Lotty Hay

This poem illustrates a familiar theme of Skipsey's work - that the working-class women were every bit as worthy as those of the aristocracy (see for instance, the last verse of Dora Dee).  The poem is set in Earsdon, where the victims of the Hartley Calamity were brought to be buried.  They are commemorated by a memorial in the churchyard.

As I came down from Earsdon Town,
    Upon an Easter day,
Whom did I meet but a maiden sweet,
    The blue-eyed Lotty Hay.
A crimson blush her cheek did flush,
    No sin did that betray;
For the pearl is sure a jewel pure,
    And so is Lotty Hay.


In a cotton gown she tript to town,
    And never a lady gay
In satin drest could be more blest
    Than blue-eyed Lotty Hay.



Some deem her proud; in speech aloud
    Some others yet will say
She's cold or fierce, and all to pierce
    The heart of Lotty Hay.
But she's not bold, not fierce nor cold,
    But warm and kind always
And a soul of light would meet your sight
    If you pass'd Lotty Hay.

All evil flees her heart, yet she's
    To slander oft a prey,
But words of ill will never kill
    The soul of Lotty Hay.
Upon her way she goes and, nay
    No lighter moved today,
The thistle-down by breezes blown,
    Than walked sweet Lotty Hay.
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