Li’l Billy

Li’l Billy

Have yer seen our li’l Billy, Miss Cannan?
Aw! I’ll bet the young dirt’s on the shore
With his bes’ clo’es an’ shoes an’ all on him!
My! My! but I’ll give him what for!
There’s me here been watchin’ an’ waitin’
For him to come home from Sunday School
To go for a walk up the glen theer
But not him! – Aw! that chile is no fool!


I’ll give him playin’ shops of a Sunday
With them young wans o’ big Ellen Jane’s!
An’ paddlin’ for hadgies an’ codlins!
But what’ll I get for me pains?
For he’ll look up with blue eyes that guileless,
An’ a smile like an angel from Heaven;
An’ the win’ll be took from me sails, gel!
Isn’ it awful? – An’ him onny seven!


Fair harrished I am I can tell yer!
An’ that mad with meself for bein’ sof’;
Why even the dawg barks defiance
When I’m telling the two of them off!
What did I tell yer, Miss Cannan?
Theer they are runnin’ over the san’
“Hi Billy! – come here! My! I’ll warm yer!
I’ll give yer the weight o’ me han’!”


Lawse! the times that I’ves sthooed them young divils
All the way to the rocks at Ballure!
“Hi Billy – dunt you dare cross that sthream theer!
Ye’ll fall in!” – Aw! he’s got over, to be sure!
“Jus’ you wait boy, till I tell yer father!
He’ll skelp yer! – Aw! I’m comin’ across!
I’ll have yer gripped in a minute!
Ye’ll rue this day! – Ye’ll – Oh! lawse!


These steppin’ stones is mighty slipp’ry,
An’ I’m norras spry as I use’ to be!
Dunt you dare laugh! Yer young scamp yer!
For I’ll git yer yit! You jus’ see!
I’m comin’! – One stone – then another;
Keep that dawg back! An’ stop makin’ that din!
OW! OW! – me fut’s gone all fud-e-cheilley!
Aw! Miss Cannan!!!…..It’s meself tha’s fell in!”

hadgies = crabs
sthooed = chased
fud-e-cheilley = bewildered

(source: from ‘This Purple-Misted Isle‘ Manx Poems by Kathleen Faragher; artwork is ‘Boy & Faithful Dog‘ by Adelaide Hiebel)

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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