Billings Sorrows...

... in being Sober for want of money to get Drunk
[To the Tune “Doleful Dumps”]

Here like Johnny Horner
Confined in my corner
Half famished o’er terrible tea
I sit like an Owl
While the Cats Mew & yowl
A tale of my troubles to me

The taxes distress me
& parish rates dress me
Out of all my good money & calling
So here I sit growling
& Whooping and howling
Far away from the beer house a bawling

I’m as lean as a match
Nor a chance can I catch
Both money & credit is gone
I would pawn my coat
But its not worth a groat
Tho’ the best that I have when it’s on

So here I remain
For to mourn & complain
Keeping up a most damnable cry
Good people I pray
Do but heed what I say
Save a tester to drink when your dry.

Song "Sweet love I see the gales of Spring"

Sweet love I see the gales of Spring
Are wanton, wooing with thy hair
The missle thrush begins to sing
The sloe tree shews its blossoms fair

The white thorn bush is shewing leaf
The path is printed down the lane
The grass is green the shower brief
Come love now let us meet again

O let us meet and walk and love
And through the fir dale coppice stray
And view the scaley cones above
Droop brown as dropping all the way

The moss that warms the primrose roots
The buds their brimstone flowers contain
Where all unchecked the wood rose shoots
Sweet love do let us meet again

In hat of straw and russet gown
And shawl across thy shoulders thrown
We'll stroll the coppice up and down
Enjoying raptures all our own

The scolding calls of noisy jay
Shall please our ears and not in vain
We'll through the briery coppice stray
Sweet love do let us meet again

The Sharp Wind Shivers (part)

The sharp wind shivers in the warm gorse blossoms
And trembles in the dead grass o'er the heath
The silver rain pearls in the wild flowers bosoms
And moistens minute flowers of moss beneath
There i' the morning dew I early ramble
What time beneath the fern the weary moth
Hides from the sun in dew drops hangs the bramble
As down the rabbit track I venture forth

Bridge Casterton

[The Gwash at Great Casterton]
Thinking about the 2010 festival and the coach trip to Great Casterton, here is Clare sitting under the bridge by the river Gwash observing what there is around him... (just an excerpt)

While swift the mail coach rattles up the hill
Nearly unseen beneath a cloud of dust
& the poor beggar pined & weary still
Drops on the bank to rest or eat his crust
Upon thy winding side wild Gwash I lie
Viewing with curious eye the silver bream
Taking vaunting springs to trap the thoughtless flye
That heedless dances on thy gentle stream

The black snail wakens from the swoons of day
& from the boughs that nestle by thy side
The light wing'd moths steal out again to play
Crossing with hasty wing thy rippling tide
How sweet the blackbird chaunts her evening song
While the shrill larks in twittering chorus join
& O sad deed while boys thy shades among
With hardnd hearts her unfledg'd young purloin

Song: "There's a little odd house..."

There’s a little odd house by the side of the Lane
Where the daisy smiles sweet in the spring
Where the morning sun glitters like gold on the pane
& the hedge Sparrow trembles his wing
Where chaffinch green linnet & Sparrows have tones
That make the green Lane & the cottage their own
The sparrows they chirp & make nests i' the eaves
The chaffinch sings ‘pink’ in the hedge o' white thorn
That fences the garden & there the bird weaves
A nest of grey lichen soon as light i' the morn
& there bonny Susan will sit at the door
& see the green linnet at work at its nest
Where the robin flyes in for a crumb on the floor
& seems as if longing to sit on her breast


Image: 'The Shepherd's Calendar ~ February' by Carry Akroyd

The mavis thrush wi wild delight
Upon the orchards dripping tree
Mutters to see the day so bright
Spring scraps of young hopes poesy
And oft dame stops her burring wheel
To hear the robins note once more
That tutles while he pecks his meal
From sweet-briar hips beside the door
The hedghog from its hollow root
Sees the wood moss clear of snow
And hunts each hedge for fallen fruit
Crab hip and winter bitten sloe
And oft when checkd by sudden fears
As shepherd dog his haunt espies
He rolls up in a ball of spears
And all his barking rage defies
Thus nature of the spring will dream
While south winds thaw but soon again
Frost breaths upon the stiffening stream
And numbs it into ice—the plain
Soon wears its merry garb of white
And icicles that fret at noon
Will eke their icy tails at night
Beneath the chilly stars and moon