[From Mona's Isle, 1844]



Could I, like Milton,heaven’s high theme rehearse,
Soaring on transcendental wing on high,
Or glide, like Goldsmith, down the stream of verse,
Or with a Thomson in the Seasons vie,

I’d string my lyre to its highest note,
I’d seek the Muses’ aid and sunny smile,
And heart and soul in unison devote
To sing the praises of my dear loved Isle.

Yet though not taught,like those I’ve named above,
In the learn’d mysteries of schools or art,
I have that portion of my country’s love
That prompts me on to try a poet’s part—
To sing my long neglected Island’s fame—
To bring the customs of her sons to light,
Customs time-honored ! mingling with thy name,
Dear Mona !—ever precious in my sight !—
Freedom’s thy birthright too—and truth and honour bright!

Awake, my Muse !—together let us sing
Of hills and groves and sweet sequester’d vales—
Of feather’d tribes that make the valleys ring—
And of the gurgling brook that never fails,

But murmurs hoarsely from the depths below,
Swelling in floods within the darken’d dell,
Deep’ning its course for ever in its flow
Thro’ craggy glens where wizards love to dwell—
Of rugged mountains, clad in mossy vest,
Towering on high their dark gigantic forms,
With far outspreading base and taper’d crest
That’s stood the rag.e of countless winters’ storms—
Of North Barrule1nodding o’er Maughold’s plains,
Paying due homage to vast Snaafield’s height,
While Pennypot o’er Lonan still maintains
Its evening shadows with undoubted right—
Of Barrule Rushen which the south commands,
And kindly shelters from the western blast
The lowland cultured fields and rocky strands,
When stormy clouds the wintry skies o’ercaste

But, North Barrule, I first would sing of thee,
For I was nurtured on thy shelving side;
Full well I yet remember when, with glee,
I on my pony to thy top would ride
To fetch the well-dried turf for winter’s fire
Pack’d as a load upon its shaggy back
In straw-made creels, while my grey-headed sire
Watch’d my return to place them on the stack.

But awful thou, when thy nocturnal ghost
Lifted its deep sepulchral voice on high,
Alarming all the peaceful neighb’ring coast
As it came wafted through the vaulted sky.

Full many a tale was told in days of yore
Of this alarming phantom of the night,
‘Twas said to be a man besmear’d in gore,
With countenance terrific to the sight.

The story went that once in olden time
A murder was committed on the moor,
And that the man supposed t’ have done the crime
Vanish’d from earth and ne’er was heard of more.

But, strange to say, ere he his exit made,
His ghost was banish’d to the gob na scute,1
There to remain, and never to be laid
By magic art from its dark ghostly nook,

Though Ballayockey and old Ballawhane 2
Tried their united art for many an age
To put to flight old gob na scute’s bogane,3
But he was proof from their witch-searching

When, lo ! an honest bold Manx mountaineer—
Well fired with the fierce blood of barleycorn
At Ramsey Fair, that comes but once a year,
And press’d by friends had swigg’d an extra horn,—

Seized his stout cudgel in his hardy fist,
And laid a shilling, and a quart to boot,
That he that night the demon would resist,
And put to flight the old bogane, gob scute.

The night was dark, and dismal was the sky
When he stalk’d o’er that unfrequented road,
Though not a rock or hedge could he descry,
By chance he found the goblin’s dire abode.

As he each rock with cautious steps did tread,
Expecting something awful then to hear,
He heard a noise that fill’d his soul with dread,
And made his hair stand stiff on end with fear;

But when recover’d from this reverie,
He seized his cudgel in his fist once more,
And look’d around, but nothing could he see,
While the gruff noise continued still to roar;

Yet the undaunted Manxman stopp’d not here,
But shaped his course towards the very spot,
For now his courage overcame the fear
That o’er his brain the upper hand had got.

Thus fired by zeal and Ramsey’s good brown ale,
He pass’d the heath with ardent steps, though slow,
Regardless of the keen north-eastern gale
That on that night most bitterly did blow:

As nearer he approach’d the fearful cave,
The more courageous he appear’d to be
To fate the demon, and its rage to brave,
For what it was he had resolved to see;

He lists,—and hears a doleful hollow noise,
As if it issued through a chasm below
In the deep cavern, but no human voice,
Though something like an indistinct " hallo !"

Striving his scatter’d senses to compose,
He plunged within the subterraneous vault,
And resolutely to the bottom goes,
Determined that it should not be his fault

If he that night did not find out the cause
Of such a nuisance to the country-side,
Though oft he was obliged to stop and pause
Amongst the cracks that did the rocks divide.

At last he comes unto the very brink
Of this long-dreaded goblin-haunted hole,
And heard it bellow through each awful chink,
Enough to terrify the bravest soul :

He takes the cudgel now in both his hands,
Calling aloud unto the roaring fiend,
Commanding silence ; he its name demands,
Telling it boldly, " I am Jem Kermeend,

The son of Jemmy-Jem, Jem-beg-Jem-moar,4
Who have for ages back brought up their sons
As honest heirs of Lerghy ird Ballure ;5
And I can tell you, as the story runs,

They fought with pitch-forks and with scythes in hand,
Led on by their good neighbour, brave Kerrade,
Taking in the besieged front their stand
When Cromwell’s army did our Isle invade:—

Then thinkest thou that thy unmeaning roar
Can scare a man of such heroic race?
Who, or what art thou ? as I ask’d before;
Come forth at once, and show thy ghastly face,

Which thou put’st on to frighten Alice Moare,6
Poor helpless body ! in her lonely cot,
Poking thy uncouth horns within her door
As if thou wert a reckless mountain-stot."7

No longer then could he contain his rage,
But rush’d with fury on towards his foe,
Determined the grim goblin to engage,
And bring him to the ground at the first blow.

As he advanced the mountain sprite to meet,
With upraised cudgel fearlessly and brave,
A rock gave way from underneath his feet,
And down he tumbled in another cave

Elliptically formed of solid rock,
Never explored by mortal man before;
But when my hero overcame this shock,
He found the great bogane had ceased to roar.

He kept his breath,—listening with eager ear,
But nothing could he either hear or see;
Again his courage almost turn’d to fear,
Muttering to himself " what can it be ?"

In this dilemma he began to think
That the great stone that tumbled from its seat
Had found its way into the awful chink,
And made the demon from its hole retreat.

In this conjecture he was right at last,
For now he hears a low amid murm’ring tone,
Caused by the fury of the stormy blast
Rushing around the edges of the stone

That chanced to fall into the very crack
Where Borealus blew its ghostly sound,
Scaring Kirk-Maughold’s folks, for ages back,
From this its trumpet underneath the ground.

Now native courage only ruled his fear,
With sober, cool, and deep collected thought;
A nd not the fumes of Ramsey’s home-brew’d beer,
As when at first the demon’s hole he sought.

When thus compos’d his honest home-taught brain,
He all at once began to think aright,
And saw that all was but a farce and vain,
‘Twas but the wind—this phantom ofn the night.

For thus dislodging the old haunting ghost
From out its awful subterraneous cave,
He often got the peasant’s hearty toast,—
" Here’s long may live Jem-beg-Kermeend, the brave !"

When summer ope’d its fragrant rosy morn,
Shedding a lustre o’er each bank and brae,
And gentle breezes waved the reedy corn,
And trefoil-clover made the fields look gay,

I’ve stray’d along my native Corna’s banks,
When pleasing fancies fired my youthful breast,
To view the milk-white lambkins play their pranks
As by their dams they fondly were caress’d;

A striking emblem of the youthful mind,
Ere life’s corroding care oppress’d the heart,
The certain fate of all the human kind,
For every year brings on its careful part,

Mixing the promised joy, whenever possess’d,
With an alloy of disappointing pain,
For as the sage of ancient days confess’d—
The life of man is frivolous and vain.

But Hope, sweet Hope ! man’s ever-so~hing friend,
And kind companion thro’ this wilderness;
Thou never fail’st to cheer him to the end
Of life’s dark journey with thy promised bliss.

The world to him a gloomy void would be,
Without thy aid to cheer his present care,
There’s not a bliss but what he owes to thee,
And e’en in grief thou tak’st thy pleasing share,

Soft’ning perplexing lifes most goading dart ‘
By thy sweet prospects for some future day,
Which never fail to cheer the drooping heart
That would to grief become an easy prey:

But far more welcome thou in youthful dreams,
Unmix’d with sad experience of time,
When nought but joy from ev’ry object teems,
And all on earth seems pleasing and sublime.

Such were thy all-endearing charms to me
When first thou foundst me in my humble cot,
Urging me always to adhere to thee,
And certain happiness should be my lot.

Thus led by thee, I thought the world to roam,
Thy promised joys at once to realize,
But, oh ! full soon I miss’d my peaceful home,
And from my folly learnt to be more wise:

Yet still thou ‘st never left me to my fate,
When overwhelm’d with the harsh cares of life,
To cheer my heart thou never wert too late,
But soothed my soul, when all within was strife.

* * * * *

Where Summer’s solstice cheers the northern sky,
Enlivening nature with his genial beam,
Tinging the blady grass with varied dye,
And gilding hill and valley, wood and stream,
As clear refraction brings his beams to view
Within the purple oriental air,
The rose-bud bends beneath the morning dew,
Clad round with moss most beautifully fair;

But when shoot forth his horizontal rays,
At his approach with more than swift career,
He all his renovating power displays
Throughout the whole diurnal hemisphere.

But, simple vale ! tho’ still he shines on thee,
Sweet homely treats no longer cheer thy soil;
Thy peaceful groves, once more than dear to me,
Have now become to luxury a spoil.

Oh ! where is now thy happy rural band,
That was the pride of all the country side?
Alas, drove out by barter’s iron hand
To other shores their pittance to provide.

How alter’d from thy former happy state,
When nought but joy resounded through thy lawn
From thy young fam’ly, sporting round the gate,
Blythe as the lark to greet the morning dawn!

The sun-flower’s disc of golden yellow hue
Stood high erect to meet the morning ray,
While round its stalk the polyanthus grew,
And ope’d its leaves to hail the coming day;

The ancient elder that o’ertopp’d the wall
With spreading branches o’er the strawy thatch,
From which in boyhood I’ve had many a fall,
Endeavouring the callow brood to catch;

The gliding stream, that murniur’d gently past,
Reflected all that on its margin grew,
Each flowery shrub ,and branching tree that cast
A deeper shade, were seen in colours true;

The thrifty bees, beneath the summer-beam,
Sipp’d the sweet nectar ofeachbeauteous flower,
And nature seem’d with insect-life to teem,
Whilst bloom’d each hedge and every woodbine bower;

The speckled trout within the crystal well [fly;
With quick-eyed glance brought down its victim
The warbling choir within the sylvan dell
Lifted their artless melody on high;

Thy gravell’d walks, border’d on either side
With thyme and sives, and brushwood evergreen,
And garden-flowers in all their summer pride,
Made up a homely and a rural scene.

When summer breezes came with sudden gush,
And shook the fruit from the projecting trees
O’er Corna’s stream, I with my thorny bush
The gliding apples eagerly would seize,

And with their cluster in the frothy pool
I’ve stopt to play, and view their rosy cheek,
Regardless of my good old mistress’ school,
Playing the truant by the river-creek:

Though careless she my childish faults to scan,
Where I had been she would severely ask,
Saying, " My boy, to make a clever man
Thou must pay strict attention to thy task;

Thou’rt but a dunce as yet must be confess’d,
And many months thou hast been here with me,
Though with great fondness I have thee carress’d,
Thou scarcely canst repeat thy A, B, C;

Remember thou liast got to learn to spell
From Thomas Dilworth (best of spelling-books),
Put words together, and to read as well,
And with thy pen make ladles and pothooks."

But this was all as Greek to my poor brain,
For names of cattle and of mountain sheep
Were all that my thick block-head could contain,
No foreign subject could it learn or keep.

So kind was she unto her little band,
That they loved her as tho’ their second mother,
Strictly adhering to her wise command—
" To mind their books and dearly love each

Sweet recollection pictures out the spot,
Within the corner of a lay-land field,
Where stood her humble and her lonely cot,
Whose gable-end an aged thorn did shield.

Her happy little group in rows were seen
On rude-made stools of native mountain-pine,
As in her chair most patient and serene
She’d seat herself, repeating every line

That each had got to learn by heart that day
Ere she allow’d these urchins any dinner;
And to the youngest she would kindly say,
" My dears, be sure that you keep clean your Primmer."—

Thus ruled the rustic literary dame
Her little tribe, most tenderly and kind;
And truly pious, she at once became
A right instructress to the youthful mind.

A stranger she, from Yorkshire as ‘t was said,
Deluded by a wretch to leave her home
When she was but a young and artless maid
And tempted from her virtuous ways to roam;

But soon he left her to her mournful fate
Upon the world, with character undone;
Though deep repentance came, its course was late,
For now her life of misery had begun;

In this sad state she stray’d to Mona’s shore
To seek that solace which her home denied,
And from its rocks she never wander’d more,
But there in hope of full redemption died.

Thus ended she her injured chequer’d life,
Regretted by her friendly neighbours round,
Bidding adieu unto this world of strife,
She hid her grief ‘neath Maughold’s burying ground.

Oh ! where is now that villain, lost to shame,
That first did blight her tender virgin bloom?
Is there a man on earth that would not blame
The monster’s crime, or mourn his victim’s doom?

Perhaps in childhood’s days she was the joy
And expectation of a mother kind,
Who oft would pleasingly her time employ
In planting virtue in her youthful mind.

But I am wandering from my Corna’s vale,
In tracing thus at length her weary lot ;—
Her worth deserves this tributary tale—
Return we to that fondly cherish’d spot:

Those hoggy meadows where wild poppies grew
Of crimson colour ‘mongst the ripening hay,
The cluster’d bells of simple sky-like blue,
In all the pride of summer’s full display.

Oft when a boy, just as the lark as blythe,
I’d take their breakfast to the mowers there,
And see them swing with nervous strength the scythe,
And of their leavings have my proffer’d share.

When noontide rays with sultry sheen did pour,
They sought the shade beneath a rick of hay
To wait my coining with sweet milk and sour,
For cooling drink, and sometimes curd and whey.

The yellow corn when ripen’cI in the ear
Call’d forth the rustics to its gathering in,
With sharpen’d sickles in their hands to shear,
And choose the right-hand rig, the race to win.

To be the first to share the hearty fun
Beneath the shade ‘mongst the luxuriant grass,
There round the stooks with many a playful run
Each lad would chase and oft trip up his lass.

While thus the youth the victory to achieve,
In cutting down the lengthen’d rig throughout,
The aged made the bands and tied each sheave,
Cheering them on with many a hearty shout.

When cut the barley, and the full-ear’d wheat,
And snugly stack’d all ready for the flails,
They on the oats their labour would repeat,
When pass’d autumnal equinoctial gales.

Then Kitty, eldest of the youthful band
Of females, challenged all within the field
To be the first to cut with friendly hand
The last oat sheaf the farm that year did yield,

To form the Maiden8 in its usual style
With ribbon-bows and plaited straw-made arms,9
Then with a light-heel’d skip and playful smile,
Which added beauty to her native charms,

She bore it forth in triumph in her hand,
Leading the shearers to the highest ground,
Where met the rural and the happy band,
Whose hearty cheers did through the air resound,

Proclaiming loudly thus, with three times three
Expressive cheers, the welcome harvest-home;
Then homeward bend theircourse, in mirthful glee,
Where the brown aleo’ertopp’d thej ug with foam

Fresh from the spigot of a hissing keg
Of famed Mylrea’s10 best double-ex entire,
And hotly pepper’d11 by old thrifty Peg,
With jovial pranks the rustics to inspire.

When seated all, each on a three-legg’d stool,
The hopeful lads and lasses, pair and pair,—
Waiting the haggis in the dish to cool,—
Would make appointments for next Ramsey fair.

When the host had offer’d up the grace,
And cut the haggis with his horn-haft knife,
Each honest rustic with a smiling face
Gave ev’ry credit to the cooking wife.

The good old sire proposed the yearly toast,
" May he that did come in the first this day
Of his own partner as a good wife boast,
Ere hawthorn’s bloom proclaims the coming May."

The well-known pair were seen full soon to blush
As all the toast with three times three did crown,
Whilst the good dame repeated, " Lads, hush! hush!
I now declare, I’ll give the wedding-gown,

And feather-bed, of sixty pounds in weight,
And curtains, made from my own spinning too,
And sheets and bolsters, for the bridal night ;—
Now, my sweet Kate, what more, love, can I do?"

"What canst thou do, my Peg ?" exclaims the host,
" Why give them Bridgen, first of milking cows—
Of such a pair Kirk-Maughold well may boast,
And they shall have the best the farm allows.

Encouraged thus, the young and bashful pair
Exchanged soft looks of innocence and love,
In which the rest could not but help to share,
While the good dame call’d blessings from above

Upon their union,—should it e’er take place,—
And hoped their nuptials, by divine decree,
Would be to multiply the human race,
And that they might their children’s children see

In peace, and love, and perfect happiness,
In future years when she should be no more,
But long removed from sorrow and distress
To great Emanuel’s everlasting shore.

The dame now made her exit with the sire,—
Leaving the youths to love and merriment,—
And sat them snugly by the kitchen fire
Rehearsing over how to pay their rent~

The parish fiddler—well he loved the ale,—
Then took his seat close by his heart’s delight,
With a determination not to fail
To give it a full benefit that night.

He drew the rosin up and down the hair
Of his strung bow, and screw’d each peg well tight,
Declaring often though the strain was fair
That strings would snap, and leave him in a plight.

But when the pegs had ceased the strings to snap
And yielded not to his adjusting strain,
Each maid took off her bonnet and her cap
To join the dance with her intended swain.

The Champion12 was the first to lead his lass,13
Who was ere hawthorn bloom’d to be his bride,
Up and then down the well-shorn plat of grass
That did the stack-yard and the barn divide,

To meet the second pair, the reel to form,
Four-handed, with an unaffected grace,
And with the good old maxim to conform,
They join’d their hands and then whirl’d round apace

Towards the left hand, then towards the right,
Then all at once they’d quit each other’s hand
And cross alternately most blythe and light,
While the impatient swains their turns demand;

For well they knew the fiddler soon would fail
In holding out, that each might have a turn,
While he kept still replenishing with ale
The old brown jug, in size next to the churn;

And so it proved, for ere the second reel
Had led unto the courage-testing jig,
The barns and stacks begun round him to wheel,
And down he fell, and off came hat and wig.

When disappointed thus, each loving pair
Betook themselves unto their seats once more,
And for sweet vocal harmony prepare
To drown the prostrate drunken fiddler’s snore.

The Champion, of course the first to sing,
Struck up a lively and a loving ditty,
Making the rafters of the old barn ring
As thus he tuned his rural lay to Kitty


As down tow’rds Coma’s flowing brook
One morn I took my route,
To angle with my line and hook,
And catch the spotted trout,
I met by chance upon my way,
So gentle and serene,
A perfect beauty ;—need I say
‘Twas Kitty of the Green?

I stood awhile in reverie
Eve I could her address,
For something strange came over me
Which I could not express,
When I beheld her auburn hair,
In ringlet tresses flow
Adown her well-form’d shoulders faire
And cheeks of ruddy glow.

But when her eyes of hazle shade,
Sparkling beneath her brow,
Their first impression on me made,
I felt I know not how;
Suffice to say if I had been
Great Ballacregan’s heir,
My charming Kitty of the Green
Would be the matron there.

Yea, if I’d been of Stanley’s line,
Or Derby’s royal race,
She’d as the Queen of Mannin14 shine,
The Tinwall15 Court to grace.
But oh ! how can I now eipress
How glow’d this heart of mine,
When first I heard her lips confess,
" Young angler, I am thine."

At these last words young Kitty blush’d with shame,
Hiding her face behind her lover’s chair,
Though in her heart she could not Hughy blame,
She heartily wish’d that night she’d not been there.

The next in turn was call’d to tune his lyre
In praise of Etty of the farm Renwee,
At all the maidens’ and the swains’ desire,
And e’en herself did to the call agree,

With bashful blushes playing o’er her cheek,
And sparkling eyes with glist’ning tears be-dew’d,
While all the maids, with sympathy so meek,
Her love-embarrass’d situation view’d.

But when her lover struck the tuneful chord
Unto her praise so simply and so kind,
The mirthful band the rural song encored,
Saying it was exactly to their mind.

Then he, with self-exulting modesty,
Attuned his voice to suit the simple strain,
In all the pride of rustic honesty,
And as here follows tried his lay again :.—


One morn, as o’er the flow’ry lawn
Sweet gentle zephyrs blew,
I bent my way just at the dawn,
Ere rose the spangling dew,
Along the margin of the green,
The fleecy flocks to see,
Where stray’d, bedeck’d like summer’s queen,
Sweet Etty of Renwee,

She wore a garland and a crown
Of interwoven flowers,
Which she had pluck’d along the down
From Nature’s simple bowers
This sweet enchanting merry maid
Skipp’d lightly o’er the lea,
And when I ask’d her name, she said
"I’m Etty of Renwee."
Art thou, indeed, my love, said I,

That blooming flower fair ?—
To sit thee down then be not shy,
And share this balmy air:
"Let’s not sit down,
I need not rest,
But come to yonder tree
And see the warbling linnets’ nest,"
Said Etty of Renwee.
Who could deny this sweet request
From such persuasive lips?
And as the lamb as pure her breast,
When round its dam it skips:
She tript along the dewy grass
Just as the air as free,
This fair and charming Manx young lass,—
Sweet Etty of Renwee.

She led me to the fragrant thorn,
To see the callow brood,
And hand in hand that blissful morn
We roved in happy mood:
The blackbird on the highest spray
Did with the thrush agree
At our approach to tune their lay
To Etty of Renwee.

Her accent sweet—her sparkling eye
My bosom made to glow,
Though inexperience made me shy,
It was my fate to know
That something latent in my heart
Was left alone for thee
To bring to light, by beauty’s art,—
Sweet Etty of Renwee!

As thus went round so merrily the songs,
With pure and unaffected heart and voice,
A wag took up the poker and the tongs
To ape the fiddler with his grating noise,

And sung in native tongue the ancient rhyme
Which cheer’d the Melya16-night in days of yore,
Composed by Manxmen back in olden time,
Ere pride invaded happy Mona’s shore.—


Molacarane, Where got’st thou thy store?
I got it embedded
Deep, deep, ‘neath the moor,
Tra ma lomercon dage ou me."18

The rest of this most ancient song
Is so laboriously long,
To sing it through would all the while
This mirthful scene both mar and spoil.

The next he chose p’rhaps I may venture
In this rude vrerse of mine to enter;
It treats of scenes in dark December,
And well do I those scenes remember :—


Come, rise up, my lads,
And haste to the mountain,
The snow-drifts are deep on
Each valley and fountain,

Our sheep in the nooks
Are cover’d all over,
Put on your carranes,20
And call the dog Rover.

And arm yourselves, lads,
With the long-probing poles,
And Rover will lead you
To their round breathing holes ;21

Near Corna-Chesgia
They’re buried, no doubt,
Then, lads, down that way
Be sure take your route.

And do not delay
In your beds fast asleep
While smother’d and perish’d
Lie my round hundred sheep,

Eeneath the white snow
That is gathering fast
Around them in flakes
From the furious blast.

As they the wag so loudly did encore,
In honour of the good old native songs,
The noise awoke the fiddler from his snore
Ere could be hid the poker and the tongs.

" Who dares to mock my fiddle and my bow?"
He said, as he came scrambling forth to light,
" By the Three Legs,22 this night I’ll lay him low
For thus encroaching on my fiddling-right."

But the wag the sudden threat evaded
By hiding snugly underneath the straw,
While the rest old Illam soon persuaded
To sit while Kit another jug would draw,

And not take notice of the mimic fool,
Assuring him none wish’d him any harm:
So they endeavour’d Illam’s wrath to cool
With the kind help of barley’s soothing charm.

Though reign’d, full-orb’d, the mellow harvest-moon,
To light the neighbouring rustics to each cot,
Old Illam-Nelly thought it yet too soon
To make a start while foam’d the brimful pot,

Until the dame with modest air appear’d,
Saying, " My children, you must now disperse."
She, above all the rest, old Illam fear’d,
And to the fiddling art was much averse;

And Illam, as well, hating her pious lore,—
It being at variance with his trade,—
Put on his hat, and stagger’d to the door,
And for the year his drunken exit made.


1 A provincial name given to the N.E. promontory of North Barrule.

2 The names of two farms, situate in the north of the island, whose owners were supposed to have in their possession a book containing instructions how to lay ghosts, and cure all manner of diseases inflicted by witches and fairies.

3 The Manx name for goblin.

4 The ancient custom of the Manx was to call the children after the Christian name of the father, and not the surname ; and here my hero was the son of Jemmy, the son of Jem, the son of little-Jem, the son of big-Jem ; beg is the Manx for little, and moar for big, loading him with the names of his ancestors for four generations, as is frequently the case, and to make it still more ridiculous, they frequently add the name of the farm.

5 The name of a farm.

6 An old woman who lived in a lonely cottage on the moor, and when the cattle sought shelter within her porch at night, she would believe it a visit paid her by the boganeg ob scute.

7 The Manx for a young bullock.

8 The last handful of corn, decorated with ribands, and placed over the dresser, until it was replaced by another on the following season.

9 Two plaits of straw, placed on each side to represent arms.

10 The name of an eminent brewer who resided in Ramsey.

11 This is a custom which prevails in the island at all festivals of the above dsscription.

12 The first who cut down his rig, the last heat of cutting.

13 His partner, who had the honour of cutting the last handful of corn to form the "Maiden."

14 The Manx for Isle of Man.

15 An artificial hill near St. John’s, where the ancient kings of Man used to asesnble their court in the open atmosphere.

16 The Manx for harvest-home.

17 This once popular Manx song was composed on a man of that name residing in the parish of Andreas, who was said to have found a crockful of money when he was digging turf in the bog.

18 The Manx for " When alone thou left’st me."

19 " The sheep beneath the snow :" a reminiscential translation of an old Manx song.

20 Sandals made of green hide.

21 After the sheep are covered with the snow, the heat of their breath forms round holes which afford them a partial ventilation, and also attract the scent of the dog.

22 The coat of arms of the island.


Back index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000