A Lincolnshire Shepherd

Yan, tan, tethera, tethera, pethera, pimp
Yon owd yowe's far-welted, and this yowe's got a limp.
Sethera, methera, hovera, and cover-a up to dik,
Aye, we can deal wi' them all, and where's me crook and stick.

I count 'em up to figgits, and figgits have a notch—
There's more to being a shepherd than being on watch;
There's swedes to chop and lambing time and snow upon the rick,
Sethera, methera, hovera, and cover-a up to dik.

From Caistor down to Spilsby, from Sleaford up to Brigg,
There's Lincoln sheep all on the chalk, all hung wi' wool and big.
And I, here in Langton wi' this same old flock,
Just as me grandad did afore they meddled wi' the clock.

We've bred our tups and gimmers for wool and length and girth,
And sheep have lambed, have gone away all o'er all the earth.
They're bred in foreign flocks to give the wool its length and crimp,
Yan, tan, tethera, pethera, pimp.

They're like a lot of bairns, they are, like children of me own,
They fondle round about owd Shep afore they're strong and grown;
But they gets independent-like, before you know, they've gone.
But yet again, next lambing time, we'll 'a' more to carry on.

Yan, tan, tethera, pethera, pimp,
Fifteen notches up to now and one yowe with a limp.
You reckons I should go away, you know I'll never go,
For lambing time's on top of us, and it'll surely snow.

Well, one day I'll leave me yowes, I'll leave me yowes for good,
And then you'll know what breeding is in flocks and human blood;
For our Tom's come out o' t'army, his face as red as brick,
Sethera, methera, hovera, and cover-a up to dik.

Now lambing time comes reg'lar-like, just as it's always been,
And shepherds have to winter 'em and tent 'em till they're weaned.
My fambly had it 'fore I came, they'll have it when I sleep,
So we can count our lambing times as I am counting sheep.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.