[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
WHATS he sayin ? God bless the falla!
Love is love even in a sheep
Theres some that takes it middlin shalla ;1
But theres some that takes it very deep.
You mind 2 me tellin of Jemmy Jem,
And the son and the daughter, him and them
Up at the church agate 3 of the carols
" Shepherds watchin," " Hark the harals ! " 4
That night the Christmas 5 come ashore
Christmas Rose, I tould ye afore
Three schools in the parish
Them times, I remember, and putty 6 fairish
For the lek, I think. There was one at the Church,
And the little Lhen wasn left in the lurch
A school there, and one at the Sandy,
Up the gill, that was terbil handy
For the Jurby people ; besides the school
In the Town, where none of us went of a rule,
Excepaw dear I poor Tommy 7but stop!
And Nelly 8eh ? shut up ! shut up!
Now the school at the Church was countin' 9 the
Of all the three. And Clukish,10 bedad,
Was a splandid Mastherlek 11 Jemmy Jem
For shortness, but Clukish all the same
James Clukish ; and sarvin 12 for clerk
As well as schoolmaster And Mark
Was the name of the son, called Marky the Bird;
And the daughter Maggiethey hadn a third.
But the school at the Lhen was just for childher,
Enfans in perricuts 13Danny Bewildher
Was the name of the Masther, callin him out
Of his proper name, that was Danny the Spout;
At lasteI dont know ; but Skillicorn,
Ive heard them sayin, the man was born
Poor old Danaw, bless your sowl !
Now was it Skillicorn, or Cowle?
But Clukish (Im too draggy 14),
Clukish, thats the man, and Maggie,
Fuss-rate singers, father, and son,
And daughter, lek the three in one,
Tuned to a dot, most parfec' it was
And him upon the viol-bass
Treminjis ! noted for the long
And loud and soft and full and sthrong.
And when they were sittin the whole of the three
Right in front of the gallery,
Ive heard the Pazon say they were lookin
Him like a big ould angel sthroogin' 15
The sthrings, and them lek 16 God had given
Lek wings to heave him up to heaven.
Well, me and Maggy, Ill engage,
Was just about the same age;
And Mark, of coorse, would be younger rather;
And the two of them goin to school to the father:
But me to the little school at the Lhen,
With Danny Bewildherpoor ould Dan!
The like of a school like that you never
Aw, Danny thought he was taechin clever;
But lettersno ! the A B C?
And spells, and that ? all fiddlededee!
" Latthars ! " hed say, " idikkiliss ! 16
Just clap a Testament in their fiss, 17
And off they goaw, bless your heart!
Theyll read soon enough, if ye give them a start.
Latthars ! latthars ! bewildrin the childher "
And so they were callin him Danny Bewildher.
Poor Dan ! " a start," he said, " only a start ;"
But, of coorse, we were gettin it off by heart.
That was Dan. So we wasn goin
To the same school ; but still I was knowin
The two very well. They were just a taste
Shuperior lek, the way they were dressed
Shoes and stockinsand meaw, chut!
Never had such a thing on my fut,
Excep a Sunday.
But ineetin them down
On the shore very often or up on a ground
We were calli the Lhergy,18 covered with goss 19
And flowers. And aw the nice it was
Of an everin 20 to be up there,
And hear them singin ! Well, I declare
It was mortal altogether.21 You see
Theres nothin pleasanter to me:
I was allis terbil fond of music
Not of my own ! aw, Id have the whole crew sick
If once I begun on youNo, no, no!
But this Maggiebeautiful ! up shed go,
Upupup, to the very sky.
" Give us the lark ! " Id say, and shed fly
At laste her vice 22aw, the happy for hours
Sittin up there among the flowers.
And all the notes that ever you heard
Thats the raison 23 of Marky the Bird
Imitatinbless ye, then
Everything from a hawk to a wren
Thrushes, blackbirdsvery rum!
" Chit, chit ! " hes sayin, meanin " Come !"
" Come ! " and the pewhit answerin clever
" Cha jig thy braa ! " 24 thats maynin, " Never!"
" Gow smook ! gow smook ! " as plain as plain
Thats " Take a smook ! " the bird is sayin
Aye" Chanel thy pingan ammee!"
" I havn a penny "obverse,25 dammee!
Curious, though, very, splainin 26
And everything has got its maynin.27
Aw, Mark was grand" Curlew ! curlew!"
Whats that at all ? no more till 28 boo
Nothin just. But Mark had gorrit,29
" Mirrieu ! 30 mirrieu ! "far more horrit ! 31
" Mirrieu," deadlek its mate, you know
" Dead ! dead ! shes dead ! "aw, terbil though,
That bird, like left, like feelin lonely.
And me ?aw, bless ye ! one bird only,
Just a rookthey said I dunnit 32
Fuss-rate ; and aisy, once I begun it;
But stopped it soon ; and her with the lark;
And" Mirrieu ! mirrieu ! " that was Mark.
Aw, little things thim times : but grew,
Till at last the battle of Waterloo 33
Betwix' my mother and Danny, that plied me
With the cane one day till he nearly destroyed me.
And home I run, and" Mother ! mother!"
And" Dan hey kilt 34 me ! " And" Whats this bother?"
And takes and hits me a clout on the head,
And looks me all over, and " Come ! " she said.
And away with me there ; and in on 35 the school
And" Whats this," she says, " ye dirty fool?
Ye bogh ! 36 ye kyout 37 ye ! you a man?
You snifflkin' 38 creep ! " 39 she says to Dan
"You ? " and just a disgrace
To the place
And the Bishop and the Archdakin_
Ayeand shed be spakin
To the Pazondeed shed let him know !
She would so !
And pins him theer against the wall,
And turns me up, and shows him all.
" Gerr out ! " 40 says Dan ; " Gerr out ! " says he
" Is it out ? " she says, and droppin me,
" Is it out ? " and grips an inkstand there,
And ups and lets him have it fair
Betwix' the eyesaw, the ink and the blood!
And Danny all smotherin where he stood,
And puffin and blowin, and spattrin and sputtrin,
And all the dirt goin sloppin and guttrin
Down his breast, andhis shirt ? my annim ! 41
Never had the lek upon him,
Nor the name o the lek.
" Gerr urrov 42 this school !
Says Dan, and makes a grab at a stool,
And a run and a drive, and she couldn recover her
Footin, and down, and Danny over her!
So there they were rowlin, and crish ! crash
And the furrims 43 capsized, and mixed in a mash
Of murderbless ye ! stuck to him manful
Aye, and handful after handful
Of Dannys hair went flyin about;
And the childher all began to shout,
The boys to cheer, and the gels to cry;
And then I come behind on the sly,
And caught this Danny a clip on the ear,
And he turned, and she saw her chance, and got clear,
And up and off with usaw, its a fac
And left poor Danny on his back.
Well, then I was goin to school at the Church,
To Clukish himself, that was usin a birch,
But very little, or a leather strap
But mostly he was givin ye a rap
On the head with his knucklesand a little hem !
Aw, a grand ould man was Jemmy Jem.
Taechin ! What was there he couldn taech?
Bless ye ! aye, and powerful to praech
In the chapel ; but taechin ! Mensuration
Trigonomojough ! 44 Navigation!
Aw, splendid ! Taech it ? like a bird!
But ye couldn understand a word
Well, ye wouldn expeclek a man, that way, 45
That never was a week at say
No, no ! A tailor he was to his trade,
And manys the pair of breeches he made
In yandher school,cut out, you know,
On the desk afore him ; and sew and sew
And" Come say ! come say ! " 46aw, the little sinners
We were, to be sure ! and" Take your dinners !"
Hed shout as hearty at twelve oclock
Aw, a fine ould cock ! a fine ould cock!
I didn lam much, but theres plenty that did.
There was one little chap with a big round head
Ye never seen the round 47by jing!
That chap was larnin everything.
And the more he lamed, the bigger it got
This headand the rounder, just like a pot.
" Look at that boy ! " ould Clukish was sayin;
" Fit enough to make your tay in
That head," hed say, " like a bottomless pit;
Theres nothin that doesn go into it
Nothin," says Clukish. And right, no doubt:
It all went in, and it never come out
Neverso couldn be no loss
At 48 yandher chap. Its stored it was
In the big round head. My gough ! its grand
To have a head thatll grow and spand,49
And never leak a dropthe pride
Of the mother ! But, of coorse, he died
Sartinlyaw, died, of coorse
Ye see, the workin and the foorce
Of all that was in him, just like a biler,
And no safety-valve, nor no grease for th ile 50 her
Nor nothinye see?
No, I didn lam quick,
And I didn lam much. But I got very thick
With Maggy and Mark. And, when I got higher
In the school, they coaxed me to come in the quire,
And I did : and even after I left,
I stuck to itaye, and made a sheft 51
To sing somethin' tannor 52 was wantin
Tannoraye ; but allis 53 slantin
Into the bass, andloo-loo-loo ! 54
And settled to somethin betwix the two
Rather doubtful, of a manner.55
But Mark was singin the counter-tannor
See-saw, most beautiful ! sixes and sevens
And Maggie up in the heaven of heavens.
And so we got big : and thendoodoss ! 56
I seen the lovely Maggie was.
Milk and roses, milk and roses
That was the complexionMoses!
The beautiful she was when she threw
Back her head, and the throat came in view,
Round and white and big, the way
It mostly is with singers, they say
Fine singersbless ye the full
Like a belliss ! 57 like a bull
And the strings of her bonnet untied, and flung
Over her shouldhers ; and the vice of her rung
Aw, it rung ! it rung ! and all her breast
Was swelled to the feel of the happiness
The joythe glorythechut 58 ! its no use
" Be cautious ! be cautious ! " says Billy Baroose.
But Mark was a terbil sorrowful chap
Lemoncholy 59thats the tap.
And the ouldher he grew, the lemoncholier
He got. And nobody couldn be jollier,
Nor heartier, ye know, till 60 me.
But Mark was allis for poethry.
But the sorrowfulbless ye I lek 61 it was bred
In the fallaMirrieu I mirrieu Idead I
Just so. And " Lizzen " ! 62 and then hed repate
Pomes 63 thatd buss 64 the heart of a skate
His own compozinaye, and still
I was likin to hear him terrible.
Deed 65 hed make ye cryand a lightish slaeper,66
And went to the town to be a draper.
And me and Betsy 67 goin together
And Maggie keepin house for the father
And a good job tooat laste, so it appears
A widda man,68 and had been for years.
And Maggie and me would be about twenty;
And me agate 69 o the fishin, and plenty
To do, I can tell ye, to keep the pot bilin,'
Whenl and behould ye ! there came to the Islan
A terbil man.
Inspector they called him,
Inspector of Schools ; and tuk and hauled 70 him
From parish to parishthe work that was in ! 71
And so at last he come to the Lhen.
And hed it out with Danny Dan.
" Latthars ! " says Danny, " latthars ! dear heart!
Bewildrn the childhargive them a start!
Latthars ! whats latthars ? idikkiliss !
Clap a Testament in their fiss !
" No," says the Inspector, "just clap this !"
And whips a book from his starn 72 pocket
" Now then ! " Bless ye ! a Congreve rocket
d hev 73 done just as wellnot a bit ! not a bit!
Not the one of themnot a line of it !
And the childhar stared
" Theyre not prepared !"
Says Danny, and argued and argued away,
Till he was black in the face, as a body might say.
And then he jawed, lek fit to buss ; 74
And then he gave a bit of a cuss;
And then the Inspector brought him up
All standinpoor divil ! and" Stop, sir, stop !"
Says he. " In all my sperience
I never seen such ignorance.
And itll be my duty to repoort"
Lek presentin to the coort
Or whatever it iscoort, or commission
Something" total inefficien "
Inefficienthats their talk.
And so poor Danny had to walk;
And home to his people in Kirk Bride,
And kept at 75 the Pazon till he died.
And the Bishop come, and the Captain 76 there,
And the Lord knows who, and spakin fair;
And theyd have the school in proper order.
And so we were hearin nothin furdher
Till one day there come a Scotchmanaye
For 77 the schoolmaster.
He wasn shy,
This Scotchman, at allaw, deed be wasn
For the cheek he might have been fuss-cosin 78
To Ould Harry himself. Aw, the cock o that nose
And the strut, and the lip, and the tasty clothes!
And snuff and snarl, and snip and snap
He was what youd call a pushin chap
Pushin, bedad I and a new light,
And come to set us all right,
That was sittin in darkness and the shadow of death;
And his name was Alexander Macbeth.
But the chap was good-lookinthats the pint,
And a tongue in his head like a varsal jint.
He could make it bitter, and he could make it sweet;
He could lift a gel from off her feet
With that tongue. And schaemin I bless ye, the schaemin!
And plannin and plottin, and watchin and aimin
Keen though, as keen as a hungry gull,
And still he could look that sorrowful,
And groanin, and hintin, and his eye all brimmin
With the tearsaw, theyre likin that is women
Being nathral kind, youll undherstand,
And longin to comfort every man
Special if hes handsome, of coorse!
Sartinly ; but work the oors,79
Work the oors.
It wasn long
Afore Mr. Sandy was at it ding-dong
To get the school from Clukishaye,
The principal schoolaw, never say die !
And he worked and he worked, like thingumagee,
Till the Bishop appointed a commitee.
And a committee, its like 80 youre aware,
ll do anything ; anything, Ill swear,
Committees ll dojust so, just so
Deed they will.
But whether or no,
This Alec Macbeth was at 81 Clukish himself;
And " Time to be layin upon the shelf":
And cocked him up with humbug and flattery,
And " My excling colleague ! " and Dear me ! the batthar 82 he
Would be wi/h a pension, and Wouldn he now ? 83
And " Eh, Miss Clukish ? " and bow-wow-wow !
The dirt ! 84 and gorr 85 it all " arranged"
Grand, I tell ye. And so he changed
From the Lhen to the Parish : but Clukish still
To be clerkand quite agreeable.
Tiredand lek everything in its saison.
But ould Clukish had another raison,
Another, I tell ye. He seen this rascal
Was gettin spoony on Maggie ; and ask all
The Parish, and theyd ha tould ye at once
The match was a splendid one, a chance
That wouldn often come Maggies way.
Ive asked the Pazon, and what did he say?
" Mr. Macbeth is a man of promise,
And a most respectable person, Thomas;
And very interestin, and clever "
Azackly 86 so I Now, did you ever?
Even the Pazon I Spectatble ! paff ! 87
Clever ? aye, too clever by half.
Euclidthat was some stuff he was workin
With these lumps,88 that could as aisy swallow a perkin.89
High, man ! highaw, bless your sowl!
Didn a woman come and scowl
And complain ; and says she, " Were gettin no rest
Of the night," she says, " with this foolishness.
Hes shoutin most terbil in his sleep,
And me and the father cant get a peep.
And we wont stand it ! no ! " she said.
And he spoke her so fine ; and" Raelly! in bed!"
And he laughed, and he carried on that plaisin 90
That the woman went away amazin
The satisfied : and sleep is money
But that chaps tongue was the divils own honey.
And Mark was delightin in him, too
Aw, bless ye ! he knew his Mark, he knew
The soft sort of chapa pote ! 91 a pote I
Wasif he one himself ? and d know t
In Mark at once. And heaves up the eye,
If ye seen them together, and sigh for sigh,
And groan for groan ; and takin turns
Repeatin their pomes. And " The Manx Burns"
Hed be callin Markyyoull never rag urrov 92
A Scotchman but hell take a shockin brag urrov
That Burns. " Tim Shindy" 93aye, just so
" Catch her a Saturday," " Scots woho ! "
Of coorse ! of coorse ! Youre mortal fond of them
Aren ye, Andra ? 94 Andras one of them
So Mark was altogether tuk with him ;
And the Pazon too Aw dear I worse luck with him ~
And me ? Well, no ; but Id nothin to say,
And every dog must have his day.
What was my pinion worth to be puttin
Against the Pazons ? Not a button.
And the Pazon was hardly likin him,
Lek what you call likinthats not the trim.95
The Pazon, ye see, was allis for pace,96
But equal, too, for righteousness,
And justice betwix man and man_
Aw, hed work it well if once he began,
But he wouldn go out of his way for a fight
Righteousness, the thing thats right
That was the Pazon. And Dr. Bell
The same : the chap was maenin well
They thought. " Sincere," the Pazon said
And the " valable qualities " he had
"Valuable," the Pazon was sayin,
He spoke that sweet, and slow, and plain.
Of coorse the Pazon was diflrin from me,
The two of them bein such schullars, you see
And knowin a dale about books and such,
The Pazon was likin his talk very much
Likin his talk ; you see, they were maetin
On the same floors,97 and the nither baetin 98
Maetin, not baetinand still, for all,99
I believe he could give the Pazon a fall
Now and then, bein slippy and slim;
And nice for the Pazon, remindin him
Of the time he was young, and could argufy
With the best of them. And he wouldn try
To flatter the Pazon : he knew like a spit 100
That wouldn take the Pazon a bit.
And if he was bould, ye know, and imprin,101
The Pazon never liked them simprin,
Cringin divilsand nathral kind.102
So the Pazon was grippin him mind to mind.
But heart to heart was rather me,103
Heart to heart, ye know, lek it would be
Enstinct,104 isn' it, theyre sayin?
Feelins leklek I couldn explain
Couldn grip with him, hadn the head;
But I could hate him ; and so I did.
But only a boy, and nothin to shove me
Much in his road, that was quite above me
Hardly known me, bless ye I no;
Nor me him ; and soand so.
And Maggie, what d ye do with her? 105
Lovin him like Lucifer.
That was the deuceno good to fret,
Loves golden net ! loves golden net
Gold ! gold ! pure gold ! but, sink or float,
Iron is only cobwebs to t.
Caught was Maggiecaught, caught, caught !
No matter the oughtn, no matter the ought.
Aw, I seen itthat was enough for me
Id had my doubts ; but see is see-
At a stile on a Sunday afternoon,
The stayin, the delayin,
The snatchin, the catchin,
The detainin, the complainin,
The head so sweetly laenin
On your shouldher Dont be bouldher !
On a Sunday, on a Sunday, on a Sunday, on a Sunday
On a Sunday, on a Sunday afternoon.
Yes, I seen her at the stile,
Such a smile, at the stile,
Bless the chile I at the stile,
At the stile, at the stile, at the stile, at the stile,
Of a Sunday afternoon.
There now I take and make a tune
For my song ; theyll print it for you in Doolish.106
Dear heart ! youll think Im gettin foolish.
But if youll see that at a stile, my men,
On a Sunday afternoon, why then
You may make up your minds whats goin to be,
And all the rest is fiddlededee.
Behaved hisself? Of coorse, he done
Had to behave hisself~ my son.
But hang it ! give the divil his due,
Just the same as I would to you
Now stow your chaff there, Barney OGrady!
He traited her like a puffec 107 lady.
So now its for a Pazon he was goin
And how he managed theres no knowin;
But got the Bishop to examine him,
And some way or other contrived to gammon him
To promise to ordain himordain
Isn that the word ? whatever they mane
And curate ! curate, Ill be bail,
Goin for a curate to Pazon Gale.
And would have been the very next day,
If it hadn but stay, my lads, now I stay!
That evrin 108 I tell ye, there come a
Along the road though, cryin uncommon
Cryin, cryin, cryin there
" Wheres my Sandy ? where, oh where?
Wheres my Sandy ? my Alexander?
Where is he ? where is he ? " and had cried like yandher 109
All the passage from Whitehaven,
" Wheres my Sandy, div ye ken ? " 110
And up the pier, and the market-place,
" Wheres my Sandy ? " and wouldn cease.
And she didn regard for none that blamed her
For of coorse there was people that fie-for-shamed her
And a pleeceman gev her directions to go;
And " Sandy ! Sandy ! " she was shoutin, though.
And come upon the village street,
And could hardly stand upon her feet
And the women about her, and" Get some brandy !"
But she wouldn taste it" Sandy ! Sandy !
Wheres my Sandy ? " And they tried some rum;
And a call for Sandy : so Sandy come.
Yes, he come ; and just gave a look;
And then they say the fellow shook
All over ; and then his face all fire,
And straightened hisseif like goin to deny her;
And then a rush, and her arms was round him,
And his round her. " Ive found him ! found him !"
She said. And he tuk her into the house,
And shut the door, and as quite111 as a mouse
All night, they were sayn, and plenty to listen,
And fancyin they were hearn them kissin.
But never a word of any complaint
Its lek the poor craythur was that content
For to have him again. And before the dawn
They were off, and just a bundle,112 gone
To Douglas, and afterwards over to Anglan 113
No nise,114 no bother, no worry, no wranglin
Just off. The woman, ye see, was his wife
I dont know, upon my life,
How theyre doin ithotch-potch,
Lek accordin to the Scotch 115
But lawful, I tell ye ; so youd better look out !
Lawfulnot the smallest doubt.
And the chap was poor, and shed worked like a slave
To keep him at one of these places they have
For preparin people for schoolmasters,
And pazons and thatSt. Bars ? St. Burs?
St. Beesthats it, and hardly fair
Ive heard them tellin thats seen her there
In a little room, and to brew and bake for him,
And pickin sticks to bake a cake for him.
Well nowMaggie ? Hould your kedge ! 116
I seen her spreadin clothes on the hedge
Of the garden, it wouldn be more till 117 a week
After that, and I thought Id speak ;
And" How are tha,118 Maggie, how are tha, gel ? "
" Aw," she said, " Im very well."
Very well ! very well!
Toull 119 the bell I toull the bell!
When ye know what its meanin 120 that very well !
She died next dayquite aisy, they said
Mirrieu ! mirricu ! dead ! dead!
Dead ! And Mark ? He dropped the draper,
And tuk to writin for some paper.
So ye see theres some that takes it deep ?
Upon my sowl, the chaps asleep!
3 Engaged upon.
5 See Christmas Rose p150
7 See Tommy Big eyes "
10 As it were (but nearly superfluous).
11 Serving as.
12 Infants in petticoats.
15 Looking as if.
18 High waste-land.
21 Altogether very nice.
23 Origin of his name.
24 This and some expressions following are Manx, but some-what corrupt.
29 Got it.
32 Did it.
32 An awful row.
33 Has killed.
35 Poor (creature).
36 Miserable being.
40 Get out.
41 (upon) my soul
42 Out of
44 Superfluous, like " you know."
45 " Come up to the desk, and say your tasks," a customary formula : so, " Take your dinners," the form of dismissal
46 at noon.
47 Anything so round.
48 Nothing could be lost by.
50 For to oil.
54 (Tries lis voice).
55 In a way=somehow. 54 Good gracious!
55 Bellows. 56 Tut.
59 Melancholy. 60 Than
62 As if. 63 Listen. 64 Poems. 65 Burst. 66 Indeed.
67 He was rather a light sleeper : cf. The Squire in Chaucers Prologue.
68 See " Focsle Yarns." 69 Widower. 70 Engaged upon.
71 He was taken about. 72 What excitement there was!
73 Coat-tail. 74 Would have. Enough to burst himself.
75 By. 76 Captain of the Parish (a Manx official).
77 To be. 78 First cousin. 79 Oars =let us get on.
80 It is likely. 81 Went to. 82 Better.
83 The scoundrel. 84 Got. 85 Exactly.
86 Pooh ! 87 Biggish boys. 88 Porpoise.
89 So pleasingly. 90 Poet.
91 Never worry it out of a Scotchman = never induce him to ~ otherwise than brag greatly about. Urrov = out of : to take a out of= to brag about.
92 The reader will recognise adumbrations of three famous poems Burns.
93 Are you not, Andrew ?
94 The way to put it. 95 Always for peace.
96 Meeting upon equal terms.
97 Neither getting the better of the other. 98 After all.
99 Easily, at once. 100 Impudent.
101 And besides (the Parson) was naturally kind.
102 My way. 103 Instinct.
104 What would you have ? 105 Douglas. 106 Did
107 Perfect. 108 Evening. 109 Like that. 110 Do you know?
111 Quiet. 112 All their luggage. 113 England.
114 Noise. 115 Scotch fashion. 116 Anchor = keep quiet.
117 Than 118 Art thou. 119 Toll.
120 It means.