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Moreton Road Verse

Moreton Road Verse

Whilst browsing through an old publication I came across this old Devonshire dialect poem called ‘The Road to Moreton’. This refers to one of the many roads and lanes that converge at Moretonhampstead and aptly describes the journey through the various seasons. I’m not to sure what it’s alluding to when it adds a couple of vague comments referring to the ‘maids’ of Moretonhampstead though? There are a couple of dialect words contained in the poem which sadly I don’t know the meaning of, (see at the bottom), should any kind person happen to know I would be very grateful for any information.

The Road to Moreton

‘Tis a mucksy rawd to Moreton een the lonely wintertime,
Whain the ‘adges zeemth to shrink wi’ vrawst an’ snaw,
An ’tis cruel whish vor anybody crossin’ ‘long the taps
Whain the winds vrom off old Dartymoor do blaw.
But ’tis comfortin’ to think that whain you gets there arter all
You’ll vorget about the vreezin’ and’ the mire
As you vinds a ‘earty wulcome an’ they tulls ‘e to draa vore
An to yett yurself bevore a Moreton vire.
Oh ! the mucksy rawd to Moreton might be wiss
If zo be as ‘ow it did’n laid to this:
A chimney corner waitin’
An’ a vrawsy wantin’ aitin’,

Oh ! the mucksy road to Moreton might be wiss.
‘Tis a purty rawd to Moreton een the bustin’ days O’ spring,
An’ there’s company to cheer ‘e all the way,
What wi’ gookoos callin’ “Gookoo” awver every other vield.
An the greybirds an’ the blackbirds een the May.
There’s primrosen, violets, bluebells, snap jacks, greydaisies, too,
‘Nough to maake a vitty posy vor a queen,
An’ there’s many maids to Moreton what’ll taake the best you’ve picked
Wi’out ezactly axin’ what you mean.

Oh ! the purty rawd to Moreton can’t be bait
Whain you knaws that t’other aind there’s maids who wait
Vor the vlowers what you taakes there,
An the flickets what you maakes there.

Oh ! the purty rawd to Moreton can’t be bait.
‘Tis a disty rawd to Moreton een the leary zummer time,
When the zin ‘e scorchth like vire awver-‘aid,
An’ if you’m luggin ‘ome along a middlin’ ‘evay load
‘Tis quite enough to maake ‘e veel ‘alf-diad.
But although the pillum chucks ‘e an’ you zweat’th list like a bull
There’s a zomethin’ that’ll always keep ‘e up:
That there’s a thoughtvul volks at t’other aind who knawth jist what you wants
An’ draas zome zider een the biggest cup.

Oh ! the disty rawd to Moreton maakes ‘e dry,
An you’m vury glad to get there by an’ bye,
Vor you knawth that though you’m zweating’,
There’ll be coolth an’ zomething wettin’,
‘Cuz the disty rawd to Moreton maakes ‘e dry.

Taken from ‘Devonia’ 1907 – Author unknown.

Pronunciation and dialect words

replace Z with S and V with F

draa voredraw forward.
drass – draws
flickets – flushes of the face
greybirds – thrushes
grey daisies – daffodils
leary – empty, hungry, unladen ?
luggin – carrying
pillum wind-blown dust
snap jacks – stitchwort
vrawsy  – ???
wiss – ???

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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