Sing Hey for the Moorlands

Edwin Waugh

Sing, hey for the moorlands, wild, lonely, and stern,
Where the moss creepeth softly all under the fern;
Where the heather-flower sweetens the lone highland lea,
And the mountain winds whistle so fresh and so free!
I've wandered o'er landscapes embroidered with flowers,
The richest, the rarest, in greenest of bowers,
Where the throstle's sweet vesper, at summer day's close,
Shook the coronel dews on the rim of the rose;
But, oh for the hills where the heather-cock springs
From his nest in the bracken, with dew on his wings!
Sing, hey for the moorlands!

I've lingered by streamlets that water green plains,
I've mused in the sunlight of shady old lanes,
Where the mild breath of evening came sweetly and slow
From green nooks where bluebells and primroses grow;
But, oh the wild hills that look up at the skies,
Where the green bracken wave to the wind as it flies!
Sing, hey for the moorlands!

Away with the pride and the fume of the town,
And give me a lodge in the heatherland brown;
Oh there, to the schemes of the city unknown,
Let me wander with freedom and nature, alone;
Where wild hawks with glee on the hurricane sail,
And the mountain crags thrill to the rush of the gale!
Sing, hey for the moorlands!

In glens which resound to the waterfall's song,
My spirit shall play the wild echoes among:
I'd climb the dark steep to my lone mountain home,
And, heartsome and poor, o'er the solitude roam:
And the keen winds that harp on the heathery lea
Should sing the grand anthem of freedom to me!
Sing, hey for the moorlands!

Edwin Waugh was born in Rochdale. His father was a shoemaker. He became a printer's apprentice and gained a measure of fame from his publication of Lancashire poems and songs. He wrote a lot about the moors around Rochdale. A favourite place to work was on Rooley Moor.