Bits o' Broad Lancashire II.

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Six o'Clock at Mornin'.


WHEN t' factory loces uv at neet,
    An' labours o'er for t' day;
Wod throngs o' warkin' fooak yo'll meet,
    Wi' spirits leet an' gay.
Wi' step so brisk, they trip along,
While jibe an' banter, jest and song,
Breyk eawt fro' t' lips o' t' merry throng
    When hooam fro' work retornin';
But, wod a wondrous change we see!
An' mony a time it's puzzled me,
Why things should so much different be
    At six o'clock at mornin'?

Yo'll see lots scutter off pell-mell,
    As six o'clock draws near;
While t' warnin' nooates o' t' factory bell,
    Ring eawt so bowd an' clear.
While some, so cheery t' neet afooar,
Wi' faces long, an' hearts so sooar,
Creep slowly to ther wark once mooar,
    No smiles ther cheeks adornin';
No sheawts o' laughter seawnd i' th' air,
Ther broo's are dark wi' cleawds o' care,
For life seems like a desert bare,
    At six o'clock at mornin'.

Ther's t' young chap theer 'at cuts a dash,
    An' dons up every neet;
He's short o' nowt but brains an' cash,
    For he's plenty o' conceit.
Wi' t' billiard cue he's quite a don,
Gets tumblin' drunk, to be a mon,
An' soo i' vice he rushes on,
    Nor ever thinks o' tornin';
His blood-shot een, an' features pale,
His limbs 'at strength begins to fail,
They tell a sad an' weary tale,
    At six o'clock at mornin'.

Yo'll see some odd 'uns, rayther late,
    Come pushin' on ther way;
They hurry deawn tort t' factory gate,
    Wi' feelin's far fro gay.
They're past ther time, they feel quite sure,
An' as they enter t' watch-heawse dooar,
They hear ther tackler rave an' rooar,
    Ther wild excuses scornin';
An' then as to ther looms they run,
They find 'at somebry's set 'em on,
An' med a greyt big mash i' one,
    At six o'clock at mornin'.

An' sooa they peyl along o' day,
    Till neet comes on ageean;
But o' ther troubles fly away,
    When freed fro' labours cheean.
It's quite a study, aw declare,
To watch heaw th' humbler classes fare,
O' t' toil an' strife they hev ther share,
    As t' wheel o' life keeps tornin';
Tho' factory life's weel mixed wi' woe,
Yo'll find id mixed wi' joys an' o,
But t' biggest drawback uv id o,
    Is six o'clock at mornin'.


――――♦――――

 
To t' "Royal" Babby.


BLESS the, little Alexandra!
    Hey! we're some an' preawd o' thee;
Blegburn sends id humble greetin',
    Oppen-hearted, warm, an' free.
Tho' tha'rt nobbut quite a stranger,
    Still tha's browt us some reneawn;
An' tha'll allus find a welcome
    In eawr busy smooky teawn.

God-child uv eawr noble Princess,
    Favoured wi' hur honoured name;
Long hoo's kept id pure an' spotless,
    May that allus keep it t' same.
Try to follow in hur footsteps,
    Lettin' virtue be thi guide;
An' tha'll hear eawr heart-felt praises,
    Ringin' eawt on every side.

Royal gifts an' other honours
    Seem to hev no charms for thee;
When tha'rt lyin' like a cherub
    Restin' on thi mother's knee.
Tha'rt a sweet an' luvly pictur',
    As tha nestles to hur breast;
While hoo hums some owd-time ballad,
    Gently lullin' thee to rest.

When they took thee to he kessun'd,
    Dear a me wod fooak wur theer!
An' when they wur o stood reawnd thee,
    Varra like tha'd think id queer.
But tha never lost thi temper,
    Tha wur reg'lar quate an' good;
An' behaved thisel quite perfect,
    Like a "Royal" babby should.

Th' Jubilee an' th' Royal Visit
    Caused eawr hearts to throb wi' pride,
But we'd sooner hev thee wi' us
    Than o t' pomp an' show beside.
Here's to t' bonny Princess-bless hur!
    For o t' gladness 'ut we feel;
If hoo knew heaw mich we thank hur
    Hoo'd be suited gradely weel.

True tha'rt but a little babby;
    But as time gooas on a pace,
Oft tha'll feel pride's crimson blushes
    Steylin' o'er thi bonny face.
Hey! tha'll prize thi honours dearly,
    When to womanhood tha's grown;
An' thi namesake Alexandra,
    Sits wi' Albert on to t' throne.

May life's sky ne'er freawn or darken,
    As tha'rt ploddin' on throo life;
An' may He 'at watches o'er us
    Steer tha clear fro' worldly strife.
Strive to comfort t' poor an' lowly,
    Help 'em on throo life's rough way;
Then will future ages bless thee,
    Little Alexandra May.


――――♦――――

 
It's Kesmas Agean.


IT'S Kesmas ageean, an' ther's joy-nooates i' t' bells,
    As they ring eawt o'er th' hard crusted snow;
An' cottage an' mansion are gaily decked eawt,
    Wi' holly an' green mistletoe.
It's t' seeason when mon should rejoice an' be glad,
    An' t' tables are filled wi' good cheer;
Sooa drive care away, laff an' sing while yo may.
    For Kesmas but comes once a year.

It's Kesmas ageean, wod a pleasure id is
    To see smilin' faces o reawnd;
An' t' breet glow o' comfort at every fireside,
    Forms a contrast to t' snow-covered greawnd.
Throo mony a window yo'll hear sheawts o' mirth,
    As hooamward yor mekkin' yer way;
While others yo'll hear joinin' in wi' good glee,
    I' t' words o' some owd Kesmas lay.

It's Kesmas ageean, lots o' tables 'll grooan
    Wi' t' weight uv o' t' good things they beear;
For tho' warkin' fooak fare but humbly t' week throo,
    They like one good feeast in a year.
O' t' thowts o' ther labours are banished for t' time,
    An' joy breetens every face;
An' o'er t' cheerin' glass song an' jooak freely pass,
    Till ther laffter re-echoes throo t' place.

It's Kesmas ageean, t' childers o on t' look eawt
    For summat 'at's dainty an' nice;
An' o they con tawk o'er for weeks afooar t' time,
    Is torkeys, an' geese, an' mince pies.
When Kesmas Eve comes, an' yo ged 'em up stairs,
    They'll hang up ther stockin's, because
They say as they're certain to ged 'em weel filled
    Wi' presents fro' Owd Santa Claus.

It's Kesmas ageean, sooa young fella's look eawt,
    An' dornd act so back'ard an' slow;
An' mind as yo snatch fro' yor sweethearts a kiss,
    If yo catch 'em below t' mistletoe.
Yo morn'd give up soft if bi chance they should freawn,
    If yo do yo'll be sadly to blame;
For tho' ther cheeks flush, an' they try to look vexed,
    Wod matter, they like id o' t' same.

It's Kesmas ageean, owd an' young, rich an' poor,
    Ull greet id wi' song, jest, an' smile;
An' they'll o celebrate id as weel as they con,
    I' t' gradely good owd fashioned style.
An' tho' we know weel every time as id comes,
    Id adds one mooar link to time's cheean;
We'll try to be gay an' drive sorrow away,
    For Kesmas is here wonst ageean.


――――♦――――

 
To th' Owd Year, 1887.


THA'RT gooin to leeave us soon,
            Owd Year,
    Sooa here's a last farewell;
On t' memories 'at tha leeaves behind
    Eawr hearts 'll often dwell.
For when tha's long bin sunk i' t' past
    We'st allus think o' thee,
An' tell heaw English hearts rejoiced
    At t' time o' Jubilee.

Tha's welly run thi cooarse, Owd Year,
    Thi end's booath near and sure,
For t' sun as shines o'er t' snow-tip'd hills
    Ull shine on thee no mooar.
Just like a lamp 'at's burnin' low,
    Tha'll flicker eawt an' dee;
An' t' bells as welcome t' New Year in
    Ull seawnd t' deeath-knell for thee.

Tha's gladdened mony a heart, Owd Year,
    Sin fost tha coom, aw know;
Bud tho' tha's scattered joys areawnd,
    Tha's scattered griefs an' o'.
For mony a one as watched thee in
    Lies cowd an' still i' t' clay;
An', happen, aw may lie theer too
    When t' next comes whoa con say?

Aw'm some an' fain to see, Owd Year,
    As trade's improved a bit;
An' if id keeps on t' mendin' side,
    Hard times 'll hev to flit.
For tekin things o' thro' uv late,
    We're geddin' nicely on;
An' mony a theawsand warkin' fooak
    Ull praise thee when tha'rt gone.

Tha'll leeave no woeful tales, Owd Year,
    O' battlefield an' strife;
Wheer war's machinery belches eawt,
    At t' cost o' human life.
I' t' place o' sich like things as these,
    Far breeter things we see;
For Peace sits smilin' hand i' hand,
    Wi' sweet Prosperity.

Good neet, Owd Year, good neet,
            Owd Year,
    Tho' t' partin' meks us sad;
We'll welcome t' new un when id comes
    For t' sake o' thee, id dad!
When t' bells ring wildly eawt to-neet,
    Fro' mony a steeple's height;
We'll bid farewell to Eighty-seven
    An' welcome Eighty-eight.


――――♦――――

 
Shootin' Owd Turpin.


NO deawt yo've heeard speyk uv Owd
            Turpin,
    As used to live up at Pell Mell;
He wur quite an eccentric owd fella,
    An' lived in a heawse bi hissel.
An' yet he wur one o' t' best cobblers
    As e'er knocked a nail in a shoe;
An' fro' mornin' to neet he kept at id,
    For he allus hed plenty to do.

Owd Turpin hed allus bin single,
    An' he kept sooa to th' end uv his life;
Tho' fooak sed as nowt but his temper
    Hed stopped him fro' geddin' a wife.
Ther wur one as he'd tried to put up at,
    As used to live reawnd abeawt theer;
But hoo wodn'd hev owt to do wi' him,
    Throo bein' so naggy an' queer.

Sometimes, he wur thad crammed an'
            peevish,
    As he'd even stop t' lads at ther play;
For if t' leeast noise wur med to disturb him,
    He'd come an' he'd drive 'em away.
An' if they worn'd off just thad minute,
    He'd gooa in witheawt mooar ado,
An' bring eawt a bucket o' watter
    An' drench 'em o gradely weet throo.

One neet id wur t' fifth o' November,
    O t' lads stood at t' corner o' t' row;
An' theer they wur talkin' o'er summat
    As seemed to be suitin' 'em o.
"Come on! let's gooa deawn to Owd Turpin's,
    For it's time as we geet theer," sed one;
"We'll larn him for bein' so peevish,
    An' pay him for o 'at he's done."

Wi' thad, they o seet off together,
    For they seemed to hev fixed on some plan;
One carried a window squirt wi' him,
    Another, red paint in a can;
Ther wur one hed some gun-caps an' peawder,
    While ther ringleader carried a gun,
An' as they drew nearer to Turpin's,
    He sed, "Neaw, look eawt for some fun."

As soon as they'd getten o ready,
    One went an' give t' dooar a good kick;
An' up Turpin jumped fro' his cobblin',
    For he never suspected ther trick.
He wur eawt o' thad dooar in a second,
    As if he wur off on a race;
When bang! off went t' gun o at sudden,
    While one squirted t' paint in his face.

Owd Turpin fell deawn welly faintin',
    For he raylee believed he wur shot;
An' t' nayburs could hear somebry grooanin',
    Sooa o on 'em hurried to t' spot.
One wanted to run for a doctor,
    "It's no use," Turpin grooaned, "for o's o'er;"
Sooa they carried him in on to t' sofey,
    For he seemed to be covered wi' gore.

They sent reet away for some brandy,
    For they thowt he wur gooin' to dee;
Then they looked to see wheer he wur
            weawnded,
    But nowt like a weawnd could they see.
"Just look here!" sheawted one, wi' a titter,
    "Well! as true as ther's ever a saint,
We've bin tekin' a chap to be deein'
    Just becose he's bin splashed wi' red paint."

Yo should just hev sin Turpin's amazement,
    As t' fooak o went laughin' away;
An' for mony a long week at th' after,
    He never storred eawt neet or day.
For awhile, id wur o t' talk o' t' nayburs,
    Au' aw'll own at aw laughed hard misel,
When aw heeard 'em relate heaw
            Owd Turpin
    Wur shot wi' red paint at Pell Mell.


――――♦――――

 
Eawr Little Jane.


COME lass! sit deawn at side o' me,
    It's just a week to-day,
Sin hur we vally'd mooast on earth,
    Wur laid i' t' cowd, damp clay.
We little thowt 'at Deeath so soon
    Would stretch his fingers cowd,
An' snatch eawr little Jane away
    When short o' three year owd.

Thi een, like mine, are drippin' weet,
    For booath eawr hearts feel sooare;
But nowt con co hur back ageean,
    Hoo's gone for evermooar.
When thoose we luv are ta'en away ―
    Wod pain id brings to t' breast!
But Him aboon 'll help us throo,
    An' set eawr cares at rest.

Throo mony a long an' weary neet,
    We watched hur pine away;
An' seed hur cheeks grow paler still,
    Wi every comim' day.
But yet we never once despaired,
    Till every hooape wur past;
An' oh! heaw sad life seemed to be,
    When th' end drew near at last.

'T wur on a luvly day i' June,
    An' t' brids sung leawd am' free;
An' t' noonday sun wur shinin' eawt
    As breet as breet could be.
While nature smiled on every side,
    An' t' world wur leet an gay;
We stood beside eawr darlin's bed,
    An' watched hur pass away.

Oh! heaw aw miss hur prattlin' tongue
    'At used to mek life sweet!
An' heaw aw miss hur smile an' kiss,
    When bed-time comes at neet.
When t' others gooa upstairs to bed,
    Aw sit me deawn i' t' cheear;
An' t' tear-drops trickle fro' mi een
    For hur 'at's missin' theer.

At times aw corn'd believe hoo's gone,
    For oft, at t' clooase o' day,
Aw fancy aw con hear hur voice,
    Wi' t' tothers eawt at play.
But when aw ged up fro' mi cheear,
    To look for hur at t' dooar;
T' truth flashes on mi brain ageean,
    An' tells me hoo's no mooar!

But, come! we'll beear it t' best we con,
    Sooa, wipe away thad tear;
Hoo'll hev no pain i' t' world aboon,
    Like thad hoo suffered here.
God's wiser far than thee or me,
    An' to us He'll be kind;
Sooa let's kneel deawn an' thank Him, lass,
    For t' two He's left behind.


――――♦――――

 
Raisin' t' Wind.


OWD Jonas Lee wur ceawered i' t' nook,
    His een wur red wi' drinkin';
He lit his pipe to hev a smook,
    An' then begun a thinkin',
"Aw'd swig a pint off neaw," he said,
    "An' quick, too, if aw hed one;
Bud t' thowt on't nobbut meks me long,
    For aw corn'd see heaw aw'st ged one."

He leyned his heyd deawn on his hands,
    An' tried some plan to study;
But like a cask o' new tapped ale,
    His thowts wur mixed an' muddy.
At last he jumped up fro' his cheear,
    "By gum!" he sed, "aw've hit id;
Yon landlord thinks he's middlin' foce,
    Bud to-day he'll be eawt-witted."

His broo 'at looked so dark afooar,
    Wur breetened o' at sudden;
An' deawn tort t' "pub" at th' end o' t' street,
    He trudged off like a good 'un.
On t' way he co'd at owd deeaf Rofe's,
    An' sheawts "come on here, sonny!
Aw've fun' a move to raise us pints,
    For aw know that hes no money."

Sooa then he towd Owd Rofe his plans,
    An' they went i' t' "pub" together;
An' when they geet in, t' landlord smiled,
    An' passed remarks o'er t' weather.
"It's cowd eawtside," Owd Jonas sed,
    "Bud here it's warm an' cheerin';"
An' Jonas give him th' order then,
    To bring two pints o' beer in.

When t' beer coom in, Owd Jonas supped,
    An' looked at Rofe quite cunnin';
Then tornin' reawnd to t' landlord, sed
    "Yo're goin' to see some runnin'.
Aw'm racin' Rofe to th' end an' back,
    For t' pints, beside two shillin';
Will yo be t' judge an' see fair play?"
    "Aye!" t' landlord sed, "aw'm willin'."

They supped ther pints, an' went to t' dooar,
    Wheer t' race hed to be started;
An' soon as t' landlord sheawted "off!"
    Booath Rofe and Jonas darted.
But when they geet to th' end o' t' row,
    Atstid o' mekin' t' tornin';
Owd Jonas sheawts "thoose pints wur good!
    Sooa thank yo, an' good mornin'!"

Then t' landlord fairly stamped wi' rage,
    While t' fooak o stood theer laughin';
An' lots o' times at th' after then,
    He geet a deeal o' chaffin.
For tho' he thinks hissel quite sharp,
    He owns ther's one as licked him;
An' neaw he joins i' t' laugh wi' t' rest,
    At t' way as Jonas tricked him.


――――♦――――

 
Eawr Moll's hed a Row wi' Hur Chap.


EAWR Moll's hed a row wi' hur chap,
An' aw raylee dorn'd know wod to do;
    For when hoo's i' t' th' heawse
    Hoo's as quate as a meawse,
Or else blubberin' eawt like a foo'.
Hur face used to weear nowt but smiles,
But neaw they've o flown eawt o' t' seet;
    An' ther's bin nowt but bother,
    O' one sooart or t'other,
Sin t' chap left hur, last Sunda' neet.

At day-time hoo weyves on four looms,
But at neet hoo con cut a fine dash;
    An' hur chap's a cashier
    At some office up theer,
An' t' nayburs o say he's a mash.
They've bin cooartin' for six month, or mooar,
An' mony a time it's bin sed
    Bi t' nayburs i' t' street
    When they've sin 'em at neet,
'At they thowt, varra soon, they'd be wed.

Last Sunda' hoo met him i' t' loyne,
An' they went for a walk up tort t' Park ;
    (Tho' id seems rayther queer
    'At so mony gooa theer
Uv a neet, when it gets after dark).
But just as th' owd clock had struck nine,
Hoo coom in, wi' booath een swelled an' red;
    Nod a word did hoo say
    But hoo went streyt away
Up t' stairs, an' wur soon into bed.

Aw could see ther wur summat to do,
But uw thowt id wur t' best nod to speyk,
    An' hoo sobb'd eawt an' cried
    Till id geet mornin' side,
An' aw thowt 'at hur poor heart ud breyk,
When hoo coom deawn to gooa to hur wark,
Hoo started at sobbin' once mooar,
    An' hur cheeks went so pale
    As hoo towd me hur tale, ―
Hoo'd quarrell'd wi' t' chap neet afooar.

Aw ne'er wur mooar put eawt o' t' rooad,
Hey! aw wish things wur med square an' reet;
    For hoo teks it so bud,
    An' id meks me feel sad,
An' aw'm troubled fro' mornin' till neet.


*      *      *      *      *      *      *


Well! aw'm blowed if they're nod gooin' past,
Just look, an' dorn'd ax whoa aw meean;
    Fooaks! aw dorn'd keer at rap,
    For yon's Moll an' hur chap,
They've piceed up together ageean.


――――♦――――

 
Owd Iasaac an' t' Bum-Baliffs.


YO'LL hardly find one deawn i' Longshaw,
    But wod knows Owd Isaac, aw'm sure;
For he's welly lived theer o his lifetime,
    An' aw know he'll be sixty, or mooar.
When Isaac wur twenty year younger
    Ther were nobry mooar fearless, or bowd;
An' o'er t' marlocks an' scrapes 'at he's bin in,
    Aw've heeard mony a good "rouser" towd.

Some years sin, Owd Isaac wur t' landlord
    Uv an owd-fashioned country side "pub;"
An' he kept a tame bear deawn i' t' collar,
    As he'd browt up fro' bein' a cub.
Id wur harmless an' quate as a kitten,
    An' full uv id mischief an' play.
Tho' some fooak 'at felt a bit nervous
    Ud mind to keep eawt uv id way.

Sometimes id wur browt into t' kitchen,
    When t' company wur in uv a neet;
An' Owd Isaac ud mek id act t' sowjer,
    An' do a march reawnd on two feet.
But if they wur rowsome an' noisy,
    An' he wanted a bit o' good fun,
He'd just let his bear loce among 'em,
    An' they'd clear eawt like shot fro' a gun.

One winter he'd gone a bit back'ards,
    For trade hed bin slackish thad year,
An' Owd Isaac's exchecker wur empty,
    As t' rent day begun to draw near.
Sooa he went up to t' Ho' to see t' landlord;
    But after he'd laid deawn his case,
He wur towd if he couldn'd find money
    As t' bum-bailiffs ud come to his place.

Th' bum-bailiffs coom th' day or two after,
    As Owd Isaac wur stannin' at t' dooar;
An' as soon as they towd him ther errand
    He sed, "Well! aw'm sorry for sure.
Aw ne'er thowt o' comin' to this, chaps,
    But aw'll try an' beear up like a mon;
An' aw know id worn'd yor wish to come here,
    Sooa aw'll mek yo as snug as aw con."

Th' bums wur suited to hear him talk this way,
    For they thowt they'd dropped in a good pooart;
An' when he browt pint after pint in
    They co'd him a gradely good sooart.
An' when tornin' eawt time coom at t' finish,
    Owd Isaac went to 'em an' sed ―
"Aw'll just bring yo pints in ageean, chaps,
    An' then aw'll pike upstairs to bed."

He went an' fetched t' bear eawt o' t' cellar,
    An' he coom hurryin' back again wi' t';
Then he said, "Chaps! aw thowt yo'd be lonely,
    Sooa aw've browt yo some company for t' neet."
Then he left 'em wi' t' bear into t' kitchen,
    An' med every dooar fast i' t' place;
An' ther hair stood on end just like bristles,
    While booath on 'em went black i' t' face.

They sheawted eawt "Police! fire! an' murther!"
    But they fun' eawt as thad wur no good;
Sooa they med a cleyn beawnce slap throo t' window
    An' flew off as fast as they could.
They ne'er stopped to look reawnd behynt 'em,
    They wur freeten'd as t' bear might be theer,
Till at t' finish ther breeath fairly left 'em,
    An' they fell deawn hawf faintin' wi' fear.


*      *      *      *      *      *      *


Owd Isaac fun' money t' week after,
    Sooa he went up an' settled his rent;
Then he towd heaw he'd shunted t' bum-bailiffs,
    An' t' tale o throo t' village soon went.
There wer mony a good laugh, aw con tell yo,
    An' aw'll bet 'at i' Longshaw to day;
Yo'll hear 'em tell t' tale o'er Owd Isaac,
    An' heaw he flayed t' bailifls away.


――――♦――――

 
Th' Owd Parson.


TH' owd parson's preyched i' t' village
            church
    For mooar than forty year;
But neaw his race is welly run,
    An' th' end 'll soon be here.
His voice 'at used to ring so leawd
    Throo' t' church on t' Sabbath day;
Seawnds like some echo fro' aboon,
    'At co's his soul away.

He's t' same alike wi' owd an' young,
    He luvs 'em every one;
An' thinks as weel o' t' poorer fooak,
    As t' Lord o' t' Manor yon.
He doesn'd use no high flown words,
    To mek his sermons grand;
But preyches in a simple way
    'At o' con understand.

An' when he gooas to visit t' sick
    He'll comfort 'em an' pray;
An' help to cheer ther weary hearts
    Afooar he gooas away.
An' if id happens they're i' want,
    An' he but gets to know;
He'll send 'em meyt, an' nourishments,
    An' sometimes clooas an' o'.

A kindlier chap than wod he is
    Aw'm sure we'st never see;
He hes a smile for everyone,
    No matter wod they be.
Where e'er he gooas he seems to throw
    A halo o' throo' t' place;
An' goodness seems to show idsel
    I' t' wrinkles on his face.

Aw've sin him join, at th' altar rails,
    Two luvvin' hearts i' one;
Aw've sin him kneelin' deawn bi t' sick
    When life's bin nearly gone.
Aw've heeard him read t' sad funeral
            prayers,
    Till every eye's gone dim;
But t' prayer he's read o'er mony a one
    Ull soon he read for him.

God bless him! may he rest content
    When t' storms o' life are past;
An' find a shelter up aboon
    I' t' tother hooam at last'
An' when we stan' bi th' throne uv Him
    'At fost created mon;
Aw know, among His chosen flock
    He'll ceawnt th' owd parson one.


――――♦――――

 
A Winter's Neet.


HEARKEN to t' wind heaw id whistles past,
    Drivin' afooar id o t' sleet an' snow;
Fooak's weel off, on a neet like this,
    When they're safely harboured bi t' fireside's glow.
Id meks me shiver to think o' t' storm
    Rouse thad fire up, it's nooan so breet;
Lord, look deawn on thoose weary souls
    'At are hooamless, an' friendless i' t' cowd to-neet!

Aw'm sure aw heeard somebry knockin', then,
    Sit tha still, lass, aw'll gooa to t' dooar;
Whoa con i, be 'at's ventured here?
    Maybe, some wanderer, ragged an' poor.
Bless mi life, it's a little lad,
    Hutchin' an' tremblin' on t' dooar-step here;
Come inside, luv, tha'rt somebry's child,
    An' tha'st stop no longer i' t' storm eawt theer.

Come to t' fire, here, an' warm thisel',
    For thi limbs are shiverin' an' stiff wi' cowd;
Wheer doesta live?  Wod? tha hes no hooam?
    An' tha' ses 'at tha'rt only eight year owd?
Heaw con a little thing, like thee,
    Weather throo' t' storms an' cares o' life,
When men strong men, oft try an' fail,
    To feight ther way throo this world o' strife?

Bless tha lad! tha's a pretty face,
    An' thi een so blue, shine breet an' clear;
Id seems a pity 'at one so young
    Should be left alone i' this world so drear.
Bring thi cheear up to t' table, here,
    An' heyt as mich, luv, as ever t' con;
Fill thi belly, an' dorn'd be feear'd,
    Ther's plenty mooar when thad gets done.

Once, we'd a child 'ut wur just like thee,
    An' we luv'd him mooar nor o t' world beside;
An' oft, when aw've thowt o' thad happy time,
    Aw've set me deawn i' mi cheear, an' cried.
Winter an' summer, eawr hearts wur leet,
    Wi' him to comfort us every day;
But deeath stooale into eawr cot, one neet,
    An' booare t' fond hooape uv eawr lives away.

Tha gooas mooar like him at every look,
    Tha'rt just his pictur i' form an' limb,
While thi hair so curly, an' soft blue een,
    Are just like thoose uv eawr little Jim.
Aw seem to see him i' life once mooar,
    As aw glance across at thi childish face;
Maybe, th' Almighty, i' t' world aboon,
    Guided thee to us, to fill his place.

Tha'rt friendless no longer i' t' world, mi child,
    For tha'st hev a hooam wi mi wife un' me;
Tho' humble i' station, an' cooarse eawr fare,
    Yet we'll manage to spare a bit for thee.
Tha'll allus be welcome to t' best we hev,
    An' tha'll help to cheer us, an' mek life sweet;
For th' hand o' Providence led thee here,
    To be saved fro' t' storm on this winter's neet.


――――♦――――

 
Mi Gronfeyther's Cooat.


THAT'S mi gronfeyther's cooat as is hung up i' t' nook,
    An' it's bin theer for mony at year;
It's done some good service sin fost id wur new,
    But it's getten a lot woss for weear.
Id wur worn for t' fest time when mi grondad wur wed,
    An' that's sixty year sin, or mooar;
Yo con see bi id mek as it's one o' th' owd style,
    For t' tails welly reych deawn to t' flooar.

Hey, when aw wur younger, aw've laughed mony a time,
    When he used to gooa eawt wi' id on;
For whenever he wooar id, th' owd chap looked so preawd,
    An' he fancied hissel quite a don.
Aw remember, at times, when he went on his walks
    Mi gronny ud gooa wi' him too;
An' they'd link arms together, an' toddle deawn t' street,
    Just t' same as yo'll see cooarters do.

No matter wheerever mi gronfeyther went,
    Th' owd cooat hed to gooa wi' him too;
For he thowt as mich on't when id geet grey an' petched,
    As he did when he fost hed id new.
Mi gronny an' him lived as snug as could be,
    Till deeath snatched her off fro' his side;
An' he followed hur coffin i' t' cooat as he wooar
    On t' day 'at he med hur his bride.

When mi gronny wur gone he wur left bi hissel,
    Sooa th' owd chap coom a livin' wi' me;
But like as he never wur gradely ageean,
    He wur followin' hur fast, aw could see.
He fretted abeawt hur fro' mornin' to neet,
    Till at last he begun to be ill;
An' one summer's day, when aw'd come fro' mi wark,
    Mi grondad wur laid cowd an' still.

We buried him clooase to th' owd wife as he'd mourned,
    I' t' quate village churchyard up yon;
An' mi heart throbbed wi' sorrow, for th' grave never
            clooased
    O'er a better or kindlier mon.
Aw cried like a child as aw stood o'er his grave,
    For aw knew aw should see him no mooar;
An' just for a keepsake, aw've treasured sin then,
    Thad cooat as mi gronfeyther wooar.

One neet as aw set into th' heawse bi misel,
    Th' owd cooat fell off t' nail, on to t' flooar;
When aw lifted id up, like as t' linin's bulked eawt,
    Ther wur summat inside aw felt sure.
Sooa aw ripped t' linin's oppen to see wed ther wur,
    An' wod do yo think as aw seed?
Ther wur bank nooates to t' vally o' three hundred peawnd,
    As th' owd chap hed left when he deed.

Aw stood theer fair gloppen'd, an' stared like a foo',
    As aw ceawnted t' nooates o'er one bi one;
For they coom like a blessin' for keepin' th' owd cooat.
    'At mi gronfeyther thowt so weel on.
Id shell hang theer i' t' corner as long as aw live,
    An' shall never do service no meoar;
For at keepsake o' t' deead, an' a treasure to me,
    Is t' cooat as mi gronfeyther wooar.


――――♦――――

 
Yon Lass as Aw'm Tekin' to t' Fair.


FOR clooase on at year, aw've him cooartin',
    Wi' a lass, hey! so tender an' true;
An' for beauty, yo'd find nooan to match hur,
    If yo hed to seech Blegburn o throo.
We've hed momy a ramble together,
    Throo t' meadows i' t' fresh country air;
But last Suuda neet when aw left hur,
    Aw towd hur aw'd tek her to t' fair.

Hoo look'd some an' suited aw'll tell yo,
    For hoo smiled as aw bid hur "Good-neet!"
An' hoo lingered at t' dooar when we parted
    An' watched till aw geet eawt o' t' seet.
When aw seed heaw aw'd filled hur wi pleasure,
    Wi' joy aw could welly ha' cried;
For aw know 'at hoo's never contented,
    Except when aw'm clooase at hur side.

Aw've long'd for this week to ged o'er wi',
    For like as it's dragged on so slow;
An' when one's impatient an' luv-sick,
    It's nooan so nice waitin' yo know.
But t' time's drawin' near when aw'st see hur,
    An' this heart o' mine then 'll be leet;
For someheaw mi troubles o vanish,
    As soon as hoo comes i' mi seet.

Aw've bin tuthri times to hur mother's,
    An' aw've allus bin welcome aw'm sure;
For aw'm met wi' a warm hearty greetin'
    As soon as aw enter at t' dooar.
Sooa aw'll buy hur some sooart uv a present,
    When aw ramble reawnd t' fair-greawnd to-day;
An' give it th' owd lass for a "fairin',"
    For aw'm gooin' to-morn to mi tay.

It's time 'at aw geet misel ready,
    Or else aw'st be lettin' hur wait;
For i' less nor an heawer aw've to meet hur,
    An' aw wodn'd like bein' too late.
Sooa aw'l wesh me, an' put mi best things on,
    An' put some nice scent on mi heir;
For aw want to look weel, if aw con do,
    When aw meet hur to tek hur to t' fair.

We'st hev o seearts o' fun when we ged theer,
    For we'st gooa into mony a show;
An' then gooa i' t' swingin'-booats after,
    An' hev a dry land sail un' o.
Hoo's for hevin' eawr likenesses teken,
    An' put in a nice little frame;
To hang up on t' wo' uv eawr dwellin',
    For soon hoo'll be changin' hur name.

We've scraped tuthri peawnd up together,
    Tho' we've booath on us done id unknown;
An' aw think id 'll prove varra useful,
    To furnish a hooam uv eawr own.
We'st be axed eawt for t' third time next Sunda',
    An' soon, o life's joys we shall share;
For aw'm gooin' to be wed in a fortnut,
    To yon lass as aw'm tekin' to t' fair.


――――♦――――

 
Thi Mother's Geddin' Owd.


Speyk kindly to thi mother, Dick,
    For neaw hoo's owd an' grey;
Let's try to cheer hur up a bit,
    An' breeten life's dark way.
A kindly word 'at cost's us nowt,
    To hur's mooar deer than gowd;
Sooa let's booath try to do eawr best,
    For neaw hoo's geddin' owd.

We're full o' youth, an' health, an' strength,
    Hoo's bent wi' age an' care;
An' yet hoo once wur t' same as us,
    As leetsome, an' as fair.
Aw've heeard id sed, when hoo wur young,
    Hoo'rt bonniest lass i' t' fowd;
But neaw hoo's wrinkled, worn, an' thin ―
    Thi mother's geddin' owd.

Tha knows, to keep us eawt o' want,
    Hoo's toiled booath day an' neet;
An' never tried to teych us nowt
    But wod wur good an' reet.
Ther's nobry left but thee an' me;
    They're o i' t' churchyard cowd;
An' we'll nod torn ageean hur, Dick,
    Because hoo's geddin' owd.

It's nowt but reet to keep hur neaw,
    When o but us hev gone;
Sooa we'll booath try to mek hur snug
    Until hur journey's done.
Hoo's struggled hard to bring us up,
    An' id shall ne'er be towd
'At we wur owt but kind to hur
    When hoo wur geddin' owd.

Sooa stop i' th' heawse, an' sit tha deawn
    I' t' cheear as stan's i' t' nook;
An' while tha' sits an' warms thisel
    Just read a bit fro' t' Book.
For th' Holy Word uv Him 'at reigns
    Beyond thoose gates o' gowd
Con allus soothe an' comfort thoose
    'At's geddin' worn an' owd.

Hoo luvs to heanr so mich o' Heaven,
    Because hoo's nearin' th' end;
An' varra soon, aw know, we'st loyse
    Eawr best an' dearest friend.
An' when, at last, hoo lies at rest,
    Below yon graveyard mowd,
We'st know we did eawr duty weel,
    'I t' days when hoo wur owd.


――――♦――――

 
Heaw Owd Jerry Geet a Wife.


OWD Jerry o' Tum's led a bachelors life,
An' hed never once thowt abeawt tekin' a wife;
But one neet a notion geet into his pate,
'At id welly wur time to be geddin' a mate,
            "Aw mun stir up," he sed,
            "If aw meean to be wed,
Or else id'll soon be too late.

"Aw'm limbersome yet, tho' mi toppin's gone grey,
But ther isn'd mich pleasure i' livin' this way;
It's weary ceawered here bi one's sel every neet,
Wi' ne'er a soul near me to comfort or greet;
            An' a gradely good wife
            Would breeten mi' life,
An' mek this owd heart o' mine leet.

"Neaw, ther's young Nanny Pinder 'at lives up i' t' broo,
Hoo's regular good natured, an' kind-hearted too;
Aw'm nod quite so young as aw hev bin, aw know,
But aw'll pluck up to Nanny next time as aw co'.
            'Faint heart, aw'm aware,
            Never won lady fair';
An' hoo con but say, 'Nowe!' after o."

Owd Jerry wur sittin' as quate as a meawse,
When a naybur o' Nanny' coom poppin' i' t' heawse;
Jerry's face breeten'd up an' his heart went quite leet,
For he thowt uv a plan as ud wark o things reet:
            "Sit tha deawn theer, awhile,"
            Jerry sed, wi' a smile --
"Aw've some good news to tell the to-neet!"

Sooa Jerry begun, in at mild sooart o' way,
To tell 'ut he'd getten at letter thad day,
An' it towd him, he sed, 'at his owd cousin Bill,
Wur deead, an' hed left him some brass in his will;
            For Jerry weel knew
            'At he'd put a lot to,
When he towd t' tale to t' nayburs on th' hill.

Jerry seed he wur brastin' to gooa an' tell t' news,
Sooa he bid him "Good neet!" an' he poo'd off his shoes;
"Aw'll warrant," sed Jerry, " thad tale 'll soon spread,"
An' he muttered wi' glee as he went up to bed,
            "Aw've played mi cards reet
            Wi' yon fella to-neet,
For he's sure to tell o 'at aw've sed."

When t' naybur left Jerry, he hurried up t' broo,
An' towd o he'd heeard, wi' a lot mooar put to;
It wur t' talk uv o t' fooak deawn i' t' village next day,
An' Jerry wur stopped mony a time on his way,
            Wi' fooak 'at he knew,
            An' axed, wur id true?
But never a word did he say.

He co'd at Nan Pinder's, an' theer, let me tell,
He fun' 'at young Nan wur i' th' heawse bi hursel;
Sooa he towd hur o' th' errand on which he wur bent,
An' sed as he hoped 'at hoo'd say wod hoo meant;
            Hur heart fluttered fast,
            But hoo coom reawnd at last;
An' Jerry soon gained hur consent.

To mek a tale short, Nan an' Jerry wur wed,
An' hoo chanced to remark as fro' t' church hoo wur led,
"Aw heeard 'at thi cousin had left tha some brass,
Is it true?" Jerry answered "Id is true mi lass!"
            "It's a greyt big brass pon '
            'At mi cousin Dick won;
Id'll do to mek broth in, fost class!"

Nan's face crimsoned up, an' hur een sunk to t' flooar,
But hur sweet kindly nature soon raised 'em once mooar;
"Come, Jerry," hoo sed, "tha'rt a kindly owd mon!
An' aw'll comfort an' bless tha till life's journey's done;
            An' aw'll help tha throo t' strife
            Like a good little wife;
An' mek thee as snug as aw con."


――――♦――――

 
A Bit o' th' Owden Time.


WE'RE ramblin' reawnd th' owd spot ageean,
    Th' owd favourite spot uv o';
Wheer oft we've towd eawr saycrets, lass,
    I' whispers soft an' low.
It's twenty year or varra near,
    Sin we wur here afooar;
It's like a bit o' th' owden time
    To walk th' owd greawnd wonst mooar.

Bi' t' luvers' ooak i' t' meadow yon,
    We've rambled mony a neet;
An' t' darkness seemed to matter nowt,
    Tha med id seem so breet.
We're just as true as e'er we wur,
    Tho' age creeps on us fast;
Sooa let's be cooarters once ageean,
    An' talk a bit o'er t' past.

I's strange heaw bygone days rise up,
    I' t' links o' memory's cheean;
For walkin' here wi thee to-neet,
    Aw feel quite young ageean.
Aw see thee as tha used to be;
    I' o' thi beauty rare;
For nod a lass i' t' village then,
    Wur ever hawf as fair.

Aw'st ne'er forget thoose happy days,
    Altho' they've long bin gone;
We pictured t' joys o' t' future then,
    As nowt but luvers con.
Mi heart beat wild wi' joy an' pride,
    When tha wur i' mi seet;
Bud, oh! heaw sad id used to feel,
    When t' partin' coom at neet,

Th' owd windmill's o' i' ruins neaw,
    As stan's on t' top o' th' hill;
Hey, lots o' times we've gone thad way,
    When o's bin quate an' still.
An' strollin' theer one summer morn,
    O'er t' meadows weet wi' dew;
Tha promised as tha'd share mi joys,
    An' share mi sorrows too.

Sooa t' weddin' day coom on, at last,
    An' we wur mon an' wife;
An' t' solemn vows tha med thad day,
    Tha's allus kept throo life.
Throo' thick an' thin tha's played thi part,
    An' bin a helpmate true;
An' smiled to cheer mi heavy heart
    When thine's bin heavy too.

We're ramblin' reawnd th' owd spot ageean,
    Th' owd favourite spot uv o';
Wheer oft we've towd eawr seycrets, lass,
    I' whispers soft an' low.
We're just as true as e'er we wur,
    Tho' age creeps on us fast;
Sooa let's be cooarters once ageean,
    An' tawk a bit o'er t' past.


――――♦――――

 
The Owd Neetwatch.


IF ony o' yo' lives tort Griffin,
    Yo'll hev sin th' owd neetwatchmon, aw
            know;
For ther's hardly a mon but wod knows him,
    Fro' Witten Stocks up to Cob Wo'.
At times he's a queer an' cranky,
    But he wodn'd hort nobry, nod he;
An' he meks a greyt hobby o' music,
    No mutter wod sooart id may be.

Th' owd chap's sung at mony a concert,
    At leeast, sooa aw've often bin towd;
But thad 'ud be when he wur younger,
    For neaw he'll hev getten too owd.
Aw know he's not fur short o' seventy,
    Yet he needs noather "specs" nor a stick;
An' among carol singers, an' sich like,
    He's known bi nowt but "Bass Dick."

Ther's mony a trick played on th' owd fella,
    When odd 'uns stop in uv a neet;
An' bi' t' way as they marlock an' caper,
    He' sworn, mony at time, they're nooam reet.
For they'll plague him an' raise up his temper,
    An' then when they've getten him on;
They'll soft-sooap him thick wi' ther praises
    An' leeave him o reet when they've done.

Uv a neet, when he's finished wi' t' boilers,
    He'll oppen his owd music book;
An' read o t' fond airs uv his childhood,
    As he sits snug an' cozy i' t' nook.
An' he'll puff at his dock leeaves an' bacca,
    It's a mixture he meks for hissel;
But heaw he con manage to smook id,
    Is mooar nor aw'm able to tell.

Every Kesmas he gooas eawt a singin',
    An' he fairly creates sich a din;
An at t' finish, he'll play 'em a solo
    On t' dooar wi' a greyt rowlin' pin.
T' fost time 'at he coom to eawr Betty's,
    We o hed to stop short for breeath,
For t' noise coom so leawd, an' so sudden,
    We wur o welly freeten'd to deeath.

Here's health to th' owd neetwatch! God
            bless him;
    Aw hope he'll live mony at year yet;
For aw know, if we happen to loyse him,
    Id 'll be wi' a pang o' regret.
But if Deeath wi' his cowd grip should nail
            him,
    An' tek him away fro' us soon;
Aw know, at t' last day, he'll be singin',
    Wi' t' choir up i' Heaven aboon.


――――♦――――

 
Th' Empty Cheear.


COME, Sally, put some coyl on t' fire,
    An' leet us t' lamp an' o;
An' mek th' owd heawse look warm
             an' snug,
    For tha con do't, aw know.
Tha'rt th' only one 'at's left for me
    To cling to, while aw'm here;
For wheer thi mother used to sit
    Thers nowt but th' empty cheear.

It's cowd an' stormy eawt o' dooars,
    An' keen blows t' wintry blast;
Sooa put o' t' window shutters to,
    An' mind that meks 'em fast.
Then sit tha deawn, an' sing thad song
    Thi mother luv'd to hear;
Tha's sung id for hur mony a time
    When hoo's bin set i' t' cheear.

An' often, Sal, when tha wur young,
    Hoo's sung thad song for thee;
An' rocked tha, till tha's shut thi een,
    An' slumbered on hur knee.
Whene'er aw think abeawt id, Sal,
    Aw corn'd keep back a tear
Id meks me feel so lonely, neaw,
    To see thad empty cheear.

This earth wur like a heaven then,
    For trouble wur unknown;
An' nod a hooam seemed hawf as breet
    An' cheerful as eawr own.
At neet, aw'd sit i' t' chimley nook,
    While hoo wur knittin' theer;
An' every neaw an' then, hoo'd look,
    An' smile so sweet i' t' cheear.

An' sooa we lived wi' leetsome hearts,
    An' th' years rowled swiftly past;
But t' joy as filled eawr little cot,
    Wur changed to grief at last.
For one sad neet, thi mother deed,
    An' med life, oh! so dreear;
For nowt wur left to comfort me
    But thee an' th' empty cheeer.

Sooa put thi sewin' deawn a bit,
    An' let me hear thad song;
An' try to cheer me while tha con,
    For th' end 'll nod be long.
Tha's allus done thi best for me,
    An' will do, while aw'm here;
But, verra soon, aw know ther'll be
    Another empty cheear.

Aye, Sal, aw'st hev to leeave tha soon,
    Aw'm sinkin' every day;
But tha's no cause to cry nor fret,
    Sooa wipe thi tears away.
Aw'm gooin' to join thi mother, lass,
    I' t' th' happy hooam up theer;
An' when aw'm lyin' cowd it' t' grave,
    Sal, keep thi mother's cheear.


――――♦――――

 
News fro' th' Ows Quarters.


HELLO! is thad thee, Jack?  Wod's browt tha deawn here?
    It's months sin aw seed tha afooar, lad;
Sooa just poo thi hat off an' draw up thi cheear,
    For id suits me to see tha, once mooar, lad.
There's some long pipes i' t' rack if tha'rt wantin' a smook,
    An' t' bacca's at side on 'em, sitha;
An' if tha'll just reych me thad pipe eawt o' t' nook,
    Aw'll sit deawn an' hev an smook wi' tha.

Heaw's yer fooak gedden on?  Varra weel?
            well aw'm glad,
    They'll hev awtered sin last aw wur wi' 'em;
An' when aw've bin thinkin' abeaut 'em, mi lad,
    Aw've wished, mony a time, aw could see 'em.
Aw suppooase tha'll be warkin' at t' place wheer tha wur?
    For tha never took kindly to farmin';
An' heaw's little Mary? aw morn'd forged hur,
    Is hoo still as good lookin' an charmin'?

An' heaw's poor lame David?  Wod!  Deead does ta say?
    Poor lad! he'd to walk on two crutches;
He'll hev bin sadly missed deawn i' t' village, sin t' day
    As Deeath booare him off in his clutches.
Well, Jack, tho' he's gone, still it's happen for t' best,
    For he's left o his burdens behind him;
An' if one could draw t' curtain, an' peep among t' blest,
    Aw'm sure he'd be able to find him.

Does ta ever see Nancy?  Neaw, come Jack, speyk eawt,
    An' dorn'd pause becose aw'm sad-hearted;
Tha knows varra weel why aw feel sooa, no deawt,
    For aw've never bin reet sin we parted.
Hey, when aw wur wi' hur, mi spirits wur gay,
    For tha knows hoo wur allus mi fancy;
But o mi heart's comforts wur banished away,
    Thad neet as aw quarrell'd wi' Nancy.

Id wur o throo a word, but aw wodn'd poo back,
    For aw felt as mi pride couldn'd do id;
An' then aw spooak hasty an' passionate, Jack,
    An' God knows heaw dearly aw rue id.
Aw mut ha' bin th' happiest an' preawdest o' men,
    For aw'd never no real cause to deawt hur;
But aw've known nowt but anguish an' misery sin then,
    For t' world's like a desert, witheawt hur.

Wod's thad as tha ses?  Tha's a message for me?
    An' it's Nancy an' o as hes sent id?
Come, Jack, here's mi hand, lad, aw'm thankful to thee,
    For tha's browt thad 'at's med me contented.
Hoo ses i' this nooate, as aw'm freely forgi'en,
    For hoo knows id worn'd meant when aw sed id;
An' hoo ses as it's no use o' strife creepin' in
    Wheer luv lies so firmly embedded.

Come, mother, set t' taythings, an' mek us some tay,
    It's some time sin yo seed me so cheery;
Mi sorrows an' troubles hev vanished to-day
    An' neaw, life no longer seems dreeary.
It's thee, Jack, 'at's breeten'd mi face to a smile,
    It's thee, as shall join us together;
Aw've hed t' stormy seeason o' life for awhile,
    But tha's changed id to mid-summer weather.


――――♦――――

 
Puttin' t' Childer to Bed.


AT neet, when aw hear th' engine slacken,
    An' aw know 'at aw've finished for t' day;
Aw leeave t' cares o' toil till t' next mornin',
    An' aw mek off tort hooam reet away.
For aw know thers a hearth breet an' tidy,
    An' a smile when aw enter at t' dooar,
Fro' t' wife as is patiently waitin'
    An' longin' to see me once mooar.

An' as soon as they hear me lift t' latch up
    O' t' childer 'll flock reawnd mi knee,
An' they'll howd up ther sweet bonny faces
    Till aw bend deawn an' kiss 'em o three.
God bless 'em! they're like little angels,
    They leeten eawr hearts neet an' day;
An' to me, id seawnds t' sweetest o' music,
    To hear 'em keep prattlin' away.

An' then, after t' tay's getten o'er wi',
    An' t' tay things o' sided away;
Aw sit deawn to smook i' th' owd rocker,
    An' watch t' childer's innocent play.
Id raylee seems strange an' surprisin',
    To see heaw owd fashioned they ged;
For they'll chatter away till they're weary,
    An' ther een begin achein' for bed.

Then t' wife 'll begin to undress 'em,
    An' as soon as hoo's done wi' o' t' three,
They'll kneel deewn together on t' hearth rug,
    An' bless booath ther mother en' me.
Wi' o t' simple nature o' childhood
    So softly they lisp eawt ther prayers,
Then they'll bid me "Good neet!" in a whisper
    As they toddle off slowly upstairs.

Ther mother gooas up clooase behynt 'em
    An' waits till they o' ged asleep;
An' at last, when they've o getten quated,
    So cautious, deawn t' stairs, hoo's to creep.
But someheaw aw miss ther sweet prattle,
    An' mi heart feels as heavy as lead;
For th' heawse seems so lone an' deserted,
    Uv a neet, when o' th' childer's i' bed.

But aw'll toil on i' peace an' contentment,
    An' do wod aw thinks's reet an' best;
An' when, like a child, aw feel weary
    Aw know, as at t' last, ther'll be rest.
For when we lie cowd in eawr coffins,
    An' t' soul's to a better world fled,
To t' grave side eawr kindred 'll beear us
    An', like childer, they'll put us to bed.


――――♦――――

 
Owd Putty's Race.


YO may talk abeawt Hutchens, or Cummin's, an' George,
    As runners o' fame an' reneawn;
But if Owd Billy Putty mum pick his own track,
    Aw'll bet he could tek 'em o deawn.
To see him, yo'd think him too brossen to walk,
    But fooaks, wod aw'm tellin' yo's true;
He won a big wager a week or two sin,
    An' he's 't champion o' t' Brandy Heawse Broo.

He weighs fourteen scooar, or a peawnd or two mooar,
    An' he's welly as broad as he's long;
But for o as he carries so mich on his booans,
    Owd Putty's booath nimble an' strong.
It's seldom 'at ever yo'll catch him i' t' dumps,
    For he's allus good tempered, an' free;
An' as long as he's plenty o' bacca an' ale,
    He's as happy as mortal con be.

One Setterda neet, he wur up at Owd Kit's
    Among wod they co' t' noisy crew;
They wur talkin' o'er things 'at they knew nowt abeawt,
    An' braggin' o' wod they could do.
Then Young Bob o' Ruchut's jumped up, an' he sheawts,
    "Aw'll run anybody i' t' place
For five or ten peawnd, an' they'st hev t' choice o' greawnd
    Come! which on yo's on for a race?"

"Neaw dorn'd talk so fast theer," Owd Putty chimed in,
    "Aw'll run tha misel for five peawnd
If tha'll give me three yards eawt o' fifty," he sed;
    "But tha knows aw shall want t' choice o' t' greawnd."
Put's offer wur snapp'd up wi' Bob reet away,
    For he reckoned on hevin' him sweet;
An' Putty wur looked on as nowt but a foo'
    When he staked up his wager thad neet.

At t' Monda' they met to decide this greyt race,
    Sooa Putty sheawts "Come on wi' me."
An' Bob an' his mates followed on clooase behynt,
    To t' place wheer this race hed to be.
Put took 'em o'er t' brig, an' he went knockin' on,
    Into one o' them streets just at t' top;
Till at t' finish he coom to a long entry end,
    An' theer Putty med a full stop.

"This here's wheer aw'm runnin'," sed Putty to Bob,
    "Tha knows aw hed t' full choice o' t' greawnd;
An' aw corn'd see misel wheer tha hes ony chance
    O' tekin' away that five peawnd.
Thers nod room for two to ged pass at a time,
    An' as tha hes to start behind me;
Id seems varra plain if aw nobbut wawk deawn,
    'At aw'm teed to reych t' tape befooar thee!"

Bob owned he wur lick'd, an' he give up at once,
    When he seed heaw his case really stood;
An' his heart worn'd as leet as his pocket thad neet,
    But he looked up as weel as he could.
An' mony a time, when ther's nowt goin' on,
    Yo can raise smiles on every face,
If yo'll nobbut drop into Owd Kit's as yo' pass
    An' just mention Owd Putty's Race.


――――♦――――

 
Yon Weyver as Warks t' Beeam to Me.


I' t' shed, wheer aw'm toilin' an' slavin'
    Fro' mornin' to neet, like a foo';
An' piecin' mi bad sides an' "mashes,"
    Till aw wonder which way aw ged throo,
There's a lass, hey! so Winsome an' pratty,
    An' angel yo'd tek hur to be;
An' at me hoo throws lots o' sly glances,
    For hoo only just warks t' beeam to me.

Hoo comes to hur wark dressed i' t' fashion,
    For hoo's fondish o' mekin a show;
Hoo weears a silk jacket to weyve in,
    An' a watch, an' a locket an' o.
Hoo struts like a princess throo th' alley,
    Or some lady wi' titles an' gowd;
An' hur hair used to hang o'er hur eye broos,
    But lately hoo's getten id powd.

If ther's ever a ball hoo'll be at id,
    An' bi wod aw've heeard other fooak say,
At dancin' a "polka" or t' "lancers,"
    Ther's few as con lick hur to-day.
An' aw'm towd hoo's a bit uv at singer,
    Wi' a voice 'at's so soft an' so sweet;
But if ther's a thing hoo delights in,
    It's flashin' hursel uv at neet.

Hoo'll nod speyk to t' other young lasses,
    As warks on to t' looms reawnd abeawt;
For because they dorn'd weear lots o' finery
    Hoo thinks they're below hur, no deawt.
Let hur think sooa, for may be id suits hur,
    But this aw con truthfully say:
Aw'd sooner hev one plain an' hooamly,
    Than fifty like hur, ony dey.

Aw know 'at hoo's hed lots o' fellas,
    Aw'll bet as they'd number a scooar;
For them as aw've sin hur misel wi'
    'Ud mek up a dozen, or mooar.
An' id strikes me hoo thinks aw'st swell t' number,
    Bi' t' way as hoo smiles o' t' day throo,
But hoo'll find as hoo's rayther misteken,
    If hoo thinks 'at aw'm nowt but a foo'.

Aw pity thad fella as gets hur,
    For he'll not hev much pleasure i' life;
Hoo's a long way too preawd, an' too giddy,
    To ever mek owt uv a wife.
If hoo heeard hawf 'at fooak ses abeawt hur,
    Hur cheeks 'ud blush t' colour o' t' rooase;
For they say 'at hoo corn'd darn a stockin',
    Nor fasten at patch on hur clooas.

Then let hur keep smilin' an' glancin'
    To wheedle me reawnd if hoo con;
If hoo's fishin' abeawt for a greenhorn,
    Hoo'll hev to try some other mon.
Aw find single life growin' lonesome,
    An' ther'll soon be a weddin', yo'll see,
But aw've picked eawt a far better partner,
    Than yon weyver as warks t' beeam to me.


――――♦――――

 
Tek Things as Mild as Yo Can.


    This world's full o' trouble 'an pain,
    An' life's nooan too sweet at id best;
But wod's t' good o' mekkin' things woss than they
            are,
    For were towd 'ut life's nowt but a jest.
    Sooa enjoy id as long as yo're here,
    An' bid o' yor trubbles begone;
An' yo'll find life 'll bring yo mooar comfort bi hawf,
    If you'll tek things as mild as yo con.

    If yor cooartin' some fair buxum lass,
    As yo think as mich on as yor life,
An' yo fondly imagine as t' day's verra near,
    When yo'll leead her fro' t' church as yor wife.
    If hoo happens to torn eawt a "sell,"
    An' slopes off wi' some other young mon;
Yo'll let nobry know what hoo's done, if yo're wise,
    But tek things as mild as yo con.

    If yo chance to ged into a row
    Wi' a chap abeawt double yor size;
An' he gives yo a present wi' one uv his kneyves
    I' t' shape o' "two luvly black eyes."
    If yo know 'at he's mooar then yer match,
    An' yo corn'd pay him back wod he's done;
Just sit yo deawn quately or pike eawt o' t' rooad,
    An' tek id as mild as yo con.

    If yor doin' a bit uv a mash,
    Wi' white chooaker, an' gloves, an' silk tile;
An' yor struttin' abeawt like some marquis or lord,
    While t' lasses o' titter an' smile.
    If a strong wind springs up just at t' time,
    An' blows off t' silk hat as yo've on;
An' yo find id i' t' gutter hawf covered wi' mud,
    Just tek id as mild us yo con.

    If yo're plagued wi' a bad tempered wife,
    As torments yo fro' mornin' to neet;
An' ne'er lets hur tongue hev a minute o' rest,
    As long as yo stop in hur seet.
    Tho' yo feel 'at yor henpeeked a bit,
    Remember yor nod th' only one;
An' yo know varra weel it's too late to repent,
    Soon tek things as mild as yo con.

    Tek things as mild as yo con,
    Whenever yor passion rebels;
For a good deal o' t' rough an' smooth sailin' o' life
    Is just as fooak meks id thersels.
    We've lots o' drawbacks to meet,
    As we're strivin' i' t' world to ged on;
But yo'll find eawt as life 'll seem breeter bi far,
    If yo'll tek things as mild as yo con.


――――♦――――

 
Trickin' a Masher.


I' t' street wheer aw live, ther's a masher;
    An' aw'll bet yo ne'er seed sich a swell;
He's dressed, every neet, up to t' knocker,
    But heaw he con do 't aw corn'd tell.
For he weyves deawn at t' same place as aw do,
    An' he hes but three looms he's theer;
But bi t' way as he tries to do th' "heavy,"
    Yo'd think he'd ten theawsand a year.

Nod long sin, he started a cooartin'
    Wi' a young lass as lived up Duke's Broo;
Hoo worn'd one as warked for hur livin",
    For hur parents wur booath weel to do.
An' judgin' fro' t' tales as he'd towd hur,
    Hoo thowt hoo'd picked up wi' some swell;
As did nowt but hunt after pleasure,
    An' wur weel up i' t' world like hursel.

But afooar mony weeks hed passed o'er 'em,
    Hoo fun eawt as thinks worn'd o' reet;
An' this is just 't way as id happened
    He wur walkin' eawt wi' hur one neet;
An' telling hur heaw when he wed hur,
    He'd tek hur away to his ho';
Wheer hoo' be surreawnded wi' splendour,
    An' hev servants to run at hur co'.

Ho kept talkin' on i' this fashion,
    An' spooak o'er o' t' grond things they'd do,
Bud he spluttered an' stopped o' at sudden,
    For he seed one o' t' weavers clooase to.
This young chap looked up as he passed 'em,
    An' sed, "Hello, Jack! is thad thee?
If this nasty east wind keeps on blowin',
    Id'll weyve bad i' t' mornin' tha'll see."

Jack's cheeks fost went pale an' then crimson,
    An' he wondered wodever to say;
He tried hard to smile, but he couldn'd,
    For he worn'd mich inclined to be gay.
But t' lass didn'd seem at bit pottered,
    For hoo walked on un' talked as afooar;
An' hoo towd him to gooa up at t' Sunda',
    When they parted thad neet at th' heawse dooar.

Sooa when Sunda' coom Jack kept his promise,
    An' he went up to t' dooar an' rung t' bell;
Id wur answered bi one uv hur brothers,
    An' nod bi his sweetheart hursel.
An' soon as he geet into t' parlour,
    Hur feyther sed "Oh! sooa tha'rt here;
Aw'll larn thee for comin' a flashin',
    An' aw'll mek tha remember no fear!"

Wi' thad, Jack wur raced reawnd wi' th' hoss-whip,
    Till he fell deawn unable to ston';
An' then he wur dragged eawt to t' rain-tub,
    Wi' hur brothers, an' ducked in all o'er.
His silk hat wur med in a footbo'
    An' jumped on an' trumpled i' t' mud;
An' then they punched Jack eawt at the finish,
    To join id as fast as he could.

Poor Jack felt booath sick, un' deawn-hearted,
    As he slunk away wet throo an' sooar;
An' for mooar nor at fortnut at th' after,
    He ne'er showed his face eawt o' th' dooar.
Ther wur nobry 'at showed him mich pity,
    For they sed 'at he'd just bin tricked reet;
An' aw hope id may prove at good lesson
    To yon masher as lives i' eawr street.


――――♦――――




17, KING WILLIAM STREET, BLACKBURN.

 



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