When I wor a lile, tinny, toddlin’ lad,
Ah used to run out and cry efter me dad;
An’ t’ lads ‘at wor oader, an’ bigger nor me,
They pointed, an’ said, “What a girt stoyt is he!”
Bud, although ah wor young, ah wor nut good to sham,
For, when he wor geean, ah bawled efter me mam;
I’ fair or foul weather, ah raised sike a stoor,
They heard me bawl all ower Hardcastle Moor.
Bud seun ah grew bigger, an’ had to wear clogs,
Then me mother oft charged me to keep oot o’ t’ bogs;
Bud, let me come heame, seun or leeate, as ah mud,
Ah wor drab’d up to t’ knees, an’ beeath wet an’ muck shod.
An’ if ye’d been thar, ye’d been capt to hev seen
Hoo she laboured, at t’ end ont, to keep her barns clean.
She wor awlus ageeat, an’ scarce ivver gav ower,
All t’ time ‘at she lived up ov Hardcastle Moor.
Ah oft think ov them days, when ah nobbut wor lile,
Altho’ it’s land sin’, t’ duzzant leuk a girt while;
Amang t’ bent-hills an’ ling-bobs, ah laked away then,
We t’ lads at wor just aboot t’ age o’ mesen.
An’ t’ thowts ont oft maks me leuk dowly an’ sad –
Then, ah wist fra me heart, ‘at ah yet wor a lad;
Bud time ‘ats yance past, it al nivver cum ower,
As land as t’ sun shines up ov Hardcastle Moor.
Noo, t’ tears al eft run doon me cheeks when ah think
Aboot poor oade Nan ‘at sell’d sweetstuff an’ drink;
For she awlus had t’ hoose leuking tidy an’ nice,
Whenivver we went for a hawperth o’ spice;
An’ she awlus wer cheerful, an’ chattered an’ toked,
Bud her hip, being leeame, meeade her limp as she woked;
She wor varra kind-hearted altho’ she wor poor,
Beeath oade an’ young liked her ov Hardcastle Moor.
We up to t’ Heigh Moor oft I’ summer time went,
To hut, set, an’ spreed mossy peeats amang t’ bent;
Sometimes they were clotty an’ awkered to reet,
An’ for setting up yan, we fell’d two wi’ wer feet;
An’ t’ sheep, they wad oft keep us gannin’ all t’ day,
For when they com near, we’d to clod ‘em away;
If ther owners had seen us thar’d been a nice stoor,
For they’d seeame reight as us up ov Hardcastle Moor.
T’ oade moorgam wad cackle, an’ t’ skylarks wad sing,
An’ lile bonny askerds wad squirt amang t’ ling;
T’ curlews an’ plovers an’ tewits did scream,
An’ hundreds ov moorpoots we saw cumin’ heeame,
Wal, all amang t’ breckans, I’ Theesty Gill Side,
T’ lile midgies they beeat seea we hardly cud bide;
We ran bees an’ butterflees monny a lang hoor,
Fra t’ teea side to t’ other ov Hardcastle Moor.
When t’ spring time had cum, intot woods we wad gang,
To swarble up t’ trees, an’ late t’ bird-nests t’ day lang;
An’ oft i’ t’ backend we went up ontot Nabbs,
An’ thar, we lang switchers, we slang ‘taty crabs,
Till t’ miners we saw cumin’ heeame frat her wark,
Then we knew we’d just time to git heeame afore dark,
For wharivver we spent t’ main o’ t’ day we were suer
To mak back at neet ontuv Hardcastle Moor.
Ah monny a time study and laugh to mysen,
When ah think aboot t’ tricks ‘at we used to play then;
An ah nivver gan ower t’ Benthill Heead but ah see
T’ varra pleeace whar oade Tinker yance ran ower me,
An all t’ lads ‘at ah laked we wor pleased when t’ oade Tyke
Nut varra lang efter laid deead i’ t’ Sack Sike;
We nobbled his head we an oade stee stower
‘At we fand ageean t’ clay-hooale on Hardcastle Moor.
T’ Moor’s nowt like itsen noo, it’s altered for t’ war’;
An’ few o’ t’ oade folkcan ye finn’d living thar,
For some’s flit away, but ‘t main part on em’s deead,
An they’re nearly all freshens ‘at lives i’ ther stead;
It maks yan feel sooary and fit to shed tears,
When the’ see sike a change in a varra few years;
Bud t’ time ‘al seun come, an’ nut lang befooare,
We sall all on us hev’ to leave Hardcastle Moor.