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Pixie Verse, The


I have received several emails requesting the entire poem from which on the Dartmoor Piskies page I have taken the quote; ‘Thar be piskies up to Dartmoor’ and after much searching I have found the following. I am unsure as to whether this is the full version or as to who actually penned the lines but it’s certainly more than I had before.


THAR be piskies up to Dartymoor,

An’ tidden gude yew zay there bain’t.

I’ve felt ’em grawpin’ at my heart,

 I’ve heard their voices callin’ faint,

I’ve knawed a man be cruec down —

His soul fair stogged an’ heavy-like —

Climb up to brawken Zaddle Tor

An’ bare his head vor winds to strike.

An’ all the gert black mawky griefs,

An’ all the pain an’ vog an’ grime,

Have blawed away and left en clear

Like vuzz-bush vires in swalin’ time.

An’ what med do so brave a thing

As thic’ white spells to tak an’ weave,

But li’l piskies’ vitty hands,

Or God Himself as give ’em leave ?

But tidden Him would stop an’ spy

From Widdicombe to Cranmer Pule, T

o maze the schemin’ li’l heart

Of every Jacky- Lantern fule !

For mebbe ’tis a lonesome rod

Or heather blooth, or peaty ling,

Or nobbut just a rainy combe —

The spell that meks ‘ee tek an’ sing.

An’ this I knaw, the li’l tods

Be ever callin’ silver faint.

Thar be piskies up to Dartymoor,

An’ tidden gude yew zay there bain’t.

TextrefP. Cameron Wilson, 1919. Magpies in Picardy. London: The Poetry Bookshop.

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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