Local Poets of Keighley and District: Bill O’th Hoylus End (William Wright)

In the celebrating of public events in Keighley, which town he has long made his home, or in the lampooning of Keighley’s public men, he is especially at home. No public matter there would be regarded as duly celebrated unless enshrined in the local laureate’s rhyme, no ceremony complete without his burly presence or his facile pen. He is the poet historian of the borough.

(William Wright: The Poets of Keighley, Bingley and Haworth: Chas F Forshaw (Ed) 1893)
Local Author’s collection, Keighley Local Studies Library.

William Wright

To Isaac Holden Esq. MP

Come, hand me down that rustic harp,
From off that rugged wall,
For I must sing another song
To suit the Muse’s call,
For she is bent to sing a pœan,
On this eventful year,
In praise of the philanthropist
Whom all his friends hold dear—
The Grand Old Man of Oakworth,
Beyond his eightieth year!

No flattery!  My honest Muse,
Nor yet be thou servile;
But tinkle up that harp again,
A moment to beguile.
Altho’ the bard be rude and rough,
Yet, he is ever proud
To do the mite that he can do,
And thus proclaim aloud—
The Grand Old Man of Oakworth,
Of whom we all are proud!

For base indeed were any bard
That ever sang on earth,
Did he not wish his neighbour well,
And praise his sterling worth.
Leave state affairs and office
To those of younger blood,
But I am with the patriot,
The noble, wise, and good—
The Grand Old Man of Oakworth,
The wise, the great, the good!

This worthy old philanthropist,
Whom all his neighbours greet;
Who has a smile for every one
Whom he may chance to meet—
Go to yon pleasant village,
On the margin of the moor,
And you will hear his praises sung
By all the aged poor—
The Grand Old Man of Oakworth,
A friend unto the poor!

Long may he live! and happy be,
The patriot and the sire;
And may some other harp give praise,
Whose notes will sound much higher.
His thirst for knowledge, worth, and lore—
His heart was ever there—
This worthy old philanthropist,
Beyond his eightieth year!—
The Grand Old Man of Oakworth,
Beyond his eightieth year.

See also:  BK 135 & BK361 held in the Archives @ Keighley Local Studies.

For more on Bill O’ Th Hoylus End


And more can be learned about the subject of Bill’s poem, Sir Isaac Holden, inventor, entrepreneur and politician here, in our subscription to the Dictionary of National Biography


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s