Warblin's fro' an Owd Songster (2)

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Lancashire Lyrics!



[Ed.see also Edwin Waugh on the 'Cotton Famine".]


TH'ART welcome, little bonny brid,
But shouldn't ha' come just when tha did;
        Toimes are bad.
We're short o' pobbies for eawr Joe,
But that, of course, tha didn't know,
        Did ta, lad?

Aw've often yeard mi feyther tell,
At when aw coom i' th' world misel'
        Trade wur slack;
An' neaw it's hard wark pooin' throo—
But aw munno fear thee, iv aw do
        Tha'll go back.

Cheer up! these toimes 'll awter soon;
Aw'm beawn to beigh another spoon—
        One for thee;
An', as tha's sich a pratty face
Aw'll let thee have eawr Charley's place
        On mi knee.

God bless thee, love, aw'm fain tha'rt come,
Just try an mak' thisel awhoam:
        Here's thi nest;
Tha'rt loike thi mother to a tee,
But tha's thi feyther's nose, aw see,
        Well, aw'm blest!

Come, come, tha needn't look so shy,
Aw am no' blamin' thee, not I;
        Settle deawn,
An' tak' this haupney for thisel,
There's lots o' sugar-sticks to sell
        Deawn i' th' teawn.

Aw know when furst aw coom to th' leet,
Aw're fond o' owt 'at tasted sweet;
        Tha'll be th' same.
But come, tha's never towd thi dad
What he's to co thee yet, mi lad—
        What's thi name?

Hush! hush! tha mustn't cry this way,
But get this sope o' cinder tay
        While it's warm;
Mi mother used to give it me,
When aw wur sich a lad as thee,
        In her arm.

Hush-a-babby, hush-a-bee,—
Oh, what a temper! dear-a-me
        Heaw tha skrikes!
Here's a bit o' sugar, sithee;
Howd thi noise, an then aw'll gie thee
        Owt tha likes.

We've nobbut getten coarsish fare,
But, eawt o' this tha'll get thi share,
        Never fear.
Aw hope tha'll never want a meal,
But allis fill thi bally weel
        While tha'rt here.

Thi feyther's noan been wed so long,
An' yet tha sees he's middlin' throng
        Wi' yo' o.
Besides thi little brother Ted,
We've one upsteers, asleep i' bed,
        Wi' eawr Joe.

But tho' we've childer two or three,
We'll mak' a bit o' reawm for thee,
        Bless thee, lad!
Tha'rt th' prattiest brid we have i' th' nest,
So hutch up closer to mi breast;
        Awm thi dad.




COME, Dick, let's have howd o' thi hond,
    Whot a dreadful long face tha keeps pooin,
These bad times tha'll ne'er manage to stond,
    Except tha minds weel whot tha'rt doin'.
Iv aw've owt i' mi heawse or mi purse,
    'At tha'rt really i' th' need on, aw'll lend it,
Aw see thi owd cooat's gettin' worse,
    But aw'll look thi a patch up to mend it.

Aw wish aw'd mi hat full o' gowd,
    Aw'd mak' someb'dy glad wi' mi givin';
Aw'd miss noather young folk nor owd,
    'At wanted a lift wi' their livin'.
There's theawsands o' poor folk, aw know,
    O'er hard times an' poverty grievin';
There's one or two lives i' th' next row
    Aw should feel rare an' preawd o' relievin'.

But it happens aw'm poor, like theirsel',
    An' aw know very weel they're noan shammin';
Bless thi, Dick, lad, there's nob'dy can tell
    Heaw long we're to keep on a clammin'.
They should help us a bit, them as con,
    Or some'll ne'er live to see th' end on't;
There's mony a poor woe-stricken mon,
    Would be glad ov assistance, depend on't!

We'n lots o' brave fellows i' th' street,
    Low-spirited, deawncast, an' needy,
Wi' hardly a shoe to their feet,
    An' cooats o' their backs gettin' seedy.
It's hard when a chap's done his best,
    Boath i' plannin', an' savin', an' strivin',
To keep th' little brids i' their nest,
    An' yet connot get 'em a livin'.

But it's no use o' whinin' loike this,
    Th' dark cleawd 'll gi way for a breeter;
Aw'll gi' mi owd woman a kiss,
    An' then tune up mi poipe, an' sing sweeter.
Let's noan look so deawncast an' sad,
    There's things i' th' world yet 'at's worth seein',
As long as there's life to be had,
    It's no use o' talkin' o' deein.

There's no good i' ceawrin' i' th' dust,
    Iv aw wur to have mi own choosin',
Afore aw'd be covered wi' rust,
    Aw'd wear eawt wi' rubbin' an' usin'.
Aw'll try an' aw'll keep up mi yed,
    Tho' aw live a few months upo' shoddy,
Aw'm determined aw'll never go dead,
    As long as aw've soul i' mi body.

Go whoam, Dick, an' streighten thi face,
    An' keep it as streight as tha'rt able,
An' aw'll warrant tha'll see better days,
    An' plenty o' meat o' thy table.
Dunno skulk i' this world loike a meawse,
    Howd thi yed up, an' keep up thi courage;
Iv tha'rt clammin', just co' at eawr heawse,
    An' aw'll gi' thi a spoonful o' porridge.

Ne'er fret abeaut th' times bein' bad,
    For they'll mend again sometime, depend on't;
There'll be plenty o' wark to be had,
    An' plenty o' wage, too, at th' end on't.
Let us bid care an' trouble good-neet,
    For there's ne'er no good i' repinin',
Look up! iv it's noan i' one's seet,
    Yon sun up above's allis shinin'.




WHEEREVER aw trudge neaw-a-days,
    Aw'm certain to see some owd friend
Lookin' anxiously up i' my face,
    An' axin' when times are beawn t' mend.
Aw'm surprised heaw folk live, aw declare,
    Wi' th' clammin' an' starvin' they'n stood;
God bless 'em, heaw patient they are!
    Aw wish aw could help 'em, aw would.

But really aw've nowt aw con give,
    Except it's a bit ov a song,
An' th' Muses han hard wark to live,
    One's bin hamper'd an' powfagg'd so long;
Aw've tried to look cheerful an' bowd,
    An' yo know what aw've written an' said,
But iv truth mun be honestly towd,
    Aw've hard wark to howd up mi yed!

There'll be some on us missin' aw deawt
    Iv there isn't some help for us soon;
We'n bin jostled an' tumbled abeawt,
    Till we're welly o knocked eawt o' tune;
Eawr Margit, hoo frets an' hoo cries,
    As hoo sits theer, wi' th' choilt on her knee
An' aw connot blame th' lass, for hoo tries
    To be cheerful an' gradely wi' me.

Yon Yankees may think it's rare fun,
    Kickin' up sich a shindy o'th' globe;
Confound 'em, aw wish they'd get done,
    For they'd weary eawt th' patience o' Job!
We shall have to go help 'em, that's clear,
    Iv they dunno get done very soon;
Iv eawr Volunteers wur o'er theer,
    They'd sharpen 'em up to some tune.

Neaw it's hard for a mortal to tell
    Heaw long they may plague us this road;
Iv they'd hurt nob'dy else but thersel,
    They met fo eawt and feight till they'rn stow'd.
Aw think it's high time someb'dy spoke,
    When so many are cryin' for bread;
For there's hundreds an' theawsands o' folk,
    Deawn i' Lancashire hardly hawve fed.

Th' big men, when they yer eawr complaint,
    May treat it as "gammon " an' "stuff,"
An' tell us we use to' much paint,
    But we dunnot daub paint on enuff,
If they think it's noan true what we sen,
    Ere they charge us wi' tellin' a lie,
Let 'em look into th' question loike men,
    An' come deawn here a fortnit an' try.




The sewing-class at the Manchester and Salford District Provident Society rooms.
Illustrated London News, November 29, 1862.

[Ed. see also Illustrated London News, and Edwin Waugh's "Cotton Famine."]

COME, lasses, let's cheer up, an' sing, it's no use lookin' sad,
We'll mak' eawr sewin' schoo' to ring, an' stitch away loike mad;
We'll try an' mak' th' best job we con o' owt we han to do,
We read an' write, an' spell an' kest, while here at th' sewin' schoo'.
    ChorusThen, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing,
                        It's no use lookin' sad.
                    We'll mak' eawr sewin' schoo' to ring,
                        An' stitch away loike mad.

Eawr Queen, th' Lord Mayor o' London, too, they send us lots o' brass,
An' neaw, at welly every schoo', we'n got a sewin' class;
We'n superintendents, cutters eawt, an' visitors an' o;
We'n parsons, cotton mesturs, too, come in to watch us sew.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

Sin th' war begun, an' th' factories stopped, we're badly off, it's true,
But still we needn't grumble, for we'n noan so mich to do;
We're only here fro' nine to four, an' han an heawer for noon,
We noather stop so very late nor start so very soon.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

It's noice au' easy sittin' here, there's no mistake i' that,
We'd sooner do it, a foine seet, nor root among th' Shurat;
We'n ne'er no floats to unweave neaw, we're reet enough, bi th' mass,
For we couldn't have an easier job nor goin' to th' sewin' class.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

We're welly killed wi' kindness neaw, we really are, indeed,
For everybody's tryin' hard to get us o we need;
They'n sent us puddin's, bacon, too, an' lots o' decent clo'es,
An' what they'll send afore they'n done there's nob'dy here 'at knows.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

God bless these kind, good-natured folk, 'at sends us o' this stuff,
We conno tell 'em o we feel, nor thank 'em hawve enuff;
They help to find us meat an' clooas, an' eddicashun, too,
An' what creawns o', they give us wage for goin' to th' sewin' schoo'.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

We'n sich a chance o' larnin' neaw we'n never had afore:
An' oh, we shall be rare an' wise when th' Yankee wars are o'er;
There's nob'dy then can puzzle us wi' owt we'n larned to do,
We'n getten polished up so weel wi' goin' to th' sewin' schoo'.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

Young fellows lookin' partners eawt had better come this way,
For, neaw we'n larned to mak' a shirt, we're ready ony day;
But mind, they'll ha' to ax us twice, an' mak' a deol ado,
We're gettin' rayther saucy neaw, wi' goin' to th' sewin' schoo'.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.

There'll be some lookin' eawt for wives when th' factories start ogen,
But we shall never court wi' noan but decent, sober men;
Soa vulgar chaps, beawt common sense, will ha' no need to come,
For sooner than wed sich as these, we'd better stop a whoam.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up and sing, &c.

Come, lasses, then, cheer up an' sing, it's no use lookin' sad,
We'll mak' eawr sewin' schoo' to ring, an' stitch away loike mad;
We live i' hopes afore so long, to see a breeter day,
For th' cleawd at's hangin' o'er us neaw is sure to blow away.
    Chorus—Then, lasses, let's cheer up an' sing, &c.




IT'S hard to ceawer i' th' chimney nook,
    Fro' weary day to day;
An' no kind word, nor lovin' look
    To drive one's care away!
Mi clooas are welly o worn eawt,
    An' neaw aw'm sich a seet,
Aw dunno loike to walk abeawt,
    Unless it's dark at neet.

To get us bread, mi mother sowd
    Eawr mattrasses an' sheets;
An' oh, it is so bitter cowd,
    These frosty, winter neets!
Two ladies kindly co'd one day,
    An' put us deawn some shoon;
They said they'd sheets to give away,
    An' we must ha' some soon.

Eawr Mary Jane's a bonny lass,
    Wi' two such rosy cheeks;
Hoo goes to th' Refuge Sewin' Class,
    An' has done neaw for weeks.
Poor thing! hoo's badly starved, aw know,
    Hoo's scarcely owt to wear;
Aw do so wish 'at somed'y'd co,
    'At's getten owt to spare.

Her petticoats are o worn eawt;
    Her Sunday frock's i' holes;
An' then her boots—hoo's welly beawt—
    They want booath heels an' soles.
Aw wish mi feyther had a job,
    He looks so strange an' wild;
He'll sit for heawers at th' side o'th' hob,
    An' cry just like a child.

No wonder he should pine an' fret,
    An' look soa discontent;
For th' gas bill isn't settled yet,
    An' th' lon'lord wants his rent.
Mi mother's bin to th' shop to-neet,
    To fetch a bit o' tay;
Hoo says they hardly looken reet,
    Becose hoo conno pay.

An' who can blame 'em?   Nob'dy can;
    They're wur nor us, bi th' mass!
Iv they're to pay for what they han,
    They're loike to ha' some brass;
We'n lived as careful as we con
    Aw'm sure, but after o
A great big shop score's runnin' on,
    For tothry peawnd or so.

Aw've etten bacon till aw'm sick;
    Eawr Jimmy has an' o;
An' iv yo'll ax mi uncle Dick,
    He'll tell yo th' same, aw know.
An' porritch aw've had quite anoo,
    For they dunno suit, aw find;
Aw conno do wi' soup an' stew,
    They fill one full o' wind.

Aw'm glad o' every bit aw get,
    An' rare an' thankful feel;
Aw've allis getten summat yet,
    To mak' misel' a meal.
Thank God, we'n never ax'd i' vain,
    For folk are kind, aw'm sure;
God bless 'em o for what they've gan;
    One conno say no moor.




CONFOUND it! aw ne'er wur so woven afore,
Mi back's welly brocken, mi fingers are sore;
Aw've bin starin' an' rootin' among this Shurat,
Till aw'm very near getten as bloint as a bat.

Every toime aw go in wi' mi cuts to owd Joe,
He gies mi a cursin', an' bates mi an' o;
Aw've a warp i' one loom wi' booath selvedges marr'd,
An' th' other's as bad for he's dress'd it to hard.

Aw wish aw wur fur enuff off, eawt o' th' road,
For o' weavin' this rubbitch aw'm gettin' reet stow'd;
Aw've newt i' this world to lie deawn on but straw,
For aw've only eight shillin' this fortni't to draw.

Neaw aw haven't mi family under mi hat,
Aw've a woife an' six childer to keep eawt o' that;
So aw'm rayther among it at present yo see,
Iv ever a fellow wur puzzled, it's me!

Iv one turns eawt to steal, folk'll co me a thief,
An' aw conno' put th' cheek on to ax for relief;
As aw said i' eawr heawse t' other neet to mi woife,
Aw never did nowt o' this sort i' mi loife.

One doesn't like everyone t' know heaw they are,
But we'n suffered so long thro' this 'Merica war,
'At there's lot's o' poor factory folk getten t' fur end,
An' they'll soon be knock'd o'er iv th' toimes don't

Oh, dear! iv yon Yankees could only just see
Heaw they're clemmin' an' starvin' poor weavers loike
Aw think they'd soon settle their bother, an' strive
To send us some cotton to keep us alive.

There's theawsands o' folk just i' th' best o' their days,
Wi' traces o' want plainly seen i' their face;
An' a future afore 'em as dreary an' dark,
For when th' cotton gets done we shall o be beawt wark.

We'n bin patient an' quiet as long as we con;
Th' bits o' things we had by us are welly o gone;
Aw've bin trampin' so long, mi owd shoon are worn
An' mi halliday clooas are o on 'em "up th' speawt."

It wur nobbut last Monday aw sowd a good bed—
Nay, very near gan it—to get us some bread;
Afore these bad times cum aw used to be fat,
But neaw, bless yo'r loife, aw'm as thin as a lat!

Mony a toime i' mi loife aw've seen things lookin'
But never as awk'ard as what they are neaw;
Iv there isn't some help for us factory folk soon,
Aw'm sure we shall o be knocked reet eawt o' tune.

Come give us a lift, yo' 'at han owt to give,
An' help yo're poor brothers an' sisters to live;
Be kind, an' be tender to th' needy an' poor,
An' we'll promise when th' times mend well ax yo no




HERE aw'm ceawerin' beawt custom fro' mornin' to neet,
Aw wonder what's th' matter, there's summat noan reet;
Heaw it is aw've nowt t' do aw conno weel tell,
Unless folk's beginnin' o' shavin' theirsel.
Aw should loike to do moor nor aw have done to-day,
For aw've one or two bills 'at aw'm wantin' to pay;
An' aw'm certain o' one thing, there'll be a foine row,
Iv aw dunno pay Turner for gildin' mi pow.
An' then there's th' cigar chap—he's comin' this week;
An' aw owe four-an'-sixpence to Clay for some breek.
Iv someb'dy doesn't come in, an' bring me some brass,
Aw shall very soon be in a pickle, bi th' mass!
There's th' doctor reawnd th' corner, he used to come here,
Never missed twice a week bein' perch'd i' this cheer;
But neaw he walks past, an' ne'er gies me a co'—
Aw wonder iv he's stopped for cotton an' o'!
As aw're comin' past Morton's front window at noon,
When aw'd bin on to Johnny M'Kay's wi' mi shoon,
Aw'll be blest if th' owd chap wur no' cuttin' his hair
Wi' a pair o' big shears—it's true, aw declare!
Ah! tha'll look a foine sect when tha's finished, aw thowt:
Iv he'd come an' ax'd me aw'd ha cut it for nowt.
It's toime aw'd a job, for mi lather an' brush—
Hello! there's a customer comin' neaw, hush!
Oh, it's only eawr Timothy bringin' mi tay—
Aw shall ate a deal moor nor aw've getten to-day.
What's th' reason owd Jammy o' Neds doesn't come?
Aw wonder iv th' woife pows an' shaves him awhoam.
Aw know why Bob Travis ne'er gi'es me a co',
He's letten his beard an' his mustash grow;
He's towd me this week 'at he doesn't intend
To be shaved ony moor till trade begins t' mend.
We shall ha' to shut up, shall us barbers, that's ole;
For we connot pretend to find gas an' coal,
Nor we conno' pay taxes an' rates eawt o' newt;
An' then there's these razors, they han to be bowt,
Beside other matters one has abeawt th' place,
Sich as hair oil, an' teawels for wipin' their face;
There's mi lather brush, hair brush, there's soap an' th' glass,
An' that great big wesh-bowl—they o tacken brass.
When one's nowt comin' in mich it acts very bad,
It's enuff to mak' people i' business go mad.
Neaw things wur no' soa when aw oppen'd this room,
For aw couldn't attend folk as fast as they coom.
Jem Thompson, poor chap, he's no better nor me,
He says he can hardly mak' ends meet an' tee;
An' he used to do rarely, did Jem, he did so,
For he mends umbrellas, grinds razors an' o.
Aw wish aw wur single, aw'd hook it fro' here,
Aw'd sell o' mi razors, mi strop, an' this cheer;
Aw'd soon steer mi bark on the ocean wave,
For aw'd go see iv th' Yankees wur wantin' a shave.
Iv aw didn't succeed, an' could get nowt to eight,
Aw could list for a sodier, an' help 'em to feight.
But aw'll go an' shut up, while there's middlin' o' leet,
For there's nob'dy wants powin' an' shavin' to-neet.
Aw've waited, an' waited for folk till aw'm stow'd,
But aw'll noan stond it long, if aw do aw'll be blow'd.
Th' idea ov a chap ceawrin' here bi hissel,
Singin' "Lather 'em, shave 'em, shave 'em well."
Iv aw'd somb'dy in here just to stick to mi coat,
Aw'd get ow'd of a razor an' cut mi throat,
An' try t' other world, for there's newt to do here—
Aw'd go see iv they're wantin' a barber deawn theer.




IS there nob'dy to thank these good folk?
    No poet to scribble a line?
Aw wish aw could write yo' a song,
    Aw'd mak' yo' reet welcome to mine.
There's Waugh, he's bin writin' for years,
    An' mony a good tale, too, he's towd;
But he says newt abeawt these bad times,
    Aw wonder, neaw, heaw he con howd.

Iv aw could draw pictures loike him,
    An' ceawr deawn an' write hawve as weel,
Aw'd tell folk heaw thankful aw am,
    But aw couldn't tell th' hawve 'at aw feel.
When aw tak' up a papper to read,
    Aw con see there heaw ready folk are
At helpin' poor creatures i' need,
    An' givin' us o they con spare.

We'n gentlemen, ladies an' o',
    As busy i' th' country as owt,
Providin' for th' Lancashire poor;
    God bless 'em, it show's they'n some thowt!
Iv they'll only keep on as they do,
    We shall o be rigg'd eawt very soon;
There's one party givin' us frocks,
    An' another lot sendin' us shoon.

Th' Australians han sent us some gowd,
    For feedin' an' clothin' o' th' poor;
An' they say it's noan o we mun have,
    For they're busy collectin' us moor.
An' th' Indians are helpin' an' o;
    Aw reckon they're grateful for th' past,
So they'll give us a bit of a lift,
    For helpin' them eawt when they'rn fast.

We'n clogs an' we'n clooas gan us neaw,
    There's both second-honded an' new;
Some are givin' us soup twice a week,
    An' others are givin' us stew.
We're rare an' weel done to aw'm sure,
    For we're fed, an' we're clothed, an' we're towt;
They pay'n us for goin' to th' schoo',
    An gi'en' us good larnin' for nowt.

God bless 'em for o 'at they've done,
    An' aw hope they'll keep doin' as well,
Till th' dark cleawd 'at hangs o'er's blown away,
    An' we're able to do for eawrsel'.
Excuse me for writin' these loines,
    For it's no use, aw conno' be still,
As long as they help us to live,
    Aw'll thank 'em, if nob'dy else will.




AW'VE turned mi bit o' garden o'er,
    An' set mi seed an' o;
Soa neaw aw've done aw'll rest a bit,
    An' sit an' watch it grow.
It's noice to have a little spot,
    Where one can ceawer 'em deawn.
A quiet, comfortable place,
    Eawtside o' th' busy teawn,
Where one can sit an' smoke their poipe,
    An' have a friendly chat,
Or read th' newspapper o'er a bit,
    Or talk abeawt Shurat;
Or listen to some owd man's tale,
    Some vet'ran come fro' th' wars;
Aw loike to yer 'em spin their yarn,
    An' show their wounds an' scars.

One neet aw thowt aw'd tak' a walk
    As far as th' Hunter's Teawer,
To beg a daisy root or two:
    Tom's gan me mony a fleawer.
They're bloomin' i' mi garden neaw,
    Aw've sich a bonny show;
Aw've daisies, pinks, carnations, too,
    An' pollyants an' o.
Yo couldn't think heaw preawd aw feel,
    O' every plant an' fleawer;
Aw couldn't ha' cared for childer moor—
    Aw've nursed 'em mony a heawer.
But tho' they neaw look fresh an' fair,
    They'll droop their yeds an' dee;
They hanno long to tarry here—
    They're just loike yo an' me.

Dark-lookin' cleawds are gatherin' reawnd,
    Aw think it's beawn to rain;
There's nowt could pleos me better neaw,
    Aw should be rare an' fain!
Mi bit o' seed wants deggin' o'er,
    To help to mak' it spreawt;
It's summat loike a choild's first teeth,
    'At wanten helpin' eawt.
But aw'll be off, afore aw'm wet,
    It's getten reet agate;
An' while it comes aw think aw'll get
    A bit o' summat t' eat;
For oh! it is a hungry job,
    This workin' eawt o' th' door;
Th' committee should alleaw for this,
    An' give one rayther moor.

Aw should so loike a good blow eawt,
    A feed off beefsteak pie;
But aw can ne'er get nowt loike that
    Wi' th' bit aw draw, not I!
Aw'm glad enough o' porritch neaw,
    Or tothrey cowd potates;
If aw can get enoo o' these,
    Aw'st do till th' factory gates.
It's welly gan o'er rainin', so
    Aw'll have another look,
An' see heaw th' garden's gettin' on;
    An' then aw'll get a book,
An read an heawer or two for th' woife,
    An' sing a bit for Ted;
Then poo mi clogs off, fasten th' doors,
    An' walk up steers to bed.




MON, tha howds deawn thi yead loike a thief,
    An tha's noan getten th' pluck ov a leawse;
Neaw, what's th' use on thee nursin' thi grief?
    Ger up, or aw'll give thee a seawse:
Mon, tha'rt welly a shawm to be seen,
    Are ta meawtin', or what does ta ail?
Come, mop up that weet fro' thi een,
    For aw've browt thee some bacon and male.

"Aw dar say tha'rt hungry, owd lad,
    An thi woife, theer, hoo looks like a ghost;
Yo'r Jonathan's welly as bad,
    An yo're Nelly, poor thing, hoo looks lost.
Hast a bit ov a pon ony wheer,
    'At 'll fry yo a collop or two?
An aw'll run for a pint o' smo' beer,
    Fro' owd Mally Dawson's i' th' broo."

"Ne'er mind, Jim, we need no smo' drink;
    We can manage beawt swillin' it deawn;
An, thank thee, aw mony a toime think
    Tha'rt th' best-natured chap i' this teawn.
God bless thee, an thank thee ogen ;
    Iv it wur not for thee an' yo're Sam
Bringin' summat to eat, neaw an then,
    Aw believe we should o have to clam.

"This mornin' owd Alice, th' next dur,
    Coom in wi' a potfull o' tay;
An oh, some an thankful we wur,
    For it's o we'n had t' live on to-day.
Aw've bin eawt a beggin' sin noon,
    Just look heaw mi stockins are wet;
It's wi' havin' big holes i' mi shoon,
    But tha knows, Jim, they're th' best one
            can get."

"Well, well, lad, aw know heaw yo are,
    An aw'm noan so mich better mysel';
Heaw long aw may have eawt to spare
    It's hard for a body to tell;
But as long as aw've getten owt t' give
    Tha'rt sure to be one aw shall sarve;
Aw shall help an owd shopmate to live,
    An see 'at tha'rt noan left to starve.

"Send yo're Nelly to th' cobblers to neet—
    Aw meon cobbler Jack's deawn i'th' fowd—
An aw'll beigh thi some shoon to thi feet,
    For tha'rt gettin' thi deoth wi cowd;
An aw'll speak to owd Mistress Scholes,
    To look th' woife up a bit ov a dress;
For that hoo has on's full o' holes—
    But hoo's getten nowt better, aw guess.

"Neaw, Turn, lad, tha'rt cryin' aw see,
    Come, cheer up as weel as tha con;
Tha's noan bin forgotten, tha'll see;
    There's foalk as con feel for thee, mon.
Tha's noan bin beawt trouble, aw know;
    It's no wonder to me tha should fret;
But there's room i'th' world yet for us o
    Mon; tha's no need to hang thisel yet.

"Turn! aw knew thee when tha wur a lad,
    Livin' th' next dur but one to th' Breawn Ceaw;
Thi heart then wur leetsome an' glad;
    What aw want is—to see it so neaw.
Tha'rt welcome to my little mite,
    For aw connot afford a big sum;
But as long as aw've getten a bite,
    Tha shall ha' th' hawve on't—that tha shall, Tum."



AW'VE just been a-lookin' at th' scholars;
    God bless 'em! heaw happy aw feel
To find 'at they'n been so weel done to,
    An' see 'em ole lookin soa weel.
There's Charley—he's getten new breeches;
    An' Hannah Maria's new shoon;
While owd Billy Wade's youngest dowter,
    Hoo does cut a dash to some tune!

There has been some plannin' an' skeomin',
    There has been some sugarless tay—
An' buttercakes etten beawt butter,
    To get these foine things for to-day!
Neaw, isn't it really surprisin',
    Heaw well th' little childer appear,
When brass is soa hard to get howd of,
    An' wearin' things gettin' soa dear.

If it wurno' for th' kind-hearted women
    (God bless 'em o) helpin' us throo—
While things are soa dreadfully awkard—
    Aw dunna know what we must do.
Iv Mary Ann wants a new bonnet,
    Or Frederick James a new cap,
They'll manage to get 'em a-someheaw,
    They'll oather beg, borrow, or swap.

There's lots o' owd faded silk dresses
    Been used to mack little frocks on
We've cut an owd cooat o' mi' fayther's
    To make up a suit for eawr John.
Aw've seen little Emily Thompson—
    Hoo wur some an' pratty for sure!
There's nob'dy would ever imagine
    Her fayther an' mother are poor.

But foalks have to skeom an' do ole roads,
    An' th' rich abeawt here never dreom,
Heaw one hawve o' th' nayburs abeawt 'em,
    For a bare toarin' on have to skeom.
For, while they've getten so mitch to stur on,
    'At they hardly know what to do wi' 't,
There's mony a poor chilt reawnd abeawt 'em
    Wi' hardly a shoe to its feet.

Eh, aw wish aw wur wealthy, like some foalk,
    An' had summat to spare aw could give,
Aw'd do what this heart o' moine prompts me,
    Aw'd help thoose abeawt me to live!
Aw'd leeten poor folk o' their burdens,
    Aw'd cheer mony a heart 'at wur sad;
While thoose 'at wur troubled an' deawncast,
    Aw'd try to mak' cheerful an' glad.

Heaw is it 'at foalks are so hampert
    Wi' sich an abundance i' th' lond?
Heaw is it 'at some are i' tatters
    While others are gaudily donn'd?
Heaw is it 'at some can be livin'
    I' splendour, at foine marble halls,
While others are clemmin' an' starvin',
    Wi' nowt i' their seet but bare walls?

God's good, an' provides us wi' plenty;
    There's mate an' there's clooas for us o,
But these good things—they're hard to get howd on—
    These blessin's 'at ceasin'ly flow—
They seem to be stopp'd on their journey,
    An' laid deawn at th' rich foalks door;
Well, its happen for th' best 'at it is so;
    God help those 'at's needy an' poor!



CHEER up a bit longer, mi brothers i' want,
    There's breeter days for us i' store;
There'll be plenty o "tommy" an' wark for us o,
    When this dark-lookin' cleawd's blown o'er.
Yo'n struggled reet nobly an' battled reet hard,
    While things han been lookin' so feaw;
Yo'n borne wi' yo're troubles an' trials so long,
    'At it's no use o' givin' up neaw.

Feight on, as yo han done, an' victory's sure,
    For th' battle seems very near won;
Be firm i' yore sufferin' an' dunno give way,
    For they're nowt nobbut ceawards 'at run.
Yo' know heaw they'n praised us for stondin' so firm,
    An' shall we neaw stagger an' fo?
Not we! if we nobbut brace up an' be hard,
    We con stond a bit longer aw know.

It's hard to keep clemmin' an' starvin', it's true;
    An' it's hard to see th' little things fret,
Becose there's no buttercakes for 'em to eat,
    But we'n allis kept pooin' throo yet.
As bad as times are, an' as feaw as things look,
    One's certain they met ha' bin worse;
For we'n getten a trifle o' summat so fur,
    Tho' it's been poorish poikin,' of course.

Aw've begged on yo' t' keep up yore courage before,
    An' neaw let me ax yo' once moor;
Let's noan get disheartened, there's hope for us yet,
    We needn't despair tho' we're poor.
We connot expect it'll allis be foine;
    It's dark for awhile, an' then clear;
We'n mirth mixed wi' sadness, an' pleasure wi' pain,
    An' shall have so long as we're here.

This world's full o' changes for better or worse,
    An' this is one change among th' ruck;
We'n a time o' prosperity, time o' success,
    An' then we'n a reawnd o' bad luck.
We're baskin' i' sunshine at one time o' th' day,
    At other times ceawrin' i' th' dark;
To-day finds us hearty, an' busy as owt,
    To-morn, may be, ill an' beawt wark.

God bless yo', mi brothers, we're nobbut on th' tramp,
    We never stay long at one spot;
An' while we keep knockin' abeawt i' this world,
    Disappointments will fall to eawer lot;
So th' best thing we con do, if we mean to get through,
    Is to wrastle wi' cares as they come;
If we're tired an' weary,—well, let's never heed,
    We con rest us weel when we get whoam.

Cheer up, then, aw say, an' keep hopin' for th' best,
    For things are goin' t' alter, an' soon:
Ole these wailin's an' discords are beawnd to dee eawt,
    An' gie way for a merrier tune.
'Bide on a bit longer, tak' heart once ogen,
    An' do give o'er lookin' so feaw;
As we'n battled, an' struggled, an' suffered so long.
    It's no use o'givin' up neaw.



THO' unfit to tak' part i' loife's battles
    Or feight wi th' same pluck as befoor;
As a comrade, an' late brother-toiler,
    Aw feel anxious to help yo' once moor.
Aw've fowt long an' hard as yo' know, lads;
    But aw'm gettin' near th' end o' mi days;
Aw shall soon have to strip off this armour,
    An' let somb'dy else tak' mi place.

Tak' advice fro' a grey-yeaded comrade,
    Let justice be blended wi' blows:
An' be sure 'at yo' dunnot mak' th' blunder
    O' mistackin' yore friends for yore foes.
Some o' th' wealthy deserve ole they'n getten;
    They'n been workin', an' savin' their gowd,
While yo'n had yore honds i' yore pockets,
    Or, perhaps, played at marbles i' th' fowd.

Tak' an owd friend's advice, an' feight fair, lads;
    Be aware o' what's known as "bad blood;"
An', whatever yo' do, keep fro' mischief;
    Breakin' windows will do yo' no good.
Yo' do reet to speak eawt when yo're clemmin',
    An' let ole yore troubles be known;
But this can be done witheawt threat'nin',
    Or endangerin' th' nation or th' Throne.

Lads, aw know what it meons to be pinchin',
    For aw've had a front seot i' that schoo';
Oatcake an' churn milk for a "baggin'"
    An' a penny red herrin' for two!
It tries a poor starvin' mon's patience,
    An' his feelin's are hardish to quell,
When he sees his rich naybours are feastin'
    An' he can get nowt nobbut th' smell.

This is one o' those wrongs 'at want reightin';
    There's a screw loose i'th' job there's no deawt;
There's a foe hangin' reawnd 'at needs feightin';
    Set to work, lads, an' ferret it eawt.
An' while battlin' for th' right, let's be "jannock;"
    Thoose 'at's reet have no need be afraid.
Are these wrongs browt abeawt bi eawr nayburs?
    Or are they—what's likelier—whoam-made?

While th' wealthy are feastin' we're starvin,
    An' for this, lads, there must be a cause;
Aw know pratin' Tom will put this deawn
    To injustice an' th' badness o' th' laws.
Well, there may be some truth i' what Tom says,
    But aw know what th' real cause is aw think:
For while Tom's wife an' childer are starvin',
    He's spendin' his earnin's o' drink.

Yo' may prate o'er yore wrongs until doomsday,
    An' blame what are called th' upper class;
But ole yore complaints will be useless,
    Till yo'n th' sense to tak' care o' yore brass.
Turn o'er a new leaf, fellow-toilers,
    An' let common sense be yore guide;
If there's one happy spot under heaven,
    Let that spot be yore own fireside.

Get a ceaw, if yo' con, an three acres,
    An' i' future, employ yore spare heawers
I' readin' good books; an' yore windows,
    Fill these up wi' plants an wi' fleawers.
Get yore wives an' yore childer' areawnd yo',
    Sing an' whistle among 'em loike mad;
An' if this doesn't mak' yo' feel happier,
    Throw th' blame on "A LANCASHIRE LAD."




ROWL away, theaw grand owd ocean,
    Dash thi spray on th' pebbly shore;
Like some giant i' devotion,
    Singin' praises evermore.
Talk o' true an' earnest worship!
    Great revivals! dear-a-me!
Why, there isn't a sect i' th' nation
    'At con hawve come up to thee.

Baptists, Independents, Quakers,
    Followers o' Young an' Joe;
Ranters, Unitarians, Shakers;
    These are nowt—tha dreawns 'em o.
Organ, singers, parson, people,
    Let these mak' what noise they will;
Ring o' th' bells they han i' th' steeple,
    Tha poipes eawt aboon 'em still.

Oh, aw loike to yer thee roarin;
    Loike thee when i' gradely trim;
When wi' mighty voice tha'rt pourin'
    Eawt some grand thanksgivin' hymn!
Priests han mumbled, people muttered,
    What's bin looked upon as foine;
Still their praises are no uttered
    Hawve so heartily as thoine.

O, heaw charmin' 'tis at midneet!
    Heaven's breet lamps lit up aboon;
Thee deawn here, like some vast mirror,
    Silvered o'er wi' th' leet o' th' moon!
What are these 'at look like childer,
    Bi their mother gently led?
Th' moon's browt th' stars to have a bathe here,
    Just before they're put to bed!

Th' sun may shed his brilliant lustre;
    Th' moon display her queenly peawer;
Th' bonny twinklin' stars may muster
    All their force at th' midneet heawer.
Th' woind may roar i' wild commotion,
    Or may blow a gentle breeze:
Still, ah, still owd briny ocean,
    Theaw can charm me moor nor these.

Oh, aw loike to yer thy music,
    Moor nor th' bells 'at sweetly chime;
For thy voice is ever seawndin'
    Grandly solemn an' sublime!
Eawr poor efforts, tho' inferior,
    Very often have t' be bowt;
But, tho' thine's so mich superior,
    Tha ne'er thinks o' chargin' owt.

When God's people fled fro' bondage,
    Tramp'd thro' th' wilderness so long;
An' fair Miriam played on th' timbrel,
    Did ta help 'em i' their song?
When preawd Pharaoh's host o'ertook 'em,
    An' th' poor things i' terror stood;
Do we read 'at theaw forsook 'em?
    Nay, but helped 'em o' tha could.

Londin' here fro' th' great Atlantic,
    Sometoimes tha does use us bad;
Foamin', ravin', fairly frantic;
    Tossin' ships abeawt loike mad!
Other toimes tha's bin quite different,
    Noather awkward, cross, nor nowt;
Same as if tha'd bin asleep theer,
    Just as calm an' still as owt.

Oh, we connot blame thee, ocean;
    Oftentoimes we've yerd it said,
'At tha uses th' gentlest motion,
    When tha'rt movin' nearest th' dead.
Whoile a mon's o' reet an' hearty,
    He may foind thee rayther ruff;
Iv he lies theer deod an' helpless
    Then, owd friend, tha'rt kind enuff.

Foalk 'at feel there's summat wantin';
    Drinkers deep o' sorrow's cup;
These should yer thi merry chantin',
    Bless us tha'd soon cheer 'em up!
Oh, an' tha'rt a kind physician;
    Well it is tha wants no fee;
Weakly folk i' my condition
    Couldn't pay, they'd ha' to dee.

Mony a toime aw've sit deawn, sadly
    Broodin' o'er mi load o' woe,
Feelin' gradely sick an' badly,
    Crush'd wi' cares 'at few can know.
O at once these cares han vanished;
    Not a fear left, not a deawt;
Every gloomy thowt's bin banished,
    When aw've yeard thee poipin' eawt.

Foalk 'at live i' teawns an' cities,
    Conno yer thee same as me;
Oh! but it's a theawsand pities!
    Everyone should hearken thee.
Rowl away, then, grand owd ocean;
    Dash thi spray on th' pebbly shore;
Tha ne'er flags i' thy devotion—
    Allis singin'—evermore.




BEIN' a poor workin' mon, it's but little aw know
Abeawt th' people livin' i' Quality Row;
An' to tell yo' th' plain truth, it's but seldom one gooas,
Unless it's to hawk, or to beg some owd clooas.
Heawever, aw went th' other day wi' a friend,
An' a few bits o' trifles picked up theer aw've penn'd
In a plain, whomly style, for there's nowt very fine
Abeawt these ruff, ramblin' sketches o' mine.

Mister Bolus, M.D., lives at th' furst heawse i' th' row,
An' thoose at are ailin' will do weel to co.
Neaw, he's allis awhom, except when he's eawt,
An' he's allis his specks on, except when he's beawt.
It's noan o' mitch consequence what a chap ails,
For he's very successful, except when he fails.
'At his charges are moderate there's none can deny,
Except neaw an' then, when they get rayther high.

Th' next dur lives a parson, a kind-hearted mon,
'At glories i' doin' ole th' good 'at he con:
If anyone's poorly, an wants him to pray,
He's willin' to gooa oather neet-time or day.
When he meets a poor chap he'll get howd ov his hond,
An' shake it as iv he're th' richest i' th' lond;
Whenever aw meet him, he touches his hat,
An there's noan mony parsons i' th' teawn will do that.

Th' next dur to this parson, at heawse number three,
There's a young ladies' schoo' kept bi Miss Nancy Lee;
Aw've a cousin 'at gooas, an' aw met her one neet,
An' hoo is rarely polished! hoo is some an' breet!
An' hoo does spread her fithers abeawt when hoo walks,
An' screws up her meawth when hoo simpers an' talks!
Hoo's goin' up to Lunnon hoo tells me next week,
To translate the word "turnip" to Latin an' Greek.

Well, th' next aw shall notice is heawse number six,
There's a fellow lives theer 'at makes clay into bricks;
He's moderate steady, teetotal, aw think,
Except at odd times when he's gettin' his drink.
Aw neaw an' then leet on him comin' my way,
When he's been on at th' "Punch Bowl" soakin' his clay;
But as clay isn't easy to mould when it's dry,
Aw say newt, but let him go quietly by.

At heawse number seven (dear-a-me, what a life?)
An owd bachelor lives—a poor fellow beawt wife;
If yo'll peep under th' curtain some neet when yo' pass,
Yo'll see him ceawerd mopin' an' ceawntin' his brass.
He should have a big heawseful o' childer to keep,
Then he wouldn't be seen potterin' abeawt, haw've asleep;
For they'd loosen his joints for him weel, never fear,
An' keep him fro' gettin' so reawsty an' queer.

Aw've another to mention,—it's heawse number nine;
A relation lives theer,—a rich uncle o' mine;
He owns some good shops between Owdham an' Lees,
'At aw venture to think will be mine when he dees.
Aw'm aware 'at eawr Charley does o' 'at he con,
To poke his nose in, an' get thick wi' th' owd mon;
But it's ole to no use, he'll be chetted, he'll see,
For mi Uncle John promised he'd leov 'em to me.

Well, aw think aw'll give o'er, yo'll be weary aw deawt,
An' aw've mentioned o th' folk 'at aw know mitch abeawt.
Aw've missed two or three 'at are livin' i' th' row,
But iv they feel slighted aw'll give 'em a co;
An' tho' aw've noan getten much talent or time
For drawin' eawt sketches i' Lancashire rhyme,
Aw may try to please yo' a bit wi' mi' pen,
Someday, when aw've been reawnd that quarter ogen.




STARVED to death, did you say? dear a-me!
Why, bless us, wheerever i'th' world could it be?
Wur he somewheer i' Greenland, wheer th' north winds
Or ramblin' o'er th' moors, an' lost i'th' snow?
Or wur he away i' some lonely place,
Wheer th' sun seldom shoines on a human face;
I' some far-away desert 'at's seldom trod—
Wheer th' soil appears fresh fro' th' hands o' God?

Nay, nay, he're noan starved on a foreign strand,
But here, awhom, i' this Christian land,
Wheer th' seawnd o'th' church-goin' bell is heard,
An' charity's preached in the name of eawr Lord.
Wheer the priest an' the Levite on luxuries dine,
An' nowbles an' statesmen get fuddled wi wine;
It wur here, i' owd England, this "Queen of the Isles"—
This garden o' eawrs, on which Providence smiles.

It wur here 'at he deed,—i'th' lond ov his birth;—
I'th' wealthiest city on God's fair earth.
Starved to death within seet an' seawnd
O'th' merchant princes 'at prosper areawnd!
Ah, starved to death in a Christian land.
Eh dear! this is hard to understand—
Yore brother an mine lyin' stiff an' cowd,
In a city o' splendour, a mart o' gowd.

Starved to death! a loife flung away!
God's image starved eawt o'th' poor vessel o' clay:
A dear choilt o' somb'dy's, a brother o' eawers,
Wi' similar feelin's an' mental peawers,
Thrown away as iv nothin' worth;
Not one friend to assist him on ole God's earth.
O, brothers an' sisters, pray what can we do?
O, thinkers an' writers—here's sum'at for you.

Come, thunner it eawt i' clarion tones,
'At we're starvin' th' bees while we pamper th' drones.
Thunner it eawt, an' let it be known,
Fro' th' pauper i'th' warkheawse to th' queen on th' throne,
We can boast o' eawr greatness an' prowess i' war,
An' eawr fame as a nation's oft' talked of afar;
An' shall it, wi' truth, o' owd England be said,
That her sons an' her dowters are starvin' for bread?

Is this what we co feedin' th' hungry an' th' dry,
Or doin' to others as we'd be done by?
Nay, we rayther think not; we should think it wur queer
If we'rn deein o' hunger, an' nob'dy came near.
While one's livin' i' "clover," he's friends ole reawned;
Iv he's crush'd wi' misfortune, they're hard to be feawnd.
Let us rectify ole these sad blunders, an' try
To be brothers i' sorrow as weel as i' joy.

Yo' 'at preitch Christ's religion, come, practise it too;
Here's a field for yore labour,—here's sum'at to do:
Look abeawt on th' wayside for some witherin' fleawer,
An' give it o' th' help 'at may lie i' yore peawer.
Dunno fall into th' error o' wastin' yore breath,
I' talkin' to th' hungry o' judgment an' death;
If yore fishin' for souls, yo'n a very poor bait;
Yo'll be loiklier to catch 'em wi' sum'at to ate.

We met as weel talk to a chap 'at's noan reet,
An' tell folk to walk 'at's lost th' use o' their feet,
As attempt to feed th' hungry wi' orthodox creeds,
Or quieten a stomach wi' crosses an' beads.
Let's scorn to insult wi' sich simperin' cant,
As to talk abeawt deein' to folk 'at's i' want;
Let us act moor loike Christians, an' every one strive
To let 'em have sum'at to keep 'em alive.




SO this is Great Eccleston, is it?   Well, well—
Aw thowt aw should loike to see th' spot for misel;
For it's gettin' weel known as a notable place,
Wheer 'th Liberals an' Tories can meet face to face;
Wheer 'th Fylde politicians can have a good feight;
Wheer disputes can be settled, an' wrongs be made reight;
There's no wonder this place yo' call Eccleston's Great,
When we think o' th' grand sturrin's yo'n had here of late!

What a meetin' that wur 'at yo' had th' other neet!
Aw should think yo're noan short o' political leet.
Let's hope Mr. Gladstone hasn't yeard what yo're doin'—
'At yo' charged him wi' bringin' this nation to ruin—
Or that saviours o' th' nation are stumpin' through th' Fylde—
Or the "Grand Old Man" will go very near wild!
Aw can fancy aw see him rise up in his place,
Wi' a look of alarm plainly seen in his face,—

An' knockin' his papers abeawt in a fuss,
He commences a sort o' soliloquy thus:—
"Great Eccleston! bless us, why, wheer can this be?
It certainly seawnds like a new place to me."
Then, turnin' to Randolph, he asks, with a sneer
"Does Great Eccleston join up to Woodstock? or wheer?
If so, aw'll give up to thee, Randy—th' game's thine!
This has settled th' whole business—here's th' reins, aw'll resign."

What a sad an' momentous affair that would be!
An' yo' folks at Great Eccleston th' cause, do yo' see?
If yo' care to save th' country fro' bloodshed an' riot,
Yo'll have to be careful, an' keep these things quiet.
Yo' may argue for ever o'er figures an' facts—
Or criticise Gladstone's an' Beaconsfield's acts—
But yo' musn't name Jesus, or th' Vicar o' Copp
Will threaten to close th' theological shop.

Well, we've met here this evenin' to get thro' some wark,
An' enlighten yo' foalk 'at are gropin' i' th' dark.
Yo'n had th' Tories here lately, an' we're here to-neet;
When boath lots have sceawred yo', yo' owt to look breet.
No deawt th' Tories tow'd yo' 'at th' Liberals are bad,
An' wouldn't object to enfranchise th' Owd Lad;
While the Liberals would tell yo' if th' Tories had peawr,
They'd ruin this Country i' less nor an heawr.

Which is th' nearest to th' truth it's for yo' to decide;
At there's been some strong language it won't be denied.
If Gladstone's as black as he's made to appear
By one or two Bees 'at's been buzzin' reawnd here,
Then th' Great Eccleston foalks owt to give him a sign
That he's noan fit for office, an' owt to resign;
But if yo' should find 'at these charges are lies—
'At his foes have been tryin' t' fling dust i' yore eyes,—

Remember these matters, an' mak' a few notes
To refer to when th' Tories come reawnd for yore votes.
We, as Liberals, invite yo' to prove what we sen;
We appeal not to ignorance, but truth-seekin' men.
English history's before yo', i' print on yore shelves;
Ole yon getten to do is to read for yourselves.
If yo' find the Conservative principles seawnd,
Then give 'em yore votes when th' elections come reawnd;—

But if yo' should think 'at we Liberals are reight,
An' have made a moor worthy an' streightforrud feight,
Then, men o' Great Eccleston—growers of oats,
Give th' Conservatives th' sack, an' give us yore votes.
Neaw, aw dar say yo'll fancy it looks rayther queer,
'At we should leov Blackpool, an' come treawnsin' here;
But it just comes to this—th' Blackpool Tories have been,
An' towd yo' some very strange tales, as we've seen;

So it seemed only proper 'at we should come too,
An' give yo' good foalk here a bit ov a doo;
Th' result will be—we shall get th' breetest an' best,
An' th' Conservative Patriots are welcome to th' rest.
If there's one thing i' th' world 'at one's sick on, it's cant!
Neaw, look here—what yo' men o' Great Eccleston want
Is what we, yore best friends, come to give yo' to-neet,
But what th' others keep from yo'—political leet!

What have th' Tories done for yo?   They'n plundered an' fowt;
An' what have yo' farmers to thank 'em for?   Nowt!
Neaw, if ever a Tory goes in for reform,
It'll be when th' sun's cowd, an' ice becomes warm!
When each idiot 'at scribbles shall lay deawn his pen,
An' poike up a hommer—but never till then;
An' when th' Liberals attempt to do out o' this mak',
Tories move ole creation to keep these things back;—

For they know that if once we enfranchise a mon,
Their influence o'er that chap is just abeawt gone.
What do th' Tories want here, wi' their meawldy ideas?
Do they think they can handle yo' just as they pleos?
If they do, let 'em try, an' aw'll bet my owd hat
They'll be rarely dropped on for their pains—they will that;
For th' Clerical peawr, 'at's bin wielded i' th' past,
Appears to be gettin' i' danger at last—

Or they'd ne'er come an' threaten to close up their schoos
When th' Liberals illustrate moor rational views.
But it just favvers th' Tories—does this—to a tee;
One may see throo their game, if he's blind o' one e'e!
It's a new way o' arguin' 'at's lately come eawt,
'At suits these young Bees 'at are buzzin' abeawt;
At Blackpool they formerly argued wi' stones,
But lately they've altered to hisses an' groans.

They suit 'em much better—do these sort o' acts—
Nor botherin' their noddles wi' hard-yeaded facts;
Still, we ought to excuse 'em ole ever we can,
For no deawt they'll mak' use o' th' best weapons they han.
But aw'll drop it, an' let somb'dy else talk a bit,
'At may deal i' less sarcasm, an' rayther moor wit.
So, Great Eccleston people, aw wish yo' good-neet,
Feelin' certain yo'll do what yo' know to be reet.




AW yeard a chap tell a good tale th' other neet,
An' aw think it's to' rich to be kept eawt o' th' seet;
Iv yo'll lend me a minute or two o' yor time,
Aw'll try an' repeat it i' Lancashire rhyme.
Well, a couple i' Yawshur—at least so it's said—
After coartin' awhile, made it up to get wed;
But there's newt abeawt that oather strikin' or queer,
It's nobbut what's done bi th' young folk abeawt here.

Heawever, accordin' to th' tale aw've yeard towd,
In a year or two they'd a young stranger i' th' fowd;
A noice little dowter, wi' bonny blue een;
It' mother said, "Th' noicest 'at ever wur seen."
Neaw this couple lived reet up at th' top ov a moor;
It wur seldom a stranger e'er darken'd their door;
But one day an owd fellow co'd Solomon Crook
Went marchin' i' th' heawse wi' a register book.

He said "I've been told by a man I've just met
That you've got a young child—have you christened it yet?"
"What's that yo' sen, Maister, yo' token so fawn;
Is it sum'at abeawt this new babby o' mawn?"
"Has the baby been christened? that's what I would know."
"Whaw, aw am no reight suir; but aw'll sheat o' yaar Joe."
"Oh, there's no need of troubling your husband, good dame;
Tell me this—Has this youngster of yours got a name?"

"A name: Oh, a name!   Now—at least aw think so;
Heigh! aw say; does ta yer up i' th' choamber theer, Joe?
There's a felley fro' Lunnon or sumwheer, just called,
An' he's wantin' to know iv we'n kersun'd yaar chawld!"
"Well, now, lass, its nivver been kersun'd, aw think;
Slip i' th' cellar an' fotch him a pot-full o' drink;
An' then, when he's supped it, just ass him to look
An' see iv he's toathry nawce names in his book.

So hoo gete a quart pitcher, an' fot him some ale—
Or rather some greawt, for it looked dreadful pale;
"Neah, Maister," hoo said, "there's a cheer, sit yo daan,
An taste o' yaar drink, there's newt lawk it i'th taan;
An' then, when yo'n done, iv yo'n getten a mawnd,
Yo' shall see if yo'n toathry nawce names yo' can fawnd."
So to pleos her he supped a few drops o' this greawt;
But when Alice wurn't lookin', he squirted it eawt.

"Well, Misses," he said, "I will read a few names;
There's Albert, John, Edward, Charles, William, and James;
Augustus, Emanuel, Christopher, Duke,
Cornelius, Jonathan, Isaac, and Luke."
"Stop, Maister, there's Awsuk; that seands varry nawce;
Aw've seen that i' th' Bawble, aw think once or twawce.
Heigh, Joe! dusta yer? stop that weighvin' a bit;
There's Awsuk, here, dusta think Awsuk ull fit?"

"Oh, ah! varry weel, varry weel; that'll do;
Iv aw am no' mista'en, it's a Scriptur' name too."
"It is," said owd Crook, "and I'm proud of your choice;
I am sure the name Isaac will sound very nice."
"It will, mun, it will; soa yo'll just put it daan;
Guid day to yo, Maister, aw reckon yo're baan;"
Well, th' name wur put deawn, an' th' chap off eawt o' th' door,
He'd ne'er come across folk loike these were afoor.

Neaw he hadn't bin gone eawt o' th' heawse very long,
Afoor Alice bethowt her they'd happen done wrong,
Soa hoo bowted to th' bottom o' th' steers, an' hoo bawled,
"What thinks ta—is Awsuk th' reight name for yaar chawld?
It seands varry mich lawk a lad's name to me,
An' this babby o' yaars is a lass, dusta see?"
"Well, Alice, it does seand lawk one o' that mack;
But, ne'er mawnd, it 'll do, aw'd ne'er cole on him back."




EDWIN WAUGH, the "The Lancashire Poet," was born at Rochdale, on the 29th of January 1817, the son of a shoemaker.  For several years he earned his living as a journeyman printer.  In 1855 he published his first book, Sketches of Lancashire Life and Localities, following this up with reprinted Poems and Songs (1859).  His rendering of the Lancashire dialect was most happy, and his rude lyrics, full of humour and pathos, were great favourites with his countrymen.  He died at New Brighton on the 30th of April 1890.

DEAR Waugh, aw must say aw feel sorry
    To see 'at tha'rt poorly, owd friend;
But awm glad to read th' pappers this mornin',
    An' find 'at tha'rt likely to mend.
Get on wi' thi mendin', owd songster;
    It's noa time for deein' i' th' spring,
When th' hedge-rows burst forth into beauty,
    An' th' birds are beginnin' to sing.

Do get eawt o' th' hands o' thoose doctors,
    For tha'll ne'er do no good while i' bed;
Let th' pills 'at tha tacks be steak dumplin's,
    Then tha'll get weel i' th' spite on 'em, Ned.
Aw've been badly misel' this last winter—
    Lumbago, an' ole macks o' ills;
But awm happy to tell thee awm better,
    Notwithstandin' their blisters an' pills.

Tha'd see that description o' Brierley's,
    Wheer awm pictured as nearly ole yead;
Well, it's certainly noan very flatt'rin',
    Tho' mi friends think it true what he said.
But aw'll care nowt abeawt it, would theaw, Ned;
    It's nobbut their fun, one can see;
It's a very good joke, an' quite harmless;
    They're pleased, an' it doesn't hurt me.

But we'll get back to th' subject—tha'rt poorly;
    An' awm sorry theaw art soa, owd mon;
An' this is th' advice aw shall gie thee—
    Get better as soon as tha con;
For there's newt could to me be moor painful
    Than to goa to a funeral o' thine;
Except it wur this (heaw outrageous),
    Seein' thee at a funeral o' mine.

Well, Ned, thee get whoam to New Brighton,
    Wheer aw hope tha'll enjoy thisel' long;
An' when thar't again i' good fither,
    Pipe eawt a sweet Lancashire song.
"Too owd," does ta say? nowt o' th' sort, mon!
    It's true theaw may have a grey yead;
But tha'rt one o' thoose strangely strung craturs
    'At live when they're thowt to be dead.

But why should aw trouble thee neaw, friend;
    Just neaw, when there's gall i' thi cup?
Well, for this—an' for no other reason—
    Tha'rt deawn, an' we're wantin' thee up.
Is it likely a chap can feel happy,
    When, i' lookin' o'er th' pappers, aw see
'At my friend Edwin Waugh's lyin' badly,
    Witheawt tryin' t' cheer him?   Not me!

An' awm noan bi misel' i' this matter,
    For there's theawsands o' hearts leap an' beawnd—
O'erjoyed wi' th' good tidin's 'at reach us—
    'At tha'rt in a fair way to come reawnd.
Well, Edwin, owd crony, God bless thee!
    This may seawnd rayther strangely fro' me;
But, 'mong ole mi good friends an' dear kindred,
    There's none aw like better nor thee!

An' neaw, Waugh, ta-ta for the present,
    Aw shall think on thee kindly tha'rt sure;
An' tho' we're booath owd, an' nowt worth mitch,
    Awm hopin' to see thee once moor.
Keep thi pluck up, be cheerful an' hopeful;
    An', Edwin, don't worry an' fret;
A chap at's so honoured as theaw art,
    Should dee noan—at leost not yet.




LADS, poo off thoose caps for a minute or two,
    While aw try to unfold a tale
Of a warm-hearted friend 'at e'en God couldn't mend,
    Known as "Dick o' th' Merrydale."

He're a farmer wur Dick, an' a doctor as weel,
    Conversant wi' ole macks o' ills:
He'd churn milk an' ham collops for th' hearty an' hale,
    An' for poorly foalk plasters an' pills.

Dick's fame as a doctor wur very weel known,
    But moor soa i' th' country parts;
Thoose 'at fractured a limb would go limpin' to him;
    He're famed too for bunions an' warts.

"Ti' last time aw wur theer, th' wife wur brewin' yarb-beer,
    An' th' new milk stood i' th' pantry i' mugs;
At th' back side o' th' heawse, piled up on some drawers,
    Wur pill-boxes, bottles, an' drugs.

But he's gone is th' owd chap, an's neaw tackin' th' last nap
    Wheer there's nowt to disturb his long rest;
One's had mony a good friend, an' dear chums witheawt end,
    But th' owd doctor aw rank among th' best.




HOO'S turned eighty-one—mi gronny is neaw,
    An' yet for her age hoo's reet clever;
An' her silvery locks spread abeawt o'er her broo
    Macks her look just as bonny as ever.
Aw wur theer t' other neet, an' aw thowt to misel'
    God bless her! hoo's farantly lookin'!
An' it wur a grand seet, as wi' tears in her een,
    Hoo sat readin' her Bible an' smookin'.

Hoo wur browt up i' Yorkshur, 'mong fields an' fleawers,
    An' drank wayter pure fro' th' spring;
An' hoo loved to get up when th' sun geet up,
    An' hearken th' cuckoo sing.
Th' owd foalk had a farm, an' they'd lots o' milk,
    An' hoo geet it warm fro' th' ceaw;
An' it did her good, an' nourished her blood,
    Or hoo metn't ha' lived till neaw.

Hoo's a widow, an' has been for th' last forty year,
    Soa hoo hasn't a bad husband to bother;
Hoo's a dowter 'at hasn't said "I will" yet,
    An' hoo tarries awhoam wi' her mother.
Neaw this dowter an' hur they baken an' done,
    An' sell potates, beath English an' foreign;
An' other odd matters i' th' grocery loine,
    Sich as sceawerin'-stones, candles, an' herrin'.

Neaw, mi Gronny's a Christian, aw'd ha' yo' to know,
    Says her prayers at th' bed-soide every neet;
Gies her customers measure an' weight for their brass,
    An' as fur as hoo knows hoo does reet.
Soa God bless mi owd Gronny, God bless her, say I;
    May that heart o' hur's never grow cowd
'Till hoo's baked ole her fleawr up and sowd ole her bread,
    An' getten a hundred year owd!



WELL, well, tha's no 'casion to mak' o' this bother;
    If tha's laid it's o' reet, an' it needs newt no moor.
There's newt very strikin' abeawt thi performance,
    One's yeard o' hens layin' an' swagg'rin' befoor.
Howd thi noise theaw young beggar, an' get back to th' hen-cote,
    Or tha'll wacken ole th' nayburs i' th' yard awm afraid.
Tha'rt becomin' a bore, an' a regular noosance,
    Wi' thi clatterin nonsense, thi cock-cock-aw-laid!

Why, layin' an egg or two's nowt to get wild o'er;
    Do we ever get "brag" fro' a cawve-breedin' ceaw?
Do birds when they've laid ever publish their actions,
    Annoyin' their nayburs?   If not, why should theaw?
We're bothered enuff here i' th' neet time wi' tom cats;
    But their hideous noises are thrown into th' shade,
And aren't worth namin' wi' th' cock crowin' noosance,
    An' thy silly clatter, thy cock-cock-aw-laid.

An' th' cock—what has he got to do wi' 't aw wonder,
    Are to beawnd to tell him every time tha may lay?
If theaw art it's a case, an' aw do hope to goodness,
    Tha'll let him ha' th' news in a quieter way.
For to sleep after dayleet is quite eawt o' th' question,
    Wi' th' noises 'at thee an th' owd tom cats have made;
An' aw shouldn't be surprised if there's folk i' th' asylum
    'At's been sent theer throo list'nin' to cock-cock-aw-laid!

Neaw, aw mack nowt o' boastin' i' men or i' poultry;
    There's follies an' frailties i' th' breetest an' best;
An' what appears great may turn eawt very little,
    If eawr actions are properly put to a test.
An' it strikes me a hen should be humble an' modest,
    An' not ole her little achievements parade;
But to me it seawnds very like bluster an' swagger,
    Does "cock-cock-cock-cock-cock-cock-cock-cock-aw-laid."

When a chap goes to bed its wi' th' object o' sleepin',
    But what does it matter what plans may be laid,
It theaw cocks thi yead up as soon as its dayleet,
    An' sings th' tune 'at th' ceaw deed on—cock-cock-aw-laid.
Thee tak' my advice, an' when next tha's done layin',
    Go quietly back to thi perch, an' theer sit
Like a fowl 'ats just finished a brilliant achievement;
    In short, like a hen 'at lays claim to some wit.



SUPPOSIN' one felt a desire for a stroll,
An' happened to wander as fur as Eaves Knowl,
Would he find an owd Bard ceawrin' quietly i' th' nook
Enjoyin' hissel wi' his poipe an' his book?
He's very weel known i' that quarter o' th' globe
As an ardent admirer o' th' Patriarch Job.
On th' owd veteran's virtues he glories to dwell,
Tho' its seldom he puts 'em i' practice hissel'.
He's a garden at th' front, an' another behind,
Wheer he reckons to ceawer a bit—when he's a mind;
While his friends are delighted to visit these beawers,
An' sniff the sweet fragrance 'at comes fro' his fleawers.
He's a widower—that is he hasn't a wife,
Nor no childer to harrass, or sweeten his loife.
He's a member o' th' School Board, a Guardian o' th' poor,
An' aw think he's some moor posts; but am no' quite sure.
He gets thro' his wark without mackin' mitch din;
He's a foine flowin' beard hangs at th' end ov his chin.
They coed him "Joe Cooper" when dabblin' i' th' drink,
But neaw he's teetotal, its "Joseph" aw think.
He's past middle age, walks abeawt rayther slow;
Some say he's some "brass," he's some heawses, aw know.
He's a horse, an' a trap 'at he rides in sometimes,
When he isn't in his cot manufacturin' rhymes.
Aw think he's a kind ov a "Ranter" bi trade;
But, of course, i' religion he's noan to a shade;
He's a chap at believes i' good livin', noa deawt,
But good deein' he never says nowt mitch abeawt.
It's, been said—tho' it hasn't been proved as a fact—
That he's loike other Bards—he's a little bit crackt.
If yo' meet wi' a chap wi' a slit in his yed,
'At's wider nor th' shop wheer he munches his bread—
An' yo' see there's some 'bacco abeawt it 'at's reechin'—
Send me word, if yo' pleos, for that's th' chap at awm seechin'.



CHEER up a bit, poor Irish brethren,
    Tho' it's hard wark to do so awm sure;
One's surprised yo'n kept up as yo' have done,
    Wi' th' hardships yo'n had to endure.
What wi' soldiers, police, an' coercion,
    Imprisonment, buckshot, an' fines:
An' land agents sneakin' areawnd yo',
    Yo'n certainly very hard lines.

Well, try to hold on a bit longer;
    Stand firm, neaw 'at help seems so near;
We're feightin' yo'r battles i' England,
    An' shall win 'em, yo'n no need to fear.
Let me tell yo' we're gettin' on grandly;
    We've some rare intellectual fights;
Morley, Sir William Harcourt, an' others,
    Are battlin' reet hard for yo'r rights.

We're aware what yo'r patriots are sufferin'—
    What vengence is piled on their yeads;
Heaw they're treated as murderers an' felons,
    Thrown i' prison, wi planks for their beds.
But, tak' heart, mi poor sufferin' brothers,
    There's room e'en for th' Tories to mend;
When they'll stoop to go steal a chap's breeches
    They must be abeawt at th' far end.

It's a queer game for statesmen to play at—
    A mean sort o' business, for sure:
But it needn't cause very mitch wonder,
    We've been guilty o' stealin' befoor.
Eawr Tory friends call it "annexin'"—
    A rayther fine sort ov a name;
An' yet, when one looks at th' job fairly,
    It's thievin', pure thievin', ole th' same.

We're noted througheawt ole creation
    For convertin' black niggers an' Jews;
We mak' 'em respect us, aw'll tell yo';
    Or "pepper" those weel 'at refuse.
We've been tryin' that game on i' Ireland—
    For eighty long years, an' moor;
But, someheaw, this treatment doesn't suit yo—
    It's a med'cine 'at doesn't seem t' cure.

God help yo'! an' may yo' have patience;
    For it's certainly very "hard cheese"
To be treated as yo'r bein' treated,
    Wi' vain, heartless men like these.
Well, tho' they're so clever at bra-gin',
    Yo'll think they're abeawt at th' last shift
Neaw they've stolen yo'r pigs an' potatoes,
    Burnt yo'r hovels, an' turned yo' adrift.

Yo'n long been i' th' wilderness, weepin',
    An' mournful an' sad's been yo'r song;
But leet's breakin' forth at th' horizon,
    An' th' sun will be up before long.
Get yo'r harps, 'at have long lain i' silence,
    An' prepare for a merrier tune;
For th' daisies will oppen i' th' spring time,
    An' there's sure to be roses i' June.




THANK God for o these bonny fleawers
    'At grow abeawt one's feet;
For th' silv'ry moon, an' th' million stars
    At shine aboon at neet.
For rain an' dew, for sun an' shade,
    An' th' stormy winds 'at blow;
For rays o' hope, an' snacks o' bliss,
    An' drops o' grief an' o.

Thank God for wealth, still moor for health,
    That boon o' priceless worth;
A blessin' moor to be desired
    Nor th' breetest gems on earth:
Beawt this, what's peawer, or influence?
    What's fame, or pomp an' show?
Or life itsel'?   Why, bless yo', foalk,
    They're just worth nowt at o!

Thank God for friends, kind hearts an' true,
    'At everywheer abeawned,
Dispersin' sorrow, leetnin' care,
    An' spreadin' joy areawnd.
For lovely woman, Heaven's best gift,
    Sent deawn i' human form;
For ever lovin', allis th' same,
    I' sunshoine, or i' storm.

Thank God for little childer, too—
    Thoose "bonny brids" o' eawers,
Thoose "olive branches" 'at we love,
    Thoose cherished garden fleawers!
Let's thank him for these "hungry gifts,"
    An' may he send us moor;
A mon 'at 's blest wi' lots o' these
    Can never say he's poor.

Life's sweeten'd, too, wheer childer are—
    They keep one's heart i' tune;
They're gowden links connectin' us
    Wi' th' angels up aboon.
Besides they ease life's burdens, too;
    They keep one's pockets leet;
An' iv there's ony traycle cakes—
    They'n side 'em eawt o'th' seet.

It's quite a treat to see 'em o
    Come trailin' in at noon;
They'll walk o'er every mat i' th' heawse
    An' never wipe their shoon.
One youngster's torn his trousers leg;
    Another says he hurt;
A third comes plaster'd up to th' een,
    Wi' wadin' through some durt.

Aw'm wed, an' th' woife says hoo is, too;
    An' childer! bless mi soul!
Why, we can hardly ceawnt 'em o!
    We han some noise i'th' hole!
Eawr Dick comes into th' heawse an' says
    He's tumbled off a wo';
Eawr Billy's perched o'th' table top,
    An' singin' "Not for Joe."

Thank God we'n each a spoon a-piece,
    An' summat for 'em t' do!
We'n everyone a porritch pot,
    An' plenty o' porritch, too.
An' tho' eawr childer need so mich,
    We mooastly get enuff;
We seldom clem for th' want o' meat,
    Unless we're short o' stuff.

"Ah, well," says some owd bachelor,
    "Yo'll rue i' toathry week."
What's he agate on do yo' think?
    He's warmin' th' bed wi' breek.
To-morn he'll have his stockin's t' mend,
    An' dress his geawty tooas;
Th' day after that, mop eawt his cote,
    An' air his Sunday clooas.

Thank God aw'm noan a bachelor,
    Beawt whom, an' all forlorn!
An' iv aw wur, aw'd choose a mate,
    An' go be wed to-morn.
Aw would, indeed!   Another thing,
    My conscience says aw'm reet;
Neaw, what think yo' abeawt it foalk?
    Just weigh it o'er.   Good neet.




Promoter of the Exhibition,
David Radcliffe, Esq., Mayor of Liverpool, 1885-1886.

Laycock's poem probably refers to the Liverpool International Exhibition of Navigation, Commerce and Industry, which was opened by Queen Victoria on 11 May 1886.  A contemporary description stated that "The exhibition is intended to illustrate travelling by sea, land and air, and as allied to this subject, will also be shown exhibits representative of the manufactures and commerce of the world, bearing upon the means and methods of movement from place to place."

The Exhibition show-ground.

SOA th' Queen's been to Liverpool, bless her;
    An' after a rayther long spell
O' mournin' her loss i' retirement,
    Hoo's fairly come eawt of her shell.
Sin' "Albert the Good" wur ta'en from her,
    Her surroundin's—'at once wur so breet—
Have often been darkened wi' sorrow,
    An' hoo's kept a good deal eawt o' th' seet.

E'en Queens have their troubles an' trials;
    Royal hearts have oft cause to be sad;
Beside losin' husband an' dowter,
    Queen Victoria has buried a lad.
An' parents 'at's lost their dear childer
    Know well what sich parents must feel;
An' it's th' same booath i' th' cottage an' th' palace,
    An tho' th' Queen, hoo's a mother as weel!

It's true we'n been rayther impatient,
    While th' lady's bin mournin' her loss;
But we little know th' wearisome burdens
    O' thoose 'at are bearin' their cross.
An' before we come forrud as judges,
    Or proneawnce ony verdict as true,
It's needful to learn by experience,
    An' study a bit i' that schoo'.

Con we think any worse o' th' dear widow,
    For mournin' i' secret so long?
Shall we blame a poor heart-broken singer?
    If sadness is mixed wi' her song?
Nay, rayther let's cherish these feelin's,
    An' do all 'at ever we con,
To soothe wounded hearts 'at are mournin',
    An' frettin' for thoose 'at are gone.

Queen Victoria's a woman, God bless her!
    An' tho' hoo's an Empress an' Queen,
Hoo isn't ashamed 'at her subjects
    Should see her wi' tears in her een;
An' yet, hoo's a keen sense o' humour;
    Heaw hoo took everyone bi surprise,
When hoo beckoned o' th' Mayor to kneel deawn
    An' then said, "Sir David, arise!"

Wurn't that a grand piece o' sly fencin'?
    Wurn that a mooast wonderful sight?
A Queen—as if actin' by magic—
    Transformin' a Da' to a K(night)?
It's a womanly act, there's no deawt on't;
    A queenly act too, an' that's moor;
An' one 'at will long be remembered
    Bi Sir David Radcliffe, awm sure.

Aw wish hoo'd come see us at Blackpool;
    Eh, but wouldn't we do the thing grand!
We'd everyone meet her at th' station,
    Wi' th' Lifeboat an' th' Fishermen's Band.
We'd have a review o' th' Artillery,
    An' shew her heaw battles are fowt;
Hoo should ride on th' Electric Tramways,
    An' all this free gratis for nowt.

Talk a' wayter! why Liverpool's nowheer!
    They'n no sea 'at's worth namin' eawt theer;
Thoose 'at want to see grand exhibitions,
    Should pack up their traps an' come here.
What! compare th' bit o' th' Mersey to Blackpool!
    Why, th' idea would amount to a sin;
It's plain we could lick 'em quite hollow,
    Wi' th' Thames up at Lon'on thrown in!

Neaw, aw dunno like braggin' or boastin',
    But aw think aw may say this as true,—
That if th' Queen would come see us at Blackpool,
    Hoo'd have no occasion to rue;
For hoo'd get sich a noble reception,
    An' find it soa pleasant a shop,
That aw'll venture to prophecy this much,—
    Hoo'd want to tack rooms here, an' stop.




WHAT! has theaw th' bonniest lad i' th' world;
    Theaw's never seen eawr Jack;
Or theaw'd ha' to whistle another tune,
    An' co that sentence back.

Noa deawt theaw thinks thi babby's nice;
    That's just becose it's thine;
If aw'd thy specks for lookin' throo,
    Aw met say th' same o' mine.

A choilt a miracle to see!
    Well, well, theaw art a dunce;
Why, bless thee, mon, at eawr heawse here
    We'n had 'em two at once.

A greater miracle to me,
    A stranger thing bi' th' hawve,
Would be to have a strappin' ceaw,
    'At didn't breed a cawve.

Eh dear! my wife did carry on!
    "Him th' noicest choilt!" hoo said;
"Th' conceited puppy 'at he is;
    He must be wrong i' th' yed.

Thee write, an' say eawr little Jack's
    Three toimes as noice a lad,
As ony Bealey has i' stock,
    Or owt his mother had!"

Theaw says theaw'rt preawdest fayther, too,
    'At lives 'neath English skies;
Nay, hang it, Bealey, do shut up;
    Theaw knows tha'rt telling lies!

Does breedin' childer allis tend
    To stur up pride i' men?
If so, aw've reason to be preawd,
    This woife o' moine's had ten.

Well, come, ne'er mind; wire in, owd brid,
    Theaw's made a daycent start;
Aw wish thee luck i' th' breedin' line;
    Aw do wi' o' mi heart.

Get hawve a dozen little chicks,
    To frisk abeawt th' owd hen;
An' clamber on their daddy's knee,
    An' theaw may swagger then!




WELL, Edwards, awm certainly very weel pleased,
    'At tha's held eawt a welcomin' hond;
Tha'rt one o' th' kind souls 'at would leeten foalks cares,
    As we travel this wearisome lond.
Mon, aw didn't expect to be noticed at ole;
    But there's one spied mi pearch eawt aw see;
An' it seems 'at aw haven't been labourin' i' vain,
    For there's one 'at's been pleased, an' that's thee.

Well, aw've done what aw could i' mi own humble way,
    To help a poor brother along;
Sometimes it's been done wi' a few kindly words,
    Or it may be—a bit ov a song.
An' Edwards, tha knows 'at there are a few hearts
    At respond to some soul-stirrin' strain;
An' we scribblers must feel very thankful to find,
    That we haven't been toilin' i' vain.

As to settlin' i' Owdham—well, sometime aw may;
    But it won't be at present aw fear;
There's to mitch filthy language made use of for me;
    Yo'n to mitch "bloody-hellin'" done here!
Neaw, awm noan on for preachin' up Puritan cant,
    Or turnin' up th' white o' mi een;
But awm gradely disgusted wi' th' language aw've yeard,
    An' th' sickenin' sects at awve seen!

Wheer are th' teachers o' morals!   Can nothin' be done
    To sweep this vile noosance away?
Have th' newspappers tackled this damnable vice?
    Have th' parsons got nothin' to say?
Is th' constable peawrless?   Has th' law no effect
    To stem this vile blot on yore teawn?
Is there no way o' stoppin' this scandalous slang,
    Nor no way o' puttin' it deawn?

Aw'd often yeard tell o' yo're "roughyeads " an' "clogs,"
    An' yo've got a few of 'em aw see;
But, Edwards, if th' truth mun be honestly towd,
    Owdham's worse than aw thowt it to be.
After ole, mon, there's much 'at a chap con admire;
    For yore very warm-hearted aw find.
Yore awkard an' ruff i' yore manners it's true,
    But yore nayburly, honest, an' kind.

When one comes to reflect on a matter like this,
    It macks him feel deawncast an' sad;
To think 'at sich praiseworthy traits should be mixed
    Wi' language so filthy an' bad!
Brids are singin' i' th' trees, makin' vocal th' breeze,
    An' primroses bloom deawn i' th' dell;
An' has man nothin' better to give to his God
    Than the nasty words "bloody" an' "hell!"

That face, neaw so bloated, an' dreadfully marred,
    Wur once healthy-lookin' an fair;
Thoose lips, neaw the medium for curses' an' slang,
    Wur once towt to utter a prayer.
Aw wish th' foalk i' Owdham would think o' these things,
    Like intelligent women an' men;
Put away filthy language 'at only degrades,
    An' resolve not to use it ogen.

Excuse me, friend Edwards, for, bless thee, owd mon—
    Aw've wandered fro' th' subject aw find;
But aw felt aw'd a duty aw had to perform,
    'At aw could'nt dismiss fro' mi mind.
Accept mi best thanks for thoose lines 'at tha's sent,
    For they show tha 'rt a warm-hearted brick.
Aw shall never forget thi kind, welcomin' words—
    Nawe, never, so long as awm wick.




WELL, aw've certainly heard some queer tales i' mi time,
'At aw've often felt tempted to put into rhyme;
Here's one which aw've nobbut just lately been towd:
Two women had met i' Tom Shackleton's Fowd,
An' after conversin' abeawt former days,
The followin' strange bit o' plain talkin' took place.
"Well, Betty, owd creetur, an' yaa does ta feel?"
"Oh, awm middlin' lawk, Mary; are taa varry weel?"
"Well," said Mary, aw ail nowt, except a sore tooa,
An' that's varry painful; but yaa's yore owd Jooa?"
"Eh! bless thee," said Betty, "yaar Jooa's noan here;
His place is neah vacant i' yond arm cheer!"
"Well," said Mary, "tha fairly astonishes me!
But yaa did it happen, lass, yaa did he dee?"
"Well," said Betty, "awm troubled, an' hardly can tell;
But he deed witheawt doctor, he deed ov hissel'.
He're asleep in his cheer, wi' his hat on his yead,
When he wackened awm sooary to say he wur dead!"
"Come," said Mary, "don't fret, dry th' weet off thi face,
An' tell me yaa long it is sin' this took place."
Said Betty, "aw have it choked daan i' mi churn—
He'd have been dead a month iv he'd lived till to-morn."
"Eh! dear-a-me, Betty, mi lass, yaa tha says!
Aw never yeard th' marrow i' ole mi born days!
To-day thoose we doat on are safe wi' us here,
An' yesterday geoan—ah—nob'dy knows wheer!"




WELL, aw've bin reawnd ogen, wi' mi basket an' poke,
An' drawin' another rough sketch o' th' foine foalk;
But aw'm warned to be rayther moor careful this toime,
An' keep certain characters eawt o' mi rhyme.

There's one or two chaps rarely pottered aw know
Cose they fancy they're livin' i' Quality Row;
Neaw it's true, an' they'n threat'nd to kick me some day,
When they happen to leet on mi goin' that way.

Aw spoke th' other Friday to one o' these chaps,
But he wouldn't speak back ; he'll speak next toime, perhaps;
Iv he doesn't, it's reet, aw con happen get through,
Aw shall only ha' rayther less talkin' to do.

Iv th' cap doesn't fit 'em, they'n no need to wear it,
But aw'm freetn'd they'll stretch it so fur till they'll tear it.
Eh! there has bin some pooin' an' frabbin' for sure!
Sich measurin' o' yeads as aw ne'er seed afoor!

They're woiser than I am, a deal, if they know
Wheer there is sich a place as a Quality Row;
It's nobbut a picture i' th' brains ov a bard,
A bit of a contrast to "Bowton's yard."

Heawever, aw think one can see pretty clear,
'At they aren't ole angels 'at's livin' up theer;
For aw foind when aw'm reawnd wi' mi basket an' poke,
'At they'n vices an failin's, just loike other foalk.

Ail' bein' up heigher they'n further to fo',
Nor thoose 'at are livin' i' th' heawses below;
For, spoite o' bow windows, brass knocker, an' bell,
They'n their trials an' sorrows as weel as one's sel'!

Eh! aw've seen one poor mother goa very near mad,
Becose hoo had t' bury her dear little lad;
An' o' her foine things couldn't give her relief,
For hoo ceawered upo' th' sofa, yond, nursin' her grief.

There's owd Mester Jones lives at heawse number ten,
Yo met think him abeawt one o' th' happiest o' men;
Whenever one sees him, he's allus weel drest,
An' a gowd Albert cheon hangin' deawn at his breast.

But look at him gradely, an' iv yo're noan blind,
Yo'll see 'at he's some mak o' care on his mind;
It's true, he's some heawses up yonder, at th' Glent,
But what use are these, iv he conno get th' rent?

Then look at Miss Goldthorp, at number eleven,
As fair as an angel just dropt eawt o' heaven;
An' talk abeawt brass—why hoo's rowlin' i' wealth,
But cannot enjoy it, because hoo's bad health.

Well then, there's th' owd lady 'at's livin' th' next dur,
But aw haven't mich toime neaw to write abeawt hur;
But fro' what aw could yer th' other day, it appears
Hoo's a poor helpless cripple, an' has bin for years.

Well, come neaw, what's th' lesson for me an' for yo,
'At owt to be larned eawt o' th' Quality Row?
This —there's two or three things we should prize aboon wealth,
They're a contented mind, a cleon breast, an' good health.

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