BY A LANKYSHIR LAD.
THEN deys er dark, wi trubble hung,
An darkur, seems i’ th’ reer;
My limbs an nerves er ol unstrung,
Mi hert is filt wi feer.
It’s herd wen age is kreepin on,
To stair “King Scant” i’ th’ face
Wi’ nother wark, nor food, a mon
Feels in a ticklish place.
Thes deys er dark, an thouts us dark,
Keep flyin throo mi yed;
Will ther e’er be for weyvers wark
To yern ther “deyly bread.”
We’re waving th’ warp o’ life;
Sure eviry mon’s is wark laid out
Forth’ warld’s med up wi strife.
Thes deys er dark, but chance ther sent
To Lankyshir for gud;
Breet glimps o’ calm, bring sweet content,
I’d mend things if I coud/
One thing I’m sure, nur shame to tel
Midst al mi greef an pane;
I tri to sing an cheer myself,
Woz’s past – neer comes againe.
Title:Relief for Lancashire
Author:A Lankyshir Lad
Date:February 28th 1863
Keywords:charity, poverty, religion, work
This poem is written in dialect but also appears to simplify some of the spelling to suggest an uneducated or illiterate writer. Its overwhelming message is one of gratitude for metropolitan relief for the Lancashire region during the Cotton Famine, and this is aligned with a sense of both regional pride and patriotism. The personification of the effects of the famine as ‘King Scant’ is very interesting, and there is a register of both resignation and defiance in the face of hunger and financial penury. – SR