Poem – A Manx Wedding

I stumbled across this poem the other day from A Book of Manx Songs – how lovely would this be to read out at your wedding?  Especially if it was being held in Lezayre somewhere!

A MANX WEDDING

Lorraine & Mark - Credit: Shan Fisher Photography

BE off to the weddin’, you young people all,
For all are expected, the great and the small,
Your friends and your neighbours, your relatives dear,
And all your belongin’s both distant and near.
From the Nors’, and the Sous’, and the East and the West,
There, isn’ a soul but is ast as a guest;
In fac’ the whole Island has flocked to Lezayre,
And, likely as not, the whole world will be there!
They’ve ast the whole kit of you, herrings and sprats,
Your brothers and siste’rs, your dogs and your cats;
The mice in the barn, ” you’ll see how they run,”
And “Robin the Bobbin” and “avery one”.
So off with you, childher, as fast as you can,
Or the pews’ll be taken, and you’ll have to stan;
Like Caesar they’ve come, and they’ve conquered, and seen,.
The loveliest wedding that avar has been!
A var has been ? Yes, avar has been!
‘The loveliest wedding that avar has been!

And up in the hayloft, oh dear and oh dear!
What gran’ preparation they’re makin’ up theer! –
The cleanin’ and sweepin’ and planin’ the floor,
And nailin’ up curtains on windows and door;
And riggin’ up sofas with blankets and shawls,
And stickin’ up candles all over the walls,
And larches and osiers tied up wis white ribbon,
And herring-bone borders of roses and hibbin.
See yandhar oul’ wheel, how he’s takin’ his res’,
The, little tears tricklin’ all over his breas’,
As though he was sayin’, “My Nancy is gone!
All lonely down here she has lef’ me alone!”
The little mill-stream, as it skutches along,
Is laughin’ and singin’ a bright little song;
I’m thinkin’ I hear the words, ” Nancy veg veen,
The lek of thy wedding has navar been seen!”
Navar been seen? No, navar been seen!
The lek of thy wedding has navar been seen!

And music? Of coorse! awl the grandes’ that’s in,
“With trumpets and shawms,” and the devil’s own din,
And Karran, the cornet, jus’ come from Malew,
And the Castletown fiddler, oul’ Archie Cuckoo;
And Phillie the Desert and Tommy the Mate,-
The singin’ that’s at them is really fus’ rate,-
“Ny Kirree fo Niaghtey” and then “Bollan Bane,”
And everyone askin’ for “Mylecharaine.”
And maybe a stave of “Katriney Marroo,”
And then finish up with a carval or two.
And maybe the Paazon himself will be there,
With a hymn, and a tex’, and a bit of a prayer.
For eatin’ and drinkin’ there’s heaps of binjean,
And milk for the women, and jough for the men,
And custards and jellies from Mrs Cregeen,
A better confectioner navar was seen!
Mrs Cregeen? Yes, Mrs Cregeen!
The lek of them jellies has navar been seen

And dancin’ ? ‘deed, there’ll be dancin’ dy liooar,
Of coorse, that’s the for they were smoothin’ the floor;
Thedancin’? Aw, that’ll go on all the night,
And some of the quality puttin’ a sight,
And maybe the Deemsters, and some of the Keys,
“Good everin’, jus’ to look on, if you please”
And forfeits, and games, and the capers that’s in,
And ” Puss in the Corner,” and “Kiss in the ring.”
And then it’s ” Good-night,”,and ” I hope you will take,
For under the pillow, a bit of the cake.”
And some of you cryin’ it’s over so soon,
And all gettin’ home by the light of the moon.
So off with you, childher, and don’t you be late,
Or the church’ll be full, and you’ll not get a sate;
You’ll all be declarin’, when yandhar you’ve been,
The lek of that weddin’ has navar been seen!
Navar been seen? No, navar been seen!
The lek of’that weddin’ has navar been seen!

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