Ammon Wrigley - "To the Reader"

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

To the Reader

Like the wind among the heather,
Just as merry and as free,
Up and down this moorland parish,
Come, my friend, and roam with me.
Why sit moping on the hearthstone,
Out of doors there’s joy and thrill
When you meet the good wind blowing
To your face upon the hill.
Life’s too short to pull long faces,
All too soon its day is done;
Let’s go singing through the hours
To the setting of our sun.
Up the old farm lanes of morning
Down the hamlet lanes of eve,
We will take to no man sorrow
Nor a care behind us leave.
If we meet a weathered shepherd
With his dogs at four-lane-ends,
Or a blue-smocked handloom weaver:
They shall know us for their friends.
When across the moorlands roaming
We at last begin to tire,
We will seek an old inn kitchen,
And its glowing red peat fire.
If a man’s best drink is water,
We will neither scorn nor rail,
If he’ll grant to us a pitcher
Full of hearty home-brewed ale.
We'll be straight to man and woman
And as open as the day;
Creeds were never God’s religion,
Never mind what preachers say.
If we meet a hungry beggar,
Shall we pray that he be fed?
It were better and more Christian
That we give him cheese and bread.
Let me tell you I’m outspoken,
And I’m not bound up by creeds,
That I’ve cut adrift from teaching
That just fits a Sunday’s needs.
There’s much praising God on Sundays,
That’s ne’er a weekday fact;
There’s much preaching love and goodness,
But too little in the act.
Now, my friend, when we’ve done roaming,
You will think no worse of me,
That you found me plain and homely,
Which is all I wish to be.

Ammon Wrigley - "To the Reader"


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

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