Fieldfares

A poem by Frederic William Moorman

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?

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