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.