I met a little Keswick child;
    I said, “Now tell me true
What is it causes grief so wild,
    My little dear, to you?

She said, “Because I used to have
    A father and a mother,
But both are gone to the churchyard grave,
    And now there goes my brother!

“Why, little one, did your mother die
    Before she was twenty-four?”
“Well, doctor said the walls weren’t dry
    And the wet was under the floor.”

“And why so soon did your brother go?
    Tell me, my little daughter,”
“Well that, good sir, I cannot know,
    But he bathed in some sewage water.”

“And who away did your father call?”
    “Why that, sir, I can’t think:
He never drank no water at all,
    And at Keswick there’s no drink!”

“They told me that none ever died
    At Keswick in the vale.”
“Well then, she said, “good sir, they lied:
    It was a traveller’s tale.”

“But, little one,” I said, “I know
    They have a Christmas treat,
And old folk over sixty go,
    And folk of ninety meet.”

The child she answered half in scorn,
    And dried her cheeks so wet:
“They supped their poddish night and morn,
    And so they’re living yet.”

“But now it’s tea from morn till night,
    With just a snack of pasty,—
A butter shag would put us right,
    And a sup of milk is tasty.”

“But poddish is the thing that rears
    Strong limbs, strong brains, strong will,
And folks that wish for sixty years
    Must sup their poddish still.”

“Soon after came the Local Board;
    They pulled the hovels down,
And though ’twas much they must afford,
    They built a wholesome town.”

“Their minds to health they dared to give,
    They cleansed the Great river,
And now, with poddish, folk may live
    In Keswick town for ever.”

(English Lakes Visitor and Keswick Guardian, 2 January 1892, p. 5)