December 19, 2008

Robert Allen: Bonnie North Tyne

Upper North Tyne
Fair Doon the dale the dark North Tyne
Rins bonnie on hor chosen line;
Wi’ monny a sparklin’ silvor shine
Upon hor face
She weshes banks she wesh’d lang syne
I’ reivin’ days

On Kieldor fells she hes hor rise
Wheor sweet the lang-bill’d curloo cries;
An’ tho’ at forst but lowpin’ size,-
A wee bit ditch,-
Yet bi she gits wheor wor place lies
She’d glidin’ rich.

I’ spring when aldor catkins blow,
An’ troot feed in hor gentlor flow,
Cry oystorcatchors as they go,
An’ sweet redshanks,
Sandpipors pipin’ to an’ fro
Alang hor banks.

Erl summor lang the swallies sweep
The aor above hor drowsy deep,
An’ theor an insect harvest reap
Thor chicks ti feed;
Retornin yeors the faith she’ll keep
Ti fill thor need.

When autumn cerls high summor’s day
An’ fadin leaves an’ growth’s decay
From green ti gowld the change obey
An’ ferl an’ dee,
Hor bacak-end spates sweep erl away,
Broon, sworlin’ free.

Caad wintor’s winds is sharp ti chill
Baith glidin’ pool and dancing rill;
Wi’ creepin ici the wattors still
An’ erl things hush
A season’s rest afore the thrill
O’ springtime’s rush.

She’s bonnie in nor lazy gait,
She’s bonnie in a drumlie spate,
She’s bonnie in hor frozen state
Wi shore ice meet;
I’ seasons early, seasons late
She’s bonnie yet.

Caad wintor’s winds is sharp ti chill

From “Canny Bit of Verse”, 1994. ISBN 0-9524649-0-X
Published by the author.
Robert Allen's farming and historical poems have been sourced from the Northumberland Language Society. Please contact the NLS as a source ( of more of these brilliant works, and for recordings. The copyright is held by Nigel and Georgina Hall - for enquiries email them on

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