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Posts Tagged ‘Whit walks’

I loved this poem when I found it; I love that the author, Sam Hill, seems to love the area as much as I do and I love the dialect it is written in. It is thanks to my Grandad that I can understand it all and hearing words like “booside” and “scholars” reminds me so much of him.  I find it best to try to read it aloud and then you can get the sense of it even if you struggle with some of the words. 

Old St Georges, Cocker Hill

 

 The Church is all gone now, but the Churchyard is still there and you can still “linger and wonder and ponder quite fierce” while looking down on Stalybridge. I often do. 

Noan far fro’ this clod ther stands an owd church
Th’ yard wo’s are grown hoary and grey,
Loike a stern sentinel up on his perch
Guardin’ the realms of decay.
I wurn’t yersterday ‘ut th’ foundations wur laid,
Wi’ that bed o’ hard rock for sil;
Theer theawsands o’ th’ owd un’s han’ knelt, sung, an’ prayed,
I’ that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Aw’ve known that owd church sin’ fost aw knew owt;
Within th’ seawnd of it bell aw wur born;
As a lad, aw’ve climbed th’ wo; carin for nowt,
T read th’ owd inscriptions so worn.
When th’ gates han’ been fast, an nob’dy’s bin nee,
When th’ booside’s bin quiet an’ still,
Aw’ve linger’t, and ponder’t, and wonder’t, quite frce,
By that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Ther’s lots o’ owd folk at aw knew sleepin’ theer,
‘ Neath th’ shadow o’ th’ sacred owd pile;
Ther’n restin’ till doom’s-day, witheaut any fear;
Ther’s some on’em rested a while.
Ther waitin’ till th’ day when ther’ll be a big sheawt,
When Gabriel’s trumpet shall trill  -,
That reckonin’ – day ‘ut they tell’n us abeaut
I’ that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Th’ owd shepherd, ut watches o’er th’ flock ‘ut goes theer,
Aw’ve known him o’ th’ days o’ mi life,
Loike an old pilot, his boat he can steer –
It’s seldom ther’s bother or strife.
He’s noan quite as nimble as he’d use’t to be,
But he goes to his work wi a will;
Long may his owd face be seen beamin’ an free,
I’ that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Every Whit-Friday aw look for th’ owd brid
When aw goo watchin’ th’ scholars I’ th’ teawn;
He’s one o’ th’ old stagers, fast nearin’ “the strid” –
Th’ owd mower keeps switchin’ um deawn.
Aw loike watchin’ th’ scholars, ther’s no deaubt o’ that;
Sweet feelin’s it seems to instil,
For it’s grand just to see ‘um com’ marchin’ full bat
Fro’ that little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Aw conno’ do mich wi’ a romancing tale,
An’ yo’ munna’ be hard on mi rhyme;
Aw loike for t’ yer those ‘ut weather ‘t loife’s gale
Tell things ‘ut  wur wanst on a time.
Aw’m preawd o’ th’ owd landmark, it’s seldom aw miss
To let my porr een ha’ ther fill –
Aw look up fro’ th’ bridge, wi’ a feelin o bliss,
At that little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

 

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