24 January 2011

Thomas Shimmin

For those that know English and Manx Gaelic, here's a poem by the 19th-century poet Thomas "Tom the Dipper" Shimmin.  Even those (like me) that do not know Manx can appreciate the (strict) rhyming scheme and the (almost strict) meter, probably due to its being originally a song:

I was born at the Yinnagh where stands yon big mill,
Ayns shen hooar mee'n chied greim va cur't ayns my veeal;
On the fifteenth of May, eighteen hundred and nought,
Eisht dooyrt ny shenn vraane ver-mayd eaddagh noa ort.

Not long I remained down there it is true,
Gys çheu Ballacross va mee 'choyrt lesh dy bieau.
My uncle he loved me, an infant forlorn;
Eisht cur't lesh va mee dys thie Ballagawne.

Not long I remained my youth to regale,
Eisht cur't lesh va mee dys Ballacashtal;
Whilst there I was sent to school and to trade,
As schoillar mie va mee ec three bleeaney jeig.

I began to improve in the shoemaking trade,
As greassee mie va mee ec nuy bleeaney jeig.
I soon became foreman, which was no disgrace,
Eisht phoose mee shenn ven erskyn daeed vlein dy eash.

Full thirty years long - I then lost my bride,
As dooinney treogh va mee ec jeih blein as daeed.
Again I got married to a good woman true,
Agh boggey ayns paitçhyn cha row ad ayn rieau.

Bred and born in the Lowlands I upward would go,
Son cha row mee booiagh dy ve injil myr shoh.
I am rising up higher again and again,
Ta mee nish beaghey ayns Kirkdale ec Slieau ny Garnane.

And shortly like Moses on top of the hill,
Yn çheer roym cha baghtal lane bainney as mill;
But do not mistake me, I now mean the soul.
Ta mee nish taggloo jeh'n çheer spyrrydoil.

Now I am getting old and death will devour.
Dy jean Creest leeideil as cur bea nooghyn my chour;
Then in the great judgement when all shall appear,
Goit seose marish Yeesey dys thie-mooar yn Ayr.

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