Excerpt from Poets, Poems, and Rhymes of East Cheshire: Being a History of the Poetry and Song Lore
Oh! the Songs of the People are voices of power, That echo in many a land; They lighten the heart in the sorrowful hour, And quicken the labour of hand; They gladden the shepherd on mountain and plain, And the mariner tossed on the sea. The poets have given us many a strain, But the songs of the people for me. "Prince."
A perusal of the files of old local newspapers has brought to the notice of the present writer a number of poems, songs, and rhymes written by dead and gone worthies of the northeastern corner of Cheshire; and a further research among the store of unused and almost forgotten books, buried away in our great public libraries, has revealed the fact that the towns and villages of that portion of the country have produced a wealth of homely poetry that is at once creditable and surprising.
The pleasure attending these discoveries has been somewhat marred by the sad reflection that the vast majority of those whose names were attached to the verses, have been long ago forgotten, while even the poems themselves are totally unknown to the reading public of to-day. To me it seemed a pity that all these men and women, who had lifted themselves above the common, sordid things of life, to dream, and write, and sing, and so brighten the years in which they lived, should pass into the grave, and, as a reward for all their labours, meet with oblivion. They surely deserved some monument to commemorate their work and their worth, even if that commemoration were merely to consist of a brief notice in some review of the local literature of their neighbourhood.
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