Poetical Attempts by Hugh Porter
Below is a poem entitled 'To Disappointment' by Hugh Porter (c1780-?) the Bard of Moneyslane, taken from his one published volume of poetry, Poetical Attempts, (1813). Moneyslane is a townland in County Down, near Ballyroney. Porter was a poor linen weaver but, unlike most of the other Ulster-Scots folk poets, he had a patron, the local Church of Ireland rector, Rev Thomas Tighe. Tighe had links to many well-known literary figures of the day and another of his protégés was Patrick Brontë, father of the famous Brontë sisters.
O THOU! On mischief ever bent,
As far contemn’d, as weel ye’re kent;
Few fellows will the loss lament,
When Grumphie gets ye;
It seems ye hae been born in lent,
For a’ flesh hates ye.
And O! that ye had never yet
Been born, to keep my heart sae het,
Or had I been endow’d wi’ wit
To keep far frae ye;
For sure on earth, there’s nane less fit
To wingle wi’ ye.
O happy ye! Wha daily drudge
Thro’ dirt an’ dung, without a grudge,
Nor hope, nor fear, can e’er dislodge
Your sluggish pace;
As deaf to honour, on ye trudge,
As to disgrace.
Ye miserable, happy wretches,
Nae canker on your conscience catches —
Nae sic repose the thinker thatches
Frae fear or fright;
But he or weeps, perhaps, or watches
The live-lang night.
Ye’re hale an’ healthie now, an’ therefore
Nae matter what comes next, or wherefore,
What crams your kits, is a’ ye care for
To taste or touch;
An’ what we can be wantin’ mair for,
Ye marvel much.
Wel, happy be, ye peacefu’ pack ye,
Happy as blockishness can mak’ ye,
An’ may vexation ne’er owertak’ ye,
To gar ye grane,
Nor blasted hopes, like mine, distract ye,
[This piece submitted by Fiona McDonald]