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God Bless These Poor Wimmen That’s Childer
by Thomas Brierley (1828-1909)

From ‘Lancashire Miscellany’, edited by James Benett, published by Hirst, Kidd & Rennie Ltd., Oldham, 1960.
This is a poem written during the Lancashire Cotton Famine of the early 1860s when, during the American Civil War, supplies of cotton to the mills of Lancashire dried up, throwing whole towns out of work and producing cases of actual starvation. Local writers used their prestige to widen awareness of the hardship and drum up - with very substantial success - support for a relief fund by private donations.
 
Samuel Laycock wrote several famous poems (see "Welcome, Bonny Brid'' and "It's Hard to Ceawer i' th' Chimney Nook ''), and Edwin Waugh wrote several poems and visited towns such as Preston, Wigan and Blackburn to report for the Manchester press (published in book form as Volume II of his Complete Works, 'Factory Folk').
 
The following poem is a contribution from Thomas Brierley of Alkrington, near Middleton. You can link to a prose account entitled 'Th' Silk Wayver's Fust Bearin' Whoam to Manchester' by Thomas Brierley.
God Bless These Poor Wimmen That’s Childer
by Thomas Brierley

God bless these poor wimmen that’s childer!
Shuz whether they’re rich or they’re poor,
Thur’s nob’dy con tell whot a woman
Wi’ little uns has to endure;
The times that hoos’ waken’ i’ th’ neet-time,
Attendin’ thur wailin’ and pain,
Un’ smoothin’ thur pillow of sickness,
Would crack ony patient mon’s brain.

God bless these poor wimmen that’s childer!
Heaw patient they are i’ distress!
An infant that God has afflicted
Does ever a woman love less?
Not hur! The sick creatur’ hoo watches,
Wi’ caution ten-fowd in hur ee,
Hoo’ll never lose seet on’t a minute,
For fear it should happen to dee.

God bless these poor wimmen that’s childer!
Aw deem it a very fine treat
To sit eawt o’ seet, un’ be watchin’
A woman gi’ th’ childer some meat;
Heaw pleasant un’ smilin’ hur nature,
Hur face is surrounded wi’ joy,
Hoo’s dealing o th’ childer a fist full,
Un’ plenty on table t’ put by.

God bless these poor wimmen that’s childer!
Aw know that they’n mony a fort
But chaps has no ‘kashun to chuckle,
Men’s blemishes are not so short:
Then have a kind word for these wimmen,
If t’ maddest un’ vilest o men
Wurn just made i’ wimmen a fortneet,
They’d never beat wimmen agen.

God bless these poor wimmen that’s childer!
These smoothers of sorrow and death,
These angels of softness and mercy,
That comfort as long as they’ve breath;
These magical charmers of manhood,
These wreathers of love and delight,
These fairies that never desert us,
God bless ‘um, aw say, wi’ yo’r might!

 

Return to Index of Lancashire Dialect Poems 

Audio File

 

Below is a recitation of the poem. You may need to allow 'ActiveX' control to listen. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

You can link to an explanatory Glossary.

 

Explanations:

Meat - food

Fort - fault ('faut' is the more usual spelling)




Source of image here