Ammon Wrigley - "Friezland Ale"

The following is a transcription of a work by Saddleworth poet Ammon Wrigley (1861-1946).

Friezland Ale

Whene’re I drink of Friezland ale,
Drawn from an old brown bottle;
I feel as if a summer morn
Was running down my “throttle”;
A pint of Sunshine at a draught,
All sparkle, grip, and mettle;
There never is a cloudy day
When Friezland ale’s in fettle.
As white as milk when newly drawn,
And never milk is richer!
With creamy puffs, in bunches blown
Like roses in a pitcher;
But never roses half so sweet,
So dewy, cool, and sappy;
A mellow cup of Friezland ale
Would make a gatepost happy.
It flings the sunlight thro’ your blood,
And brims you full of laughter!
It drives old care from weary hearts
And brings no headache after;
It does not tie your legs and feet,
And set your head a “tuppin”;
It takes you back into your teens
Because it’s brewed for “suppin.”
You're ten years younger with a pint,
And if you’ve two, your twenty!
They ne’er grow old on that hillside
Because they swallow plenty;
For Friezland folk they live at home,
They’re decent folk, and “warty,”
With ruddy cheeks and double chins
And always hale and hearty.
The ale-wife meets the morning fair
By meadows splashed with clover,
When every breath and every beam
Is rapture brimming over;
For morning brings her many sweets,
Of subtle taste and witching,
That make a charmed fairy room
Of her old-fashioned kitchen.
She goes and gathers in the fields,
As wild bees gather honey;
Her apron full of pleasant things—
The joyous and the sunny;
The smell of blossom on the wind,
She catches as it passes;
The hunting songs of neighbour lads,
The laughter of the lasses.
She catches, too the skylark’s song,
And takes each trill and quaver,
The song of throstle down the lane
And throws them into flavour;
The low of cattle on the hills,
The smell of grouse and heather,
She mixes with her malt and hops
And boils them well together.
And then she gets her brewing tub,
And lays her “trow” across it;
She gets her can of gradely “birm,”
Her “spiggott” and her “fawsitt”;
She knows that going too oft t’ th’ well
Will bring good malt to ruin;
That just eleven quarts t’th’ peck
Will make a jolly brewing.
There is a lassie on the hills,
Lives at an old farm steading;
So fair to see, I used to think
I’d ask her to a wedding;
But women-folk are hard to please,
And fond of fine apparel;
If e’er I wed, I’ll take for wife
A ripe old Friezland barrel.
A woman’s eyes are witching things,
And sweet, they say, her kisses;
But let my lips meet Friezland ale—
The fountain of all blisses!
Give me a book, an old clay pipe,
A pint for quiet drinking;
There is no king upon the earth
So happy to my thinking.
Now brewery ale is noise and boast.
And foolish talk and “fratchin’”;
But Friezland ale is mirth and wit,
And music that is “catchin’”;
With homely sermons, quaint and wise,
And racy old-world teaching;
I’d go to Chapel thrice a day
If Friezland ale was preaching.
Now he who drinks that mellow ale,
Grows riper than the cherry,
He walks on daises all his life,
His heart is always merry;
And in his hand you find a grip,
That tells you he’s your brother,
For Friezland ale does parson’s work
And makes us love each other.

Ammon Wrigley - "Friezland Ale"

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Poetry
This page was last modified on 12 August 2018 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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