[From Manx Ballads, 1896]




JEHN Ellan shoh, mychione eck te fo'm loayrt,
Neem y chooid share son coontey feer y choyrt.
T'ee Ellan veg ayns keayn Noo Yeorge ny lhie,
S ga t'ee beg, t'ee costallagh dy mie.
Ta cheer ny Albey er y twoaie j'ee soit,
As Anglesey ta er y jiass j'ee lhie-t.
Ta Lancashire lhie vo'ee ny chiar,
As Nerin ayns y sheear, myr ta mee cur-myner.
Yn chummey eck ta er yn agh t shoh noain :
T'ee lane vie liauyer, ch vel ee agh feer choon,
Veih Kione-ny-Harey, 'syn ayrn sodjey twoaie
Er dys y Cholloo; cha vel fys ayms' quoi
Ren ee y howse, mish cha ren veg y lheid.
Ta'd gra dy jean ee towse jeih veeilley as feed.
Er son y lheead eck slane velh cheu dy heu,
Myr ta mee lhaih, ta ny screeunyn streeu
Paart sailliu nuy, ny jeih, ny red gyn veg,
As paart ta shassoo er queig veeilly-yeig.
Agh lheid er-hastagh, ta mee cur daue ny reih
Dy ghoaill ee son nuy, queig-jeig, ny jeih.
Kiare baljyn-vargee foast dyn enmys ta,
Jeu nee-ym loayrt, my lowys shiu agh traa.
Hoshiaght, Balley-Chashtal jeh goo vooar,
As balley chronnal t'ee shickyr dy-liooar.
Ta'n valley soit er-gerrey da yn cheayn,
King-reill yn Ellan bunnys ta ayns shen.
Ta purt fardalagh ayn, as keint dy cheyee;
Olk ta'd shen hene, agh s'olk dy mooar ta'n vaie.
T'an chashtal aalin neesht, as veih shen hellym
Ta'n valley shoh er lesh v'er ghoaill e ennym.
Ayns shoh ta slattyssyn y cheerey freilt,
As liorish leighyn chair ta'n Ellan reilt.
Nish ta mee cheet dys Doolish, sooill y cheer,
As t'ee, yn valley s'aalin t'aynl dy feer.
Ga t'ee neu-feeu dys baljyn yoarree elley,
Foast shegin dooin choontey jee, ga t'ee ny smelley.
T' an valley shoh jeant magh lesh cummaltee,
Dy yoarreeyn chammah as dy Vanninee.
Myr shen ta'n vaie, ta purt vie lhuingys ayn
Cooid ta prowit ec ny shlee ny un ashoon.
'Sy valley shoh, dy smooinaght er y voayl,
Ta dellal vioyr ayns lane cliaghlaaghyn chooid.
Ny thieyn ta mie as sie cordall rish fort.
Ny stadyn-vea, cha kiart as oddyms loayrt,
Paart berchagh as paart boght jeh'n chummaltee
'Sy valley shoh, myr ta stayd yminodee.
Nish Purt--ny-Hinshey 'sy trass ynnyd ta
Cheet stiagh ayns cair dy ve er ny imraa.
T'an valley shoh 'sy sheear hwoaie ny lhie;
T'ee beg dy feer, agh lane dy liooar dy leih.
Ayns shoh ta cashtal neesht er ynnyd sunt,
Dy schleioil troggit lesh creggyn chreoi son grunt.
Ta baie ayn neesht, yn sauchys eck cha s'aym
Agh smie da lheid ve ayn son cour traa feme.
Chamoo neem lane y ghra ayns moylley'n phurt;
Myr t'adsyn feddyn eh lhig dagh er loayrt.
Ny-veih 'sy vaie ta lhuingys cliaghtey raad,
As ayns yn awin paart folmaghey nyn laad.
Eisht liorish shoh shegin daue ve castre-cair,
Er-nonney ennaght ad mooads nyn ghanjeyr.
Reggyryn neesht ny vud oc, ta mee toiggal,
Ta lane vie bloyr ayns caghlaaghyn ghellal.
Ny thieyn t'oc mie as sie, myr boayl ny ghaa.
Cree smoo mychione eck bailliu mee dy ghra ?
Rhumsaa 'sy chiarroo ynnyd ta cheet stiagh,
Ny veg roie raait, t'ee sodjey twoale dy bragh.
Dy loayrt dy feer, ga t'ee yn valley sloo
'Sy cheer shoh, noain ny-yeih ta foddey smoo
Dy chummaltee, as dy reggyryn ayn,
Cooid ta cur er nyn meaghey ve cha goaun,
Cha bliass da ve ayns balley veagh wheesh elley;
Son shen scoan ta'd veg share, agh foddey smelley.
Ayns traaghyn ta'n dellal oc mie bioyr,
As t'ad ec traaghyn elley, lhagg dy liooar.
Lane ijoarreeyn ta ayn-jee jeh ny Albanee,
Paart t'ayn ta cheet as goll, as paart ny cummaltee.
Ta purt vie ayn, as baie veg share cha lhiass,
Chamoo ta lheid 'sy cheer, er twoaie ny jiass.
Ny thieyn injil to'c ta sollshaght er cheu-mooie
Ymmyrch vooar ny neu-freoose ny cummaltee.
Nish stayd ny Baljyn-vargee inshit ta,
Mychione ny Baljyn-veggey shegin gimraa.
Jeh shoh ta klare ny wheig ayns earroo noain,
Agh feer fardalagh ta'd, dy chooilley unnane.
Ta aer ny cheerey coontit feer slayntoil,
As dooghys y thallooin ta fegoolsh foil.
Gymmyrkey curnaght, pishyr, corkey's oayrn.
As shoggyl neesht. Yn sleih ta fegoolsh moyrn
Son y chooid smoo, as dooie rish joarreeyn.
Ta'd giastallagh rish boghtyn nyn jeer hene.
Ollagh, cabbil, kirree, guoiee, as goair,
Ta'n cheer dy ymmyrkey ayns palchys vooar.
Monney dy fuygh, cha vel 'sy cheer shoh gaase,
Keayrt palchey va, agh genney nish te'r naase.
Ta oc son alle, kypp, rhennagh, conney 's moain,
Ayns ynnydyn jeh cheer ta shen hene goaun.
Ny baljyn-yargee bunnys ta jeant magh
Lesh aile ta joarree, lheid's geayl, cheet stiagh.
Ayns shee as fea yn sleih ta ceau nyn draa,
As reill yn Ellan er yn aght shoh ta :
Ta un Chiannoort, 's daa Vriw'sy Whaiyl-Theay,
As ny quaiylyn elley, inshym ad dy leah.
Aspick ny cheerey ta, as daa Phesson marish,
T'ad shoh nyn droor ta jannoo yn Whaiyl-Agglish.
Mysh mean ny cheerey, myr cashtal ny hoie,
Immyr dy sleityn twoaie as jiass ta roie.
Ny vud oc shoh yn slieau, son yrjid ta
Cronnal dy mie as feeu dy liooar gimraa,
Emmyssit Sniaul; veih'n vullagh syn un cheayrt
Troor dy reeriaghtyn hee shin cruinn mygeayrt.
Ayns earish t'er 'ngholl shaghey, ny Manninee
Va ashoon niartal, as sleih mooar caggee;
Agh nish cha vel wheesh boirey cheet nyn raad.
S'maynrey 'n skeeal I feer vaynrey ta nyn stayd !
Yn cheer shoh noain, my ta shiu er chlashtyn jeh,
Dyn dooyt nagh vel yn skeeal ta foddey shlea
Na'n cheer shoh hene, yn goo myr shoh ta goll
Ta ferrishyn as beishtyn ayns dagh voayl
Jeh'n cheer veg shoh, as kinjagh te d'imraa
Dy vel ad er nyn vakin oie as laa.
Nish cre dy ghra 'sy chooish yn shoh cha's'aym,
Agh son lane pleat cha naik'ym monney feme.
Paart trooid faase-chredjue, paart trooid faasid vooar
As mee-hushtey myr shoh nee ad m'ansoor;
"Ta lheid dy feer." Cre oddyms roo y ghra ?
My jirrym, dty hilley oo er dty volley ta,
Jir ad "nagh vel," as cowraghyn ta'd ginsh
Ve myr shoh noain, ve'h cha baghtal shoh ny wheesh
Cha jirym roo ' "cha veer dhyt," as myr shen
Ta skeealyn gaase, ta'd credjit as ta'd beayn.
Nish lhig dagh er, tra 'chlinnys eh lheid shoh,
Ed yr mychione corp varroo ny corp vio,
Yn ym"yd saillish yannoo jeh yn skeeal,
Cordail rish goo as sheeltys feer e veeal
Ta ginsh da lheid, agh share lhiam eh dy mooar
Eh ve dyn chredjal; as shickyr te dy liooar
Ta lheid ny niaghtyn toilliu lane dy chraid,
Cooid ta'd dy gheddyn dagh voayl ta'd goaill raad.
Bunnys ny oddyms ghra mychione y cheer;
Vel ooilley shoh ny taym's ve raa-it dy feer.
Myr shen ' sy traa cha jeanyms lesh my veeal
Ny smoo y ghra, agh ta jerrey er my skeeal.



OF this Island, of which I mean to speak,
I'll do my best to give a true account.
She is a small Isle in St. George's Sea,
Though she is small, she is very precious.
The country of the Scotch is to the north,
And Anglesey's Isle lies on her south side.
Lancashire lies on the east side of her,
And Ireland on the west I do behold.
Her shape undoubtedly is as follows
She's rather long, she is very narrow,t
From Point of Ayre, the portion furthest north,
To the Calf Isle; I have no knowledge who
Did measure her, for I did no such thing.
They say that she measures just thirty miles.
As regards her whole breadth from side to side,
I understand the measurements differ;~+
Some think nine, or ten, or some such trifle,
And some persist 'tls fifteen miles at least.
But to the observant I give the choice
To take her for nine, fifteen, or ten.
Four market-towns unmentioned yet there are,
Of them I'll speak, if you'll but spare the time.
First, Castletown of very great renown,
And sure enough 'tls a notable town.
The town is situate close to the sea,
The Island's chief rulers are mostly there.
There is a poor harbour, and a kind of quay;
Full bad are these, but full worse is the bay.
The castle's fine, and from it, I believe,
The town its appellation has taken.
*Tis here the statutes of the Island are kept,
And by just laws the Island is governed.
Now come I to Douglas, the country's eye,
And she's the most beautiful town truly,
Though she's not equal§ to some foreign towns,
Yet must we prize her, though inferior.
This town has numbers of inhabitants,
Who are foreigners as well as Manxmen.
As for the bay, there's a good shipping port
Goods are taxed~.- there from more than one nation.
In this town, just to think about the place,
There's a brisk trade in many kinds of goods.
The houses good and bad as means vary.
Life's conditions, as far as I can tell,
Are that of the folk some are rich, some poor
In this Town, as is the state of many.
Now Port-ny-Hinshey in the third place doth
Come in by good right to be mentioned.
This little town lies on the north-west side
She is little truly, but full of people.
Here too's a castle on a healthy place,
Skilfully built with hard rocks for foundation.+
There is a bay, how safe I do not know;
'Tls well that such should be in time of need.
Nor will I say much in the harbour's praise;
As each one finds it, so let each one speak.
Yet in the bay ships are wont to anchor,
And in the river some discharge cargo.
By this 'twould seem these must be passable,
Else the greatness of their danger they'd feel.
Some few among them too, I understand,
Are trading actively in various ways.
The houses are good and bad, as elsewhere,
What more about her would you have me say ?
Ramsey in the fourth place comes in, before
Not mentioned, she is the farthest north.
To speak truly, though she is the smallest town
Within, this country, yet she has far more
Inhabitants for her extent than most,§
Which causes provisions to be so scarce,
As need not be in a town twice the size,*
For that they are not better, but far worse.
Sometimes their trade is reasonably brisk,
And slack enough they are at other times.
Many strangers who are Scotchmen live here,
Some come and go, and some are residents.
There's a good harbour, an excellent bay,
Nought like it in the country, north or south.
Their low houses show on the face of them
Great need or heedlessness in the dwellers.
Now the state of the Market-towns is told,
About the Villages we must discourse.
Of these without doubt there are four or five,
But every one of'them is very small.
The country air is thought very healthful,
And the nature of the soil is faultless.
It brings forth wheat and pease, oats and barley,
And rye also. The people are without pride
For the most part, and kindly to strangers.
They are charitable to their own poor.
Cattle, horses, sheep, geese and goats also,
The country produces in great plenty.
Much wood does not in this country flourish,
Once there was plenty, but tis now grown scarce.
They have for fires both logs, fern, gorse, and turf,
But in parts of the.land e'en these are rare.
The market towns are now mainly supplied
With foreign fuel, like coal, imported.
In peace and quiet the folk spend their time,
And the Isle is governed in this manner:
There's one Gov'nor and two Deemsters in the
Common-law Court, the others I'll soon tell.
The Bishop and two Vicars are the three
Who form the Court Ecclesiastical.*
Like a castle set in the country's midst,
There's a range of mountains runs north and south.
Among these the mountain, that for height is
Conspicuous and worthy of mention,
Named Snaefell; from the summit at once
Three kingdoms you will see stretched round about.
In times that have passed away, the Manxmen
Were a strong nation and great warriors;
But now no disturbance e'er comes their way.
What happy tidings! What a happy state !
In this country in truth, as you have heard,
No doubt the report has spread wider far
Than this country itself, the tale goes that
There are fairies and ogres everywhere
In this little land, and 'tis often said
That they are visible both night and day.
Now what to say 'bout this I do not know,
But for much talk, I perceive no need.
Some through unbelief and some through weakness
And ignorance will thus answer me :
"There are such truly." What can I tell them ?
If I should say, thy sight doth thee deceive,
They will say "It does not," and tell how signs
Were like this certainly, as clear as this.
I cannot say "thou speak'st not truth ; " and so
Stories do grow, are believed and remain.
Now let each one, when he hears such as this,
Either about the dead or the living,
Make what use he pleases of the storv,
According to the truthfulness of him
Who tells him it, but I would much rather
Him to be disbelieved ; and sure enough
Such narrations deserve much ridicule,
A thing they ought to get where're they go.
This is near all that I can say about
The country; I hope that 'tis all truthful.
So that on this occasion, I will say
No more, but there's an end to my story.


1 of necessity."
2 " she is not but very."
3 as I read, the writings are at strife."
4 " unworthy."
4 proved."
5 " Port of the Island," i.e., Peel.
6 "ground."
7 of inhabitants and some few," but this is obscure.
8 the Bishop of the country and two Parsons with (him), these three constitute the Ecclesiastical Court."


Back index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001