Peggy My Chree or The Pride of the Parish

Peggy My Chree or The Pride of the Parish

A nicer ol’ body is like yer’ll not see
From the cronk to the claddagh, till Peggy My Chree!
Wis eggs an’ some honey she’ll come if yer bad,
An’ her black curran’ tay is the bes’ to be had.

Wis her “bogh” an’ her “millish” she’ll make yer feel great,
Quile she asks if yer mendin’, herself takes a sate,
Gives warning to Nancy to “keep out the cowl”
“Jus’ quiet them childer,” “don’t pesther the sowl.”

Then talks of the Harves’ and Hollantide fair
Says “Winter is comin’ we’ll hev to take care
So many is missin’ there’s no tellin’ the time
For some they is took right off in their prime.”

“Is like that there’s work up there they must do,
An’ mebbe a longin’ took houl’ of them, too,
To slip over the Bridge, out of worrit an’ care,
An’ see how the lan’ is jus’ lying up there.”

“An’ now that your mendin’ go easy awhile,
Yer not out of the woods till yer over the stile!
‘Deed tho’ but a cowl is a mortal bad thing,
They’ll bother yer sometimes from Harvest till Spring!”

Then she’s off like a “shadder” as quiet can be,
Down home by the path that leads on to the sea,
To a little white cottage jus’ out on the stran’
Where the sea washes in, right up on the lan’!

An’ the garden there’s at her is a sight jus’ to see
Wis its pansies, an’ daisies, an’ ol’ apple tree,
An’ the roses and fuchsias is climbin’ the door,
An’ there’s Ladslove an’ Williams, an’ Rogers galore!

An’ the sweet briar bushes is climbin’ the wall,
An’ the larks and the thrushes is singin’ to all,
Quile Peggy sits knittin’ contented to know
That the Maker of Heaven made earth down below.

An’ the lan’ there is at her, there’s no one can say,
Right up on the mountain! an out on the Lhaa!
An’ some of the headlan’ there’s down on the shoore
An’ for all that I’m knowin’ there might be some more.

An’ the money there’s at her there’s no one can tell,
Is it out in the claddagh, or down in the well?
But the good there is at her, is gran’ jus’ to see,
The Pride of the Parish is Peggy My Chree!

bogh (boght) = poor
millish = darling, sweet

(source: by Hilda Cowin from Manx Dialect and Other Poems (1931); phtograph of Mrs Morrison’s cottage courtesy of MNH from the imuseum)

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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