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- Songs of the Ridings - 10/11 -

O coom an' greet me, Mally, Meet me, greet me, at the courtin' gate.

I've wrowt all t' day at t' harvist, But ivery hour seemed sweet, Acause I thowt I'd haud thee Clasped i' my airms to-neet. Black Bess she raked aside me An' leuked at me an' smiled; I telled her I loved Mally, It made her despert wild. O coom an' meet me, Mally, O coom an' greet me, Mally, Meet me, greet me, at the courtin' gate.

Thy shadow's gone frae t' kitchen, T' hoose-door is oppened wide. It's she, my viewly Mally, The lass I'll mak my bride. White lilies in her garden, Fling oot your scent i' t' air, An' mingle breath wi' t' roses I've gethered for her hair. O let me haud thee, Mally, O let me faud thee, Mally, Haud thee, faud thee, at the courtin' gate.


A song I sing o' t' Yorkshire dales, That winnd frae t' moors to t' sea; Frae t' breast o' t' fells, wheer t' cloud-rack sails, Their becks flow merrily. Their banks are breet wi' moss an' broom, An' sweet is t' scent o' t' thyme; You can hark to t' bees' saft, dreamy soom(1) I' t' foxglove bells an' t' lime.

Chorus O! Swawdill's good for horses, an' Wensladill for cheese, An' Airedill fowk are busy as a bee; But wheersoe'er I wander, My owd heart aye grows fonder O Whardill, wheer I'll lig me down an' dee.

Reet bonny are our dales i' March, When t' curlews tak to t' moors, There's ruddy buds on ivery larch, Primroses don their floors. But bonnier yet when t' August sun Leets up yon plats o' ling; An' gert white fishes lowp an' scun,(2) Wheer t' weirs ower t' watter hing.

O! Swawdills good...

By ivery beck an abbey sleeps, An' t' ullet is t' owd prior. A jackdaw thruf each windey peeps, An' bigs his nest i' t' choir. In ivery dale a castle stands-- Sing, Clifford, Percy, Scrope!-- They threaped amang theirsels for t' lands, But fowt for t' King or t' Pope.

O! Swawdill's good...

O! Eastward ho! is t' song o' t' gales, As they sweep ower fell an' lea; And Eastward ho! is t' song o' t' dales, That winnd frae t' moors to t' sea. Coom winter frost, coom summer druft, Their watters munnot bide; An' t' rain that's fall'n when bould winds soughed Sal iver seawards glide.

O! Swawdill' s good...

1. Hum. 2 Leap and dart away.


Fieldfares, bonny fieldfares, feedin' 'mang the bent, Wheer the sun is shinin' through yon cloud's wide rent, Welcoom back to t' moorlands, Frae Norway's fells an' shorelands, Welcoom back to Whardill,(1) now October's ommost spent.

Noisy, chackin' fieldfares, weel I ken your cry, When i' flocks you're sweepin' ower the hills sae high: Oft on trees you gethers, Preenin' out your feathers, An' I'm fain to see your coats as blue as t' summer sky.

Curlews, larks an' tewits,(2) all have gone frae t' moors, Frost has nipped i' t' garden all my bonny floors; Roses, lilies, pansies, Stocks an' yallow tansies Fade away, an' soon the leaves 'll clutter(3) doon i' shoors.

Here i' bed I'm liggin', liggin' day by day Hay-cart whemmled ower,(4) and underneath I lay; I was nobbut seven, Soon I'll be eleven; Fower times have I seen you fieldfares coom an' flee away.

You'll be gone when t' swallow bigs his nest o' loam, April winds 'll blaw you far ower t' saut sea foam; You'll not wait while May-time, Summer dews an' hay-time; Lang afore our gerse is mawn your mates 'll call you home.

Fieldfares, liltin'(5) fieldfares, you'll noan sing to me. Why sud you bide silent while you've crossed the sea? Are you brokken-hearted, Sin frae home you've parted, Leavin' far frae Yorkshire moors your nests i' t' tall fir tree?

Storm-cock sings at new-yeer, swingin' on yon esh, Sings his loudest song when t' winds do beat an' lesh; Robins, throstles follow, An' when cooms the swalloww, All the birds 'll chirm to see our woodlands green an' nesh.

Fieldfares, bonny fieldfares, I'll be gone 'fore you; I'm sae weak an' dowly, hands are thin an' blue. Pain is growin' stranger, As the neets get langer. Will you miss my face at whiles, when t' owd yeer's changed to t' new?

1. Wharfdale 2. Peewits 3.Huddle 4. Upset 5. Light-hearted


She leaned o'er her latticed casement, The Flower of Wensleydale; 'Twas St Agnes Eve at midnight, Through the mist the stars burnt pale.

In her hand she held twelve sage-leaves, Plucked in her garden at noon; And over them she had whispered thrice The spell of a mystic rune.

For many had come a-wooing The maid with the sloe-blue eyes; Fain would she learn of St Agnes To whom should fall the prize.

They said she must drop a sage-leaf At each stroke of the midnight hour; Then should the knight of her father's choice Obey the summons of her voice, And appear 'neath her oriel'd bowwer.

To the holy virgin-martyr She lifted her hands in prayer; Then she watched the rooks that perched asleep In the chestnut branches bare.

At last on the frosty silence There rang out the midnight chime; And the hills gave back in echoes The knell of the dying time.

She held her breath as she counted The beats of the chapel bell; At every stroke of the hammer A sage-leaf fluttered and fell, Slowly fluttered and fell.

Her heart stood still a moment, As the last leaf touched the ground; And her hand went swift to her maiden breast, For she heard a far-off sound;

'Twas the sound of a horseman spurring His steed through the woodland glade; And ever the sound drew nearer, And the footfalls echoed clearer, Till before her bower they stayed.

She strained her eyes to discover, By the light of a ghostly moon, Who was the knight had heard and obeyed

Songs of the Ridings - 10/11

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