“Cheer Up A Bit Longer.” By Samuel Laycock.
Title:Cheer up a Bit Longer
Publication:Whittaker & Co.
Published in:Ave Maria Lane, London
Keywords:america, dialect, family, poverty, unemployment
The conversational rhythm of this poem is assisted by its slightly lopsided metre and line lengths, with broadly twelve-syllable and eight-syllable lines alternating, and metre shifting between dactyls and iambs. There are four eight-line stanzas in this newspaper version but the original was seven stanzas long (see the full version). The omitted original second and fourth and fifth stanzas are indicated by asterisked lines, but interestingly the first four lines of the last stanza here were also changed in the version published in Laycock’s Warblin’ fro’ an Owd Songster (1894). The original seven stanza piece was collected in Edwin Waugh’s influential Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk During the Cotton Famine. The text of that version went like this: