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Joseph Skipsey

Get Up!

Get up!" the caller calls, "Get up!"
And in the dead of night,
To win the bairns their bite and sup,
I rise a weary wight.

My flannel dudden donn'd, thrice o'er
My birds are kiss'd, and then
I with a whistle shut the door,
I may not ope again.

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The Dewdrop

AH, be not vain. In yon flower-bell,
As rare a pearl, did I appear,
As ever grew in ocean shell,
To dangle at a Helen’s ear.

So was I till a cruel blast
Arose and swept me to the ground,
When, in the jewel of the past,
Earth but a drop of water found.

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The Darling

Misfortune is a darling, ever
Most faithful to the minstrel race;
Let low-bred wretches shun them, never
Yet acted she a part so base.

True, oft by her the bard discovers
He's stript of all he once possest;
But then, just like your sculpture-lovers,
She likes her idols naked, best.

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The Butterfly

The butterfly from flower to flower
The urchin chas’d; and, when at last
He caught it in my lady’s bower,
He cried, “Ha, ha!” and held it fast.

Awhile he laugh’d, but soon he wept,
When looking at the prize he’d caught
He found he had to ruin swept
The very glory he had sought

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Mother Wept

Mother wept, and father sigh’d;
With delight a-glow
Cried the lad, “To-morrow,” cried,
“To the pit I go.”

Up and down the place he sped,
Greeted old and young,
Far and wide the tidings spread,
Clapp’d his hands and sung.

Came his cronies, some to gaze
Rapt in wonder; some
Free with counsel; some with praise;
Some with envy dumb.

“May he,” many a gossip cried,
“Be from peril kept;”
Father hid his face and sighed,
Mother turned and wept

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The Hartley Calamity

The Hartley men are noble, and
Ye'll hear a tale of woe;
I'll tell the doom of the Hartley men -
The year of sixty two.

'Twas on the Thursday morning, on
The first month of the year,
When there befell the thing that well
May rend the heart to hear.

Ere chanticleer with music rare
Awakes the old homestead,
The Hartley men are up and off
To earn their daily bread.

On, on they toil; with heat they broil,
And streams of sweat still glue
The stour unto their skins, till they
Are black as the coal they hew.

[...] Read more

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