic ? 

They found in loved Cornwall, a home, and a grave. 

And ever the waves of the ocean are hymning 

A requiem sad for the noble and free ; 
And full of strange cadences, mournful and tender, 

They sing 'neath the rocks the wild song of the sea. 

But, Cornwall, thy glory has not yet departed ; 

Though gone are thy bards, and thy heroes of old, 
Still proudly the sun sets upon thee, loved country, 

Brightly tipping the peaks of thy mountains with gold. 

Cornwall, my country ! the home of my childhood, 
Land of the brave, how my heart pants for thee ! 

Land of the mighty, the wild, the majestic, 
Land of the true-hearted, Cornwall for me ! 



ONLY TWO LITTLE SHOES. 



Only two little shoes ! 
Such a shabby, worn-out pair ! 
And yet they are gazed on fondly, 
As if they were passing fair. 

Worn and old, 

A mine of gold 
Would not purchase those two little shoes. 

Only two little shoes ! 
Once they were brilliant red, 
Now they are sadly faded, 
But they speak of a darling, dead. 

And tears like rain, 

Again and again 
Have dropped on those two littl. 



158 North Country Poets. 

Only two little shoes ! 

But where are the baby feet 

That made them twinkle with beauty, 

As they danced, and made music sweet ? 

Joyous and clear 

To a mother's ear 
Came the sounds from those two little shoes. 

Only two little shoes ! 

Their music has passed away, 

The nursery still sounds blithesome, 

But not with their pattering play. 

There they lie 

All silently, 
Speaking for ever, those two little shoes. 

Only two little shoes ! 

A shabby and worn-out pair ! 

But the mother's lingering footstep 

Is often heard on the stair. 

Softly she steals 

To a drawer, and kneels, 
As she weeps o'er those two little shoes. 

Only two little shoes ! 
That call forth many a sigh ; 
But a beautiful vision is granted, 
When she breathes a prayer to the sky. 

On bended knees 

The mother sees 
Something fairer than two little shoes. 



GROWING OLD. 



Growing old ! growing old ! 

Life lasts not for ever ; 
Warmest hearts must cease to throb, 

Closest love-links sever. 



Mrs. Tonkin. 159 



Growing old ! growing old ! 

Yes, in spite of yearning, 
Not one day from buried years 

Ever comes returning. 

Growing old ! growing old ! 

Is the wide world better 
For my drop of influence, 

Or am I it's debtor ? 

Growing old ! growing old ! 

Is my life progressing ? 
Can I hope my latter days 

May be crowned with blessing ? 

Growing old ! growing old ! 

How the years are flying, 
Work unfinished, good unwrought ! 

Will it be so dying? 

Growing old ! growing old ! 

O for great endeavour, 
Noble aims and loving deeds 

That will last for ever. 

Growing old ! growing old ! 

Lord, be ever near me ; 
When I tremble, weak and faint, 

Stoop from Heaven and hear me. 

Growing old ! growing old ! 

In Thy tender keeping 
Why should I my sojourn pass 

In despondent weeping? 

Growing old, growing old, 
Need not bring me sadness : 

Age leads to eternal youth ; 
Death to joy and gladness 



i6o 



North Country Poets. 



John Walker. 




OHN WALKER was born on the 18th November, 1861, at 
Wythburn, in the Thirlmere valley. He was a scholar at 
the elementary school in the village, and afterwards at 
Eichardson's School, St. John's-in-the-Vale. He is great 
grandson of the Matthew Jopson mentioned in William 
Howitt's " Rural Life in England," who was the friend of 
Charles Gough (immortalized by Wordsworth and Scott), 
and of John Dalton the discoverer of the atomic theory. 
At an early age he began to work for his daily bread, but the laborious 
and distasteful occupations which he followed at this time unfortunately 
left him but little leisure for reading or the developement of his 
education. Beyond evincing a strong love of botany, which led him into 
long and lonely rambles amongst the hills and vales of Lakeland, we do not 
learn that in early youth he shewed any marked inclination for poetry. 
At the age of sixteen, however, he began to write verses of a more or less 
emotional character : the solitude and impressive silence of the hills 
doubtless tended to foster the latent germ which existed in his mind, and 
the effervescent mountain blood inherited from a long line of " statesmen " 
ancestors asserted itself in song. As we have already intimated, he was at 
this time labouring under many disadvantages, but, when he had completed 
his eighteenth year, he was fortunate enough to secure more congenial 
employment in the busy town of Bury, in Lancashire, where, since then, he 
has held an appointment in a large woollen-manufacturing firm. This 
change has been favourable to his undoubted talent for literary work, and 
for some years past he has been a frequent contributor of poems, sonnets, 
tales, Ac., to v.rious magazines and newspapers. 

His longest published poem, " Love Unreturned," appeared in the lied 
Dragon of Wales for March, 1886. It is based upon the legend of King 
Arthur's rescue by the Queen Morgana, after the battle of Camlan. In 
this poem the influence of Dante G. Rossetti is very strongly marked, and 
it has met with favourable notice from several well-known English writers. 
His " Lyrics of Lakeland," being sketches of rustic life written in the 
local fellside dialect have met with hearty appreciation at the firesides 
of the people. One of the longest of these pieces, " Lost i' t' Sna " is said 
to be a very powerful delineation of the tragic side of the life of the 
Cumberland " statesman." 

Mr. Walker has been favoured in his literary efforts with the counsel 
and advice of some eminent workers in the world of letters, amongst whom 
Miss Christina Ilosetti has been especially helpful. From the brief speci- 
mens of IUH writings which are here given it will be seen that he holds no 
mean place in the anthology of North Country Poets. With youth on his 
side, and an ardent, enthusiastic love of nature and the best models in 
verse, we may reasonably look for more valuable work from him in the 
future. 

E. E. MINTON. 



John Walker. 161 

EVEN TRYST. 



A deep grave dug by Time holds all 
The happy early years of Love, 
When youth first felt the joy thereof, 
And life was sweet ; the cuckoo's call 
Reminds me of those early days, 
And of the wildering woodland ways. 

lilies, budding in (Jtf dusk, 

Dear were those days ! 

A deep grave dug by Man holds her 
Whom I have deemed earth's fairest prize ; 
But in the shadow there her eyes 
Did surely smile on me ? (The stir 
Of wandering winds amid the blue 
Wood-hyacinths adrip with dew.) 

bluebells, budding in the dusk, 

Dear were her c;/cs ! 

Sweet Phyllis dead and gone ! Ah me ! 
Stretch out thy fair right hand : for Heaven 
Is surely round us in the even 
When Spring hath wrought her witchery ? 
And Heaven being round us, surely thou 
Art near thy lover even now ? 

hawthorn, budding in the dusk, 

Dear is tJiis even ! 

The green boughs touch me, her warm breath 

Plays on my forehead, and I see 

By that rapt look she wears, that she 

From the far Heaven travellcth. 

Thy spirit answers to my moan, 

My fair, sweet Phyllis, dead and gone. 

green boughs, budding in the dusk, 

Dear was her breath ! 



1 62 North Country Poets. 



To melt earth's sorrows into song, 

My soul will struggle through deep grief 

Sunwards : therefore, my love, though brief 

Our trysting time may be, along 

The briar-lined path, when I leave thee, 

I shall go chanting joyfully. 

sweetest mystery of the dusk, 

Dear soul of song ! 



THE HOUSING OF THE HAY. 



ANNIE. 

" The gloaming shadows gather, 
The rooks fly swiftly home, 
The mountains wear their sunset crowns 

And cattle cease to roam ; 
We labour on 'mid laughter, 

Our work akin to play, 
For who would not be merry 
At the housing of the hay ? 

The one whose laugh is loudest 

Is he whose eager eyes 
Speak thousands of the sweetest things 

We maidens dearly prize : 
His tongue speaks ne'er a love-word, 

And little does he say, 
But brown eyes speak to blue eyes 

At the housing of the hay. 

My Willie's eyes are bonnie, 

And when he looks at me 
I tremble at the gentle glance 

From which I cannot flee : 
I see my face reflected 

Whene'er I look his way ; 
I know my Willie loves me 

At the housing of the hay. 



John Walker. 163 

O have you seen the brown pools 

That lie in Stanley Ghyll, 
When the sunlight flits and fleckers 

Through birches on the hill ? 
If so, you've seen the lovelights 

That never pass away 
From those brown eyes of Willie's, 

At the housing of the hay. 

No wild bird in the woodlands 

So free from care can be 
As my dear, light-hearted Willie 

Who lives at Beckerby ; 
The wild birds pipe in springtime, 

He whistles ev'ry day, 
And sings and laughs the loudest 

At the housing of the hay. 

In hay time or in harvest 

His whistle's sweet and clear, 
And his voice is rich and mellow 

Through all the happy year ; 
He is so strong and supple, 

That love him well I may, 
Who is there like m> Willie 

At the housing of the hay ? 

WILLIE. 

" The sun forsakes the valley 

But lingers on the hills, 
Yet he has left a bonnie beam 

Whose light the meadow tills : 
My Annie rakes besides me 

And sings a merry lay 
That fills my heart with gladness 

At the housing of the hay. 



164 North Country Poets. 

The oatcroft in late autumn 

Glows golden with the corn, 
But brighter is my sweetheart's hair ; 

And never queen was born 
Whose face was filled with beauty 

Like that which beams to-day 
In my true-hearted Annie's, 

At the housing of the hay. 

The ripe, red rowan berries 

That cluster on yon tree 
Are envious of her laughing lips 

Whose kiss is ecstacy ; 
The thrush's song in springtime, 

When songbirds charm the May 
Is not so sweet as Annie's 

At the housing of the hay. 

0, she is good and gentle, 

Her love is all for me, 
It is pure as mountain-streamlets 

And as full of melody 
No love-word has been spoken 

But what is there to say 
I know my darling loves me, 

At the housing of the hay ! 

Those eyes of hers are bright tarns 

In which the heaven's blue 
Has mirrored all its magic glow 

And tenderness of hue ; 
In looking in their fair depths 

My soul is borne away, 
And travels forth with Annie's 

At the housing of the hay. 



John Walker. 165 

My golden-tressed Annie ! 

The great moon signals her 
To take the homeward path again 

Through woods of fragrant fir ; 
To-night she'll say she loves me, 

For something will I say 
Of Love, when all is silent 

At the housing of the hay." 



YOUNG LOVE. 

[Ax SONSET]. 



From the farthest shores of the farthest sea 

Young Love with his smile has come, 
With a passionate face to thee and me ; 

Then, little one, be not dumb. 
Sing out, budding blossom of spring, sing out, 

Sing sweet by the golden shore, 
For the shallop of Love may turn about 

And travel to us no more. 

Happy Love will stay for an hour at least, 

An hour by the western wave, 
Whilst the pale May moon in the purple east 

Looks down at the sun's red grave- 
Whilst the tide flows in like a shimmering 

Of emeralds flecked with tire, 
Till it foams and falls in its mirth divine 

At thy feet, my heart's desire. 

Happy Love, he has come through all the 
Like a tune that lives for aye. 
That trembles from lover to lov 
And laughter, then melts away ; 



1 66 North Country Poets. 

Like a flower that flames and fades and dies, 
But dying for what Death gives, 

Young Love will upspring, with hope in his eyes, 
Wherever a maiden lives. 

He will rise and bloom, he will blaze and fall 

Like a poppy in the corn, 
And, in flashing his flaming face on all, 

Make evening seem the morn ; 
Or the pale-faced morn seem rosy eve, 

Or the fleeting hours run slow, 
Then the happiest heart will learn to grieve, 

And the palest cheek to glow. 




John Thomas Baron. 



167 



John Thomas Baron. 




OHN THOMAS BAROX, of Blackburn, owes his excellent 
reputation chiefly to a series of " Rhymes in Dialect " 
which he has contributed to the Hlackburn Time* news- 
paper during the last three years under the nom de plume, 
" Jack o' Ann's." These vernacular verses show the 
author to be a prolific writer, thoroughly in touch with 
the joys and sorrows, the humours and eccentricities of 
the Lancashire factory folk, well acquainted with their 
pungent, idiomatic expressions, and capable of infusing poetic feeling into 
the most ordinary passages of everyday life. He was born at Blackburn, 
on March 1st, 1856, but taken to Blackpool during his infancy, and there 
educated at the National School. He has since picked up a wide know- 
ledge of men and things by his assiduous attention to the writings of the 
best authors. At the age of thirteen he returned to Blackburn, and has 
lived in that town ever since. In his youth he won a few pri/es in open 
competition. His first poem to a newspaper appeared in the ULickburn 
Times, in October, 1876, since which time his muse has been very prolific. 
In 1879, he won eleven volumes of Tennyson's works at a May-Day Festival 
in his native town. Among his literary signatures are " Jack o' Ann's," 
"Nora B." (his surname cleverly reversed), "J.T.B." (his initials), Ac. 
Many of his more serious poems are tinged with a feeling of reverence for 
the mighty ocean, engendered during his youthful days at the seaside. 
His reputation is not merely local, for, although a reguhr contributor to 
the Blackburn Times for a long period, he has written far more verses for 
papers outside Blackburn, and has always found appreciative readirs. 
We hope to see, ere long, his collected poems published in book form, and 
there can be little doubt that the appearance of such a book will at once 
place so versatile and gifted an author in his true position among the 

Lancashire poets. 

J. G. SHA*. 



JOHNNY'S CLOGS. 



Howd on, theer ! Dunnot use 'cm rough, 

But put 'cm gently deawn ; 
They're nobbut hawf-worn clogs to yo. 

Wi' tops o' musty breawn ; 
To me, they're sacred links 'at bind 

My thowts to one i' th' inowd ; 
Eawr Johnny wore those clogs afoor 

Deeath med him still' an' cowd. 



1 68 North Country Poets. 

They're but a pair o' little clogs, 

Wi' irons rusty red, 
Yet thowts they wakken i' my heart, 

Ov a life-star 'at's fled ! 
For th' gloom o' grief seems darker neaw, 

An' life's nowt near as sweet 
As when he used to welcome me 

Wi' hooam-smiles every neet. 

Tho' th' sod's bin o'er him mony a while, 

To life he's gi'en a grace ; 
Oft reawnd my cot aw wond'ring stare 

There's summat eawt o' place ! 
Thad lad wur th' best mate 'at aw hed 

I' sunshine or i' storm. 
Wur aw a king, my creawn aw'd give, 

To clip th' familiar form. 

No other eye could shine like his ; 

His speech, so soft an' mild, 
Fell o' my ears, like music-strains, 

He wur my darling child ! 
No hand seemed hawf so nice to grip, 

Nor greetin' e'er so kind 
As his ; an' neaw aw seem to hear 

His voyce i' every wind. 

Last neet, aw see a little star, 

'At fairly pleeased my eye, 
Id seemed o ov a flutter theer, 

Heigh up i' th' dusky sky. 
An' then a thowt flasht thro' my mind 

'At mod my eyeseetdim. 
Ho wur my child ! aw stood on th' earth, 

An' looked tort Heaven, on him ! 



John Thomas Baron. 169 



Con he be waiting for me theer, 

Hawf-way fro' th' gowden Throne ? 
Wur them his wings 'at fluttered breet 

Heigh i' thoose realms unknown ? 
His bonny face seems allus near, 

An' th' love for him shall be 
Clasped clooase an' glorious to my heart 

Height to eternity ! 



A COMFORTABLE SMOOK. 



Awm bothered nooan wi' acres broad, 

Nor burdened mitch wi' wealth ; 
For tried friends aw've a ready hand, 

An' for misel good health ! 
When work is o'er, at hooam aw sit 

I' th' cosy cheer i' th' nook, 
An' reach my pipe deawn to enjoy 

A comfortable smook. 

There's doctors, nobs, an' simple fooak, 

Wi' faces long an' pale, 
'At's fairly shocked at pun or jooak 

Or gradely merry tale. 
They say 'at 'bacco's pisenous, 

An' dolefully they look 
On every hearty cock 'at loves 

A comfortable smook. 

It's nowt to me, they suit thcrsels 
They've narrow hearts an' brains ; 

They suit thersels but nob'ry else,- 
An' ged chaffed for their pains. 



i jo North Country Poets. 



Mi grondad wur a veteran bowd 

'At fowt wi' th' " Iron Duke." 
He oft enjoyd an' sooa will aw ! 

A comfortable smook. 

When sorrows linger reawnd my mind, 

An' try to poo me deawn, 
Aw' leet my pipe a puff o' wind, 

An' troubles leave my creawn. 
They ged i'th' draft wi't' smook ; up th' flue 

They fly, an' quit my nook ! 
There's nowt 'at kills care sooner than 

A comfortable smook ! 

It's th' true philosophy o' life 

To tek things as they come ; 
An' if yo have a gradely wife 

An' childer reet at home, 
Yo' needn't cry o'er th' Past, nor try 

To peer i' th' Future's book, 
Use th' Present weel, an' calmly tek 

A comfortable smook. 

I' winter time, when th' neets are dark, 

An' blustry winds blow cowd, 
My pipe, lit wi' contentment's spark, 

Brings hooamly joys untowd. 
When summer fleawrs i' th' sunleet gleeam, 

Aw ramble deawn by th' brook, 
An' birds sing for me while I hev 

A comfortable smook. 

Aw've oft watched th' smook arise an' curl 

I' queer shapes o'er my head, 
But queerer thowts hev filled my brain 

Wi' th' fancies 'at they've bred. 



John Thomas Baron. 



171 



Like 'bacco, Life soon burns away, 
Eawr ashes gooa to th* rook ; 

So while Life lasts, live reight, an' tek 
A comfortable smook ! 



THE MOUNTAIN NIGHTFALL 



Yon kingly mountain, like a wearied knight, 

Hath slung the sun, his shield, behind his shoulder, 
And, heedless how the west fires burn and smoulder, 

Prepares for silent vigils of the night. 

Around him slow he draws his cloudy robe, 

All stern and solemn, tho' star-hosts are gleaming 
Like foemen's spears ; of conquest he is dreaming 

The while that darkness surges o'er our globe. 

So will he dream, till Day his trusty squire- 
Shall bear his shield on fields of Eastern splendour ; 
Then will he greet fair Morn as her defender, 

His crest aglow with her triumphal tire ! 




1/2 



North Country Poets. 



Bernard Batigan. 




OME pleasing contributions to poetry and prose have 
appeared in magazines and newspapers from the pen of 
Mr. Bernard Batigan, of Hull. He has edited several 
collections of recitals which have been widely cir- 
culated and well reviewed by the critical press. It is in 
Mr. Batigan's works for elocutionists that his best poetry 
appears. Not a few of his productions, however, have 
found their way into high-class publications and have 
been extensively quoted. In a great measure, writing has been Mr. Bati- 
gan's pastime, though, had he devoted more attention to it, he might have 
attained a high place. The work of his life has been that of a teacher of 
elocution, and in this he has been extremely successful. He is one of the 
chief popularisers of the art at the present time and by him not fewer than 
three thousand pupils must have been instructed, of whom many have 
gained distinction in the pulpit, on the platform, and on the stage. He is 
the teacher of elocution at the leading institutions and schools in Hull and 
district. 

Mr. Batigan has won distinction as a lecturer on Shakespearian and 
other topics, and has appeared at many of the more important literary 
institutions of England and Scotland. 

Mr. Batigan takes a great interest in the religious, social, and literary 
institutions of Hull, having founded several, and lent his assistance to 
others. 

In his youth he came to Hull from Hanley, his native town. 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 



RECONCILED. 

OR, NOT IN THE PLAY. 



You've heard, I dare say, of Ben Elvers, and the scene he enacted 

one night 
That was not in the " book " of the author, though the audience 

cheered with delight. 

Do you mean it ? Why I thought that his story had 

travelled all round. 
Well, just take a chair and I'll tell you 'twill go to your heart, 

I'll be bound. 



Bernard Batigan. 173 



You remember Bob Bateson, our "heavy?" He lately has 

won a big name 
As writer of drawing-room dramas, that bring him both money 

and fame. 
His earliest " hit " was at Blankton, a nice little place by the 

sea, 
Where I was the managing spirit, so he owed its production to 

me. 

Ben Rivers was cast for The Father, in the " Father and 

Daughter " Ben's play 
And we knew he would play it with credit, if naught unforeseen 

blocked the way ; 
But he had been ailing much lately, and looked sadly careworn 

and weak, 
And several days at rehearsals there wasn't a smile on \ 

cheek. 

He always was close, and we couldn't discover then what wan 

amiss, 
Though some of our ladies in whispers referred 

of his, 
And said it was rumoured among them the girl I 

to his heart) 

Had flown with a handsome young suite 
villainous part. 

At length it was known that the sorrow of Rivers 

arise 
From the flight of his beautiful daughte 

light of his eyes ! 
And broken in health and in spirit, ho 

ghost 
Of the elegant fellow we knew him a few wcc 

most. 



174 North Country Poets. 

Now the piece of our talented "heavy" was billed for per- 
formance just then, 

And it was my benefit night, too, and our principal player was 
Ben; 

So we went to his lodgings to see him, and asked him to tell 
us out straight, 

If he thought he could manage the business or ruin would 
else be our fate. 

We almost were shocked by his strange look, as firmly he 

answered us then, 
" I'll bs in this ' show ' if I live, boys, though I never should 

play part again." 
He faithfully came as he promised, though he half staggered 

into the room, 
And, somehow, I felt it was cruel ; though what could we do? 

It \vas doom ! 

The piece was but crude and unpolished in plot, and in dialogue 

too, 
But The Father was cast to perfection ; his acting would carry 

it through. 
He looked, when he came on, inspired, and physical weakness 

was nought 
To his passionate, conquering spirit, and Art a true miracle 

wrought. 

Loud cheers for the play and the players resounded from 

boxes and pit, 
And Baker, a lessee from London, pronounced it " a glorious 

hit." 
He offered to buy it for money, that Bateson ne'er dreamed of 

before, 
And said it would soon be the town's talk, and certainly cause 

a, furore. 



Bernard Batigan. 175 



But just as we all were rejoicing, came news that forecasted 

but gloom ; 
The runaway daughter of Rivers had forced her way straight 

to his room. 
We knew very well, if he saw her, the play would be ruined 

outright 
Yes, ruined, when triumph seemed certain, and honour and 

riches in sight. 

Then one of those sudden impulses that visit the good and the 

bad, 
Came into the brain of Bob Bateson and made him unfeeling 

and mad. 
The play was approaching the climax, when the wanderer comes 

to her home, 
And flies to the breast of her father, and vow* 

more roam. 

The ruse was undoubtedly thoughtless, though Bob at the time 

saw no ill ; 
And he instantly said that Ben's daughter should t 

the story fulfil ! 
Poor Eivers grew grand with excitement, as the touc 

drew nigh, 
And it now was the " cue " for " The Daughter" 

forgiveness or die ! 

He turned to embrace-not the actress 

child took the part ! 
And the audience knew not 'twas real 

girl to his heart. 
But the terrible tone of "My Father," and 

" My Child," 

Raised the house to a tempest of chcc, 
twain RECONCILED ! 



176 North Country Poets 

'Twas a desperate trick of the author, and a dreadful ordeal for 

Ben, 
Which ended all right, as it happened, though death might have 

followed it then. 

But Ben had no mind for revenges ; his penitent darling at last 
Had come to herself, and, rejoicing, he silently buried the past. 



NOT ALL A DREAM. 



I had a dream. The breath of beauteous Spring 
Had come had come with happy sunshine gay, 
And life ran laughingly through all my blood ; 
My heart upsprung like bird upon the wing, 
And everything was joyous as the day, 
Nor mingled evil with life's gladsome good. 

But strangely soon the scene was all transformed, 

And Winter's icy arms clasped me like death 

A dreary, dismal death, like frozen wretch 

In winter wild on Arctic sea bestormed ; 

The dread bleak winds o'erwhelmed my very breath, 

And not a limb could my volition stretch. 

But just as life was sinking into night, 
And every hope evanished from my soul, 
I woke to hear the Yule log's cheery roar, 
My slippered feet upon the fender bright ; 
Adown my spine a chilly blast had stole 
And Mary Jane had left ajar the door ! 



IMMORTALITY. 



No surer guide than perfect analogue 
Has man discovered yet, who gropes for light 
And by that guiding star the searcher sees 
The mystery of Life Immortal Life 



Bernard Batigan. 177 



Lie all unfolded to his raptured soul 

In Nature's world, the key to worlds unknown. 

The Universal Soul transfuses all ! 

No unit so, but infinitely parts : 

And, like the atoms of the Tangible, 

Each part, dividable, completeness owns, 

And lives a soul distinct for ever clothed, 

Or unclothed perceivable to mortal sense, 

Or only visible to spirit sight, 

As HE may will who is the Affluent 

Source of all : sometimes, perchance, as man ; 

Anon as beast or flower ; devoid, or full 

Of beauty, like the living soul within. 

And when the living from the mortal flits, 

It springs again (released) to other sphere, 

But changed, may be, for better or for worse 

More beautifully fair, or loveless grown 

(According, as enclothed, it willed to be) ; 

And then rejoins the conscious entities 

In God's great commonwealth of Spirit Life ! 




I 7 8 



North Country Poets. 



Benjamin Preston . 




ENJAMIN PRESTON was born August 10th, 1819. The 
great poetical faculty which he possesses seems to have 
been inherited. His paternal grandfather is said to have 
had talents for versification of no mean order, and it is 
to be regretted that his productions have passed into 
oblivion. An old woman, upwards of eighty years of age, 
once recited to the subject of this sketch a few lines of a 
satirical poem, called " The White Abbey War," which 
she had known in her younger days, and which, according to her statement, 
had been written by his grandfather on the occasion of some disturbance 
that had taken place amongst the dwellers in White Abbey. What a pity 
it is that these lines were not written down and preserved. The father of 
our poet was, in early life, a hand-loom weaver, and, in many respects, 
superior to his class. In the life of Dr. Steadman, pastor of the Baptist 
Church, Bradford, there is some allusion to a Mr. John Preston, a wealthy 
member of the congregation. To this gentleman the poet's father, who 
was left an orphan at an early age, was indebted for such schooling as he 
had, but death prevented the development of the plans for the welfare of 
his protege. Brief as was that scholastic career, it begat in him a thirst for 
general information. From Bradford, the birthplace of the poet, his 
parents removed to a "Fold," called "Waterside," situated about a mile 
and a half out of town. When this change of abode took place, the future 
bard was but a few months old ; to him, therefore, "Waterside" has all 
the charms of a birth-place. Near as it now is to the great centre of the 
worsted trade, it was, half a century ago, a picturesque and quiet 
spot, consisting of the farmstead, with its outbuildings, and three cottages, 
tenanted, as such places mostly were at that period, by weavers and wool- 
combers. Some few years after the removal to Waterside, the father left 
the loom, and entered the warehouse of Richard Fawcett, in whose service 
he remained seventeen years ; but his advancement necessitated a change 
of residence a sore trial to the son, who loved the green pastures better 
than the pavement. After a few years of town life, and town schooling, 
the bard was bound apprentice to the father's employers, and served six 
years to the trade of wool-sorting. It was during his apprenticeship 
that his rhymes first saw the light of day; the Bradford Observer 
inserting his maiden poem. Soon after attaining manhood, our poet 
entered the holy state of matrimony. Wool-combing was then on the 
decline, and as time and changes brought him more and more in con- 
tact with the world, he became a witness of the way in which purse-proud 
tyranny ground down the poor and weak. Scenes of this kind are calculated 
to awaken the ire of moat men, but in the poet, wrath is intensified a 
hundred fold, and too often becomes undiscriminating. To experiences of 



Benjamin Preston. 170 



this kind we trace that con tempt for the " Factory Lord " which peeps out 
in " Aw nivver can call hur mi wife," which shows itself more plainly in 
" Uncle Ben," and which culminates in scourging, slashing sarcasm in 
" T' Short Timer." But twenty years and more of town life began to tell upon 
the poet's health. The close air of the warehouse, the dusty atmosphere, 
and the monotonous work, were all against him. At one time of his life, an 
inflammation of the lungs, at another, an ailment almost as serious, warned 
him off the ground. At last, after yearning as Abraham Cowley never did. 
for " a small house and a large garden," both were given to him. When 
the common lands of Bingley were enclosed, an allotment of two-and- 
a-half acres was awarded to Alfred Harris, jun.; this the poet bought, 
erected a house thereon, and to it removed himself and family, in 
May, 1865. Edward Sugden, in a lecture " On the Poetry of Common 
Life," after remarking that Benjamin Preston has, not inappropriately, 
been called "the Burns of Bradford," says that "satire, sentiment, 
vivid description, are all within the range of his powers ; and 
in each he is equally at home." In several popular poems, expressed 
in the broadest Bradford dialect, and spelt in a way to reduce to despair 
any man but an habitual reader of the " Fonetik Nuz." he launches at 
some prevailing faults of the class to which they are addressed the uhaftH 
of his ridicule, feathered for flight with poetry, and pointed with keen wit, 
but never envenomed by malignity ; for he is genial when ir.ost severe. 
He is also a master of the pathetic, and many a manly eye, " albeit, unused 
to the melting mood," has been surprised into a tear of sympathy with the 
patient sorrow of his " poor weaver, whom poverty has forbidden to 
marry." " Nature, and the author of these word pictures," sayi Edwin 
Waugh, " have evidently formed a co-partnership ; let us hope that many- 
years will elapse before the dissolution conies." However remarkable the 
dialect poems may be, Mr. Preston's great excellence is to be found in his 
other works some of which have been pronounced unsurpassed in the whole 
range of English literature His " Adelphos," The Mariner*' 
Church," and lines " On the Death of James Waddington," are, perhaps, 
his finest compositions. 

Mr. Preston sold his property at Gilstead, and now resides in a 
commodious and retired house near the upper part of Eldwick Olen. 
Here, at various times, he has written, inter alia, many articles on social 
and other questions, which have chiefly seen the light in The Yorkihirrma*. 
In 1880 the whole of his poetical works, so far as they could be trace*!, 
were gathered together by Mr. T. T. Empsall, and published in the follow- 
ing year by Thos. Brear, of Kirkgate, Bradford. 

J. E. PMWTOX. 

AW NIVIR CAN CALL HUR MY WIFE. 

Aw'm a weyvcr ya knaw, an awf deead, 

So a\v du all at iver a\v can 
Ta put away aat o' my heead 

The thowts an the aims of a man ! 



180 North Country Poets. 



Eight shillin a wick's whot aw arn. 

When aw've varry gooid wark an full time, 
An aw think it a sorry consarn 

Fur a hearty young chap in his prime ! 

But ar maister says things is as well 

As they hae been, ur ivir can be ; 
An aw happen sud think soa mysel, 

If he'd nobud swop places wi me ; 
But he's welcome ta all he can get, 

Aw begrudge him o' noan o' his brass, 
An aw'm nowt bud a madlin ta fret, 

Ur ta dream o' yond bewtiful lass ! 

Aw nivir can call hur my wife, 

My love aw sal niver mak knawn, 
Yit the sorra that darkens hur life 

Thraws a shadda across o' my awn ; 
An aw'm suar when hur heart is at eeas, 

Thear is sunshine an singin i' mine, 
An misfortunes may come as they pleeas, 

Bud they nivir can mak ma repine. 

That Chartist wur nowt bud a sloap, 

Aw wur fooild be his speeches an rhymes, 
His promises wattered my hoap, 

An aw leng'd fur his sunshiny times ; 
But aw feel 'at my dearist desire 

Is withrin within ma away, 
Like an ivy stem trailin it mire 

An deein" fur t'want of a stay ! 

When aw laid i' my bed day an neet, 
An wur geen up by t'doctur for deead 

God bless hur shoo'd come wi a leet 
An a basin o' grewil an breead ; 



Benjamin i'reston. 181 



An a once tho\vt aw'd aht wi' it all, 
Bud sa kindly shoo chattud an sir.iled, 

Aw wur fain tu turn ovvur to t'wall, 
An ta bluther an sob like a child ! 

An aw said as aw thowt of her een, 

Each breeter fur't tear at wur in't ; 
It's a sin to be nivir furgeen 

To yoke hur ta famine an stint ! 
So aw'l e'en travel forrud thru life, 

Like a man thru a desert unknawn, 
Aw mun ne'er hev a hoain an a wife, 

Bud my sorras will all be my awn. 

Soa aw' trudge on aloan as aw owt, 
An whativir my troubles may be, 

They'll be sweetened, my lass, wi' the thowt 
That aw've nivir browt trouble ta thee ; 

Yit a burd hes its young uns ta ganl, 
A wild beast, a mate in his den ; 

An aw cannot but think that its hard- 
Nay, deng it, awm roarin' agon ! 



TVVEYVVR'S DEEATH. 



Aw Mary, me heart's dlad an fain 

Once moar ta see t'shine o the ix- 
I darknass, an wakena'js, an pain 

Awve watched an awvr waitud 
Shool suarly be cummin " aw 

If it be bud ta bowstur uu- lu-t 
It wor nobbud for this that aw 

Soa long ameng fdeeing an fdccad. 



1 82 North Country Poets. 

Ave lenged wol e ardly cud bide 

Ta tell tha what's passin within ; 
But nah, when tu't set be me side 

Aw cannot tell hah ta begin ; 
Aw mud just as weel tell tha me case, 

Awve a doctor, a nurse, an all that, 
Bud don't let me breathe i' the face 

All ther skill an ther care is ta lat. 

Aw Mary, as dear as me life, 

Awve loved the this mony a year 
If aw ne'er tried ta mak tha me wife, 

Twor becos that aw felt tha sa dear ; 
An awve thowt that tha's liked ma as weel, 

An that clasp o' the hand maks it knawn ; 
Soa, lat as it is, lass, aw feel 

That it face o' two worlds thart me awn ! 

Thaw here aw wur nivir nowt worth, 

An's a pauper as hard as awve striven, 
Yet suar as awve loved tha on earth, 

Soa suar aw sal love tha in heaven. 
Does ta hear that queer saand i' me chest, 

It's a sign at me clock's at a stand, 
Let ma leyn ma poar heead on the breast, 

An dunnot leave off o' my hand. 

Ice'd a liked tha to sing ma that hymn, 

That sweet hymn tha sang me t'last May, 
Bud rny sect's gotten claady an dim, 

An all things is fading away. 
Still, still, aw can see the sweet face, 

As it sinks like a sun aht ot sect, 
Bud a glory is filling this place, 

An the shadows grow rosy and breet. 



Benjamin Preston. 183 



Ta see what aw see tha'd be charmed, 
The fields where in childhood we trod ; 

An my sowl feels all leetud an wanned 
Wi' the love an the presence o' God. 

All's peaceful an breet as the morn, 

All faces seem fain that awve come ; 

An softly an sweetly aboon, 

The angels play " Home, home, sweet home." 

Aw dreamt that sore sorras awd knawn, 

That me lot wor to hunger an weep ; 
Bud aw see nah, be fleet o' this dawn, 

That my life wor a dream an a sleep ; 
A wm near it, that bewteful land, 

Wear sweeat drops, an tears nivir fall, 
Wear brother taks brother by't hand, 

An the Lord, like a sun, shines on all. 



THE MARINERS' CHURCH. 

Banks of the Mersey ! afar and on high- 
Masts, like a pine forest, crowding the \ 
Clouds on the waters and clouds on the shor 
This way and that way a rush and a roa 
Steamboat, and omnibus, each with its 
Churning the billow, and shaking the road 
Crowds, like dead leaves, by the whirl* 
Hitherward, thitherward, hurried am 
Hubbub and tumult for ever and eve 
Dust on the highway, and foam on tl 

Pleasure boats start to the sound of thr 
Friends of dear friends, take the last 
Labourer's sweat-drop, and Km., 
Fall down together and darken il 



184 North Country Poets. 



Harlots in satin, with graces untold, 
Offer you friendship, love, all things for gold : 
Harlots in tatters, too ! smelling of gin 
Wrecked long ago on the breakers of sin ! 
Merchant ! whose warehouse is half of a street, 
Passing poor Lazarus, crouched at his feet. 
Ladies and dandies perfuming the air ; 
Troops of rank sweaters all heated and bare : 
Numbers unnumber'd, and mixed with the throngs ; 
Men of all nations, and kindreds, and tongues ! 
Spot on the world's deck, where pass in review 
Types of the races that make up her crew ! 
Messmates that still thro' Time's watches employed ; 
Man the great Air Ship, that sails thro' the void. 

Thro' the dense multitudes, handsome and brave 
Moved a stout sailor boy, fresh from the wave, 
Dealing out freely the jest or the curse ; 
Joy in his countenance gold in his purse 
Riot, wild revel, and brawl in his plans, 
Daring the sea's wrath, and laughing at man's ! 
Onward he goes, till a sound in his ears 
Startles his soul, and he bursts into tears ; 
Suddenly, softly, steal forth into air, 
Words of thanksgiving, repentance, and prayer ! 
Lo ! near his feet, like a dove on her perch, 
Sits on the still wave, the Mariners' Church ! 
There some poor seamen, each finding a brother ; 
Sing of Christ Jesus, the God of his mother, 
Sing too, the words, that in life's dawning years, 
Lips silent now, sweetly sang in his ears ! 
Enters the prodigal, leaving without 
Laughter and uproar, the curse and the shout ! 
Enters, and humbled, and melted, and shaken, 
Turns to the Father, forgotten, forsaken, 



Benjamin Preston. 



185 



Heeding not, hearing not, what men are saying, 
Down on his knees he is weeping and praying ; 
Weeping and praying, while lovingly o'er him 
Hovers an angel, the mother that bore him ! 
She, whose delight was to shield and caress him, 
She, whose last words were a whispered " God bless him.' 
Home of the homeless one found without search- 
Blessings rain on thee, Mariners' Church ! 
Friend of the friendless one, found without search, 
Stand thou for ever a Mariners' Church. 




1 86 



North Country Poets. 



The Earl of Carlisle. 




T is a curious fact that so few members of our patrician 
families have distinguished themselves as poets. Our 
Chaucers and Shakesperes and Miltons, our Drydensand 
Popes, our Wordsworths and Coleridges and Tennysons, 
have all sprung from the middle class of society. Lord 
Byron is the one solitary instance of a peer occupying a 
front rank in poetry. The Duke of Buckingham, Lord 
Dorset, Lord Houghton, and a few other noblemen have 
written poetry of a high class, but compared with the above names, they 
can only be considered as second or third rate versifiers. To the same 
category may be assigned the Earl of Carlisle, who, although he has pro- 
duced some pleasing poems, replete with sweetness of versification, 
beauty of utterance, amiability of sentiment and tenderness of feeling, he 
has written nothing that will live to after ages. His family present a 
remarkable instance of the heredity of literary genius and aesthetic tastes. 
Charles, the 3rd Earl, the builder of the palatial Castle Howard, was a 
statesman ; a man of artistic and literary talents, and is mentioned in 
Walpole's " Eoyal and Noble Authors" as " a poet of no mean ability." 
Frederick, the 5th Earl, was the author of several dramas and poems, and 
displayed a fine artistic discrimination by purchasing from the Palais 
Royal, during the French Revolution, the famous " Three Maries," of 
Annibal Caracci, which caused so great a sensation at the Manchester 
Exhibition, in 1857. The Earl, who is the subject of this sketch, was born 
in 1802 ; died cocl. in 1864, and was buried in the mausoleum at Castle 
Howard. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he took the 
highest classical honours, and carried off the prizes for both Latin and 
English verse. He was a nobleman of great reputation as a statesman, an 
orator, and a man of letters ; he was equally esteemed for his amiability of 
character and virtue ; beloved by his tenantry, respected by the electors of 
Yorkshire, and revered by the Irish people. He represented Morpeth and 
West Yorkshire in Parliament ; was Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1835-41 ; 
Chief Commissioner for Woods and Forests, 1840-50 ; Chancellor of the 
Duchy of Lancaster, 1850-52 ; and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 1855-58, 
and 1869-64. He was also Lord Rector of the University of Aberdeen in 
1853, and was a Vice-Prcsident of the Bible Society. In Parliament, he 
introduced and carried no less than thirteen Bills, including the Irish 
Tithe Bill, Municipal Bill, and Poor-Law Bill. He travelled extensively 
in America and the East ; published a narrative of his Asiatic wanderings, 
and lectured at Leeds on his Transatlantic experiences. 

On leaving Ireland, in 1841, he was presented with an address of satis- 
faction on 400 feet of parchment, signed with 257,000 names ; and the same 
year, when he lost his election for West Yorkshire, he was presented by the 



The Earl of Carlisle. 187 



Freeholders with a wine-cooler of bog-oak, mounted in silver, with the 
arms of the twenty-five polling-places engraven thereon ; and in 1853 wu 
presented with the freedom of Edinburgh. 

His statue has been erected in Carlisle and in Dublin ; his bust placed 
in Morpeth Town Hall ; a Grecian Column erected at a cost of 2061, on 
Bulmer Hill, near Castle-Howard ; and a monument fixed in Hrampton 
Church, Cumberland, all by public subscription as memorials of the 
esteem in which he was held. His portrait was frequently painted, and 
his memoir is given in Lonsdale's " Worthies of Cumberland," 1872. 

The following is a list of his Lordship's writings : " Eleusis," Latin 
Prose Poem, 1821 ; " Paestum," English Prose Poem, 1821 ; "The Last of 
the Greeks: a Tragedy," 1828; "America," Lecture at Leeds, 1H50; 
"The Poetry of Pope," Lecture at Leeds, 1852 ; " The Poetry of Grey," 
Lecture at Sheffield, 1852; "A Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters." 
1854; "The Second Vision of Daniel," in verse; "Italy," a Poem; 
" Poetical and Historical View of the Chief Scenes of Interest in York- 
shire "; "Vice-Eegal Speeches and Addresses," Posthumous, I860; 
" Poems," selected by his sisters, Posthumous, 18G'J. 

FKKUERICK ROSB, F.R.U.S. 

THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN 1834. 



Proudly on Cressy's tented wold 
The lion-flag of England flew ; 

As proudly gleamed its crimson fold 
O'er the dun heights of Waterloo, 

But other lyres shall greet the brave ; 

Sing now that we have freed the slave. 

The ocean plain where Nelson bled, 
Fair commerce plies with peaceful oar 

Duteous o'er Britain's clime to shed 
The gathered spoils of every shore : 

To-day across the Atlantic Sea, 

Shout shout ye, that the slave is free. 

And eloquence in rushing streams 

Has flow'd our halls and courts alon K ', 

Or kindled 'mid yet loftier dreams 
The glowing bursts of glorious song, 

Let both their noblest burden pou 

To tell that slavery is no 



1 88 North Country Poets. 

Bright science through each field of space 
Has urged her mist-dispelling car, 

Coy Nature's hidden reign to trace, 

To weigh each wind and count each star, 

Yet stay, thou proud philosophy, 

First stay to bid mankind be free. 

And freedom has been long our own, 
With all her soft and generous train, 

To gild the lustre of the throne, 
And guard the labours of the plain ; 

Ye heirs of ancient Runnymede ! 

Your slaves Oh ! could it be ! are freed. 

'Mid the drear haunts of force and strife, 
The ministers of peace shall stand, 

And pour the welling words of life, 
Around a parched and thirsty land ; 

While spread beneath the tamrind tree, 

Rise " happy homes and altars free." 

Ye isles, that court the tropic rays, 
Clustered on ocean's sapphire breast ; 

Ye feathery bowers, ye fairy bays, 
In more than fable now " the blest," 

Waft on each gale your choral strain, 

Till every land has rent the chain. 

England, empire's home and head, 
First in each art of peace and power, 

Mighty the billow crest to tread, 
Mighty to rule the battle hour 

But mightiest to relieve and save, 

Rejoice that thou hast freed the slave. 



The Earl of Carlisle. 189 



NIAGARA FALLS. 



There's nothing great or bright, though glorious Fall 

Thou may'st not to the fancy's sense recall, 

The thunder-riven cloud, the lightning's leap, 

The stirring of the chambers of the deep ; 

Earth's emerald green, and many-tinted dyes, 

The fleecy whiteness of the upper skies ; 

The tread of armies thickening as they come, 

The boom of cannon and the beat of drum ; 

The brow of beauty and the form of grace, 

The passion and the powers of our race ; 

The song of Homer in its loftiest hour, 

The unresisted sweep of Roman power, 

Britannia's trident of the azure sea, 

America's young shout of liberty ! 

may the wars, that madden in thy deeps, 

There spend their rage, nor climb the encircling steeps ; 

And, till the conflict of thy surges cease, 

The nations on thy banks repose in peace. 



i go 



North Country Poets. 



Anthony Buckle, B.A. 




NTHONY BUCKLE was born in 1838, at Barden, in the 
parish of Hauxwell, where the father of " Sister Dora," 
the Rev. M. J. Pattison, was rector. He was educated at 
the Corporation School, Richmond, Yorkshire, and was 
trained as a schoolmaster -at the Training College, 
York, under the late Rev. Canon Robinson, during 1857 
and 1858, where he was appointed one of the assistant 
masters. In 1863 he was appointed by the Education 
Department as assistant to the Rev. F. Wackins, H.M. Inspector of Schools ; 
and took the degree of B.A., at London, in 1865. He was elected 
superintendent of the Yorkshire School for the Blind, in 1869. In 1883, 
in order to illustrate the history of the King's Manor, York, he took up, in 
leisure hours, the art of etching. After the work by the late Mr. Davies 
had been illustrated, he continued the bewitching art ; and then, Mr. Jack- 
son, of Leeds, brought out a series of " Yorkshire Etchings and Sonnets," 
by him, some illustrations of which are here given. 

R. V. TAYLOR, B.A. 



SISTER DORA. 



Heroic soul, with tenderest woman's heart ! 
How, nobly listening to the Master's voice 
Thou yieldest all to Him, and didst rejoice 
That 'midst His suffering poor, to thee the part 

Was given, by skilful hands to soothe the smart 

And ease the throbbing pangs of pain ! Thy choice, 

How far above the worldling's empty joys ! 

In memories dear how deep enshrined thou art ! 

happy soul ! thou didst attain the bliss 
Of following Him who walked in Galilee, 
Dark Galilee, all loving, all alone ; 

His joys on earth thou surely didst not miss ; 
And when thy work was done, He sent for thee, 
And made thee yet more utterly His own. 



Anthony Buckle, B.A. 



KIRKSTALL ABBEY. 

Deal gently, Time, with all these reliques grand 
Of ages gone. In their decay, how fair 
'Midst nature's loveliest scenes they meekly stand, 
With all their wealth of ornament laid hare ; 

And seem from out of windows blank to stare 
In every lovely vale throughout the land ! 
How many a weary heart found shelter there, 
And pining want and pain, the helping hand ! 

heart of man, with frailties manifold ! 

Like Time, he no harsh judge of glories gone, 
But ivy-like, with tender pity hide 

The human weakness of those times of old, 
And let their beauties for their faults atone, 
And scenes like these in memory ever bide. 



O CRUCIFIED ! 



O Crucified, with arms outstretched so wide ! 
Those loving arms, that in their dear embrace 
Would fain enfold us all, we ask Thy grace. 
That we may take our stand Thy cross beside ; 

While from Thy wounded heart the cleansing tide 
Of precious blood upon our souls may fall, 
To wash from every sin and make us all 
Worthy within those arms for aye to bide ; 

That, wearied with the toil and cares of life. 
We there may listen to Thy words of cheer, 
And lean our aching head upon Thy breast ; 

Awhile forget the vain world's \\orthle- 
Sooth'd by those tones of comfort, s' 
" Come unto Me, and I will give you re*t." 



192 North Country Poets. 



YORK MINSTER. 



Majestic pile ! glorious house Divine ! 
Of beauty-loving souls the witness grand, 
That tells of hearts devout and cunning hand, 
Skilful alike to trace those carvings fine, 

And rear the stately shaft like graceful pine ! 
In love of beauteous art how well they plann'd, 
And wrought, until, as though with magic wand, 
They raised God's house, so fair to shine 

In morning's beam, or in the rosy light 
Of eve to stand, a joy for every eye ; 
Or 'neath the moonbeams pale in silent night, 

Like fair white heavenly watcher standing by 
To speak to man of boundless hopes, all bright, 
That reach from earth into eternity. 



HOME. 



Blest word, thou dost recall the dearest place 
Our hearts have ever known or lov'd ; where we 
In childhood's years long past, so glad and free, 
Could always find that smiling, love-lit face 

Of mother, in whose sheltering, warm embrace, 
Our childish griefs were hush'd all peacefully 
To rest. In her sweet love we seem'd to see 
That love which time nor death can e'er efface. 

memories dear ! To hearts cast down and tried 
Ye come like gentle breezes from above, 
To cool our aching brow at eventime, 

And fill us with a longing deep to bide, 
Within the arms of everlasting love 
The cares and sorrows of our manhood's prime. 



George Roberts Hedley. 



193 



George Roberts Hedley. 




F all our northern poets George Roberts Hedley is perhaps 
the nearest akin to that species of versifier which 
comes under the beautifully associative designation of 
Bard. He sings upon occasion. He recognises the soul- 
appeal, the suggestiveness of an occurrence, an aspect, 
a current sentiment, and straightway pours it forth in a 
lay that recalls in its spontaneous flow the grandly simple 
song-flood of Ossian, If it is done with secret labour we 
are rarely aware of it, and never does his verse impress its mechanism upon 
us. To attempt this style is fatal ; it must be accomplished without effort, and 
in a great measure without consciousness. In this respect wo may call Hed- 
ley a strong poet. To urge such a Pegasus as he rides would be (to repeat) 
fatal ; to check him would be to mar and dock him to worthlessness. It is 
this last consideration the example he furnishes that first thoughts are 
best which gives us a true comparison for his poetry. We have spoken 
of that of Ossian,* but simply as a comparison of the unobstructed flow of 
the poetic fountain. Where we find the greatest similarity in tendency of 
thought, construction of language, and above all, in the undeleted record of 
first impressions, is in Herrick. Hedley is the Herrick of the nineteenth 
century. He has been compared with Burns partly on account of his 
semi-amorous pieces but lacks a blemish or two to make such a comparison 
in that connection just ; that there are points of likeness, however, must 
be admitted not that he's like Burns the less, but Herrick more. 

It is a great thing for men as readers and thinkers that the achieve- 
ments of their forefathers are permanently before them ; but for the true poet 
of our day it is individually more a misfortune. As all things material are 
governed by relentless laws, scarcely less, does it seem, is the universe of 
ideas ranged by an orderly circle of rules iuto, not an exhaustible series, 
but a series whose ultimate differences are becoming evanescent or un- 
worthy subtleties. Do we want other example than the enormous quantity 
of verse the world now produces ; the tiny brooklets which have been over- 
leaped to reach the fuller streams of Northern Poetry are evidence, 

If we find Hedley in his robust course occasionally striking a sounding 
note upon a string which has been wont to vibrate associatively with the 
names of Burns, Herrick, or another, we shall also find that it is not more 
theirs than his, for Nature has given him a gamut in tune with her own. 
The proof of the melody is in the hearer. 

We will not limit Mr. Hedley's merits to his pastorals, though they 
cannot be unmentioned. It has been said that they have the true byre- 
* In questions of critical comparison of this nature, Ossian it should be, nnJ no other 
name. A student of Macpherson's collections and compositions, if he will not believe 
that the spirit of those words was ever attuned to Ossian's harp, must fill bck upon 
some Pythagorean theory. 



194 North Country Poets. 



whiff and hay- smell of the country ; a long and enjoyed rural experience 
has rendered Nature's breath for him here almost an inspiration. 

His songs to female beauty are delicate, though often glowing, pictures 
that have no moral flaw. His narrative compositions narrative rather by 
suggestion and implication than by statement are most touching, and 
shew the gift of sympathy which should be in every man, but must be in 
every poet. 

He is happy in lines where satire reigns, and his pieces of chastise- 
ment are marked by great powers of, and the unrestrained use of. invective ; 
these character-cameos are valuable studies, and we could wish them more 
numerous. 

Mr. Hedley's verse includes the use of many archaic words and ex- 
pressions, which would be a fault were it not that they are so well chosen, 
being chiefly such as impart to the verse a dignity born of a chivalrous 
origin. 

George Koberts Hedley was born at Ovington, on the north bank of the 
Tyne, in 1833, a scion of the fighting, farming clan of Hedley, of Reed- 
water, and himself a typical Border lord in all but the lawlessness of that 
ancient character and the want of refinement that rude times almost 
invariably produce. A farmer all his life, he has been such a farmer as 
would buy among a choice of fertile land that which was most picturesque ; 
and who, in the midst of co-appreciative friends, would salute from his 
hall door his glorious view bathed in a golden sunset, with a bumper of 
good red wine in true poetic fashiou. Such a farm is Thistlebottom that 
it is not surprising that it should be so chosen, so drank to, so sung. 

Mr. Hedley published his first volume of poems in 1885, and a politi- 
cal satire entitled " Four Years of Misrule," in 1886. 

_________ T. TlNDALL WlLDRIDGE. 

THE BALACLAVA CHARGE. 



Forth flew the dire command 

For Lucan to advance, 
Forth dashed his gallant band, 

Swift as a meteor's glance. 

Five hundred to each man, 
In horrent phalanx stood ; 

And, from each flank and van, 
Death's bullets drank our blood. 

In agony intense 

Whole armies watched the shock, 
Till, through their columns dense, 

As lightning cleaves the rock, 



George Roberts Hedley. 195 



Full flashed our gallant band, 

Like deities on earth, 
And scattered o'er the strand 

These vultures of the North. 

But quick the conflict thickens, 
Outnumbered and enthralled ; 

Each pulse to madness quickens 
Girt, goaded, not appalled. 

Hoarse roar the Russian cannon, 
Fierce gleams the British blade, 

As rank from rank is riven, 
Each foeman prostrate laid. 

White foams the jaded steed, 
Red reeks the slippery sward, 

As back to back they bleed, 

Dash forward, smite, and guard. 

Hurrah ! shouts Cardigan, 
.As bloodier grows the fight, 

Let horde on horde come on, 

They may slay, but ne'er affright. 

Heaped barriers of their dead 
Shall be laid on every yard ; 

And our best blood stain the glade, 
Ere one cry for quarter's heard. 



THE SEA IN ITS FURY. 

A FRAGMENT WRITTEN AT TYXKMOCTH IN 187!. 



The revels of the winds and waves are over, 

The shores are strewn with wrecks of dead men's homes 
Sick are the hearts of many a friend and lover 

For creatures dear, now lost in watery tombs ! 



196 North Country Poets. 

The roaring ocean, like a savage wild beast 

Who's gorged his bowels with prey of every kind, 
Now sinks to rest, and with its froth and mild yeast 

Just laps the shore for peacefulness inclined. 
The raging tiger of the wild and prairie, 

So smooths his rough face when destruction's done ; 
And licks the blood gouts from his cheeks so hairy 

Ere other deeds of terror are begun. 
O sea ! beatific in thy glassy mildness, 

Could'st thou but know the depths of suffering caused 
By these, the last acts of thy lashing wildness, 

Amidst thy frightful fury thou would'st paused. 
The peaceful shores lie strewn with rib and rafter, 

Huge massy plate, long beam, and iron bar, 
Twisted and rent, amidst thy savage laughter 

And man's poor prayers, while sea-gods were at war. 
Amidst the wreckage, white with spume and splinter, 

There lies thy stalwart son, a sailor bred ; 
Headless, blanched, stark naked in mid winter 

Thy foam his shroud, thy rocks his latest bed. 
In yonder cove, upon the red-brown shingle, 

Behold a form look white as mountain snow ; 
A woman tender, whose fair hair doth mingle 

With sand and shells, and weeds from ocean's flow. 
Without the bar, beneath yon towering castle, 

A Titan form is swept with furious force ; 
It grasps an oar, and in its long death wrestle 

Swims like a Viking, or a King of Norse ! 
Dash'd from wave to wave, through trough and current, 

Wrecked from his ship that noble being fought 
Ten hours 'gainst death, cold, cruel, and abhorrent ; 

Then lifeless sank close to the shore he sought. 
Beside, around, on rocks and sandy beaches 

On lonely isle, in haven smooth and calm, 
The storm-fiend's work is seen, and grimly teaches 

How all thy smiles, O ocean ! are a sham. 



George Roberts Hedley. 197 



Perhaps far off some group half nude is starving, 

On barren rock where cormorants perch and prey ; 
And nought is heard save they and billows carving 

Their grotesque caves where sea brutes swash and slay. 
Where many months they've watched with aching eyeballs 

For some poor sail to beckon them in vain ; 
And swept the waves each hour to where the sky falls 

To water line, but blankness doth remain. 
Nor food, nor fuel, save what seas may yield them, 

In fish and wreckage on this frigid isle ; 
Nor house, nor cave, save sodded huts to shield them 

From freezing winds, while suns refuse to smile. 



DOWN AMONG THE YELLOW FIELDS. 



Down among the yellow fields, 

Where buttercups and daisies grow, 
And where the fragrant hawthorn yields 

Its sweetness in long lines of snow, 
I met my love a-plucking May, 

Her hand far whiter than its flower : 
She trembled as I bade her stay, 

And blushed, a rose in lilied bower. 
The mavis sang his love-mate's charms 

From 'midst a copse of golden broom ; 
The starling, free from love's alarms, 

Sat in her beech-bole nest of gloom ; 
The eager kine, with odorous breath, 

In line lushed o'er the flowering sward ; 
And from each sister vale and strath 

All sounds of peace and love were heard. 
Nor song of bird nor sight of kine, 

Nor vernal breaths of life so gay, 
Can ever half my joys define, 

With Marian sweet a-plucking May. 



198 North Country Poets. 



SONG. 



Bard of the West, whose tender chords 
Through Taff and Ehymny echo still ; 

Bard of the West, whose magic words 
Could wake to love and bliss at will ; 

Your votive incense still remains, 

And breathes in Charlotte's mellowed strains. 

Come weave a wreath of flowerets bright 

To bind my lady's raven hair 
Primroses yellow, daisies white, 

Camelias ever rich and rare ; 
Still on your steeps the wild flower grow r s, 
And in your valleys blooms the rose. 

And pour your pure libations down, 

From towering crag to mead and sedge, 

Where sleep the wild geese white and brown, 
Then cleave the ether like a wedge ; 

The streams of Wales are nectar sweet 

To those whose hearts in Hymen meet. 

0, fair and true ! 0, fair and true ! 

Dear daughter of my native land ; 
Sweet branch of Bard I fly to you, 

With Cambrian trophies in my hand ; 
Old Cambria's harp must still be strung 
While Charlotte lives and Love is young. 




William Rcnton. 



199 



William Renton. 




ILLIAM RENTON, son of the Rev. Alexander Renton, 
was born in Hull, February 6th, 1850. He was educated 
at the Edinburgh Academy, Kornthal, near Stuttgart, 
and the Edinburgh University. He is Scottish by 
descent. The family to which he owes his origin is that 
of the Rentons, of Renton, in Berwickshire ; hence the 
strong current of Scottish sympathies which may be 
observed in his poems. 
Mr. Renton has adopted the profession of letters, and now lives at 
Randapike, a lovely cottage in a delightful wood near Ambleside, in the 
Lake District. Prior to his settlement there, he resided for some years in 
the Highlands of Scotland, and divided his time betwixt the contemplation 
of Nature in her misty mountain solitudes, and the study of Art in Paris, 
Rome, and Florence. 

His chief works are as follow :" The Logic of Style," 1*71; "Oils 
and Water-Colours," 1876; "Jesus," 1879; " Bishopspool," 1883; "The 
Analytic Theory of Logic," 1887. 

The subjoined poems are extracted from that overflowing storehouse of 
colour, entitled " Oils and Water-Colours," which no painter should be- 
without, but which is, I understand, unfortunately out of print: it will be 
found that they are chiefly characterised by vigorous artistic feeling. Mr. 
Renton is by no means a stranger to the palette, and it is quite clear that 
he sees Nature invariably with the artist's eye, revelling in colour, quaint 
conceits, and high individual expression. The originality of his genius is 
apparent in nearly all his poetical pieces ; his thoughts are not usually 
" cribbed, cabined, and confined " by the harsh exigencies of metre, but lie 
allows his graceful fancy to run away with the pen into the cloistered, 
nectared by-ways of the Muses, and sets it spinning exquisite little 
tendrils of rhyme and haunting suggestions of mystical thought in un- 
measured strands of wording; dipping his brush into the ever changing 
mountain glories of colour, to give us subtle sketches of that never-to-be- 
forgotten Poets' Paradise, Lakeland. 



JOHN WALKI:K. 



THE GARDEN OF A DAY. 



Our wood has tall and slender lines. 
The stream runs steep beneath the pine.- 
By stump and stone it runs alone, 
It will not own a helping hand, 
But picks its way on either strand : 
And if a stone say " why," 
It makes a pout 



2OO North Country Poets. 

And gives him the go-by, 

Stirring the butter wort about. 
This stream, it is our running fence 
For our sweet garden-innocence. 

The leaf is sweet 

And gently closes 

About the feet 
Of the gold-moth rock-roses 

That same gentle knight who poses, 

Bead the scutcheon on his shield : 

Whiskers, on a golden field ! 
White-bugle gapes and scents afar 
After all honeyed scents that are. 

Stellaria, star-gazing silver star, 
Smiles through the chasm of the shrouds, 
Coquetting with the silver clouds. 
The speedwell true fronts the sky-blue ; 
And there are plots and plots and plots 

We know them as of old, 

Forget-me-nots, 
In lavender and grain of gold : 

The bubble birdsfoot, laid at rest, 

Dilates the saffron of its breast, 

The saffron of its morion-crest. 
The spread-wing milkwort, and the cell 

Of the dim bell 
That hangs the head and saith, " 'Tis well,' 

Are purple round the still 

Gold of the tormentil, 
Three crosslets on a mound but they 

Are gay as other flowers are gay, 

Where all are quiet round, 

And listen to the running sound, 
The water's roundelay. 

It is enchanted ground, 
This garden of a day ! 



William Renton. 201 



TO THE FADING BEECH. 



Fare on, dear Beech ! thy dead leaves tremble down, 

Thy hundred wounds are vivid in the sky ; 

The russet clustering fringes scarce belie 
The furrows riven on thy giant crown. 
The dead leaves drop : the very sod is brown 

With fallen umbrage shrivelled far and nigh. 

But when thy bravest shall be fain to die, 
And thou swart-grey in grey fret not nor frown ; 
Thy fallen rally from the quick of hell ; 

They will be powers ere the year is gone ! 
Even as we pass, thou kindlest to the spell ; 

Thou wilt be crimson when we look anon. 
We pass and know ; we only say farewell. 

Vast is thy heritage ! Brave Beech, fare on ! 

AFTEETHOUGHT. 

Even so, dear Beech, we would be wise with thee, 
Who have our dead leaves beaten down by fate, 
Our living blown by many a dead man's gate. 
We know the abasement of adversity, 
But not its patience ; in our apathy 
Are only not enough dispassionate, 
Who languish when we should be bravely great- 
Yet bluster when we should be silent. We 
Are maimed of shadows, wrought upon of straws, 
Dealing our smiles by lot, our frowns in zeal 

Of dull mischance. Ah ! might we learn the laws 

Of just forgetfulness, the genial cause 
Of timeous hope, we should be free to feel 
And live a life transcending woe or weal. 



2O2 



North Country Poets. 



George Hull. 




'pORGE HULL was born on May 10th, 1863, at Black- 
x burn. He did not " lisp in numbers," nor was he 
at all aware that he possessed the gift of song until he 
was in his late " teens ; " but the perusal of Longfellow's 
poems, and the charming prose romance of " Hyperion," 
settled the matter -beyond doubt, for he set to work at 
once, and poem after poem was despatched to different 
magazines, the first of his productions being inserted in 
Facts and Fancies some half-dozen years ago. Since then, Mr. Hull has 
written for the Lamp, a Eoman Catholic Magazine, a considerable quantity 
of devotional poetry, in which the influence of Adelaide Procter and Long- 
fellow may be clearly traced ; in addition, Mr. Hull contributed a series of 
papers entitled, " Cracks bi th' Winter Fire," to The Lancashire Evening 
Post, and these were followed by a series of sketches in the dialect which 
appeared in the Preston Guardian. From one of the songs in the " Cracks " 
the following verse will best indicate the nature of his dialect work : 
When the leet fades away 
At the closin' o' day, 
An' toylin' an' scrapin' are done, 
It's merry an" sweet 
Wi' mi true mates to meet 
For an heawr or two's Lancashire fun ! 
The following are examples of his poetry. 

Jos. BARON. 



THE WINTER'S COMIN' ON, MI LASS. 



The winter's comin' on, mi lass ; 

The north wind's blowin' cowd : 
Aw'm sure we've cooarted long enough, 

It's time eawr tale wer towd, 
The brids 'at sung i' yonder tree 

Are flown across the brine, 
An' aw've a cheery hooam for thee, 

Where love's breet sun can shine. 



George Hull. 203 

Tha doesn'a want to ged mo lost 

Among the moorland snow ; 
Thi laugh belies tha when tha says 

Aw needn'd come at o. 
When t' weather's wild, we cornd ged eawt 

A-walkin' hafe an heawr ; 
There's awlus summat rough abeawt, 

A snowstorm or a sheawr. 

An' when aw come an' stop i' th' heawse, 

Yore lads mek sich a din 
That iv aw've bod two words to say 

Aw connod ged um in. 
Thi fayther will toko politics, 

An' likes a reawnd wi' me ; 
He thinks aw come a-campin' him 

An' nod a-cooartin' thee ! 

An' when there's nobry else i' th' place, 

Yore Molly ceawrs i' th' nook, 
As quate an' wakken as a meawse, 

Wi' th' papper or a book. 
Hoo reads a deeal ; an' one would think 

Her common sense would tell 
'At cooarters sometimes like an heawr 

To whisper bi' their-sel' ! 

Thi fayther thinks when fooaks ged wed 

They should hev lots o' brass, 
A mon should hev his fortune mud 

Afoor he claims his lass. 
Ay, well ! aw'm woth a field or two, 

A bonny cot an' o ; 
An' when there's steady hands at th' ploi 

Sich things arc sure to grow. 



204 North Country Poets. 

The sweetest charm o' wedded life 

Is nod i' fortunes grand ; 
It's nobbut known to th' mon an' wife 

'Ats strivin' hand-in-hand. 
The lark 'at builds her own wee nest 

Is merry wi' her mate, 
While mony a soul can find no rest 

Inside a palace gate ! 

An' neau aw've welly done, mi lass, 

Mi stooary's getten towd ; 
An' winter's comin' on, mi lass, 

The north wind's blowin' cowd, 
Come, show thi bonny e'en to me, 

Clasp thi two hands i' mine, 
An' say tha'll claim wod waits for thee, 

An' mek yon sweet cot thine ! 



THE REBOUND. 



Against a stately forest tree, 
That long through storms had held its own, 
When but a child, I flung a stone, 

Which, bounding backwards, wounded me. 

The tree bore not the slightest trace 

Of injury upon its bark ; 

Yet I for months retained the mark 
Left by that wound upon my face. 

Long afterwards, a foolish dream 

Had half destroyed my sense of right ; 
And dazzled by its visions bright, 

I rowed against Fate's mighty stream ! 



George Hull. 205 

I had a friend most fond and true, 
Who gently shewed me where I erred ; 
But, all by pride and anger stirred, 

At him a word of scorn I threw. 

He stood serenely, like the oak, 

Surrounded by the golden light 

Of conscious truth and sterling right, 
And braved, unscathed, the maddening stroke ! 

But I though years have passed away, 

And Friendship binds our souls again, 

Still feel the self-inflicted pain 
Shoot through my weary heart to-day. 

And often, when I hear him speak 

Words, noble, manly, sweet, and wise, 

With goodness beaming from his eyes, 
There comes a blush upon my cheek : 

While Conscience crushes all my frame, 
As when that cruel word of scorn 
Drove through my heart the double thorn 

Of keen remorse and lowering shame ! 




2O6 



North Country Poets. 



Carey Williams Craven. 




AREY WILLIAMS CRAVEN was born at Keighley, April 
23rd, 1855, and received his education at the elementary 
schools of that town. Early in life he commenced con- 
tributing poems and descriptive sketches to the local 
press, and also took a very active interest in political 
questions, and despite the paucity of his years, soon 
became known to the public as an original thinker, and 
of bold and decided opinions on the current topics of the 
day, and also through the telling manner in which he wrote on matters of 
local interest. The refinement and tenderness of his poetical conceptions 
now became noticeable, but, although contributing largely to local journals, 
it was not until the year 1884 that he published a collection of his poems, 
under the title of a " Wreath of Flowers," which was the means of intro- 
ducing him to the notice of many literary characters. In the same year he 
wrote the historical portion for Craven's Directory of Keighley, Bingley and 
Skipton, a work entailing a considerable amount of labour, Mr. Craven shew- 
ing a keen perception of the public requirements. About this time he became 
acquainted with H. J. Butterfield, Esq., of Cliffe Castle, who the following 
year, with characteristic generosity, furnished the means for an extended 
tour through France, Italy and Switzerland, a description of which was 
published by Mr. Craven in a work of 70 pp., entitled, " With Mr. Butter- 
field on the Continent." This pamphlet obtained a good sale and is now 
out of print. Mr Butterfield has continued to show his appreciation of 
Mr. Craven's varied talents, by the kindest encouragement and friendship. 
In 1885 he became the editor of the Keighley and Airedale Tattler, a journal 
which for about two years was exceedingly popular, and enjoyed a large 
circulation. In 1886 he commenced business on his own account as a 
printer and stationer, and published the Keighley series of poems, tales and 
sketches, and other publications. In 1887, the year of Jubilee, he on two 
occasions had the .honour of having his compositions accepted by Her 
Majesty the Queen. From the press of Mr. E. Craven, Keighley, in 1889, 
appeared a volume entitled, "Poems," containing 127 pages, and includ- 
ing his best productions. The critical press in many quarters warmly 
praised the book, and has given Mr. C. W. Craven a more than local 
reputation. From the same publisher, in 1889, a smaller work was 
issued under the title of " The Eiffel Tower, and other Poems." He was 
elected in 1887, after severe contests (his outspokenness having caused him 
many enemies) as member of the Keighley School Board and Keighley 
Town Council, in which positions he has shown that although ardently 
devoted to poetry, he possesses a shrewd intellect, and is as capable to deal 
with the more arduous duties of a popular representative, in the interests 
of his townsmen, as he has proved himself to be in literary work, both in 



Carey Williams Craven. 207 



prose and poetry. As Mr. Craven possesses that which too many lack, 
viz., a resolute will, and a devotion and perseverance both in his duties as 
a public man, and in the lighter and more congenial pleasures cf imagery, 
we may expect, as he has now altogether devoted himself to a public life, 
having given up business at the end of 1887, that his future career will be a 
successful continuation of his work to the present date. 

THOMAS SPENCER LISTKB. 



THE BRONTES. 



Amongst the hills with heather clad 

These strange and marvellous spirits grew 

Admiring Nature in its strength, 
With it they formed a compact true. 

The fragile forms, as hand in hand 
They lovingly the bleak path trod, 

Might scarcely think how great a name 
Would follow from their trust in God. 

Discouraged not by Fortune's frown, 
In hope they struggled bravely on, 

Nor ceased to labour for their right 
Till Death proclaimed the victory won. 

Save one, and he a genius born, 
In wild rebellion sunk to naught ; 

O ! what a noble soul was here, 

Had he his sisters' faith but sought. 

The good old father, upright, stern, 
In secret of his children proud, 

He watched their efforts to be great, 
Yet spoke his praises not aloud. 

The fearless Ellis, bending not, 

Whate'er her pathway might beset, 

She fought with death up to the last, 
And bravely paid her human debt. 



208 North Country Poets. 

And Acton, gently good to all, 

Shrinking from jarring worldly strife, 

She lived resigned, and passed away, 
Peace crowning her unerring life. 

A little longer Currer stayed, 
The greatest of the magic three, 

But ere she went the world bowed down 
And worshipped her ability. 

The Summer's sun may radiant smile, 
Dark Winter's cold wind howl and blast, 

But after these have ceased to be, 
The sisters' fame shall ever last. 

Enshrined in Memory's dearest nook, 
Their works immortal have a rest ; 

Humbly I now this tribute pay 
To such as rank among the best. 



A FADED ROSE. 



Within a little fancy box, 

Safely secured by lock and key, 

A sacred treasure I do keep 
One that is ever dear to me. 

It is a faded emblem now, 
Yet always fresh unto my sight, 

Touching the chords of memory sweet, 
And o'er my pathway shedding light. 

Though but the remnants of a rose, 
That fair, soft hands did once bestow, 

How much it of the past reveals, 
None but myself may ever know. 



Carey Williams Craven. 209 

" Take this, and keep it for my sake," 

In smiles and tears, she softly said ; 
How happy was I on that night 

What dreams of joy around me spread. 

But since a journey she has gone, 

To brighter climes and faii-er skies ; 
She was too frail a flower for here, 

And Heaven soon claimed her as its prize. 

When looking on the withered gift, 

I seem to see her form again, 
And wonder when we two shall meet : 

Her spirit answers low, " when ? " 



WHAT THE LARK SANG. 



Lonely, depressed, in body and in mind, 
Seeking in vain to leave the past behind, 
I sought a quiet, sheltered spot, 
Where I might muse upon my troubled lot. 

There was no chance to shirk what lay in store, 
No going back on deeds which left their sore, 
My will could not stamp out existence here, 
Nor change the bearings of a sad career. 

" Is life worth living? " questioned I at last, 
While thinking of the miseries of the past ; 
" It is not, if one never made a start- 
Thus came the answer from my bleeding heart. 

But pitchforked here, even against one's will, 
A coward's heart only would rebel still ; 
And not afraid to realise my fate, 
I then determined patiently to wait. 



2io North Country Poets. 

Silence now broke, and from the radiant sky 
I heard the lark sing in sweet ecstacy, 
And as it warbled upwards, loud and long, 
Methought I felt the spirit of its song. 

" Child of the earth ! ! why dost thou repine, 
When all the beauties of the world are thine ? 
When, after earth, there also may be given, 
The greater glories of a tranquil heaven. 

" Thou canst not go backwards, therefore look on, 
And think what the pilgrims of ages have won ; 
'Tis better by far to do right than do wrong, 

! listen to that which is good in my song ! " 

1 listened, and cheerfully took it as true, 

And from that time forward saw all things as new 
I learned then a lesson shall last me for long, 
" 'Tis better by far to do right than do wrong." 




Alfred Thomas Story. 



211 



Alfred Thomas Story. 




TILL in the prime of life, Mr. Alfred T. Story has already 
a large record of literary labour. He has been a worker 
in many fields, but such is his versatility that he has 
gathered golden produce from them all. It is chiefly as 
a votary of the poetic muse, however, that we must view 
him. He is a native of North Cave, in the East Riding 
of Yorkshire, and must therefore be included in a work 
devoted to the North of England poets ; and as such he 
deserves to take very high rank amongst them. Possibly his success as a 
writer of prose exceeds even that which he has achieved as a poet. If he 
had never written epic, elegy, ballad, or song, his romances of " Only Half 
a Hero," and " Fifine," his briefer miscellaneous tales, his numerous 
magazine sketches of men and things, and his philosophic homilies often 
cynical, but always on the humanitarian side would have marked him 
out as a man of high talent, worthy of a lasting place in the literature of his 
country. 

Before surnames came into use men were often named after their trade 
or occupation, or because of some personal peculiarity or cast of mind. 
Had the subject of our sketch lived under such conditions the patronymic 
he bears would have fitted into them. A teller of tales by nature, he 
is Alfred Story by name. With all his variety of gifts he has a special 
aptitude for narrative ; and this is shewn still more in his prose produc- 
tions than in the poetical effusions that have come under our review. 

Young Story received a fairly good education at school before entering 
into the profession of journalism, whichhe did at an early age; and alibis life 
since he has been undergoing a process of self-culture in the academy of 
experience, the lessons of which were sometimes to him bitter in the mouth, 
however profitable they might prove to be morally and intellectually. A 
few years ago, in company with another congenial spirit, he wrote " Way- 
side Thoughts " under the title of " Low Down "showing a keen sym- 
pathy with the condition of the social waifs of our largo cities, many of tlio 
character sketches having been drawn from life, and showing some of its 
shadiest aspects. As Mr. Story's career has had in it both ups and downs, 
he was all the more competent for the task of producing these ballad 
annals of the poor. Not that he ever bacams a Bohemian in the literary 
sense ; many though the difficulties were which he was fated to 
encounter, he was enabled to maintain his upward and onward career. 

As a poet, Mr. Story is fond of dealing with out-of-the-way .subjects. 
He has produced several sketches in which the grotesque and picturesque 
in rural life are graphically depicted, One of these has for its hero John 
Ambler, the village Icarus, who made wings for himself, hoping thercb 
" to get right up above the earth, and heaven's free breath to draw ; " but 



212 North Country Poets. 

after a flight of nine or ten feet, fell in the mire amid the jeers of his 
matter-of-fact neighbours. Another recounts with grim humour how 
" Samwell's Mare Maggy " was the pride of her master, though she was 
never done playing him mischievous pranks, and at length kicked him so 
savagely that he died in consequence, but retained his love for the creature 
to the last ; and how during Samwell's season of suffering, two of his 
friends, Abner, the barber, and Nathan, the wheelwright, plagued him 
with their advice, given in the style of Job's comforters. Now and again Mr. 
Story falls into a misanthropic mood as he contemplates the sufferings of 
the masses ; and at other times he applies the satiric lash to the shoulders 
of their oppressors ; or, rising into a serener atmosphere, heralds the good 
time coming with strains of hope and joy. We like him best of all, how- 
ever, when he communes with Nature at large, or celebrates her floral pets 
or feathered favourites ; making these his own in virtue of his poetic 
instincts and privileges ; or when he meditates on the past as recalled to 
his fancy by the relics of castles and abbeys old and grey. 

A provincial journal had the benefit of his first efforts in the newspaper 
line, and, these being deemed full of promise, off he hied to the great me- 
tropolis to occupy the sub-editorial chair of Human Nature, a monthly 
periodical, to which he contributed hig first poetical effusions one of them 
on children having had the honour of being extensively quoted by the 
American press. Subsequently, our adventurous journalist went to Ger- 
many, where he resided in the historical city of Frankf ort-on-the-Maine. To 
him the Fatherland was as a new world, and he levied tithe on everything 
that was within his reach for the purpose of increasing his hoards of know- 
ledge, and of being turned to account by him as a professional author. He 
saw much that was painful as well as pleasurable during the course of his 
sojourn abroad, witnessing horrors on horror's head accumulate on the 
battlefields of the Franco-German war, the pictures of which he reproduced 
in " Only Half a Hero." Two other years were spent by Mr. Story in the 
Land of Tell, he acting as a foreign sub-editor of the Swiss Times, published 
in Geneva. But, " England, with all thy faults, I love thee still." So 
saying or thinking, Mr. Story returned to his native country, joining the 
staff of the Northampton Mercury, to which he remained attached for several 
years. Whilst residing in the district he wrote " Historical Legends of 
Northamptonshire," a most readable volume ; and taking to his " guid 
auld harp aince mair," made it ring with the legends of the locality in the 
style of a minstrel of the olden time. 

Entering into connection with another Midland Counties paper, the 
promise which it held out proved deceptive, and he, being of the stuff that is 
not easily daunted, returned to the troublesome world of London journalism. 
There he has contributed, editorially or otherwise, to many newspapers and 
literary periodicals. A tale of his that attracted much favourable atten- 
tion was recently published in the Christian Million, under the title of " The 
Lordly Fortune of Hiram Booth." 

WILLIAM McDowALL. 



Alfred Thomas Story. 213 



TO AN EARLY DAISY. 



Thou constant, red-rimmed daisy, 
I feel inclined to praise thee, 

Beyond each other flower ; 
For thou dost ever cheer me, 
When winter cold and dreary, 

O'er all the land doth lour. 

Thou, faithful flower and humble, 
When coming tempests grumble, 

Dost only close thine eye ; 
And when they're overpast, thou 
Dost raise again thy fair brow 

To th' fretful, wounded sky. 

When fields are all forsaken 
By bird and flower and brecken, 

And all is lone and wild, 
And man goes forth in sadness, 
The only look of gladness 

Comes from thine eye so mild. 

We may, perchance, neglect thee, 
When o'er the proudly decked lea, 

So many a fair compeer 
Is flaunting forth in beauty, 
While thou, as is thy duty, 

All lowly dost appear. 

But when all these have left us, 
And we are quite bereft, us 

Thou cheerest with thy ray, 
Like one true friend, when trouble 
Hath driven from us the rabble 

That throng'd our prosperous way 



214 North Country Poets. 

No parasite of fortune 
Art thou, to aye importune 

Thy cheer in days of joy, 
But e'en dost bless us meekly 
When winter glooms so bleakly 

All other bliss destroy. 



THE ROBIN'S SONG. 



My bird sings not to day my little bird 
That in these yellow autumn mornings sad 

On a bare branch of linden shrill is heard 
Chirping his lay half sorrowful, half glad ; 

I watch in vain for his bright ruby throat, 
Brighter than all the ruddy leaves that still 

Cling to their parent twig or ground ward float, 
And sadder feel to hear not his sweet trill. 

The rain falls slant, the wind sighs through the trees, 
The star e'en hides him in his sooty home : 

No song to-day of robin's shall there ease 
My heartache or bid gentle comfort come : 

So I myself must sing to soothe my pain 
Must sing to raise my spirit 'bove the dull 

And chilling weather, 'till it joy again 

In the bright clime where earthly care is null. 



RETURN OF SPRING. 



When snowdrops white, with drooping head, 

And crocuses of varied hue, 
Peep forth from out their wintry bed 

All dripping with the chilly dew ; 



Alfred Thomas Story. 215 



When robins hop on naked boughs 

And swell their ruby throats with song ; 

When lab'rers trudge behind their ploughs 

And blithely whistle their teams along : 

Then sighs the heart with eased pain, 
Soon gladsome Spring will come again ! 

When glints of summer sunshine chase 

Dark shadows o'er the distant hills, 
And scented tufts of pansies grace 

Moist grots that 'scape rude Borean chills ; 
When skylarks fill the azure copo 

With intermittent bursts of praise, 
And lambkins on the sheltered slope 

Their tiny, bleating voices raise : 

Then sings the heart in joyous vein, 
Now gladsome Spring doth come again ! 

When hedgerows burst with pouting buds, 

And weedling flowers the wayside throng ; 
When soft winds, fresh from out the woods, 

Wake mem'ries that have slumbered long ; 
When Day doth tarry as t'would fain 

Hold commune with his sister Night, 
And woo the stars that in her train 

Make all the eastern gateway bright ; 

Then sings the heart the glad refrain, 
Now gladsome Spring is come again ! 




2l6 



North Country Poets. 



John Ramsden Tutin. 




R. TUTIN was born at Fencote, near Bedale, January 
21st, 1855. He resided at Halifax from 1872 to 1880, and 
in the following year commenced business as a bookseller 
and publisher in Hull. He is more widely known as a 
painstaking editor than a writer of poetry, although his 
verses are numerous and of considerable merit. Mr. Tutin 
compiled the " Wordsworth Birthday Book," issued by 
Hamilton, Adams & Co., in 1884; also the " Shelley Birth- 
day Book and Calendar," published by Mr. Fisher Unwin in 1885. Both 
the works were warmly praised by the critical press. In 1887 he issued for 
private circulation the " Poems of Richard Crashaw," selected and arranged 
with notes. The merits of this book was recognised by The Spectator and other 
leading journals. He edited, in 1889, for Routledge's " Pocket Library," 
" Selections from Keats, " and the " Early Poems of Wordsworth." For 
John Morley's poetical works of Wordsworth, published by Macmillan and 
Co., in 1888, Mr. Tutin compiled the bibliography, which extends to six- 
teen closely-printed pages, and forms such an excellent feature of 
the book. He was an active member of the Wordsworth Society, and con- 
tributed notes to its Transactions. He has written an essay on " Words- 
worth in Yorkshire." He cheerfully rendered important help to Professor 
Knight when he was editing the poetical works of Wordsworth, and his 
labour of love is gracefully acknowledged. Mr. Tutin has nearly ready an 
index of persons and places mentioned by Wordsworth. His private 
library contains nearly the whole of the original and early editions of 
Wordsworth's works, the chief lives of the poet, etc. His poems and sketches 
have appeared in several English and American magazines and papers. 

WILLIAM ANDREWS. 



INVOCATION TO SLEEP. 



Come, heavenly Sleep, and steal into my brain ; 
I'm weary with the din and toil of day : 
Mine eyelids droop, and long for thy calm sway. 

come, dear Sleep, with all thy blessed train 

Forgetfulness, sweet Dreamland, and the twain 
Good sisters, Peace and Balm ; O come and stay 
Until the Bard of dawn with his clear lay 

Wakes up each songster to his morning strain. 



John Ramsden Tutin. 217 

Thou visit' st not the sick man's dreary bed ; 

To childhood thou'rt an ever-ready friend ; 
And on tired Labour dost thine influence shed. 

Let this day's cares and weariness now end : 
Thy soft and downy pinions o'er me spread ; 

Thy Lethe let me drink. Sleep, descend ! 



TO A BLIND CHILD. 



I saw thee 'mid the noise and stir 
Of street life, in thy mother's arms. 

Thy sweet young face, I do aver, 

Was full of childhood's tendercst charms. 

At first I knew not thou wert blind, 
Playing as any child might play 
With its small toy or flow'ret gay. 

Oh ! never hath there to my mind 
A sadder, sweeter, picture shone, 
Than that of thee, when there, alone 

I saw thy pretty childish ways, 

And wept to know that all thy days 

Since thy first breath on this bleak scene, 

Had been a desolate blank to thee : 
The soft blue sky, the fields in green, 

And everything that's fair and free, 

Thou never saw'st ; and there may be 

For thee in store a darksome life. 

Sad thought ! yet, for the coming strife 

Of living, may thy mind be strong, 

And ne'er despair, though 'mid the throng 
Thou tread'st the dark world all alone. 
Then still hope on 
Thou sightless one. 

But once I saw thee. It may be 

That not again thy face I'll sec ; 

Yet, little one, I'll pray for thee. 



2i 8 North Country Poets. 



LINES. 

[WRITTEN IN MY COPY (ONCE THE AUTHOR'S) OF HOWITT'S " BOOK OF 
THE SEASONS.''] 



little book ! thou hast to me 

Brought visions of the fair and free. 

In youth I read thy pages bright, 

Which shewed to me sweet Nature's light. 

In manhood still I own thy power 

To gladden many a lonesome hour. 

If 'mid the din of towns, I turn 

To thee, I in thy pages learn 

Of January's frost and snow ; 

Of cheerless February's thaw ; 

Of wild, cold March, when Winter dies ; 

Of April's tear-drops in her skies ; 

Of May with all her buds and flowers, 

And sweet songs sung in leafy bowers ; 

Of June's sunsets, and balmy nights, 

In which the quiet soul delights ; 

Of hot July, when Sol's bright beams 

Gild mountains, plains, and placid streams ; 

Of August and her sheaves of corn, 

And dewy fields at early morn ; 

Of still September, and its clear, 

Bright, and harmonious atmosphere ; 

Of fickle October's shortening days, 

When on the woodland slopes we gaze 

On beauty hastening to decay ; 

Of dark November's cheerless sway ; 

Of Nature's stern and wintry face 

When bleak December runs his race. 

All these, and more, I see again 

As when I roamed through woods, on plain, 

By brooklet's side, on mountain height, 

And my heart beat with full delight. 

And, Hewitt ! now the book is mine 

Which once was thine, O Nature's friend ! 

And in it writ the name that's thine ; 
And with thy hand that name is penned ! 



Fred Holmes. 



219 



Fred Holmes. 




RED HOLMES was born at Northallcrton, the county 
town of the North-Riding of Yorkshire, on the 13th 
February, 1865 ; was educated at the Grammar School 
there, under the Rev. W. E. Scott, B.A., where he showed 
great inclination for learning, gaining a Durham 
University Certificate during his tuition. He was 
apprenticed to the printing trade in his native place in 
the year 1880, where he still remains. His life, so far, 
has been uneventful, living in the midst of a rural district. Being ever fond 
of the gentle and graceful language set forth in poetry, he has given much 
of his spare time to studying it. His fust poem, " Christmas Bells," 
appeared in the year 1884. This was followed in 1886 by a small volume 
entitled " Two Christmas Eves, and other poerr.s," and is the only collec- 
tion from his pen which has yet come before the public. These appeared 
in several local newspapers, and were well received ; and, in a review, the 
Richmond and Ripon Chronicle stated of his publication : " It deserves a 
word of welcome which we are happy to give. The poems are agreeably 
varied not all grave, nor all gay ; but alternating from one to the other, 
with pieces of description or historical reminiscence between." 

This poet is a young man of genial character, and of no mean musical 
ability ; and his ever-ready wit and kindly disposition have won for him 

many friends. 

C. PEACOCK. 



CHRISTMAS TIME 



The years pass on with changes fraught, 

Bewards bestrewing as they go ; 
And one is ending which has brought 

To many joy, to others woe ; 
Yet may all feel the joy to say, 

In blithest morn or darkest night, 
" Thrice welcome, gladdest, holiest day ! 

Hail, festive time, December's light ! " 



22O North Country Poets. 

We keep the feasts of earthly kings, 

Of temporal monarchs (as they are), 
Each loyal breast with rapture rings, 

And praise is sung from near and far. 
Much more, then, should we honour One, 

Whose kingdom ne'er shall pass away ; 
Let honour due to Him be done, 

For Jesus Christ is born to-day. 

Old Christmas lends his powerful aid 

The dearest friends to re-unite ; 
He comes, the miser's store t' invade ; 

To make hearts glad, and faces bright. 
Gay mistletoe and holly berry 

The cottage and the hall adorn ; 
Our host invites us to be merry 

We all rejoice, for Christ is born. 

The crackling yule-log blazes higher, 

And steam proclaims the feasting-time ; 
The carolling waits are drawing nigher 

The bells ring out a jovial chime. 
Though streams outside are cold and still, 

Which in the summer briskly ran, 
Yet frost and snow can never chill 

The heart of a true Englishman. 

We know each Christmas of our life 

But nearer brings the time to part ; 
Then may all hatred, greed, and strife, 

Be banished from each evil heart. 
" A happy Christmas, bright and fair, 

A season free from want and woes," 
Oh ! let this be our heartfelt prayer, 

Our Christmas wish, our Christmas rose. 



Fred Holmes. 



22F 



EVENING. 



Sweetly sinks the sun to rest, 
O'er the verdant mountain crest, 
Gilding beauteously the west. 

Winds of night are gently blowing, 
Sounds arise of cattle lowing ; 
Sons of toil are homeward going. 

Birds their tiny homes have found ; 
Tinted flowers have closed around ; 
Brooks flow on with murmuring sound. 

Fragrant scents pervade the air ; 
Bats now venture from their lair ; 
Night dews o'er the earth repair. 

Curfew's notes have died away ; 
In God's dwelling, old and grey, 
Saints alternate praise and pray. 

Some still work, for as I stand, 
I see reapers o'er the land, 
Stepping, staying not their hand. 

Soon the rural sounds shall cease ; 
Soon the darkness will increase ; 
Soon will night be rob'd in peace. 

When I reach life's solemn night, 
Day scenes waning from my sight, 
Saviour, be my guiding light. 



222 North Country Poets. 



A FAREWELL 



My soul is sad, for we must part, 

And with a sigh 
I take thy hand, oh ! dearest heart, 

And say " Good-bye." 
Full many a long and dreary week 
Must pass before I hear thee speak, 
Or gently kiss thy dainty cheek, 

And feel thee nigh. 

Full oft my mind doth doubt the love 

Thou bearest me ; 
But constant as the stars above, 

Oh ! may'st thou be. 
If amity thy heart doth fill 
To one who says he loves thee, still 
Forget me not, I ever will 

Bemember thee. 

In silence I have lov'd thee long, 

And 'twill not die, 
For now 'tis grown than death more strong, 

So deep ! so high ! 

Then farewell, dearest ; think of me ; 
Where'er thou art in mind I'll be 
I'll long for thee, I'll sigh for thee 

" Good night ! Good-bye." 




John Sewart. 



223 



John Sewart. 




HIS rural and legendary poet, who has been locally called 
" The Lunesdale Minstrel," was born at the lovely villageof 
Casterton, in Westmoreland, January 24th, 1840. He 
was the fourth child of John and Phncbe Shaw Sewart, 
a family that has produced some famous champion 
wrestlers, in which old English sport our hero also shewed 
good prowess. He received his early education at the 
schools founded by the late Rev. Win. Carus-Wilson, well 
known as a philanthropist. John's father died when he was six years old, 
and his mother, who was left with a family of six, was given by the 
benevolent Carus-Wilsons who held much land in the district a cottage 
to live in, at Whittington, a neighbouring village. John, in his young days 
became a great reader, and an uncle, who took much interest in the lad, 
fired his love for the natural beauty and historic lore of his native county, 
of which he afterwards sung. At the age of eleven John became monitor 
in the Whittington School, and thus early determined to make teaching his 
profession. In 1854 he was appointed pupil teacher at St. Ann's National 
Schools, Aigburth, near Liverpool. While there his mother and also a brother 
and two sisters died, under circumstances which made a great impression 
on the lad. On the conclusion of his term as pupil teacher, in order to 
return to his native county, he applied for and obtained the appointment 
of time keeper and stone measurer on the Lune Valley (Ingleton and 
Lowgill) Railway, then being constructed. Thereafter, Sewart, who had 
a strong desire to visit the historic scenes of his native country which had 
tilled his imagination, seems to have lived a roving sort of life for 
years. He traversed the island on foot from John O'Groat'a house to 
Land's End, and also visited Ireland. In the course of his nomad life he 
met with some strange adventurns and narrow escapes, being more than 
once nearly drowned, owing to his proclivity for solitary wandering along 
unknown paths, over flood and fell, by night as well as day. In a somewhat 
exhausted state he eventually rambled back to Westmoreland, and for a 
time settled there. During the period of his wanderings he contributed 
to the Lancaster Observer and other newspapers stirring narratives 
of his adventures, and legendary ballads respecting spots he had visited. 
In 1867 he obtained the mastership of Rasch School, Dent, in his native 
county, and in January, 1869, married Isabella Mason, daughter of Robert 
Mason, of Baxengill Farm, Dent, by whom he has had eight children, 
three of whom are dead. In 1869 he published a volume of " Poems in 
Westmoreland Dialect," which had a very fair sale. He also published 
" Legends of Lunesdale," and contributed prose and verse to a number of 
journals in the North of England. Most of his poems are of a legendary 
character, couched in nervous but somewhat illiptical English, and they 



224 North Country Poets. 



deal largely with the wonderful and supernatural. Of one of these legends, 
" Lonsdale Bridge," a local critic wrote, " Mr. Sewart had built his name 
into the stones of the bridge at Kirby -Lonsdale." 

Subsequently to 1869 Sewart was for a time one of the masters in 
Penrith High School. A year or two after the passing of the Education 
Act, he entered a Welsh College, and obtained the new Government 
master's certificate, enabling him to take charge of any public elementary 
school. He continued at the work of organising village schools, and visited 
several parts of the kingdom for that purpose. In 1882 he had a slight 
stroke, and has since been in delicate health. 

In 1885 he opened a private school at Kendal, but it did not succeed. He 
next went to Scotland to organise a new Episcopal School in Argyleshire, 
under the direction of the Lord Bishop of Argyle and the Isles. His work 
there was finished in 1887, and since then Sewart's health has entirely broken 
down, his eyesight having failed him, and a weak heart preventing his 
engaging in any laborious occupation. Save an unsuccessful attempt to 
carry on a private school at Lower Ince, near Wigan, which had soon to be 
given up, he has not recently had any regular means of livelihood. He is 
now living in extreme poverty at Little Harwood, a suburb of Blackburn, 
where, in addition to the burden of his own ill-health, he has a sickly 
family dependent upon him. When this notice was written, Sewart was 
endeavouring to obtain subscribers for a new volume of poems, entitled 
" Legends of Loyne," with the author's romantic autobiography appended. 
Though an eccentric versifier, his productions display much originality, 
true pathos, and dramatic power. 

JESSE QUAIL. 



A NEW YEAR'S ODE. 

1889. 



Hark ! for the joyous bells 
Through Merrie England's dells 
Are happy sounding ! 
The Old Year's care, 
Careworn, 
Fasts in his lair, 

Care shorn ; 

Hearts feast this blessed morn 
On hope abounding ! 

Hark ! how the greeting thrills 
O'er Bonnie Scotland's hills, 

With happy sounding ! 



John Sew art. 225 

The Old Year's grief, 
Grief torn, 
Lies on his fief, 

Grief lorn ; 

Hearts' joy this promise-morn 
In hope abounding ! 

Hark ! now no longer sad, 
Green Erin's harp, right glad, 

Is happy sounding ! 
The Old Year's woe, 
Woe cast, 
Buries all show, 

Woe past ; 

Hearts sing this morn at last 
With hope abounding. 

Hark ! filling Christendom, 
The nations poeans come 

0, happy sounding ! 
Lo ! Old Year's time, 
Time lent, 
Circles sublime, 

Time spent ; 

Earth, like my rhyme, content- 
All hope abounding ! 



THE PETITION OF THE POOR. 

TCTI/WM A.D., 1878-9. 

Our Father which in Heaven art, 

Our load is long a lightening ! 
Eeach low Thine Hand to lift our heart, 

Smile ! Set our faces brightening ! 
Strike pride tyrannic impotent, 

Thy Truth and Justice ratify, 
With speed avenge the innocent, 

And trampled patience gratify ! 

_____ 





226 North Country Poets. 

We've villas, mansions, castles built, 

Halls, churches, forts and palaces, 
To prove that holiness is guilt, 

Nobilities are fallacies ; 
Array'd in fur they wade the snow, 

When moonbeams chill are shimmering, 
To pry if cotters' fire grates glow ; 

'Tis bliss if not a glimmering ! 

War ! is their cry ; our brethren die 

To glut crowned heads' malevolence ; 
Wives, children gasp starvation's sigh, 

Our rulers' kind benevolence ; 
music in their gentle ears, 

That voice of anguish harrowing ; 
joy to note their paupers' biers 

In weight and measure narrowing \ 

Our sweat the merchant prince has made 

In deadly mines and factories ; 
The glebe has fatten'd to our spade 

Where flaunt the broad phylactaries. 
We've cushion'd soft the Upper Ten 

In broughams, in drags, in chariots, 
And of a dozen of these men 

Eleven are Iscariots ! 

Where are the fruits of vale and plain 

So late our vision gladdening ? 
Our wan babes plead in famine pain, 

O God, their looks are maddening ! 
We bow before Thee in the dust, 

Submitting to Thy chastening ; 
Despair succumbs to steadfast trust, 

Proclaim Salvation hastening ! 



John Sew art. 227 

We sow hard times with faithful prayer, 

We water with humility, 
We leave the harvest to Thy care, 

Undaunted by sterility. 
Thou hast not left us quite alone 

And friendless in extremity ; 
True hearts yet throb, which like Thine, own 

Sweet Mercy's bless'd supremacy ! 

Cheer ! Messmates all, who with me sup 

This cup of winter sorrowing ; 
Our pangful meeting shall break up, 

We'll rise upon the morrowing 
To quaff the wine of laughing day, 
More sparkling for the lingering, 
And hymn our hearts' triumphant lay 
As blithe as morn's glad singer in ! * 
Skylark. 

ON HUMAN FREEDOM. 



As river rolls from mount to sea 

Eternal and invincible, 
So flows the human principle 

From birth hill to eternity ; 
The river will have channel free 

He brooks no counter ilood, nor rock, 

These aye in vain invite the shock, 
His ever is the victory. 
He grinds the rock, the flood must blend. 

And shall the torrent from I AM 

Halt for your artificial dam V 
No, no, ye fools ! its wrath will rend 

You, with your bank of seliish Might ; 

God's order'd race makes good its Ki^ht. 



INDEX. 



PAGE. 

ABBAY, KEY. RICHARD 79 

Templum Veneris (Claude) 80 

The Dying Naturalist 81 

Advice... ... 82 

ABBOT, RICHARD 66 

The Song of Ingleton Bells 66 
O, turn aside thy loving 

eyes 68 

Fading Beauty 69 

BARKER, JOHN THOMAS ... 134 

Bramla' Band 134 

Bubbles 137 

The Newspaper 138 

BARON, JOHN THOMAS 167 

Johnny's Clogs 167 

A Comfortable Smook 169 

The Mountain Nightfall 171 

BATIOAN, BERNARD 172 

Reconciled ; or, Not in the 

Play 172 

Not all a Dream 176 

Immortality 176 

BILLINGTON, WILLIAM 71 

The Singer 72 

Fraud : the Evil of the Age 74 
Capital and Labour 75 

BOCKLE, Anthony 190 

Sister Dora 190 

Kirkstall Abbey 191 

Crucified! ... 191 

York Minster 192 

Home 192 

BURNS, THOMAS 

Come, sing a song to me, 

my love 83 

The Human Mind 85 

CARLISLE, THE EARL or 186 

The Abolition of Slavery 

in 1834 17 

Niagara Falls 



189 



PAGE 

COTTERELL, GEORGE 53 

England and Greece 53 

In the Twilight 55 

A Child's Thought 57 

CRAVEN, CAREY WILLIAMS 206 

The Brontes 207 

A Faded Rose 208 

What the Lark Sang 209 

DIXON, CANON 47 

lonna (from " Mano ") ... 48 

Humanity 49 

The Holy Mother at the 
Cross 50 

EMMET, JOHN 146 

Golden Stairs 147 

A Litany 149 

Love and Beauty 151 

After the Rain 152 

GABB, REV. JAMES 92 

Welcome Rest 94 

Recollection 94 

Spring Breezes 95 

To-morrow 96 

Light in Darkness 90 

HALL, REV. ARTHUR VINE 42 

From " To an Eagle " 43 

After the Wreck 44 

From "Night" 45 

On a Picture 45 

Mont Blanc 46 

HARHOTTLK, JOIIN 

TheTyne 34 

The Coquet 

The Dawn of Morning 40 

The Fisher's Courtship ... 40 

HKDLKY, GEORC.K KOBKHTS 193 

The Balaclava Charge 194 

The Sea in its Fury 195 

Down among the Yellow 

Fields 197 

Song("Bardof the West") 198 



230 



North Country Poets. 



PAGE 

HOLLAND, JOHN 6 

TheKainbow 7 

To a Primrose 9 

Native Scenery 11 

Summer Evening 12 

Solitude 13 

The Swallow 13 

HOLMES, FEED 219 

Christmas Time 219 

Evening 221 

A Farewell 222 

HUGHES, ALLISON 28 

Joys of Life 29 

The Grandmother 31 

Silences 32 

HULL, GEOEGE 202 

The Winter's Comin' on, 

mi' Lass 202 

The Kebound 204 

INCHBOLD, JOHN WILLIAM ... 25 

Art 26 

Stratford-on-Avon 26 

One Dead 27 

KAYE.REV. J. W 119 

Live to a Purpose 119 

The Blue Forget-me-not .. 121 

Makkin' it up ageean 123 

Me dear Owd Woafe an' 
Me 124 

LE GALLIENNE, RICHARD 128 

A Bookman's Confessio 

Amantis 129 

Matthew Arnold 129 

The Song of the Morning 
Wind 131 

LITTLE, THOMAS W 114 

Bamborough Castle 115 

I thought of thee 115 

Cousin Lillie ... 116 

As soothing as the Zephyr's 

Roll 117 

A PatterdaleLeaf..., ..118 



PAGE 

LISHMAN, ALFRED 59 

Glencoe 60 

Ye Labourers of England 63 
Integrity 64 

LONGSTAFF, WlLLIAM 87 

The Wild Helm Wind 88 

When the Swallows come 
again 90 

Me. GOVERN, REV. JOHN BERNARD 

(J.B.S.) 101 

Keats (1796-1820) 102 

The Tomb of Scott 102 

Our Wedding Day 103 

lerne 103 

NICHOL, H. ERNEST 125 

The Artist of the Sunset... 125 
A Rondel (" Let us go 

home") 126 

Mendelssohn's " Gondola 

Song" 126 

The Snowflake 127 

PEATT, FRED 109 

The Broken Column ... 110 

The Little Folk Ill 

The Avalanche 112 

PRESTON, BENJAMIN 178 

Aw nivir can call her my 

wife 179 

T'Weyvver's Deeath 181 

The Mariners' Church ... 183 

READMAN, JOSEPH 76 

Sharow Bells 76 

Awakened Memories 77 

RENTON, WILLIAM 199 

The Garden of a Day 199 

To the Fading Beech 201 

To the Fading Beech 
After-thought 201 

ROBINSON, JOHN RYLEY 14 

Kirkstall Abbey 15 

Gordale 18 

Flamborough Lighthouse 20 



Index. 



231 



PAGE 

ROBSON, JOSEPH PHILIP 141 

The Auld Wife's Plaint ... 143 
The Wail o' the Fallen ...144 
The Tyne Exile's Return 145 

SEWAKT, JOHN 223 

A New Year's Ode, 1889 ... 224 
The Petition of the Poor... 225 
On Human Freedom .... 227 

STANSFIELD, ABRAHAM 104 

'Ere March arrive 105 

Amor Redivivus ...... 105 

On a Book-worm (F.S.) ... 106 

The Shepherd 107 

Journey by Night 108 

STORY, ALFRED THOMAS 211 

To an Early Daisy 213 

The Robin's Song 214 

Return of Spring 214 

TONKIN, MRS 153 

Wimberry Ripe 154 

Cornwall 15G 

Only Two Little Shoes 157 

Growing Old 158 



PAGE 

TUTIN, JOHN RAMSDEN 216 

Invocation to Sleep 216 

To a Blind Child 217 

Lines (written in Howitt'a 
" Book of the Seasons " ) 218 

WALKER, JOHN 160 

Even Tryst 161 

The Housing of the Hay... 162 
Young Love 165 

WATSON, ROBERT SPENCE 21 

Pygmalion and Galatea ... 21 

Love only lives 23 

Spring 23 

WHITWORTH, MRS. LAURA A 1 

The Deserted Mansion .... 2 

A Little Grave 3 

A Sunny Picture 3 

St. Botolph's Bells (Boston) 4 

By the Ocean... 4 

CradleSong 5 

WIGHT, GEORGE OSWALD 98 

Blindness coming on in 

youth 98 

The Sea . .. 100 




INDEX OF POEMS. 



PAGE 
A Bookman's Confessio Aman- 

tis 129 

A Child's Thought 57 

A Comfortable Smook 169 

Advice 82 

AFadedEose 208 

A Farewell 222 

After the Rain 152 

After the Wreck 44 

Afterthought (To the Fading 

Beech; 201 

A Litany 149 

A Little Grave 3 

Amor Eedivivus 105 

A New Year's Ode (1889) 224 

A Patterdale Leaf 118 

A Eondel (" Let us go Home ") 126 

Art 26 

As Soothing as the Zephyr's 

Eoll 117 

A Sunny Picture 3 

Awakened Memories 77 

Aw nivir can call her my Wife 179 

Bamborough Castle 115 

Blindness Coming on in Youth 98 

Bramla' Band 134 

Bubbles 137 

By the Ocean... 4 

Capital and Labour ... 75 

Christmas Time 219 

Come, sing a Song to me, my 

Love... 83 

Cornwall ... 156 

Cousin Lillie ... . 116 

Cradle Song 5 

Down among the Yellow Fields 197 

England and Greece 53 

'Ere March arrive 105 

Evening 221 



PAGE 

Even Tryst 161 

Fading Beauty 69 

Flamborough Lighthouse 20 

Fraud : the Evil of the Age ... 74 

From "Night" 45 

From "To an Eagle" 43 

Glencoe 60 

Golden Stairs 147 

Gordale 18 

Growing Old 158 

Home 192 

Humanity 49 

lerne 103 

Immortality 176 

Integrity 64 

In the Twilight 55 

Invocation to Sleep 216 

lonna 48 

I Thought of Thee 115 

Johnny's Clogs 167 

Journey by Night 108 

Joys of Life 29 

Keats 102 

Kirkstall Abbey 15 

Kirkstall Abbey.... 191 

Light in Darkness 96 

Lines (written in Howitt's 
" Book of the Seasons ") ... 218 

Live to a Purpose 119 

Love and Beauty 151 

Love only Lives 23 

Makkin' it up ageean 123 

Matthew Arnold 129 

Me dear owd Woafe an' me 124 

Mendelssohn's "Gondola Song" 126 

Mont Blanc 46 

Native Scenery 11 

Niagara Falls 189 

Not all a Dream... ,. 176 



Index of Poems. 



233 



PAGE 

O Crucified! 191 

On a Book-worm 106 

On a Picture 45 

One Dead 27 

On Human Freedom 227 

Only two little Shoes 157 

O, turn aside thy loving eyes 68 

Our Wedding Day 103 

Pygmalion and Galatea 21 

Recollection 94 

Reconciled; or, Not in the Play 172 

Return of Spring . 214 

Sharow Bells 76 

Silences 32 

Sister Dora 190 

Solitude 13 

Song ("Bard of the West")... 198 

Spring 23 

Spring Breezes 95 

Stratford-on-Avon 26 

St. Botolph's Bells (Boston) ... 4 

Summer Evening 12 

Templum Veneris 80 

The Abolition of Slavery in 

1834 187 

The Artist of the Sunset 125 

The Auld Wife's Plaint 143 

The Avalanche 112 

The Balaclava Charge 194 

The Blue Forget-me-not 121 

The Broken Column 110 

The Brontes 207 

The Coquet 39 

The Dawn of Morning 40 

The Deserted Mansion 2 

The Dying Naturalist 81 

The Fisher's Courtship 40 

The Garden of a Day 199 

The Grandmother 31 



PAGE 
The Holy Mother at the Cross 50 

The Housing of the Hay 162 

The Human Mind 85 

The Little Folk Ill 

The Mariners' Church ... 183 

The Mountain Nightfall 171 

The Newspaper Boy 138 

The Petition of the Poor 225 

The Rainbow 7 

The Rebound 204 

The Robin's Song 214 

The Sea 100 

The Sea in its Fury 195 

The Shepherd 107 

The Singer 72 

The Sncwflake 127 

The Song of Ingleton Bells 66 

The Song of the Morning Wind 130 

The Swallow 13 

The Tomb of Scott 102 

The Tyne 34 

The Tyne Exile's Return 145 

The Wail o' the Fallen 144 

The Wild Helm Wind ... 88 

The Winter's comin' on, mi 

lass 202 

To a Blind Child 217 

To an Early Daisy 213 

To a Primrose 9 

To-morrow 96 

To the Fading Beech ... 201 

T'Weyvvr's Deeath 181 

Welcome Rest 94 

What the Lark Sang... 209 

When the Swallows come again 90 

Wimberry Ripe ... 154 

Ye Labourers of England 63 

York Minster 192 

YouugLove 165 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES. 



PAGE 

A boat is sleeping underneath the moon 126 

Across the sea, across the sea 116 

A deep grave dug by Time holds all 161 

After the rain and the swirl 152 

Against a stately forest tree 204 

Ah love, if love had willed that I should ne'er 23 

Ah! Sally lass, it's trew enough 12-4 

Air made sweeter by her breath . ... 105 

A lovely boy of child-like grace ... 137 

A man of middle size, and middle age 106 

Amongst the hills with heather clad 207 

And I am growing slowly blind, and feel 98 

As on yon bank I calmly lay 115 

As river rolls from mount to sea 227 

A singer there dwelt in a city of yore 72 

As soothing as the zephyr's roll 117 

Aw Mary, me heart's dlad an fain 181 

Aw'm a weyver ya knaw, an awf deead 179 

Aw'm bothered nooan wi' acres broad 169 

Banks of the Mersey ! afar and on high 183 

Bard of the West, whose tender chords 198 

" Behold," said Fancy, pointing to the sun 125 

Behold these hallowed walls ; these ruined towers 15 

Beyond the hill I watched th 3 bright-haired sun 94 

Bird of strange instinct and untiring wing 13 

Blest word, thou dost recall the dearest place 192 

Blow, winds, blow 95 

Born where the Sheaf and Don unite their streams 11 

Brightly from the beacon streaming ,., 20 

By the window there they stand Ill 

Circled the sea-mews o'er the fishers' haven 110 

Come, heavenly sleep, and steal into my brain ... 216 

Come listen, ye people, the song from the steeple 06 

Come, sing a song to me, my love 83 

Cornwall, my country ! the home of my childhood 156 

Deal gently, Time, with all these reliques grand 191 

Dirty and ragged, with matted hair 138 

Down among the yellow fields 197 



Index of First Lines. 235 

PAGE 

Dread monarch ! mountain king ! well may we gaze 46 

Drear is the heart, no pleasant past recalls 35 

'Ere March arrive, must roll another moon 105 

Even so, dear Beech, we would be wise with thee 201 

Fading beauty, bending o'er thee <>9 

Fair was lonna ever, I avise 48 

Fare on, dear Beech ! thy dead leaves tremble down 201 

Far off? Not far away 55 

Forth flew the dire command 194 

From the farthest shores of the farthest sea 165 

From wandering in a distant land, an exile had return'd 145 

Gan yam, gan yam, ma bonnie lass 82 

Growing old ! growing old 158 

Hail! lordly castle on this rocky steep . . ... 115 

Hark! for the joyous bells 224 

Hast thou against grim poverty 64 

He loved her as they love who early throw 45 

Heroic soul, with tenderest woman's heart ! 100 

Howd on, theer ! Dunnot use 'em rough 167 

How facile and free is the mind... 85 

I canno' come to thee, mither ... . 144 

I care not for splendours that man can achieve 81 

I cull'd this leaf by the silver lake 118 

I had a, dream. The breath of beauteous Spring 176 

I hae naebody now ; for my bairns are a' gane 143 

I heard the voices of children 4 

I lie awake in my bed 57 

I saw thee 'mid the noise and stir 217 

I sing of a charm which to music is wedded 77 

Is it deep sleep, or is it rather death? 27 

I sometimes sing a weak and broken song 1)4 

Into the gloomy land I ride 108 

Its chambers are deserted now 2 

Just as of old sweet Avon winds its way 2t> 

Just to lie at early morning 211 

Let us go home, my love, the sun is low 126 

Lonely, depressed, in body mid in mind 209 

Lord, leave us not to wander lonely 149 

Love makes love where'er it be 151 

Majestic pile ! O glorious house Divine ! 192 

Meek little llower, retired and shy 9 

'Mid scenes like this how sinks the human mind 18 



236 North Country Poets. 

PAGE 

'Mid Nature's beauties and fane's decay 102 

My bird sings not to-day my little bird 214 

My own, my bonnie native hills 88 

My soul is sad, for we must part .. 222 

Mysterious force, as beautiful as strange 26 

'Neath chancel arch we stood ; without, a sea 103 

No surer guide than perfect analogue 176 

Not Britain, but the land the Tiber laves 102 

Crucified, with arms outstretched so wide ! 191 

Of Mary's pains may now learn whose will 50 

Oh changeful mirror of the skies, how dull thy look ! 100 

Oh, for the touch of that deft hand which drew 80 

Oh! sweet St. Botolph's bells 4 

Oh! rouse you from slumber 119 

Oh, what a glorious harvest-field of thought 12 

O little book! thou hast to me 218 

loveliness sublime ! 45 

On bright to-morrow much we love to dwell 96 

Once Capital and Labour pulled 75 

Only a little grassy mound, no headstone marks the spot 3 

Only two little shoes . 157 

O Snowflake, whirling and dancing 127 

0, turn aside thy loving eyes 68 

Our Father which in Heaven art 225 

Our wood has tall and slender lines 199 

Proudly on Cressy's tented wold 187 

Queen, Queen of the Sea ! 53 

Sae blithe owre the hills when the spring breezes blaw 40 

She was not woman ! No too doubting wife 21 

Sleep, baby, sleep 5 

Sweetest time of all the year 23 

Sweetly sinks the sun to rest...... 221 

The day's turmoil is ended 76 

The evening was glorious, and light, through the trees 7 

" The gloaming shadows gather 162 

The man who, when with toil or care distraught 13 

The morning wind came whispering by ... 130 

There is a cottage by the stream 147 

There is a soul above the soul of each 49 

There's nothing great or bright, though glorious Fall 189 

The revels of the winds and waves are over 195 

The silences that float ,32 



Index of First Lines. 237 

PAGE 

The Sun forsakes the valley 163 

The Sun had set, and dark'ning shadows crept 112 

The wind blaws saftly frao the west, the dew hings on the lea 39 

The winter's comin' on, rai lass 202 

The years pass on with changes fraught 219 

The youthful shepherd, tall and fair 107 

Thou constant, red-rimmed daisy 213 

Thou, Niobe of Nations, sad lerne 103 

Through the wide open window the westering sun 31 

Time flies, and from his waving wing 96 

'Tis said that once upon a time 121 

Upon a couch of dreams the morning lay 40 

We stood amidst the golden corn 3 

We took her away 44 

When do I love you most, sweet books of mine? ... 129 

When snowdrops white, with drooping head 214 

When the swallows come again 90 

Who hesn't heerd o't' Bramla' Band 134 

What though thou seem'st but a speck in the blue ... 43 

Whoay, Sally lass, what's happen'd thee? 123 

" Wimb'ry ripe ! Wimb'ry ripe ! " " Well done, old man ! 154 

With eye undimmed and stalwart form 60 

Within a little fancy box 208 

Within that wood where thine own scholar strays 129 

With what unutterable shame and scorn 74 

Ye labourers of England ! 63 

Yon kingly mountain, like a wearied knight 171 

You've heard, I dare say, of Ben Rivers, and the scene he enacted 

one night 172 



MONTGOMERY 4 SON, PRINTERS. HULL. 



Volume I. Elegantly bound in cloth gilt, demy 8vo., 300 
uniform with Volume II. ; price Five Shillings. 




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EDITED BY 



WILLIAM ANDREWS, F.R.H.S. 

(President of the Hull Literary Club), 
Author of " Modern Yorkshire Poets," " Historic Yorkshire," etc., etc. 



Carefully written Biographies and Examples of the best Poetry 
of the following leading North Country Poets are included 
in Volume I. of this work : 

James Armstrong. Joseph Cooper. Thomas Newbigging. 

William E. A. Axon. Sir Fras. Hastings Doyle. W. C. Newsam. 

Mrs. Geo. Linnarms Banks. Thos. Parkinson Dotchson Mrs. Susan K. Phillips. 

Geo. Linnaeus Banks. J. H. Eccles. Jno. Macleay Peacock. 

A. A. D. Bayldon. Rev. Robt.W. Elliot, M.A. Ilev.W. Moiley Punshon.LL. 1) 



ElizabethBarrettBrowningC. F. Forshaw. 

H. T. Mackenzie Bell Dora Greenwell 

Ben Brierley. 

V/illiam Brockie. 

James Burnley 

Joseph Baron 

W. Hall Burnett 

W. Gershom Collingwood Robert Kidson 

Samuel Collinson. George Lancaster. 

James Clephan William Leighton. 

Arthur Hugh Clough George Milner. 

Rev. E. G. Charlesworth. James Ashcroft Noble. 



Lord Houghton. 
Patty Honey wood. 
Henry Heavisides. 
David Holt. 
Florence Jackson. 



John Richardson 
John Duncan Richardson. 
Joseph Skipsey. 
Sir Henry Taylor. 
W. W. Tomlinson. 
William Tirebuck. 
Samuel Waddington. 
Aaron Watson. 
William Watson. 
Jno. Rowell Waller. 
Edwin Waugh. 
Joe Wilson. 



PRESS OPINIONS. 



Tlie following are a few of the Notices of the First Volume 
of this Book : 

"A collection of poems and biographical sketches, the first interest of which 
is only local, but which is so well made and so full of information that no limit 
need be set to its sphere, is Mr. William Andrews' " North Country Poets." 
Mr. Andrews is president of the Hull Literary Club, and has done much by a 



busy pen to bring into evidence the literary activity of his part of England. 
In this volume, which is the initial instalment of a fuller work, he begins 
a representative series of extracts from poems by natives or residents of 
Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham, Lancashire, and 
Yorkshire. The selection shows care and good taste throughout. It includes 
poems by such writers as George Linnaeus Banks, Mrs. Browning, Arthur 
Clough, Sir Francis Doyle, Lord Houghton, Joseph Skipsey, Sir Henry Taylor, 
and Samuel Waddington which partial enumeration may suffice to show the 
excellence of its matter. The biographical sketches make the book valuable for 
reference." The Scotsman. 

" The notices of the poets' writings are concisely and pleasantly penned, and 
most of capital critical merit, while the examples of poesy are admirably 
chosen." North London News. 

" It is a really excellent repository of the best local poetry of the Northern 
Counties, the specimens being selected with sound judgment, and the pithy 
biographies being in the case of each poet supplied by some writer well situated 
to obtain original and reliable information." Lancashire Evening Post. 

"Mr. Andrews has not only achieved success, but deserved it." Eastern 
Morning News. 

"All lovers of English literature will eagerly welcome this work." YorkGazette, 
" The biographical sketches are interesting in the extreme." Sheffield Daily 
Telegraph. 

" The volume is assured of a warm welcome in the North, but even Southern 
readers will find it well worth their attention ; and the forthcoming volume 
which the editor promises will be awaited with much interest." The Bookseller. 

" It is really a handsome and interesting book . . . . It is a permanent 
addition to the literature of the North Country." Newcastle Weekly Chronicle. 

" The memoirs are exceedingly well done, and the sample pieces have been 
chosen with sound critical judgment." Christian Leader. 

" The work deserves the kindly consideration of all who take an interest in 
the subject." Bradford Daily Telegraph. 

" The biographical sketches from various pens are written with brightness 
and good taste." Manchester Examiner. 

" An interesting work." Leeds Mercury. 

" Mr. Andrews may be congratulated on so acceptable an addition to works 
of reference in English poetry." Public Opinion. 

" The volume is not only a series of criticisms, but an anthology, and one 
from which public readers may select fresh and attractive material. "- 
Manchester Guardian. 

" Mr. Andrews has done good work in bringing the " North Country Poets " 
before the public, who cannot fail to appreciate his thoughtful labours." 
Ladies' Treasury. 

" We are sure this book will be thoroughly appreciated, as all the poems are 
selected with great care. Extracts from famous poets are always fraught with 
much interest, but the biographical sketches in " North Country Poets " greatly 
enhance its value and lend to it an additional charm." The Sun. 

" A fresh and striking collection of verses and poems." Sivord and Trowel. 

" This charming volume will find acceptance from a large section of the 
public." The Fireside. 



LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & CO. 
MANCHESTER: ABEL HEYWOOD & SON. 

HULL: 
A. BROWN & SONS, AND J. R. TUTIN. 



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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY, LOS ANGELES 

COLLEGE LIBRARY 

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