In An Old Manx Cottage

In An Old Manx Cottage

Is it yerself tha’s theer, Betsy?
Lif’ up the latch wumman – an’ come in.
Shut the dhure quick – for the fire’s smookin’ with the eas’ win’
An’ I’m feelin’ the cuth somethin’ tarrable!

Who’s this yer got with yer?
I’m gettin’ owl Betsy – an’ me eyes isn’ seein’ so well.
Is it a sailor thas’ in? – An officer?
Lawse help us! – it’s navar young Johnny
Come home from the say to purra sight on yer?
Well! Well! – an’ tha’ gran’ he is in his gol’ braid!
An’ it no time at all since he was a lil fella!
Big blue yes, an’ a mighty gentle smile yer had Johnny –
Traipesin’ roun’ me back dhure for a “piece”
Or a drink o’ buthermilk –
An’ only the divil himself knowin’ what mischief yer were hatchin’!

Well I min’ the day we were dockin’ turnips up in Rob Jimma’s fiel’.
After turkey eggs yer were gerrin’ –
An’ him comin’ on yer – an’ away after yer
With a pitchfork! – an’ the two o’ yer runnin’ like mad!
Up through the fiel’ yer went like a breeze o’ win’,
An’ over the stob by the barbed wire
An’ down th’other side – with no sate in yer pants
An’ the skin near took off yer!
I thought I’d a-died laughin’!
An himself stannin’ theer roarin’ like a bull!

Drink up yer tay now – an’ help yerself to some bonnag.
So it’s married ye are now, Johnny – an’ to some English wan?
An’ a family o’ childer at yer?
Two lumpers o’ boys, an’ a lil wan not walkin’ yit?
Well! Well! – an’ ‘twas meself used to think
It was Meery ye’d be weddin’ – an’ the two o’ yer
Settlin’ down nice up the Glen yandhar.
But Meery got married to Tom –
An’ a lazy young divil he was too, in them days!
But Meery was the right wan to shift him!
Over the South somewhere they’re gone now
An’ doin’ right enough, too – I’m hearin’.

My! My! Johnny! – But Betsey looks a different wumman
Now ye’ve come home!
Middlin’ maul she’s been lately – an’ longin’ awful – the sowl!
Is it goin’, ye are?
Well yer time’s short enough for all!
I’m awful plased to see yer, Johnny.
It’ll be the las’ time too, I’m thinkin’
For me days is gettin’ short – an’ the Lord’ll soon be takin’ me.
An’ it’s glad I’ll be for to go –
It’s weary I am sittin’ here alone
With neither chick nor chile belongin’ to me.
Shut the dhure quick, Betsy –
For the fire’s smookin’ an’ I’m feelin’ the couth.
Aw! Well! Well! – They’re gone now
– An’ I’m lef’.


couth = cold

(source: by Kathleen Faragher from her book ‘Green Hills by the Sea’. You can view a copy of this book on flickr at https://www.flickr.com/…/142957…/in/album-72157644494372548/ courtesy of James Franklin of www.manxliterature.com; photograph is of Mrs Kneale’s thatched cottage in Sulby Glen © MNH via Magnolia Box http://bit.ly/1VKNjbI)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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