Gawp! What is’t? a Yorkshire quadrille

I’d written a 299 word length rhyme/poem before I’d finished a half pint (I measure writing time by how long it takes to drink a half) and scribbled off an illustration before I realised that the d’Verse poetry prompt is to write a quadrille! A quadrille is the proud creation of d’Verse Poets and it demands only 44 words in the poem. Here are the prompt guidelines.

Prompt Guidelines for Quadrille #171: Poetry is a kind of Gasp.

Pen a poem of exactly 44 words, not counting the title, and literally including some form of the word Gasp.

Oops, I’ve written how many words? The d’Verse brief hosted by WhimsyGizmo is to write using a form of the word gasped (in a quadrille) motivated me to write too many! 299 at the last count. There are so many options and situations where one can use ‘gasp’. How am I going to cut 299 words down to only 44?

In my attempt to comply with the rules, I’ve taken the first 17 lines of my poem, LAST GASP and edited them a little.
How to squeeze 17 lines into only 44 words? To make sense I compress the words is it to i’st. I quite like it. I find it adds a sort of Yorkshire flavour. An idea is developing…

I decide I can only compress 17 lines down to 44 words by making it into a Yorkshire poem! Yorkshire dialect is prone to joining two words together. For example, they will conjoin the words is and it into is’t. To meld them together into one. Ingenious. The Yorkshire folk know how to eliminate the extraneous articles, thus making their language brief and to the point.

Here is the quadrille, GAWP! WHAT IS’T? (don’t forget that gawp is Yorkshire for gasp). I hope you enjoy it.

Gawp! What is’t?

a quadrille by Lesley Scoble
Gawp! What is’t?

Ah gawp wi' surprise
 Thereafoor me eyes
 Is summat nivver seen afoor!
 not even aht thear on t'moor	
What is't? 
‘At’s on t'prowl?
Wi’ fearsome howl
 Wah's this alien bein' 
 'At ah'm seein'?
 summat unknown
‘ow’d it get ‘ere yonder
ah wonder?
Has't flown?

Lesley Scoble.   March, 2023

Last Gasp

I gasp with surprise
There before my eyes
Is something I’ve never seen before!
Where’s the door?

Oh my goodness, 
Oh my, oh my, oh my!
I don’t wanna die.
What shall I do? 
Can you believe what I see?
What on earth is it?
Is it a visit?
From somewhere unknown?
How has it come here?
Did it run or has it flown?
I stare at it and stare.
Shall I move closer?
Shall I dare?

It moves,
I gasp!
Oh dear what a fright!
What is this being
That I’m seeing?
I can’t escape
(Well, not tonight)
any rate,
Not without a fight.
Too late,
I need help,
I yelp.
It’s coming towards me,
An evil looking thing.
What do I do?
Shall I sing?
(that’ll put it off)
Have you heard my voice?
It empties rooms.

A quote from Will Shakespeare
Comes to my mind
(Old Will is useful sometime, you’ll find)

“Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.”

(Easier said than done,
it’ll be hard.)

I need some sort of weapon
Where’s my battle axe?
(I’ve left it at home)
Where is my sword?
Good Lord!
I haven’t got one.

I take a deep breath
And grasp an old rod that I’ve found 
(it was lying on the floor over there on the ground)
I utter some famous last words,
“For England and Saint George!”
(or something like that)
And charge to my Death,
to fight to the last gasp of my breath.
The evil unknown thing
Picks me up—
hurls me flat.
 And that’s that.


Do not gasp surprise
At my demise
Or shed many tears
It was a brave way to go—
charging to battle—
facing my fears—
brave unto the fight!
(Okay, it didn’t end well
but hey!—you never can tell)
It might…

(to be continued)

Lesley Scoble   March, 2023

The William Shakespeare quote, “Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.”
is spoken by Joan La Pucelle in Henry VI, Part 1, Scene 2.

The quote, “For England and St George!” is taken from William Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1, spoken by Henry the fifth, “The game's afoot: 
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”

Yorkshire is the largest county in England. It is a beautiful landscape of moors and fells. Yorkshire tea is the best tea I’ve ever tasted. The novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is set in Yorkshire. Did you know that the verb, wuther, is old dialect for: a dull roaring sound?

Image Credits
Unknown Alien | Digital Painting©️Lesley Scoble
For England and St George! | Digital painting©️Lesley Scoble

My thanks to d’Verse Poets and WhimsyGizmo for this compelling gasp of a poetry challenge.


  1. Those are some amazing illustrations to your beautifully witty poems, Lesley. I especially liked your battle cry, “For England and St. George!” Shakespeare really knew how to stir one’s spirit, and you rendered it amazingly.

    Liked by 1 person

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