Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Sep/1892) - Rockfield

Rockfield is the name of a mansion situated near Beaumont Park and was the residence of Reuben Hirst (1829-1910), the Mayor of Huddersfield from 1891 to 1893.

The poem is about the Mayoral Garden Party, held on 31 August 1892. The summer had seen a heat wave which unfortunately led to stormy weather on the day of the event.

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


Come into my garden
    (Said the chief man of the town),
Though bleak the place is healthy,
    As you wander up and down.
Rockfield stands waiting for you,
    Firm based and towering high,
With banners wafting welcome,
    As they flutter to the sky.
You laden me with honours,
    With dignity unsought,
You make me chief among you,
    With a non-dissentient vote,
So in return for honour,
    For generous sympathy,
Take what I can but offer,
    True hospitality.
My chequered life brings mem’ries
    Of struggles sharp and keen,
Of ebbs and flows of fortune,
    Ruled by the Great Unseen.
To serve my native township
    Has ever been my aim,
To prosper and deserve it,
    To steer clear of all shame.
Welcome, a thrice-told welcome,
    To friend and to compeer,
Let me show a bright example
    To be followed year by year.
The inspiring strains of music
    Resound both far and near.
The rippling female laughter,
    Still modest, without fear.
The witching maiden’s shyness
    Gives place to joyous mirth,
The youth-hood strong surround me,
    And firmly tread the earth.
The matured forms of manhood
    Blend with advancing years,
The damely grace of motherhood
    For once forgets its fears.
With one harmonious feeling,
    Mid scent of flowers and heather,
Our hearts beat in sweet unison,
    And we are boys together.
The viands of all nations,
    Take, leave, as is your bent,
Thankful to the Great Giver,
    And bless’d with true content.
Then let the feast of reason,
    Your souls their barriers burst,
And may you e’er remember
    Rockfield, Host and Hostess Hirst.