The “Lyke-Wake Dirge” is a traditional English song that tells a Christian tale of the soul’s travel, and the hazards it faces, on its way from earth to Heaven.
The song is written in an old form of the Yorkshire dialect of Northern English. It goes:
THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
And Christe receive thy saule.
When thou from hence away art past
To Whinny-muir thou com’st at last
If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
Sit thee down and put them on;
If hosen and shoon thou ne’er gav’st nane
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane.
From Whinny-muir when thou may’st pass,
To Brig o’ Dread thou com’st at last;
From Brig o’ Dread when thou may’st pass,
To Purgatory fire thou com’st at last;
If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
The fire sall never make thee shrink;
If meat or drink thou ne’er gav’st nane,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
—Every nighte and alle,
Fire and sleet and candle-lighte,
—And Christe receive thy saule.
Note: ae: one; hosen: stockings; shoon: shoes; whinnes: thorns; bane: bone; brig: bridge