Frederic William Moorman

The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest

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But now they are moaning, on ilka green loaning
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
Jane Elliot (1727-1805).

O! day-time is weary, an' dark o' dusk dreary
For t' lasses i' t' mistal, or rakin' ower t' hay;
When t' kye coom for strippin', or t' yowes for their clippin',
We think on our sowdiers now gone reet away.

The courtin'-gate's idle, nae lad flings his bridle
Ower t' yak-stoup,(1) an' sleely cooms seekin' his may;
The trod by the river is green as a sliver,(2)
For the Flowers o' the Forest have all stown away.

At Marti'mas hirin's, nae ribbins, nae tirin's,
When t' godspenny's(3) addled, an' t' time's coom for play;
Nae Cheap-Jacks, nae dancin', wi' t' teamster' clogs prancin ,
The Flowers o' the Forest are all flown a way.

When at neet church is lowsin', an' t' owd ullet is rousin'
Hissel i' our laithe,(4) wheer he's slummered all t' day,
Wae's t' heart! but we misses our lads' saftest kisses,
Now the Flowers o' the Forest are gone reet away.

Ploo-lads frae Pannal have crossed ower the Channel,
Shipperds frae Fewston have taen the King's pay,
Thackrays frae Dacre have sold ivery acre;
Thou'll finnd ne'er a delver(5) frae Haverah to Bray.

When t' north wind is howlin', an' t' west wind is yowlin',
It's for t' farm lads at sea that us lasses mun pray;
Tassey-Will o' t' new biggin, keepin' watch i' his riggin ,
Lile Jock i' his fo'c'sle, torpedoed i' t' bay.

Mony a lass now is weepin' for her marrow that's sleepin',
Wi' nae bield for his corp but the cowd Flanthers clay;
He'll ne'er lift his limmers,(6) he'll ne'er wean his gimmers(7):
Ay, there's Flowers o' the Forest are withered away.

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Frederic William Moorman