Sunday, 31 August 2008

The Collingham Ghost

by Anonymous

I'll tell ye aboot the Collingham ghost,
An' a rare awd ghost was he;
For he could laugh, an' he could talk,
An' run, an' jump, an' flee.

He went aboot hither an' thither,
An' freeten'd some out o' their wits,
He freeten'd the parson as weel as the clerk,
An' lots beside them into fits.

The poor awd man wha teak the toll
At Collingham bar for monny a year,
He dursn't coom out to oppen his yat(2)
For fear the ghost sud be near.

He teak to his bed an' there he laid,
For monny a neet an' day;
His yat was awlus wide oppen thrown,
An' nean iver stopp'd to pay.

Awd Jerry wha kept the public hoose,
An' sell'd good yal to all,
Curs'd the ghost wi' hearty good will,
For neabody stopp'd to call.

It made sike a noise all roond aboot,
That folks com far to see;
Some said it was a dreadful thing,
An' sum said 't was a lee.

Gamkeepers com wi' dogs an' guns,
Thinkin' 't was some comical beast;
An' they wad eyther kill him or catch him,
Or drive him awa at least.

Sea into Lady wood right they went
Ya beautiful meenleet neet;
A lot o' great men an' a lot o' rough dogs,
Enew(3) a poor ghost to eat.

They waited lang, the ghost didn't come,
They began to laugh an' rail,
"If he coom oat of his den," says yan,
"We'll clap a bit o' saut of his tail."

"Nay, he knows better than turn oot,
When we are here to watch him,
He'd git a bullet through his lug,
Or Mungo there wad catch him."

When close to their heads wi' a terrible clatter
The ghost went whirrin' up,
An' owerr the woods he laughed an' shouted,
"Bobo, bobo! who whoop, who whoop!"

The gamkeepers all tummled doon,
Their hair thrast off their hat,
They gaped an' grean'd(4) an' roll'd aboot,
An' their hearts went pit-a-pat.

Their feaces were white as onny clout,
An' they said niver a word,
T'hey couldn't tell what the ghost was like,
Whether 'twas a beast or a bird.

They stay'd nea langer i' t' wood that neet,
Poor men were niver dafter,
They ran awa hame as fast as they could,
An' their dogs ran yelping after.

The parson then, a larned man,
Said he wad conjure the ghost;
He was sure it was nea wandrin' beast,
But a spirit that was lost.

All languages this parson knew
That onny man can chat in,
The Ebrew, Greek, an' Irish too,
As weel as Dutch an' Latin.

O! he could talk an' read an' preach,
Few men knew mair or better,
An' nearly all the bukes he read
Were printed in black letter.

He read a neet, he read a day,
fo mak him fit for his wark,
An' when he thowt he was quite up,
He sent for the awd clerk.

The clerk was quickly by his side,
He took but little fettlin',
An' awa they went wi' right good will
To gie the ghost a settlin'.

Aye off they set wi' all their might,
Nor stopp'd at thin or thick,
The parson wi' his sark(5) an' buke,
The clerk wi' a thick stick.

At last by t' side o' t' bank they stopp'd,
Where Wharfe runs murmurin' clear,
A beautiful river breet an' fine,
As onny in wide Yorkshire.

The parson then began to read,
An' read full loud an' lang,
The rabbits they ran in an' oot,
An' wonder'd what was wrang.

The ghost was listnin' in a hole,
An' oat he bang'd at last,
The fluttrin' o' his mighty wings,
Was like a whirlwind blast.

He laughed 'an shooted as he flew,
Until the wild woods rang;
His who-who-whoop was niver heard
Sea load an' clear an' strang.

The parson he fell backwards ower
Into a bush o' whins,
An' lost his buke, an' rave(6) his sark,(7)
An' prick'd his hands an' shins.

The clerk he tried to run awa,
But tumml'd ower his stick,
An' there he made a nasty smell
While he did yell an' fick.(8)

An' lots o' pranks this ghost he play'd
That here I darn't tell,
For if I did, folks wad declare
I was as ill as hissel.

For eighteen months an' mair he stay'd,
An' just did as he thowt ;
For lord nor duke, parson nor clerk,
He fear'd, nor cared nowt.

Efter that time he went awa,
Just when it pleas'd hissel;
But what he was, or whar he com fra,
Nea mortal man can tell.

1. Pour. 2. Gate. 3. Enough. 4. Groaned.
5. Surplice. 6. Tore. 7. Surplice. 8. Kick.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Man Was Made To Mourn: A Dirge

Robert Burns

When chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare,
One ev'ning, as I wander'd forth
Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied a man, whose aged step
Seem'd weary, worn with care;
His face furrow'd o'er with years,
And hoary was his hair.

"Young stranger, whither wand'rest thou?"
Began the rev'rend sage;
"Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,
Or youthful pleasure's rage?
Or haply, prest with cares and woes,
Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me to mourn
The miseries of man.

"The sun that overhangs yon moors,
Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labour to support
A haughty lordling's pride;-
I've seen yon weary winter-sun
Twice forty times return;
And ev'ry time has added proofs,
That man was made to mourn.

"O man! while in thy early years,
How prodigal of time!
Mis-spending all thy precious hours-
Thy glorious, youthful prime!
Alternate follies take the sway;
Licentious passions burn;
Which tenfold force gives Nature's law.
That man was made to mourn.

"Look not alone on youthful prime,
Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,
Supported in his right:
But see him on the edge of life,
With cares and sorrows worn;
Then Age and Want-oh! ill-match'd pair-
Shew man was made to mourn.

"A few seem favourites of fate,
In pleasure's lap carest;
Yet, think not all the rich and great
Are likewise truly blest:
But oh! what crowds in ev'ry land,
All wretched and forlorn,
Thro' weary life this lesson learn,
That man was made to mourn.

"Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

"See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,
So abject, mean, and vile,
Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil;
And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn,
Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.

"If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,
By Nature's law design'd,
Why was an independent wish
E`er planted in my mind?
If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty, or scorn?
Or why has man the will and pow'r
To make his fellow mourn?

"Yet, let not this too much, my son,
Disturb thy youthful breast:
This partial view of human-kind
Is surely not the last!
The poor, oppressed, honest man
Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn!

"O Death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest!
The great, the wealthy fear thy blow
From pomp and pleasure torn;
But, oh! a blest relief for those
That weary-laden mourn!"

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Die schlesischen Weber

by Heinrich Heine

Im düstern Auge keine Träne
Sie sitzen am Webstuhl und fletschen die Zähne:
Deutschland, wir weben dein Leichentuch,
Wir weben hinein den dreifachen Fluch -
Wir weben, wir weben!

Ein Fluch dem Gotte, zu dem wir gebeten
In Winterskälte und Hungersnöten;
Wir haben vergebens gehofft und geharrt -
Er hat uns geäfft, gefoppt und genarrt -
Wir weben, wir weben!

Ein Fluch dem König, dem König der Reichen,
Den unser Elend nicht konnte erweichen
Der den letzten Groschen von uns erpreßt
Und uns wie Hunde erschiessen läßt -
Wir weben, wir weben!

Ein Fluch dem falschen Vaterlande,
Wo nur gedeihen Schmach und Schande,
Wo jede Blume früh geknickt,
Wo Fäulnis und Moder den Wurm erquickt -
Wir weben, wir weben!

Das Schiffchen fliegt, der Webstuhl kracht,
Wir weben emsig Tag und Nacht -
Altdeutschland, wir weben dein Leichentuch,
Wir weben hinein den dreifachen Fluch,
Wir weben, wir weben!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Tsu di arbeter froyen

dovid edelshtat

arbeter froyen, leydende froyen!
froyen, vos shmakhtn in hoyz in fabrik
vos shteyt ir fun vaytn? vos helft ir nit boyen
dem templ fun frayhayt, fun mentshlekhn glik?

helft undz trogn dem baner dem roytn,
forvert|s, durkh shturem, durkh finstere nekht!
helft undz vorhayt un likht tsu farbreytn,
tsvishn umvisende, elende knekht!

helft undz di velt fun ir shmuts erheybn!
ales opfern, vos undz iz lib:
kemfn tsuzamen, vi mekhtike leybn
far frayhayt, far glaykhhayt, far undzer printsip!

nit eyn mol hobn shoyn nobele froyen,
gemakht tsitern henker un tron,
zey hobn getsaygt, az men ken zey fartroyen,
in biterstn shturem di heylike fon.

dermont zikh an eyere rusishe shvester,
dermordet far frayhayt fun tsar dem vampir,
farmatert biz toyt in di shteynerne nester
fargrobn in shney in dem vistn sibir.

gedenkt ir di nemen, di heylike nemen:
perovskaya, helfman, ginzburg un nokh
toyznter vos flegn zikh shemen
tsu trogn gehorzam dem shklafnyokh?

zey zaynen in shturem zo heldish geshtanen,
getrogn in finsternis hofenung un likht!
rakhe genumen fun vilde tiranen,
shtolts gekukt dem toyt in gezikht!

gedenkt ir zey? dokh zol zeyer lebn
bagaystern aykh! ir zolt mit derfolg
lernen un denken, kemfn un shtrebn
tsu frayhayt un glik far dem arbeter folk!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Truth - Balade de Bon Conseyl

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse;
Suffyce unto thy thing, though it be smal,
For hord hath hate, and climbing tikelnesse,
Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal.
Savour no more thanne thee bihove shal,
Reule wel thyself, that other folk canst rede,
And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.

Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse
In trust of hir that turneth as a bal;
Gret reste stant in litel besinesse.
Be war therfore to sporne ayeyns an al,
Stryve not, as doth the crokke with the wal.
Daunte thyself, that dauntest otheres dede,
And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.

That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse;
The wrastling for this world axeth a fal.
Her is non hoom, her nis but wildernesse:
Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!
Know thi contree, look up, thank God of al;
Hold the heye wey and lat thy gost thee lede,
And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.


Therfore, thou Vache, leve thyn old wrechednesse;
Unto the world leve now to be thral.
Crye him mercy, that of his hy goodnesse
Mad thee of noght, and in especial
Draw unto him, and pray in general
For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich mede;
And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Der Shnayder - The Tailor

Der shnayder -The tailor
Dovid Edelshtat - 1866 - 1892

ot zitst a shnayder an alter
mit vayse groe har,
zayn sher un nodl halt er
shoyn gantse fuftsik yor.

er zitst in dreyen geboygn
er arbet tog un nakht
mit trern in di oygn,
neyt er, ziftst un trakht . . .

avek zaynen mayne yorn
in finsternish un noyt!
di koykhes un arbet farloyrn,
un hob dokh keyn ru, keyn broyt.

ikh muz horeven, muz zorgn,
es platst in mir di gal,
vayl es darf hobn morgn
dem frak a frant tsum bal.

der frak muz af im lign,
zo glat, keyn kneyt|sh, keyn flek,
zonst ken der shnayder krign,
fun gutn bos di sek.

glentsn muz er vi a shtern
in frank der modner held --
fun dem oremen shnayders trern,
vos veys fun zey di velt?

ot geyt der shnayder orem,
tsebrokhn, shvakh un blas,
zayn arbet untern orem,
zayn gezikht fun trern nas.

der bos vil nit batsoln,
der rok ligt etvos shlekht:
"fun hunger ver geshvoln
un arbet vider nekht!"

dort in a shtub a kalter,
dort vart men shoyn atsind,
az broyt brengt bald der alter
un a peni far dem kind.

"ikh ken mayn haldz nit shnaydn,
der bos git keyn pyatak,
nokh muzt ir hunger leydn,
a kneyt|sh iz do in frak!"

ir shmerts ken di froy nit haltn,
zi veynt, vert blas vi toyt,
di kinder kukn af dem altn,
kukn un betn broyt . . .

o ment|shn raykhe, zate,
kukt aykh tsu nor gut!
af ayere kleyder glate
ligt dem shnayders blut!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

A libe ist a krenk

A yiddish Poem

A Libe Ist A Krenk by Anon..

Men sogt as a libe is a krenk, vey is mir,
A libe is an umglik oyf der velt.
Fun a libe krigt men a lungn - feyler
Dursh der libe geyn kinder fun der velt

Vos hostu sikh in mir farlibt, vey is mir,
Sog, is den nito keyn sheynere fun mir?
Sog, is den nito keyn sheynere mit gelt?
Sog, bin ikh den nor eyne oyf der velt?

Gelt hob ikh shoyn gesen, vey is mir.
Sheynhayt makht bay mir nisht oys.
Als ikh red mit dir tsvey kluge verter
tsistu mir mayn harts aroys.

Oyf dayn tnoyim hostu mikh gebetn, vey is mir.
Oyf dayne tnoyim bay dir geven
Dem masl-tov hob ikh dir opgegeybn,
Un a fayer hot sikh in mir tsebrent.

Oyf dayn khasene hostu mikh gebetn, vey is mir.
Oyf dayne khasene bay dir geven.
Yeder eyner tut taytln mit di finger,
Ot dos is der khosn der frayleydiker geven.

Als men nimt a blum funem gortn, vey is mir.
Un men sets es oyf a tsveytn ort.
Ken es shoyn kayn mol nit blien
Asoy vi oyf dem ershtn ort.

Yiddish is usually written using the Hebrew alphabet.
What you see and read above is a transliterated version.
Using the YIVO standard.

More info on the yiddish alphabet: