Author:W. F. M.
Publication:The Blackburn Standard
Date:Wednesday, July 09, 1862
Though no musical accompaniment is suggested, this poem by an unknown poet, “W.F.M”, seems designed to be sung, not least because of its cheery tone. It tells the story of a weaver, “old Shuttle”, forced by poverty to break stone for a living. Stone-breaking, like oakum-picking, was associated with the labour test imposed upon poor men seeking relief, in order to determine that they were willing to work. In spite of the hard labour, and a situation that might well have been deemed shameful by contemporaries, the weaver remains optimistic, trusting in God and accepting of his lot. – RM.