Jamie Smith and the Grogan*
[Taken from Antrim Idylls and other Poems by W. Clarke Robinson (Belfast: W Mullan & Son, 1907)]
Auld Jamie wuz a wee-bit man,
A hunchback, that wuz patent,
His heicht some three feet an' a span —
Or mair, if he wur straighten'd.
Auld Jamie kerrit aye a rod,
Gaed quate-like, nivir speakin',
In iviry hole he liked tae prod
For eggs an' rebbits sneakin'.
In yon auld Wee-park's broken wa'
He shoved his rod wanst lichtly,
But cudna' get it back a'va —
Seemed somethin' held it tichtly!
He tuk baith han's, an' set his neck,
His heel sunk in the soddie —
The hauld let go! an' Jim fell back
Three times right ower the body!
Whan he got up, an' rub't his nase,
He heerd a sniggerin' neer him,
Aboon him caw'd a flock o' cra's,
He thocht they meened to jeer him!
But whan he keekit ower the wa',
A wee man, broon an' hairy,
Wuz runnin', sniggerin', like tae fa',
Nae bigger than a fairy!
Quo' Jim: "The Grogan's tricks I ken!
His hauld I gart him slacken,
He thinks himsel' a match for men,
But fegs! he's sair mistakkin'."
Folks mak' their bogies, gods, an' deils
In likeness o' themsels!
A man jeest sees an' hears an' feels
What in his ain min' dwells.
* "In Antrim and Down the Grogan is a kind of fairy, two feet high, and very strong; helps farmers harvesting and threshing, but offended if offered any recompense."