The Gaffer Looks Back


Wheneva I sup dandelion an’ burdock
I’m always mindin’ days spent at the feer;
When in a roundabout with Taffy Murdoch
We’d travel to St. John’s behin’ a peer
Of sperrited high-steppin’ hosses.
It seemed as if the worl’ was theer,
All crowdin’ on the fiel’, the men an’ bosses,
In the j’y to sheer.

We were I call to min’, a soncy party,
With Gran’mamma as gineral in comman’;
An’ Uncle Bert, with laughin’ loud and hearty,
The fines’ uncle in the Isle of Man.
Aunt Maggie, all in smiles,
An’ the cousins Maud an’ Giles,
With Daa an Maa dressed up an’ lookin’ gran’.
We childer foor with faces clane an’ shinin’
Were kep’ in order by a Ronague maid,
While underneath the sate in crates reclinin’,
Were dandelion an’ burdock bottles laid.

Pas’ Braddan Kirk an’ Union Mills we cantered,
But up the Ballahutchin Hill we walked,
While Uncle Bert with all his whiskers bantered,
An’ avarybody else jus’ laughed an’ talked.
At Tynwald Hill, my gogh,
Theer was avary surt of bogh,
An’ the stalls an’ banners flying’
Neerly made me bust out cryin’,

Off we rattled to Glen Maye
For the res’ of Tynwald Day,
When the feer at las’ was over
An the people had departed.
With more cousins merry-hearted
There we played in fiel’s of clover
Maybe “Tip”, or “Kiss your lover”
Till the sun went down in glory
Like the endin’ of a story
Over Niarbyl Bay.

When the averin’ dew descended
Gran’mamma was all for getting’ home;
An’ the long day an’ the gillyin’ were ended,
An’ we thought of school

In the shadows cool,
An’ lek South Barrule
With his dark an’ lofty dome
So the thought about us hung;
An’ the songs that we had sung
Dwindled to a whisper on the chilly air
As we recalled the morrow with despair.

All the dandelion an’ burdock
Had been drained as if by magic;
Even driver Taffy Murdoc
Looked less gennal’ maybe tragic.
Then the lights of Douglas, sickly gleemin’,
With their white gas-mantles told us all was finished;
Only lef’ to us the hope of later dreamin’
All of it again, but fainter an’ diminished.
An’ when I lay an’ looked up at the ceilin’,
An’ saw again the faces at the Feer,
I used to get a kin’ of funny feelin’
An’ wonder was I avar really theer.