[From Manx Quarterly, #25]
By Geo. Quarrie, New York.
In the good old days the farmer was amusingly forgiving,
If a lazy follow took the stand, the world owed him a living;
And it seems, to-day, in such a man the Manxman takes a pride,
Although he knows the fellow goes and steals things far and wide;
Now, the Sheeja was a man like that-Tom Sheeja, of Kirk Bride.
O the Sheeja was but rarely seen, like others, in the day;
If you met shim, Tom would turn aside and look the other way;
And he walled with long and stealthy steps, and always peered around,
Like a big sleech of a tomcat does, when treading dirty ground;
'Twas a. step you never heard, bowuse it never made a sound-
'Twas the Sheeja step, or " silken foat," for which Tom was renowned.
But the time of Tom's delight was when a storm was at its height,
And was roaring madly through the trees, in the middle of the night;
When the farmer had been long asleep, perhaps he'd wake, and, hark!
Some disturbance in the hen-houso! and the dogs, how they do bark!
But before his lantern could be lit, and he'd hobbled to the spot,
Flo would know the thief was far away, and then, as like as not,
By the hens left on the roost he'd count how many Tom had got.
Oh, he knew quite well who'd got his hens! and though a cuss he'd give,
He would scratch his head, and, " Well!" he'd say, " the crather's got to live!"
Now, Billy Vundhy had a farm, and he was so kind of heart,
That visits of the Sheeja he would take in friendly part;
One night when Billy reached his home, just by his barnyard gate
He saw the Sheeja with a bag: "Here, Tom!" he shouted; " Wait!"
" What's in that sack?" and Tom replied, " Aw, jus' a slough o' whate;
An', Billy, la!" the Sheeja coaxed, " here, gimme a lif' on,
The 'daylight's nearly at us, bob, 'is time that 'a was gone!"
" All right," said Billy, helping him, " but, Tom, this bag is such
A divil of a w'ight of whate! Nes' time don't take so much!"
But Tom was gone; and Billy laughed-" If that don't bate the Dutch."