Oor Jock he wur as lish a lad
As ivver Cumbrian lad cud be;
To ploo, or reap, to sauve the sheep
Wur nin sea deft a’ hand as he,
But he went off to fields afar
To help oor God and King i’ t’ war.
Here as i’ t’ ingle-neuk Ah sit
And wunner if he’s live or dead,
Ah drop ma stitches as Ah knit,
An’ oft Ah burn the havver-bread,
For thinken o’ the boy that went
To join this girt war’s divvelment.
And whan Ah hear the Crostet bells
Ah hev’ nea mind to don my black,
For summat pu’s me heart and tells
Oor Jock will nivver mair coo back.
And sea Ah bide at heam and pray
God help the puir boy far away.
But fadder bid me hev’ nea care;
“Wark, lass,” says he, “for wark is t’ cure.”
But i’ his sleep he groans fu’ sair
To think o’ what oor lads endure.
And thoff he smile Ah ken beneath
His smile is thowts o’ war and deeth.
Oor priest ca’ed in the other daay;
“Thoo mun keep heart oop till the end,”
Sez he: “Jock’s saafe in Christ. Wha laay
Theer oan lives doon to saave a friend
Shall find nea betther thing to prove
That love is life and life is love.”
Ise nut sea sure but passon’s right,
Ah feel a weight fea off my heart,
If Jock oor lad shud fa’ i’ fight
He’s chosen sure the betther part.
And what yan daay we aw shall meet
Whar wounds is healed and life is sweet.
Last week i’ dream Ah saw my lad
Coom bronze o’ faace and merry, back;
He stroked auld Jess, he axed fur dad,
Put doon his gun and doffed his pack,
He laughed and showed me aw’ his woonds,
And said, “Ah’m off to gang wid hoonds.”
And whether be live or dead,
He’s somwhar still about the farm,
Ah see his faace, Ah hear his tread,
Jock hes nut commed to ony harm,
An’ closer to us beath he seams,
Oor lad who nobbut cooms i’ dreams.
(Penrith Observer, 3 January 1917, p. 6)