Warblin's fro' an Owd Songster (3)

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SAMUEL BAMFORD (1788-1872), a Lancashire handloom weaver by trade, was a prolific writer, penning many pamphlets, leaflets and letters as well as being a poet (Homely Rhymes, Poems, and Reminiscences, 1864) and newspaper correspondent.  His biography appeared in two volumes: Passages in the Life of a Radical and Early Days, followed by Reminiscences, a short summary of the two earlier volumes with a postscript covering the later years to 1864.  These important biographies provide very readable accounts of artisan life during the early decades of the 19th Century while revealing much of the radical politics of that time and government attempts at their suppression.  Bamford gives us an interesting account of the "Peterloo Massacre" of 1819 at which he was present.

TH' owd veteran brid's toppled deawn fro' his pearch,
    He'll charm us no more wi' his singin';
His voice has been hushed i' th' melodious grove,
    Wheer feebler voices are ringin'!
He sang in his youth,—in his green owd age;
    An' he sang when i' monly prime;
Then, loike other warblers, he meaunted aloft,
    To a fairer an' sunnier clime.

He sang fifty year sin', ere some o' us brids
    Had managed to creep eawt o' th' shell;
An' sweetly an' grandly he poiped i' thoose days,
    As th' owd Middletonians can tell!
Unloike other warblers an' songsters o' th' grove,
    He ne'er changed his fithers, nor meawted;
For th' longer he lived, an' th' harder he sung,
    An' faster these ornaments spreawted.

He wur dragg'd fro' his nest once, at th' dead-time o'th' neet,
    An' him an' his mate had to sever,
But it ne'er made no difference to him—not a bit,
    For he sang just as sweetly as ever.
He warbled his notes in his own native shire,
    When his pearch wur surreaunded wi' dangers;
An' he ne'er changed his tune when he'rn hurried away,
    An' imprisoned 'mongst traitors an' strangers.

Owd Sam seldom flattered wi' owt 'at he wrote,
    But for truthfulness allis wur famed;
When he feawnd there wur owt needed smitin', he smote,
    An' cared nowt whoa praised or whoa blamed.
An' they wur songs, wur his,—not that maudlin' stuff,
    Would-be poets spin eawt into rhyme;
There's a genuine ring i' what great men sing,
    Summat sweet, summat grand, an' sublime!

He warbled when Waugh wur a fledglin' i' th' nest,
    An' had ne'er had a thowt abeawt meauntin';
An' young 'Lijah Rydin's had hardly begun
    To give us his "Streams fro' th' owd Fountain."
Th' owd loom heawse i' Middleton rang wi' his notes,
    An' his shuttle kept toime to his songs,
Ere he led up his nayburs to famed Peterloo,
    To deneaunce what they felt to be wrongs.

He sang when his mate drooped away at his side,
    Not a song o' rejoicin' or gladness,
But a low, plaintive dirge, softened deawn an' subdued,
    Wellin' eawt ov a heart full o' sadness.
He sang, too, when th' spoiler bore off his lone lamb,
    Tho' his heart wi deep sorrow wur riven;
Still he didn't despair, for he'd faith to believe
    'At his dear ones had gone up to heaven.

He sang when th' breet sunshine illumined his path,
    An' th' fleawers wur ole bloomin' areawnd;
An' he sang, too, when th' storm-cleawds coom sweepin'
    An' threatened to crush him to th' greawnd.
He sang when his een had grown tearful an' dim,
    An' his toppin' turned thin an' grey;
An' th' muse never left this owd veteran bard,
    Till Death coom an' took him away.

Thus he sung till he deed, an' his soul-stirrin' strains,
    Never failed to encourage an' bless;
For he loved to rejoice wi' thoose hearts 'at rejoiced,
    An' sorrow wi' thoose i' distress.
God bless him, an' iv there's a spot up aboon,
    Where dwell th' noble-minded an' pure,
Wheer th' songsters are gathered to strike up a tune,
    Th' owd brid's perched amongst 'em we're sure!





WELL, Schofield, tha'rt welcome to Hannah;
    Tho' awm troubled a bit, as tha'll see;
But if there's one moor nor another
    'At th' lass will be safe wi', it's thee.
For twenty-three year, or near on it,
    Aw've had th' pleasure o' callin her mine;
But tha's 'ticed her away fro' my brid-cage,
    An' coaxed her to go into thine.

Well, bless her! aw've done th' best aw could do,
    An' noa deawt tha intends to do th' same.
Let's hope 'at hoo's made a good bargain
    I' changin' her cage an' her name.
When hoo gets to her whoam at New Moston,
    May her nayburs eawt theer be as kind
An' as anxious to mak' her feel happy,
    As thoose 'at hoo's leavin' behind.

Neaw, it's pleasant to ha' one's good wishes,
    An' these yo'll tak' with yo', awm sure;
An' what is there moor to feel preawd on,
    Than a hearty "God bless yo'!" fro' th' poor.
A lovin' an' good mother's blessin'
    Is o' far greater value nor gowd;
Yo may find human natur i' th' crescent,
    But yo'll find a deol moor on't i' th' fowd!

Two year' sin' tha sought my acquaintance,
    An' admired oather me or mi song;
At least tha pretended to do so;
    But aw saw throo thi game ole along.
We had eawr nice walks in a mornin',
    An' mi company then wur o reet;
But there's one little matter aw noticed,
    Thi een wur on th' brid-cage at neet!

It's o very weel to be laffin',
    But youth allis did laff at age;
Tha'rt desarvin' a reet deawn good thrashin'
    For stealin' my brid eawt o' th' cage.
Well, ne'er mind; iv tha'rt suited tha'rt welcome;
    Aw've noa deawt but thi motives are pure;
So aw'll not ha' thee ta'en up for robb'ry
    If tha'll promise to do it no moor.

These presents fro' friends an' fro' nayburs
    Are expressive o' love an' good-will;
They're ole very pratty an' useful,
    An' some on 'em samples o' skill.
When they get to "Rose Cottage," New Moston,
    They cannot but serve to remind
O'th years 'at yo' spent here at Blackpool,
    Wi' thoose 'at your leavin' behind.

We shall think an yo' kindly an' often,
    Altho' yo're away eawt o' th' seet:
We shall miss Hannah's footsteps on th' threshold;
    We shall miss, too, her well-known "good neet."
Well, yo' go wi' a father's good wishes;
    Yo're united for better or worse;
Yo'll booath ha' to draw i' one harness,
    An' join at one bed, an' one purse.

An' neaw—just one word to those present—
    Awm fairly surprised, aw must own,
At th' manner yon treated th' young couple,
    An' th' good naybourly feelin' yon shown.
Yon flung a few fleawers i' life's pathway,
    An' Royalty couldn't do moor;
These presents, kind words, an' good wishes,
    Will long be remembered, awm sure.




FORTY-EIGHT?   Where's th' lookin' glass?
Eh, dear! awm gettin' grey, bi th' mass!
An' yet it seems but yesterday,
Sin' aw'm a little lad at play.
One must ha' calculated wrong;
Aw've hardly bin i' th' world soa long;
Besides, aw foind awm middlin' streight,
An' yet aw must be forty-eight.

Where's th' Bible? that'll tell mi age;
Oh, here it is, on th' title page.
Here's Abram's name, an' Betty's too—
Two little things aw never knew.
An' here's mi brother John's aw see;
He's o'er two year' a-head o' me,
An' here comes moine, it must be reight,
Awm forty-eight, ah, forty-eight.

Heaw toime does jog along for sure!
Does t' year, lass; someb'dy's punsin' th' door.
Eh! Jim, owd lad, heaw's theaw got here?
Come forrud mon, poo up that cheer.
Owd brid, aw do feel some an' glad!
But, eh, theaw art some altered lad!
Tha'll stop an' have a cup o' tay,
Awm forty-eight year' owd to-day!

It's forty-year' sin' thee an' me
Geet thrashed for climbin' th' apple tree.
Tha'll recollect that Friday, too,
When ole us lads ran off fro' th' schoo'
To goa a catchin' fish i' th' river—
Awst ne'er forget that Friday—never.
Aw've noan forgot bein' strapped i' th' fowd
Altho' awm forty-eight year' owd.

Let's see—what age will theaw be, Jim?
Owd brid! theaw looks i' daycent trim;
But then—there's this in't, doesta see—
Theaw hasn't bin wed as oft as me.
Perhaps tha'll think aw've been to' soft,
An' wed a toime or two to' oft.
Well, theer it is lad, wrong or reight;
There's foolish foalk at forty-eight.

An' mon, there's ups an' deawns i' loife,
An' will be, whether a chap's a woife
Or livin' beawt one, same as thee;
There's single foalk worse off nor me.
An' it isn't allis thoose 'at's brass
'At's th' happiest, is it, Sarah, lass?
Well, come, owd wench, let's have some tay,
Awm forty-eight year' owd to-day.




THESE strokes come thick an' heavy, mon;
But bear 'em bravely iv tha con,
                    Brother Bard.
Tha's had thi share o' grief, aw know,
An' fowt loife's battles here below
                    Long an' hard.

That yead o' thine is gettin' gray;
Aw see it's lateish on i' th' day
                    Wi' thi, lad.
But come, cheer up, mon, things ull mend,
Aw dunno loike to see a friend
                    Lookin' sad.

One's had their cares as weel as thee;
Tha's noan had mony moor nor me,
                    That awm sure.
But, then, tha knows there's nob'dy beawt,
So th' ills we conno get witheawt
                    Let's endure.

O sickness, death, want, grief, an' care,
There's some foalks get a biggish share—
                    Moor than's sweet.
It's noan so pleasant kissin' th' rod;
But come, mon, put thi trust i' God,
                    He'll do reet.

Tha's noan so fur to tramp, owd friend,
Tha's welly reached thi journey's end,
                    Trudge along.
Thi fiddle's mony a toime bin strung,
An aw've noa deawt but what tha's sung
                    Mony a song.

But, neaw, owd mon, thi days are few,
So iv there's owt tha has to do,
                    Do it soon.
An' th' bit o' toime tha has to stop,
Get ready for another shop
                    Up aboon.




WHAT! another cracked poet! bi thi mass, Jim, owd lad,
    Aw thowt we'd enoo o' this mack;
An' iv tha'll alleaw me to say what aw think,
    Tha desarves a good stick to thi back.
Aw'll tell thee what, lad, tha'll be awfully clemmed
    Iv tha'rt thinkin' to live bi thi pen.
Iv tha wants to get on, get some porritch an' milk,
    An' some good cheese an' bread neaw an' then.

Neaw, aw've had some experience i' this mak' o' wark;
    Aw've bin thirty odd year i' this schoo';
An' what have aw managed to larn does ta think?
    Well, aw've managed to larn awm a foo'!
Tha'll find 'at this scribblin's a very poor trade,
    An' tha'd ger along better bi th' hawve,
Iv tha'd start as a quack, wi' a tapeworm or two,
    Or a few decent pills an' some sawve.

Iv tha still feels determined to turn eawt as bard,
    Aw'd advise thee to let nob'dy know,
Or tha'll rue it to th' very last day 'at tha lives,
    Tha'll wish tha'd kept quiet—tha will so!
Iv Betty o' Bowsers at th' bottom o' th' lone
    Happens t' lose an' owd favourite cat,
Very loikely th' furst body tha chances to meet
    Will ax thee to write abeawt that.

Iv a couple gets wed, or a chap licks his wife,
    Or some scamp in a train steals a kiss,
Aw'll warrant th' furst gossip tha meets 'll say, "Jim,
    Tha'll spin us a rhyme abeawt this."
Tha'll be loikely to feel a bit flattered at first,
    An' think it a stunnin' good trade;
But let me impress just one fact on thi mind,
    It's this, Jim, tha'll never get paid.

Iv tha's ony opinions 'at doesn't just square
    Wi' thoose 'at are held bi thi friends,
They'll look on thee coolly, as iv tha'rn a thief,
    An' turn thee adrift till tha mends.
Iv tha knows heaw to flatter, an' wink at men's wrongs,
    Tha may manage t' get on very weel;
But, tackle their habits, expose their mean tricks,
    An' they'll shun thee as iv tha'rn the de'il!

Well, aw've towd thee mi moind, tha can do what tha loikes,
    Go on rhymin', or let it alone;
Iv th' latter—thi friends may provide thee a fish;
    Iv th' former—they'll give thee a stone.
An' what abeawt sellin' thi poetry, Jim?
    Neaw, tha'll foind that a job aw can tell;
Iv tha'rt treated loike other poor Lancashire bards,
    Tha'll ha' to go sell 'em thisel'!

Heaw would t' loike goin' reawnd wi' a bag full o' books?
    Heaw would t' loike to go hawkin' thi brains?
Or, when tha's bin tryin' to do some kind act,
    To be towd tha'rt a foo' for thi pains.
Aw can tell thee this, Jim, it's aboon twenty year',
    Sin' aw wur set deawn as a foo';
An', tho' it's a charge at one doesn't loike to own,
    Awm beginnin' to think 'at it's true.

Thee stick to recitin'—tha'rt clever at that;
    In fact, there's few loike thee i' th' lond,
An' booath i' th' pathetic an' th' humorous vein
    Tha'rt reckoned a very good bond.
But aw'll drop it, owd friend, for awm gradely fag'd eawt;
    Booath mi brain an' mi hand 'gin to tire;
Iv tha loikes tha can stick these few lines i' thi book;
    Or—iv tha prefers it—i' th' fire.




The Lytham Lifeboat, Charles Biggs. . . .

. . . .the boat's first time in service, she brought the crew of the Mexico ashore.

The St. Annes Lifeboat, Laura Janet. . . .
. . . . on service on 5 occasions prior to the disaster, saving 6 lives on December 4th.

The Southport Lifeboat, Eliza Fernley. . . .
. . . . on service 11 times prior to the disaster, saving 52 lives besides rendering assistance to one vessel.

The wreck of the Mexico.

The 27 volunteer lifeboatmen from St Annes and Southport, who died on 9 and 10 December 1886, were attempting to rescue the crew of the German barque Mexico, which ran aground in a gale on the Main Bank off Southport, Lancashire, while en route from Liverpool to Guayaquil in Ecuador.

    Three lifeboats took part in the heroic rescue (according to Laycock's poem a fourth, the Blackpool lifeboat Samuel Fletcher, also put to sea).  The Lytham lifeboat Charles Biggs, under oars and sail and with great difficulty, came alongside the Mexico and rescued her crew of 12, who were lashed in the mizzen rigging.  The Southport lifeboat Eliza Fernley — the first to launch — also reached the Mexico.  According to her two survivors, one of the lifeboatmen was about to throw a line when the Eliza Fernley was swung broadside on to the sea and a huge wave capsized her, trapping most beneath the upturned hull 14 of her 16-strong crew perished.  The St Annes lifeboat Laura Janet also capsized she was discovered the next day, washed up without mast, sails or anchor, opposite the Palace Hotel on the Birkdale shore.  There were no survivors.  From the place where the mast and sails were afterwards found it was surmised that she capsized with sails set when turning the corner of Spencer's Bank.

    The tragedy caused a huge outpouring of grief across Victorian England and was viewed as a national disaster.  A fund was set up to support the 16 widows and 50 children of the lifeboat men and contributions from Queen Victoria and the German Emperor helped raise £50,000.  The Lytham Coxswain Thomas Clarkson was awarded a Silver Medal.

    To date, the wreck of the Mexico is the worst loss of RNLI crew in a single incident.

    An extract from a news report of the coroner's inquest, evidence given by the Charles Biggs' coxswain . . . .

The Lytham boat was launched successfully at five minutes past ten, signals of distress having been seen at 9-30p.m., December 9, bearing about S.W. from the boathouse.  She proceeded down the river under oars for a mile and a half, and then set sail, steering about S.S.W., the wind being W.N.W., wind and sea about abeam.  The boat was filled four or five times, and when a quarter of a mile from the ship the sails were taken in and the masts down.  After getting the oars out a heavy breaking sea struck her, throwing the boat over with her gunwale under water, the sudden lurch breaking three of the oars.  The boat subsequently got safely alongside the ship, and was successful in rescuing the crew.  She did not see either of the other lifeboats or any signals from them . . .  This was the boat's first service.  She had only been about a fortnight in the hands of the crew.


LADS! doff yo'r hats, an' gether reawnd,
    An' listen to mi song,
Mi subject's rayther painful, so
    Aw'll not detain yo' long.
Yon' happen heard o' th' wreck we'n had,
    So near this stormy coast,
O th' sad mishaps to th' lifeboat crews,
    An' th' precious lives we'n lost.

It's bad enuff to hear these tales,
    Or read what's put i' print;
But what must be th' effects o' th' storm
    To thoose poor chaps 'at's in't:
When seated cosily i' th' nook,
    It's little we can know
O' th' foamin' billows meawntains high,
    Or th' stormy winds 'at blow!

Eh, bless yo', lads! aw mind that neet,
    That fatal neet to some;
Aw're sit deawn readin' th' Evening' News,
    I' this mi sea-side whoam,
When th' woind i' th' chimney 'gan to roar,
    At length it blew a gale;
An' th' windows fairly rattled, lads,
    Wi' th' peltin' rain an' hail.

Aw looked at th' woife, who, just at th' toime,
    Sat knittin' in her cheer,
An' said, "It's gettin' fearful, lass;
    There'll be some wrecks, aw fear!"
Yo' know the result—th' bad news 'at coome;
    Th' next morning' when aw woke,
Aw're hauve prepared to hear th' sad words
    Mi sorrowin' naybors spoke:—

Heaw two brave crews had faced that sea—
    Ah, one o' th' stormiest known—
An' tryin' t' rescue other lives
    Had sacrificed their own!
Sad news wur this!   As th' day wore on,
    It only proved too true;
Saint Annes and Southport boats wur lost
    An' th' biggest part o' th' crew.

While these sad scenes wur takkin' place
    That stormy neet i' th' dark,
Th' brave Lytham crew wur eawt, an' proved
    Successful i' their wark.
Ah, these brave fellows put to sea,
    An' fowt booath wind an' waves,
Till every man on th' Mexico
    Wur saved fro' watery graves!

Well, th' next we yeard wur—Coxs'n Bob
    Wur launchin' th' Blackpool boat;
An' th' Samuel Fletcher, wi' her crew,
    Wur very soon afloat.
They went as close as they could think
    To wheer th' sad wreck had been;
But, as yo' know, lads, all wur vain,
    No boats or bodies seen.

Aw'll say no moor; yo' know the rest,
    Heaw widows grieve an' mourn;
An' little childer cry for th' dads
    They'll never see return.
Heaw aged parents mourn their sons,
    An' social ties are rent;
Heaw the nation's moved fro' end to side,
    At this mooast sad event!

Well, lads, aw've done, put on your hats,
    Yo'n heard mi plaintive lay;
It's th' saddest song aw've had to sing
    For many and many a day.
Aw've pleaded th' boatmen's cause before,
    Aw'll plead it once ogen;
For God hasn't made ow't nobler yet,
    Than these brave Lifeboat Men!

ED.—if you found this poem interesting, you might also wish to read Laycock's Prologue, Thomas Clounie's The Rescue and Alexander Anderson's The Life-Boat.




O tha'rt eighteen year' owd to-day, arto, mi lad?
    Well, unless time should play thi some tricks,
If tha lives eighteen longer, an's moderate good luck,
    Tha'll be somewheer abeawt thirty-six.

After ole, mi dear lad, a mon's character here,
    Isn't made up o' days, or o' years,
But i' th' way 'at one battles wi' th' troubles he meets,
    An' his struggles wi hopes an' wi' fears.

Some live i' this world till they're eighty or moor,
    But heaw have life's battles been fowt?
Or what have they done i' humanity's cause,
    Or for th' country 'at's nurtured 'em?   Newt!

Dunno thee be loike these are—dead weights upo' th' state;
    Do thi duty i' th' world, loike a mon;
Scorn to live loike a drone; earn moor nor tha eats,
    An' a little bit moor iv tha con.

Tha'rt eighteen year' owd, a nice time to begin
    To carve for thisel' a good name;
An' let me assure thee 'at goodness endures,
    Far longer than mere empty fame.

Get thi wisdom fro' thoose 'at are known to be wise,
    An' for strength look to thoose 'at are strong;
Let thi feyther be th' pattern tha goes by, an' then
    Tha'll never get very fur wrong.

But tha'll want noan o' this mak' o' preitchin' aw'm sure,
    So aw'll drop it wi' what aw've neaw said,
Or tha'll come to th' conclusion 'at others have done,
    'At poets are wrong i' their yead.




        GOOD-BYE, owd Sixty-Six;
Tha's welly played us o thi tricks;
We'n seen thi smoiles, an' felt thi kicks,
So neaw we'll say good-bye.
        Tha's seen us sick an' sad;
        Tha's seen us hearty, weel, an' glad—
Dancin' and singin' here loike mad;
        Tha's known some on us t' cry.

        Bring in that poor owd form
'At's standin' shiverin' theer i' th' storm.
Wilt have a drop o' sum 'at warm
        To cheer thee, 'Sixty-Six?
        Come in, an' sit thee deawn,
It's noan yet toime to goo—not it;
Come, warm them shanks o' thine a bit,
        An' tell us wheer tha'rt beawn.

        Tha coom here when tha'rn young,
An' eh! heaw noicely th' singers sung!
To mak' thee welcome th' bells wur rung;
        An' neaw tha'rt beawn to goo—
        Owd friend, tha'rt beawn to goo.
Well, come, there's sum'at here to sup;
Ger howd o' th' pot, an' drink it up;
        Drink th' New Year's health—neaw do.

        That's reet—neaw rest thisel',
For one can see tha'rt noan so well;
Hast ony good owd tales to tell?
        Iv so, let's have 'em neaw,
        It's latish on i' th' day.
It's after eight o'clock, owd friend;
Tha'rt gettin' near thi journey's end,
        Tha's noan so long to stay.

        He's faintin', dear a me!
Bring him some wayter ill a cup;
Let's raise his yead, an' let him sup;
        He's very bad, aw see;
        Give him a drop o' wine.
We munno go an' let him dee
Till th' New Year comes to set him free;
        Th' church clock's just strikin' nine.

        Three heawrs ull see him off,
Poor thing! he's getten a weary cough;
It racks him up, altho' he's tough;
        It shouldn't use him so,
        Th' owd mon's i' pain, aw know.
He'll noan be with us here so long;
Then let's strike up a farewell song,
        An' sing it soft an' slow.

        Then leov him to hissel',
He's happen sum'at on his mind
He'd loike to try and leave behind—
        Hush! Hush! yond's th' owd church bell,
        Biddin' th' Owd Year farewell.
O listen, friends! heaw soft an' sweet,
An' yet heaw sad it seawnds to-neet!
        Toll on, toll on, church bell.

        He's deein' neaw, be still;
Heaw thick an' short he takes his breath;
He's lyin' neaw i' th' arms o' Death,
        Beyond eawr care an' skill,
        Good-bye, owd 'Sixty-Six.
Tha's played thi pranks, and done thi tricks,
We'n seen thi smoiles, and felt thi kicks,
        So neaw, old year, good-bye.




OWD Isaac Bradshaw keeps a shop
    Th' next dur to Nancy Wood's;
He's carrots, turnips, apples, eggs,
    Red cabbages, an' spuds:
He's scrubbin'-brushes, idleback,
    Mop yeads, an' wooden pails;
He's besoms, ladin' cans, an' mugs,
    Oil, candlesticks, an' nails.

He does a bit i' th' quackin' line,
    An' mendin' broken limbs;
At curin' th' toothwartch he's a brick;
    He's cured mi Uncle Jim's.
Aw'll tell yo heaw th' owd covey does,—
    Yo'll think he's fawse no deawt;
He sets a pair o' pincers on,
    An' poo's th' beggars eawt.

One day mi feyther hurt his thumb,
    Wi' helpin' t' kill a cawve;
Owd Isaac cured it in a week,
    Wi' some o' his green sawve.
It's true; iv onybody deawts,
    Go ax mi Uncle John;
He're wi' mi feyther when he went,
    An' saw him put it on.

He's yead-wartch pills—owd Isaac has,
    An' pills for purgin' to';
He says they'll oppen "Chatwood's Safes;"
    But that'll hardly do.
Aw dunna think he lies so mitch,
    Or cheats his dullest friends;
Unless bi doin' so he finds
    'At it suits his private ends.

He tricked one fellow nicely once,
    'At he met at th' "Risin' Sun;"
But he didn't intend to hurt th' poor chap,
    It wur only done for fun.
Joe Brown once went an' bowt some sawve
    For a corn 'at hurt his toe;
Ike towd him t' rub some on his nose,
    An' eat a bit an' o.

A rare good doctor Isaac is,
    Just reet for ailin' folks;
For thoose 'at dunno like his pills.
    Are sure to like his jokes.
Aw coed at' th' shop one Friday neet,
    An' axed iv he wur in;
Well, Isaac yeard me, so he bawled
    "Nawe, he's gone eawt, long sin!"

Well, are yo wantin' owt he has,—
    Mop-yeads, or besom stails;
Mugs, ladin' cans, or idleback,
    White sond, or wooden pails;
Or do yo want some good yarb pills,
    For curin' pains i' th' back;
If so, he keeps a stock on hand,
    An' he says they're good to tak'!

He's lately ta'en a patent eawt,
    For a dodge he claims as new;
It's this—when shiftin' pain away,
    He shifts his patients to!
Well, neaw, it's time aw stopp'd this rhyme,
    An' aw've said enuff to show
Wheer pills an' fun together run,
    So gie th' owd chap a co'!




OWD Fogey lives i' Turner's Fowd,
    Near Matty Wilson's Schoo';
An' everybody knows him theer,
    Becose he's sich a foo'.
Last week he pawned his Sunday clooas,
    An' sowd a favourite tit;
An' neaw he hasn't a haupney left,
    He's drunk it every bit.

He took their Johnny's Testament
    To Barney Logan's sale;
An' th' bit o' brass he geet for that,
    He spent o' gin an' ale.
He made away wi' lots o' things;
    He's drunk his pig an' cote;
An' any profit th' poultry brings,
    Goes deawn his thirsty throat.

There's nowt o' ony value left,
    Except poor Jane, his wife;
An' hoo's so knocked abeawt i' th' world,
    'At hoo's weary ov her life.
An' nobbut th' week before they're wed,
    He took her on his knee,
An' swore he'd allus treat her weel;
    But has he done? not he!

His garden's covered o er wi' weeds,
    An' th' fence is brocken deawn;
He used to have as nice a plot
    As ony chap i' th' teawn.
He took a pride i' th' business then,
    He're in it every neet;
But neaw yo'd hardly give a groat
    For o' he has i' th' seet.

Last year he'd lots o' collyfleawers,
    An' beans, an' peas, an' o;
He'd twenty furst-rate gooseberry trees,
    An' celery sticks to show.
He built a heawse for growin' plants,
    An' spent a peawnd o glass;
But this he sowd to Farmer Jones,
    An' had a spree wi' th' brass.

A pig he had, worth thurty bob,
    He sowd for seven an' six
To someb'dy deawn i' Kinder Lone;
    It's just like o his tricks.
He's reckless what he says or does,
    An' when he's soaked his clay,
He cares for nowt, nor nobody,
    He'll give his things away.

A month sin' some o' th' nayburs here
    Sowd off their poultry stocks;
Owd Fogey went an' bowt 'em o,
    He'd twenty hens an' cocks.
Next day he went to th' "Gapin' Goose,"
    At th' bottom end o' th' teawn,
An' sowd o' th' lot to Boniface,—
    For what?   A hawve a creawn!

He ceawered theer drinkin' grog an' stuff,
    Till twelve o'clock at neet;
But when he reached his whoam th' next day,
    Weren't he a bonny seet!
His cooat wur daubed fro' top to tail
    Wi' slurrin deawn a broo;
But nob'dy pitied him, becose
    He's sich a silly foo'!



AW'VE read th' book tha gave me, an'—flattery aside,—
At some things aw've laughed, an' at others aw've cried;
One's amused at th' smart tricks tha's performed i' thi time
When huntin' poor beggars suspected o' crime.

Why, Bent, mon; tha must ha' been made o' good weft,
For tha's worn weel, an' yet there's a lot of thee left!
Tha's stood some hard usage, an' knockin' abeawt;
But it's happen this thumpin' 'at's made thee so steawt.

They tell us 'at th' best way to raise a low bump
Is to set to an' give it a rattlin' good thump.
Well, jokin' aside; tha'rt a wonderful brick,
An, it's really surprisin' to find 'at tha'rt wick.

But Providence seems to ha' guarded thi life,
When traps wur laid for thee, an' dangers wur rife;
An' neaw, when thi locks are just turnin' to gray,
An' tha'rt gettin' near th' end ov a long hard day,—

Tha'rt getherin' areawnd thee th' poor waifs an' strays,—
'At have run,—but have failed to win life's race;
An,' to my mind, this rootin' eawt dregs fro' th' ditch—
Is moor Christ-like nor swaggerin' i' pulpits so mitch!

Did Christ strut abeawt in a broad-brimmed hat?
Not he! he'd to' mitch common sense to do that;
But he sowt th' poor an' needy, an' gave 'em a feed,
An' we must do th' same iv we want to succeed.

True, there's newt very startlin', nor newt very fine,
I' that Owd Trafford Soup Kitchen business o' thine;
But tha'rt doin' a grand work among th' eawtcasts an' such,
'At th' ring-fingered, white-honded foalk daren't touch.

But this isn't what aw wur wantin' to say,
When this rap at bad tactics allured me away;—
Aw wanted to tell th' Trafford Soup Kitchen cook
Heaw aw relished th' choice bits 'at aw feawnd i' his book.

There's noa gristle or paxwax 'at winno digest;
But ole put before us seems th' choicest an' th' best;
An' aw must ha feawnd th' book entertainin' tha'rt sure;
When th' furst readin' cleared two hundred pages an' moor.

An' aw met ha' cleared th' lot, hadn't th' woman aw wed—
Sheawted "What arto readin'? come on here to bed."
A hint to "move on" this, aw thowt, Mister Bent;
So—after aw'd swallowed mi porridge—aw went.



DEAR, dear, whatever's comin' next!
It seems some parson's feawnd a text
'At hints 'at God Almighty's vext
                             At th' English race.
An' why? becose we haven't th' wit
To mourn o'er sins we don't commit;
An', what's still worse,—we haven't seen fit
                             To seek His face.

Does th' sun e'er sulk, or vent its spleen,
Bi' blightin' every lovely scene,
Becose folk dunno lift their een,
                             An' look at it?
Or does it freawn on goodly seed,
An' smile on useless tares an' weed
Throo jealousy?   Not it indeed;
                             Th' sun's moor wit!

It seems God's played on various strings,
An' vainly tried o macks o' things,
To get poor folk—an' even kings—
                             To own His peawer.
Well, these aren't themes for paltry jokes,
Or even keen, sarcastic strokes;
Still, th'job looks strange to common folks;—
                             It does for seawer.

It's said God plagued th' Egyptian kings,
Wi' sendin' locusts, lice, an' things;
But persecution seldom brings
                             One nearer God.
There's lots o' folk t' be feawnd i' th' lond,
To grasp, or kiss some patriot's hond;
But th' number's very few 'at's fond
                             O' kissin' th' rod.

Another strange suggestion's made,
It's this: th' Almighty's damaged trade;
Th' chap's makin' statements aw'm afraid
                             He conno prove.
What nasty filth some men con fling!
What serious charges these to bring,
Against a just an' righteous King—
                             A God o' love.

We know, fro' what i' th' Book appears,
God's charged wi' causin' sighs an' tears,
An' laughin' at His children's fears!
                             What fiendish acts!
But will this kind o' twaddle wash?
Can we accept this balderdash,
Or treat sich silly, drivellin' trash
                             As sober facts?

God's ruined agriculture, too;
Do those i' th' pulpit think this true?
It seawnds like lies to us i' th' pew,
                             It does indeed.
There's just one chance for parsons yet,
If they wouldn't ha' th' "preachin'-shops" to let,
There's one thing sure—they'll ha' to get
                             A better Creed!

Heaw th' parson knows what God intends,
Bi th' wars an' plagues it's said He sends,
Unless they're varry chummy friends,
                             Aw canno' see.
It's hard to grasp these knotty themes;
They creawd one's mind as misty dreams;
We know God ne'er lays bare His schemes,
                             To sich as me.

Aw'm but a feeble earthly worm;
What scientists might call a "germ,"—
Neaw moulded to a human form,
                             An' slightly made:
An' yet, aw never feel aw'm mist;
Aw needn't raise mi puny fist;
Aw con let folk know aw still exist,
                             Beawt spoilin' trade!

Mysterious deeds are these, an' dark;
An' it may be wrong to mak' th' remark;
But to me it looks mere baby wark—
                             To ruin crops!
An' this is th' greawnd wheer th' parson stands!
An' th' trash is sent to foreign lands!
Why, they wouldn't employ sich 'prentice hands
                             I' earthly shops!

We'll ha' noa truck wi' jealous gods,
'At preawl abeawt i' th' world wi' rods,
An' shut poor devils up i' quods
                             They'll never quit.
We want a God 'at's better drilled;
Moor used to govern folk—more skilled;
One less inhuman, less self-willed,
                             An' shows moor wit!

If these are pulpit thowts, try th' pews,
An' let's go in for nobler views,
Than thoose we get fro' ignorant Jews,
                             Or priestly drones!
Let darkness flee! mak' room for leet!
Instead o' crutches, use yo'r feet;
An', while we've good, sound, honest meat,
                             Why pick at bones!

God isn't a fiend, inventin' pains;
A tyrant, bindin' slaves i' chains;
Nor castin' blight i' fertile plains,
                             Becose He's vext;
No! "God is good;" we see His peawers
I' woods, an' streams, i' fields, an' fleawers;
This pratty world we live in's eawrs,
                             An' so is th' next!



AW tell yo what, foalk, it's surprisin' to think
What skeomin' there is to ger howd o' some drink;
It really astonishes one to see th' skill
Some o' th' women display to ger howd o' a gill.
Aw wur towd a queer sort ov a skit th' other neet
Bi a friend 'at aw happened to leet on i' th' street;
Iv yo loike aw con set to an' tell it ogen,
It'll be an heawer's practice or so for mi pen.

Well, a chap an' his woife wur once hard up for brass;
They couldn' booath muster up th' price ov a glass:
Till, one day, an idea coom into th' woife's yead,
So hoo turned to owd Robin, her husband, an' said
"Thee rowl up them sleeves, an' away wi' thee eawt,
An' th' lon'lord at th' Swan ull be somewheer abeawt;
When he sees tha's thi cooat off, he'll ax wheer tha'rt beawn;
So tham tell him tha's let ov a job deawn i' th' teawn,

An' tha'rt just goin' to it a mackin' a start;
An' aw'll bet thee a hawpney he'll chalk thee a quart."
Well, Robin thowt that wur noan sich a bad plan,
So he acted at once on th' advoice o' their Nan;
An' he rowled up his sleeves, an' he went eawt o' th' dur,
An' spied eawt th' owd lon'lord, afore he'd gone fur;
So Robin pretended to be in a swat;
He pood a great napkin fro' eawt ov his hat,

An' wi' it he gated a woipin' his face,
An' hurried along at a very quick pace.
When he geet facin' th' "Swan," an' wur bowtin' past th' dur,
Th' owd lon'lord said, "Robin, owd lad, wheer are t' for?"
But Robin pretended he'd no time to stop,
An' towd him he'd let ov a stunnin' good shop:
Well, come," said th' owd lon'lord, "aw'll trust thi a quart:
Aw'm fain 'at tha'rt gooin' a mackin' a start;

Folk 'at's workin' are th' best sort for me aw can tell,
Tho' aw'm noan very partial to workin' misel;
Come in, mon, an' have an odd quart moor to th' lot,
Tha can co in at th' reckonin' an' pay off thi shot."
Well, Robin went in, an' his ale wur soon browt;
Come, this hasn't bin badly managed he thowt;
So he swigg'd off his ale, laid his pitcher o' th' hob,
An' towd th' lon'lord he wanted t' be off to his job.

But th' owd fox turned his heels, when he geet eawt o' th' seet,
An' play'd for their heawse deawn i' Parliament-street.
Well, his woife wur at th' dur—hoo wur weshin' a pon;
So hoo started a axin' him how he'd gone on.
"Gone on," said Owd Robin, "the dule's i' that yead—
Why, everythin's happened just same as tha said;
This is th' best trick tha's played sin' aw'rn wed to thee, Nan;
We'n made a good thing eawt o' th' lon'lord at th' 'Swan;'

Aw said aw'd a job, an' wur goin' deawn to start,
So he took me i' th' heawse, an' he fot me a quart,
An' said when aw'd brass, aw could co in an' pay,
So aw drunk off mi ale, an' aw bid him good day.
Wheer's mi cooat?   Aw'll go tell Sam o' Dick's what aw've done;
It'll just pleos him rarely, he's fond o' some fun."
"Wheer's thi cooat?" said his woife.   "Ah, mi coat, wheer's it
Come, be handy, an' bring it, an' let's put it on."

"Thi cooat, lad, thi cooat?   Why, aw've put it up th' speawt;
Does t' think aw'st foind thee drink an' sarve misel beawt?"
Eh, aw wish yo'd seen Robin when th' woife towd him that;
He sprang eawt o' th' heawse witheawt jacket or hat;
Went leatherin' deawn th' street to an uncle o' mine,
An' said iv he'd find him a pledge card, he'd sign;
Th' woife had larnt him a lesson he'd ne'er larnt afoor;
So he signed pledge that day, an' ne'er touch'd drink no moor.




I this wonderful age ov invention we find
'At medical science is noan fur behind,
Tho' it seems at i' this field o' knowledge an' skill
Important discoveries are tackin' place still.
One o' th' latest an' th' breetest 'at's knockin' abeawt,
Bein' a safe an' chep method o' pooin' teeth eawt.
Neaw this is no second-hond, owd woman's tale,
Trumped up, same as mony a thing, merely for sale;
It's a fact, this, at least it's related as such,
One o' that sort 'at conno' be mended so much.

This discoverer, as fur as aw'm able to larn,
Wur a chap up i' Yorshur, they co'd "Joe o' th' Barn."
Like mony a poor sufferin' sinner beside,
He'd th' tooth-warch so bad he could hardly abide.
He went grinnin an' grumblin', an' slavverin' abeawt,
So th' naybours advised him to ger it poo'd eawt;
But Joe wur beawt brass—Joe had spent it o up
At th' "Fiddle an' Hayfork" o' sum'at to sup.

Time went on, an' Joe's tooth geet to warchin' so bad,
'At he stamped abeawt th' heawse loike someb'dy gone mad;
But a brilliant idea flashed upon him at last,
As is often th' case when a mon's gradely fast.
A foo' when he's put to 't, con mak' some good hits,
An' th' tooth-warch it seems help'd to sharpen Joe's wits.

While feelin' abeawt in his pockets he feawnd
A piece o' good bandin' 'at looked strong an' seawnd.
Well, one eend o' this he made fast to th' oon dur,
Th' other eend to his fang—(th' owd plague 'at it wur).
Then he geet howd o' th' poker, an' put it i' th' fire—
An act his friend Bob couldn't help but admire.
O this bein' done, an' proneawnced "very good."
Joe stepped back, an' made th' bandin' as tight as he could.
"Neaw then, lad," he said, "let's ger on wi' this job,
Look iv th' faur-poker's reight-daan red, wilta, Bob?"
"Red!" said Bob, "ah, my word lad, aw think it is soa;
What doest' reckon tha'rt wantin' to use it for, Jooa?"
"Thee do what aw tell thee," said Joe.   "Well, neaw then;
Touch maw nooaz wi' 't, as soon as ta yers me say when."
Bob expressed hissel willin' to do what he could ;
Iv it lay in his peawer to obleege him he would.
Joe at once sheawted "When!"   Bob drew th' fire-poker eawt,
An' put it reet gently to th' eend o' Joe's sneawt.
Th' effect one may guess at—th' oon dur stood it greawnd,
An' th' band did it duty—it proved to be seawnd;
So when Joe smelt at th' poker it made him start back,
When eawt coom his troublesome tooth in a crack;
It seem'd rather vex'd, th' little pest 'at it wur,
For it flew like a bullet slap bang at th' oon dur.

Joe wur cured, an', believin' th' invention furst-class,
He's for gettin' a patent as soon as he's th' brass;
I' th' meantime, he declares he shall mak' thoose repent
'At use his invention witheawt his consent.




CHEER up, toilin' brothers! cheer up an' be glad;
    There's breeter days for us i' store;
Things are lookin' more sattled i' Lancashire here,
    Neaw 'at th' 'Merica war's getten o'er.
Th' long chimnies are smokin' as hard as they con,
    An' th' machinery's wurlin' areawnd;
Owd shopmates 'at havn't bin seen for some years
    Are o gettin' back to th' owd greawnd.

Billy Taylor—he's bin off at Bradford awhile,
    Weavin' woollen for one Mester Hooms,
But he's brought hissel back to this quarter ogen,
    An' he's peggin' away at th' owd looms.
Their Jack's bin i' Staffordshire one or two years—
    He'rn somewheer tort Bilston, aw think—
He garden'd an' did 'em odd jobs abeawt th' heawse,
    An' he'd twelve bob a week an' his drink.

An owd crony o' mine's bin at Halifax yond,
    Sellin' trotters an' tripe an' ceaw heel;
I' winter he'd cockles an' mussels an' stuff,
    An' he tells me he did rare an' weel.
When th' wayterworks started up tort Swineshaw Brook,
    He wur th' gaffer awhile o'er some men;
But for some cause or other he's left 'em, aw see,
    An' getten i' th' factory ogen.

Polly Breawn's bin i' sarvice for two or three year',
    At a aleheawse o' th' name o' th' Bull's Yead;
An hur an' a waiter there is abeawt th' place,
    They tell'n me, are beawn to be wed.
Eawer Lucy's i' sarvice up Huddersfield way,
    Wi' some chap—aw've forgetten his name;
But, heawever, hoo says hoo shall leave in a month,
    When they'n put her some wark in her frame.

Eh, we han done some knockin' abeawt up an' deawn,
    While trade's bin so bad abeawt here!
We could spin some rare yarns, some on us, aw know—
    We could tell some strange tales, never fear.
We'n had to set to an' do o sorts o' jobs,
    An' we'n bin among o sorts o' folks;
There's theawsands i' Lancashire know what it is,
    To go reawnd o' beggin' wi' pokes.

A lot o' young chaps 'at aw know very weel
    Made it up t' go a singin' one day,
But th' very furst place at they sung at, aw'rn towd,
    They gan 'em a creawn t' go away.
Then they sung for a doctor, a bit further up,
    An' Bolus sent one ov his men
Wi' a shillin'—an' towd 'em he'd give 'em two moor
    Iv they'd sing him "Th' Shurat Song" ogen.

But come, lads, we'll say nowt abeawt this no moor,
    But try an' forget o 'at's past;
It wur th' furst time we'd ever done owt o' this sooart,
    An' we're livin' i' hopes 'at it's th' last.
Let's be careful i' future o'th' bit we can get,
    An' pay off what debts we may owe;
We'n had heawses to live in, clooas, tommy, an' stuff,
    'At's never bin paid for, aw know.

Let's be honest to thoose 'at wur friendly to us,
    An' show bi eawr actions we're men;
There's nob'dy can tell what's before 'em i' th' world—
    We may happen want helpin' ogen.
Neaw yo'll kindly excuse ony blunders aw've made,
    For aw've written as weel as aw con;
An' beg to remain, wi respect an' esteem,
    Yours truly, A POOR WORKIN' MON.




TH' village pedlar's a jovial owd brick,
    A merchant o' great local fame;
He goes trudgin' abeawt wi' his basket an' stick,
    An' a few useful things 'at aw'll name.
He's needles, an' bodkins, an' thread,
    An' buttons, an' bobbins, an' tape;
An' hair-pins, 'at girls use (before they get wed),
    To keep their hair nicely i' shape.

He's worsted a haupney a bo,
    Blue-peawder, an' furniture paste;
An' he's capital mustard i' packets an' o,—
    Well, he says thoose 'at deawt it con taste.
Neaw th' owd pedlar ne'er gets eawt o' tune,
    Tho' he's bothered wi' o sorts o' foalk:
If they vex him a bit, he forgets ogen soon,
    An' passes it off as a joke.

He's carried his basket so long,
    That it neaw seems to act as a charm;
An' he tells us he feels as if summat wur wrong,
    If he hasn't it hung on his arm.
E'en at church,—well,—at least soa aw'm towd,
    When his mind should be free fro' sich cares,
He's ole ov a shiver, his arm feels so cowd,
    For th' want ov his basket an' wares.

He's a christian i' th' spite ov o this;
    Oh, aw've often yeard th' owd fellow tell
'At he thowt he could boast o' moor genuine bliss
    Than even eawr Queen could hersel'.
Earthly jewels one sees up an' deawn,
    He will tell yo' must crumble to dust;
But he's livin' i' hopes o' possessin' a creawn,
    'At 'll noather turn faded nor rust.

Owd pedlar, tha'rt happy aw'm sure,—
    Trampin' reawnd wi' thi basket an' wares;—
Leavin' blackin' an' blessin's at everyone's door,
    An' tryin' to leeten foalk's cares.
When tha claps deawn thi basket to dee,
    There'll be some weet een aw'll be beawnd;
For it's allus affectin' an' painful to see
    An owd favourite laid i' th' greawnd!

Th' little childer,—when th' daisies appear,—
    To that spot wheer tha'rt buried will throng;
An' sadly they'll say "Th' dear owd pedlar lies here,
    So let's sing him a nice little song!"
Then they'll deck thi green grave wi' wild fleawers,
    Wi' th' idea 'at they're keepin' thi warm;
An' say,—as they leave thee alone a few heawers,—
    "God bless him! he's tackin' no harm!"




HE'S just come whoam fuddelt ogen,
    An' flung hissel deawn on th' bed;
One's sick o' such low drunken men,
    An' aw'm sure there's none worse nor eawr Ned;
For he spends nearly o he con get;
    What to do, aw'm as fast as a thief;
Ole th' cubburts an' drawers are "to let,"
    An' eawr Jane's gone to ax for relief.

As for good decent clooas, we're o beawt,
    An' we've nowt to stond up in but rags;
To tell th' truth, aw'm ashamed to turn eawt,
    If it's nobbut when swillin' th' flags.
An' he knows heaw we are very weel,
    But he's getten so hardened wi' th' drink,
That it's eawt ov his natur' to feel,
    An' get's madder nor ever, aw think.

When he's drunk he'll come in ov a neet,
    An' ceawer like a pig on th' floor;
Then aw wish he'd get eawt o' mi seet,
    An' never come near me no moor.
Yo' may think me a hard-hearted wife,
    An' tell me aw'm sadly to blame;
But aw think iv yo' lived my life,
    Yo'r actions would be abeawt th' same.

Look! he ceawers wi' his yead upo' th' hob;
    For a pillow, he's getten his cap;
An' his face is as black as a cob;—
    Dear-a-me, neaw! whatever's yon rap!
It's lon'lord, he's comin' for th' rent,
    But we haven't a farthin' i' th' hole;
Th' last three-haupence we had has been spent
    On a quarter ov a hundert o' coal.

"Howd on, lass, aw've summat to say
    Abeawt th' blame bein' thrown on to me;
Aw know aw've been drinkin' to-day,
    But it's ole on it owin' to thee.
Aw'm not th' only sinner i' th' place,
    Tho' aw'm willin' to own aw've done wrong;
Let me tell thee straight eawt to thi face,
    'At tha's done it thisel wi' thi tongue.

Tha knows at tha's scores o' times said
    'At a sup o' whoam-brew'd would do good;
Tha's made th' spot 'at should shelter mi yead,
    Well,—as mitch like a hell as tha could!
When aw come in at neets fro' mi wark,
    It's a job for me t' get in at th' door;
An' tha's th' heawse very often i' th' dark,
    An' th' wesh-tub an' th' clooas abeawt th' floor.

Aw know aw'm a bit ov a foo',
    An' aw know we've no bread up o'th' shelf;
But aw know this,—an' so does tha too,—
    Tha's been th' cause o' this misery thyself.
When aw took thi as bride fro' thi whoam,
    I' th' bonny breet month o' May,
Does t' think aw intended t' become
    Th' drunken sot 'at tha sees me to-day?

Not I! an' aw tell thee what, wife,
    This longin' for drink is so strong,
'At there'll soon be an end to mi life;
    Aw shall noan be i' th' road on thee long.
There's just one little favour aw crave;—
    Aw hope tha'll be able to see
'At th' drunkard 'at's gone to his grave,
    Attributes his deawnfall to thee!"




HE'S just signed a pledge, has eawr John,
    An' for once he's just done as he said;
Why, to see him a reet decent mon,
    Welly macks me feel wrong i' mi yead.
If th' lad brings o his wage wi' him whoam,
    It will be a wonderful seet:
Heawever, aw want it to come,
    An' wish it wur th' reckonin' to-neet.

Eh, aw wonder what th' nayburs 'll think,
    When they see mi new bonnet an' cap;
Aw con fancy aw see a sly wink,
    'At may meon 'at aw've had 'em on th' strap.
They'll wonder what's up wi' th' owd lass,
    Wearin' silk, wheer hoo once wore rags;
Won't aw look at misel' i' th' glass!
    But aw hear John's clogs on th' flags.

Well, tha'rt here, lad; aw thowt it wur thee:
    But, bless us! theaw art some an' weet;
Is it rainin' like that? dear-a-me!
    Get these warm carpet shoon on thi feet.
Aw'm just thinkin' heaw Skinflint 'll stare,
    When aw co' at his shop for some beef;
He'll say he's no bones he con spare,
    For he'll think aw've co'd in for relief.

What's th' lon'lord at th' "Angel" to do,
    Neaw tha's turned a teetotaller, John?
They'll be gradely surprised deawn at th'
    When they find eawt their customer's gone.
Won't thi grey-yeaded fayther be glad!
    Ah, an' th' owd woman to', when hoo's towd;
Put awm sure tha'll be hungry mi lad,
    Get thi baggin', thi tay 'll be cowd.

There's some nice buttered toast on th' hob,
    An' th' hawve ov a herrin' theer, see:
Aw browt it to pleos eawr Bob,
    But aw've saved a bit on it for thee.
Neaw, tha'rt owd enuff to get what tha needs;
    There's some celery, see, an' some salt;
An' some nice curran' loaf witheawt seeds,
    If tha'rt short it'll be thi own fault.

"There's plenty mi lass, an' to spare;
    An' aw'm sure it o looks very nice;
Tha's provided some capital fare,
    An' there's no need for axin' me twice.
Wheer's eawr lads?   Are they o gone to?
    Has t' put some warm bricks to their feet?
Aw feel rayther uneasy o'er Ned,
    But let's hope 'at he'll soon get reet.

Aw wish tha'd hond th' taypot this way,
    An' teem me a sope i' mi cup:
But there's summat gone wrong, lass,—eh!
    Whatever i' th' world is there up!
There's a waist button gone, by the mass!
    Why, aw must ha' been eatin' to' mitch:
Well, it cannot be helped neaw, mi lass.
    Get thi needle an' give it a stitch.

There's mi haliday shurt i' th' owd chest;
    Aw shall want it th' next Sunday, does t' know:
Tha man mak' it reet nice abeawt th' breast;
    Starch th' neck weel, an' th' wrist-bands an' o;
For owd Turner, an' young Jemmy Burch
    Are callin' for me an' eawr Ned;
Tha may stare, but we're o beawn to th' church;
    Bless me, lass, aw ne'er been sin' we'rn wed!"




AS aw're passin' by th' corner o' th' church th' other day,
Aw popp'd on a lad 'at wur tryin' to pray;
In his own simple words he wur tellin' the Lord
'At He hadn't been faithful an' true to His word.
His complaint wur soa childlike aw couldn't but smoile,
As he said, "Mi poor fayther's been deod a great whoile;
Mi poor sister Elizabeth's deof an' dumb,
An' mi mother's a bustion at th' end ov her thumb;
Hoo's lapp'd it wi' rags, an hoo's rubbed it wi' sawve,
But sin' these wur put on it, hoo's worse bi' th' hawve.
Aw happened to touch it one neet wi' mi yead,
An' tha would ha' been capp'd iv tha'd yeard what hoo said.
Hoo sometimes starts singin', at other times sighs;
An' then hoo sits deawn in her cheer an' hoo cries.

Well, awm sorry to see her, but what con aw do?
So aw creep eawt o' th' heawse an' then aw cry to'.
When we get ony meat, sich as bacon or pork,
Eawr Alice has t' have it, to help her to work.
Tha says tha'll a fayther to th' faytherless be,
But tha must be forgettin' eawr childer an' me.
We'd some broth th' other day 'at eawr Sarah had given,
But this wur to' thin to ha' come deawn fro' heaven!
Aw've brocken mi slate, an' th' copy-book's filled
At Ann Jones browt me in when their Isaac wur killed.
Mi trousers want mendin', mi jacket's i' holes;
We've no fire, nor no brass to go buy ony coals.
We've porritch i' th' mornin' an porritch at neet;
We've no candles, nor nothin' to give us a leet.
It's a fortnit to-day sin' aw tasted o' bread;
An' aw haven't a cap to put on to mi yead.

When awm pickin' up cinders an' sticks i' th' lones,
Th' lads coe me ragg'd Jemmy, an' pelt me wi' stones.
Before mi poor fayther wur put i' yond hole,
Aw'd no need to do this, for we'd allus some coal.
Mi prayer may seem childish, an' even absurd,—
But tha couldn't let mi fayther come, could ta, good Lord?
Eawr Ben wants his hair cuttin' badly aw see;
If it isn't done soon, he'll be botherin' me;
An' mi poor mother's thumb would get better awm sure,
Could hoo look on th' dear face o' mi fayther once moor.
If he's wanted t' sweep heaven eawt, or owt o' that mack,
Aw've not the least deawt but he'd go wi' thee back."
Aw could stond this noa longer, soa graspin' his arm,
Said—"Come on wi' me, lad, an' get summat warm."
So aw took him t' eawr heawse, an' aw gav' him some pie,
An' towd him to coe every time he went by;
But didn't th' poor lad cock his face up an' grin!
Then thanked me, went eawt, an' aw've ne'er seen him sin'.




AW hardly know what we're to do wi' eawr Jim,
    For he's drunk every neet ov his life;
He's crackin' a skull, or breaking a limb,
    An' often ill-usin' his wife.
He's as mad as a bull when he's drink in his yead,
    An' he gabbles an' talks like a foo';
An' it's every word true what mi gronny's oft said,
    That iv th' drink isn't abandoned he'll rue.

They've a nice little cherry-faced thing ov a brat,
    'At aw've met deawn i' th' lone as aw've come;
Aw bowt him some parkin off owd Betty Platt,
    An' towd him t' be sharp an' get whoam.
If his fayther 'd some wit, an' would put it to use,
    He'd buy th' lad a pair o' new clogs,
Nit he'd rayther be spendin' his time on at th' "Goose,"
    Makin' matches wi' pigeons an' dogs.

It pains me to look at his poor patient wife
    'At wur once so good-lookin' an' fair:
Sich a harrasin', wretched, an' comfortless life
    Must drive her to hopeless despair.
We wur talkin' this o'er i' eawr heawse th' other week,
    Eh, but heaw mi poor mother did cry!
Big tears trickled deawn her pale furrowed cheek,
    An' mi fayther's an' mine weren't dry.

It's seldom my een are mich troubled wi' weet,
    But mi feelin's aw couldn't restrain;
Let's hope 'at th' big tears 'at escaped us that neet,
    Won't be shed altogether i' vain.
Well then,—there's wife's parents—owd Dinah an' Dave,
    Livin' deawn i' th' thatched cottage below;
This worthy owd couple are hastenin' to th' grave,—
    Full o' trouble o'er Mary aw know.

Th' owd chap's often talked ov his troubles to me;
    It wur only last Setterday neet;
'At he said he could lay his grey yead deawn an' dee,
    If eawr Jim would be sober an' reet.
What gloom an' depression this drink can create,
    Wheer once nowt but sunshine were seen;
An' heart-broken friends sit lamentin' their fate,
    Wi' big scoldin' tears i' their een!




GOOD-BYE, Owd Year; tha'rt goin' soon, aw reckon:
    Well, one thing's sure,—tha's been no friend o' mine;
Soa go thi ways to thoose tha's treated better;—
    Thoose tha's supplied wi honour, wealth, an' wine.
Aw've watched thi marlocks ever sin' tha coom here,
    An', that bein' so, aw couldn't help but see
Tha's had thi friends, an' these tha's nursed an' petted,
    While tryin' t' throw cowd wayter on to me.

Be off! an' leov thi reawm for somb'dy better;
    An' tak' thi pampered favourites wi thee to';
Clear eawt ole th' hangers-on theaw has abeawt thee,
    An' give us th' chance o' tryin' summat new.
What! me ungrateful! here, neaw, just one minute;
    Doest meon to tell me 'at aw owe thee owt?
Neaw, here's a plain, straight-forrud question for thee:—
    Come, shew me what tha's oather sent or browt.

Well, let that pass; aw bear no malice, mind thee:
    Tha'rt clearin' eawt, an' one thing's very sure,'—
'At when we hear th' church bells ring eawt at midneet,—
    Tha'll tak' thi hook, an' trouble me no moor.
Still, one thing rayther plagues me, neaw aw think on't;—
    Heaw wilta get fro' Blackpool, 'Eighty-Nine?
We've noa trains leov as late as twelve o'clock; but,
    P'raps tha meons to walk, as th' neet's so fine.

At onyrate,—sit deawn, an' warm thi shanks weel;
    Tha's getten twenty minutes yet to stop.
Sarah, bring up another cob o' coal, lass,
    An' bring this pilgrim here a sope o' pop.
Wheer are thi friends to-neet,—thoose pets tha's favoured;
    They're dinin' off a goose at th' Queen's Hotel.
There isn't one to shake thi hond at partin';
    Aw've ole these kindly acts to do misel'.

Neaw, sup that pop, an' eat this bit o' parkin;
    Tha's far to goa, an' noan mitch brass to spend.
Shove him a moufin in his pocket, Sarah;
    He'll need it ere he gets to th' journey's end.
Aw'm noan a very bad sort, after ole, mon;
    A chap may love his enemies, tha sees.
Aw think he'll find that moufin rayther dry, lass;
    Tha'd better let him have a bit o' cheese.

Neaw wheer does t' find tha's met wi' th' nicest treatment?
    At th' sea-side cot? or 'mongst thi wealthy friends?
Well, never mind; but get thi cooat an' hat on;
    Two minutes moor, an' then eawr campin' ends!
Neaw what's to do?   Come, come, tha'rt cryin' arto?
    Aw've touched thi feelin's, have aw?   Well, o reet!
Tha met ha feawnd thi friend eawt twelve months sooner:
    But time's neaw up!   Well, 'Eighty-Nine, good-neet!



THA'RT here, arto, Eighteen' Ninety?
    Does ta come as foe, or friend?
Wilta treat us weel or badly?
    Heaw's thi twelve months' stay to end?
Summat same as th' last, aw reckon;
    After servin' th' peawers that be,
An' tha'rt pumped as dry as peawder,
    Tha'll come sneakin' here to me.

True, i' th' past aw've been to' lenient,
    Been a little bit to' soft;
Still, it's possible mi temper
    May be roused up once to' oft.
Anyheaw, aw'll tell thee plainly,
    If tha leovs me eawt i' th' cowd,
Tha's no need to come here spongin',
    When tha gets worn eawt an' owd.

Choose thi favourites, iv tha pleases;
    But aw want thee just to see
I, for one at least, shall never
    Let 'em wipe their shoon o' me!
Th' world's a ring: aw meon to wrostle;
    Life's a race: aw meon to run;
Trot us eawt a worthy champion,
    Then yo'll see a bit o' fun.

If there's ony goals to tackle,
    Bring thi men, an' bring thi bo';
Clear us th' field, an' aw'll soon show yo'
    Aw con kick a bit an' o.
Pike thi crew eawt, Eighteen' Ninety;
    Leov me eawt, if tha's a mind;
For no deawt there's somb'dy waitin'
    'At's an axe or two to grind.

Let 'em play; aw'll stond an' watch 'em;
    Watch 'em kick, an' dodge, an' tup;
Then aw'll strip,—play "centre-for'ards,"—
    An' we'll see whoa collars th' cup!
Favourite-mongers, praise yo'r pets up;
    Slash at my wark hip an' thigh;
Aw con do a bit i' that line;—
    Onyheaw, aw meon to try.

Aw'm on th' warpath, Eighteen' Ninety;
    Mon, aw've held mi peace to' long;
What's th' result? this—other scribblers
    Wear mi honours,—steal mi song.
Isn't it time to speak eawt plainly,
    When one sees sich tricks as these?
Whoa con show th' most claim to th' honey?—
    Idle drones, or workin' bees?

Mix wi' th' gentry, iv it suits thee;
    Join 'em in their mirth an' wine;
Shun true worth, an' worship Mammon,
    Same as th' owd year, 'Eighty-Nine:
But,—an' this tha'll pleos remember—
    Iv tha turns thi back o' me
Till tha'rt ragg'd, an' starved, an' hungry,—
    Aw shall be noa friend to thee.

What, tha'rt sulkin' at me, arto?
    Vexed or pleosed, it's ole the same;
Do thi own; but let me tell thee,—
    Aw shall watch thi little game!
Treat me weel, or treat me badly;
    Gie me kisses, gie me blows;
"Tit for tat" shall be my motto;—
    Neaw, tha hears me;—off tha goes!



A CERTIN owd Vicar, noan fur fro' this spot,
Among other folk he looked after, had got
A chap coed John Booth—he'rn thowt rayther queer—
Everybody knew John when he'rn livin' on here;
An' tho' it wur said he wur noan gradely reet
He'rn sharper nor lots 'at aw know, a fine seet.
Neaw th' Vicar ax 'd John to do o 'at he could
To bring him some news, so he promised he would.

Well, one neet, as John lay fast asleep in his bed,
He'd a very strange dreom coom to bother his yead;
An' it seems when he wacken'd he didn't intend
To keep it so long witheawt tellin' his friend,
For soon on i'th' mornin' to th' Vicar he hied,
As it happen'd, th' owd fellow wur'n smookin' eawtside,
So he see'd John come leatherin' away very fast,
Reet cromm'd full o' news, as iv ready to brast.

"Well, John," said the Vicar, "how are you to-day?
But you seem to have something important to say;
What's the news? let us have it at once, if you please,
Then no doubt you will feel rather more at your ease.
"Well, then, iv yo pleos, sur, last neet, when i' bed,
Aw'd a sort ov a dreom loike coom into mi yead;
Aw thowt aw'rn gone up to heaven, dun yo' know?"
"Just so," said the Vicar, " I hope you will go:—

"But how did you like the place? how did you fare?
And what did you see in your rambles up there?"
"Well, sur, iv yo pleos, aw went straight up to th' dur,
But when aw geet theer couldn't ger ony fur;
So aw started an' punced it wi' one o' these shoon,
For aw yeard they wur singin' some mak' ov a'tune,
An' thowt iv aw didn't mak' a middlin' big din
Aw should never be yeard, an' they wouldn't let me in.

"Well, sur, as aw stood theer, as white as a cleawt,
Peter oppen'd a window, an' bobb'd his yead eawt;
An eyein' me o'er fro' mi yead to mi feet,
He ax'd what aw'rn wantin' at that time o'th' neet
(Aw think it wur then abeawt hauve-past eleven),
So aw towd him aw wanted to go into heaven.
Then he ax'd wheer aw lived at, an' what aw wur co'ed;
But he'd no need t' ax that, for aw'rn certain he know'd.

"Well, aw said aw'rn livin' i' Smoshaw just then,
Wi' a uncle o' mine they co'ed 'Slavverin' Ben.
Then he ax'd wheer aw went to o'th' Sundays when theer;
So aw towd him to th' church, when aw went onywheer;
Then he ax'd me to give him a bit ov a prayer;
But aw towd him aw couldn't—aw'd getten nowt t' spare.
Eh, heaw he did sceawl at these owd clooas o' mine!
Aw dar' say he'd think aw're noan donn'd up so fine.

"Well, he poo'd his yead in, an' he bang'd th' window deawn,
An' then, sur, my hopes wur o very nee fleawn;
Aw ceawered at th' eawtside till aw'rn getten weel starved,
An' aw felt rarely pottered at th' trick aw'd bin sarved;
For aw didn't think Peter wur'n sarvin' mi reet,
To let me ceawer waitin' so long wi' cowd feet :
Aw thowt one were hampered an' clemm'd enough here,
Beawt goin' a clemmin' an' starvin' up theer.

"Heawever, at last Peter oppen'd me th' dur;
An' eh, what a foine-lookin' manshun it wur!
'Come forrud,' he said, 'aw'll reach thee a cheer,
But aw met as weel tell thee tha'll know nob'dy here;
We'n had plenty fro' Owdham, fro' Royton, an' Lees,
Bur there's nob'dy fro Smoshaw no moor nor tha sees.
Aw'll tell thee what, John, tha may think it seems queer,
But tha'rt th' furst'at th' owd Vicar's e'er sent us up here!



A LOVELY Sabbath morn it wur, tort th' eend o' last July,
An' scarce a cleawd wur seen to pass across the clear blue sky;
Th' young larks wur warblin' up i' th' air, dew lay like pearls
        o' th' greawnd.
An' oh, one couldn't help feelin' pleased wi everything areawnd.

Well, me an' two or three moor chaps—we thowt we'd have an
An' so we geet some bits o' things we couldn't weel do beawt;
We took some pipes, an' 'bacco, too, some umbrell's an' sticks,
Steered off to th' station,—took a train 'at seet off eawt at six.

But furst—afore we started eawt, wi o insured eawr lives;
Thinkin' iv owt should happen us, there'd be some brass for th'
It was a splendid morning, as I have said before,
(Excuse the Sunday travelling, an' we'll do so no more);

The sun shone brightly in the east, the fields were clad in green,
And, oh, our hearts were gladdened, as we gazed upon the scene.
Jones poo'd his poipe an' bacco eawt, an' said he'd have a smook;
Owd Pincher crossed his arms an' legs, un' perch'd hissel i'th'

Young Dawson had no poipes wi' him, nor wanted none he said;
He'd summat better, a rare foin seet,—a lump o' noice pig's yead;
An' while some smooked their poipes an' did, he crashed away at
He says he's fond o' sich like stuff, it makes him strong an' fat.

He says iv he wur t' drink like some, an' let his stomach clem,
He'd very soon be pale an' leon, an' look as ill as them.
At length our journey's end was reached,—it was the service hour;
The Sabbath bells were pealing sweet from many a time-worn

And christian people, young an' old, were wending on their way,
To worship God in his own house, upon that holy day.
We gauped an' stared abeawt us theer, loike chaps noan gradely
They eyed us o'er above a bit—did foalk we met i' th' street,

But we ne'er cared heaw much they stared,—they'd ne'er seen us
An' aw dar bet a haupney top they never will no moor.
At last we geet to Grimsby Docks, an' looked reawnd theer a
Afoor us th' German Ocean lay stretched eawt for mony a mile.

We gathered shells upon the shore, inhaled the healthful breeze,
So bracing, so refreshing, too, to feeble frames like these;
And, if we did not worship God, with those who humbly knelt,
Our hearts were full of gratitude for all the joy we felt.

Well,—as we'rn ceawered bi th' side o' th' "Snipe," smookin' an'
        eatin' pie,
Jones said, "As Peter walked on th' say, let us go have a try;
But, lads, heaw are yo off for faith? for that wur Peter's crutch,"
Says Pincher, "Iv its loike thy brains, aw deawt we hanno much;

Iv tha's a mind to try it on, tha'll find it safe, aw think,
For iv thi body's loike thi yead, tha'rt certain not to sink."
Well, Jones wur vexed, an' so he said, "Come, lad, aw'll let
        thee see,
Ivt' doesn't howd that tongue o' thine, an' let a chap a be."

The sun was sinking in the west, the clouds seemed tinged with
And oh! I think a grander sight we could not well behold;
For nature once more closed her eyes in sweet and balmy sleep,
Spreading her evening mantle o'er the bosom of the deep.

We went an' geet a sope o' tay, at one o' th' huts close by;
Owd Pincher said he'rn hungry, so he'd have a piece o' pie.
Them other chaps had beef an' bread, an' curran' cake an' stuff;
So when we'd drunk an' etten till we thowt we'd had enuff,—

We went to th' station, geet on th' train,—Jones had another
Owd Pincher crossed his arms an' legs, an' reared hissel i' th'
We sung th' Owd Hundred, Evening Hymn, French, Job, an'
        toathry moor,
An' th' foalk declared they'd never yeard sich harmony afoor.

An' we believed 'em what they said,—we didn't think they had,
We sung 'em every one to sleep, an' that wur noan so had.
No doubt the landscape all around was beautiful to see,
Still, with a sense of shame I own it had no charms for me;

For while the clear and sparkling dew did o'er the flow'rets weep,
I, overpowered with Nature's gifts, had fallen fast asleep;
An' so had Jones an' Pincher too,—we slept one hawve o' th' way,
An' this wur th' road my friends an' me thowt fit to spend that day.




OWD Jack o' th' Nook—a Yorkshire chap—
Fuil that he wur—ud used to swap
    His wage for muddy watter;
But changed, an' spent his brass o' bread,
This made th' owd lan'loard scrat his yead,
    An' wonder what wur th' matter.

He kindled th' faur up ivvery neet,
An' made it vary nauce and breet,
    An' th' bar wur cheerful lookin';
A few gret blusterin' chaps went in,
To kear an' drink whot ale an' gin,
    Or waste their toime wi' smokin'.

They used to wonder yeah it wor
Jack noather went nor said what for;
    Soa made it up to as' him.
They waited full two yaars one neet,
To get to see him go up th' street,
    But couldn't come across him.

Well, Jack kept on i' th' temperance lawn,
An' suin' began o' donnin' fawn—
    His childer, too, looked smarter.
One day, when extra nawcely drest,
Black cloath, kid glooves, an' ole the rest—
    He went past th' "Jolly Carter."

An' just as luck would have it then,
Th' owd lan'loard—nick- named "Burley Ben"—
    Wur keard at th' durstead smookin'.
"Hey, Jack!" he said, "an' is that thee?
Wau tha'rt a stranger, neah, to me;
    Bless us, heah weel tha'rt lookin'!

"Wheer as to been so long, owd lad?
Eh mun! aw do feel some an' glad
    To see thi weel an' hearty!
When arto bean to fill yon cheer?
We're olez fain to see thee here,
    O' th' Sunday or o' th' warty.

"We han some rare good ale in neah,
Tha'll cole an' have a pawnt, choose yeah,
    Tha'll find it nawce an' warmin'.
An' then yaar Jane's come whoam to-day,
Hoo's been six months a leornin' t' play;
    Come, yer her mun—it's charmin'."

"Not aw," said Jack, "aw've leorn'd moor wit,
Thaw toak ull noan catch me—not it.
    Aw've gien up all this drinkin'.
Aw must ha' bin a stupid fuil,
To send thaw lass to th' booardin' skuil—
    At least—that's what aw'm thinkin'.

"Aw've lots o' burds come every day,
They"ll sing a bit, then goa away—
    An' never mention payin'.
An' rare good music, too, tha maunds,
Better nor any lan'loard fawnds—
    Not lawk some jackass brayin'!

"Aw've crickets singin' ivvery neet,
There's sich a neighse abeat mi feet,
    An' ole their music's gratis.
They'll kear i' ony sooart o' hoils—
Strawk up a tune i' th' cowks an' coils:
    It's cheppish music, that is.

"Aw'm rare an' weel off, neah tha sees;
For what wi' crickets, birds, an' bees,
    Aw get enuff o' singin'.
We han a neighsey yaas for suir!
Music indeed! aw want no moor,
    Yaar hear'ston's olez ringin.'

"It's noice to kear bi' th' sawd o' th' faur,
An' hearken th' woife an' th' youthful kwaur,
    An' gie one's leg a rest, mun.
Aw'll tell thee what aw loike a deol—
Aw lawk to yer yaar piggins squeol,
    That's th' music aw lawk best, mun.

"Aw've gien o'er feedin' pigs o' thawn;
Tha sees yon dean i' th' loin—they're mawn;
    Aw've two rare fawn uns, sithee;
They'n booath bin bowt wi' th' brass aw've saved,
Sin' aw gav' ovver gettin' shaved
    At thaw confeanded smithy.

"Tha'll ha' to pool that coit off neah,
An' try to keep thiseln—someheah—
    Aw've cleon gien ovver givin'.
So dunnot thee depend o' me,
'Cose iv tha does tha'll ha' to dee,
    As sartin as tha'rt livin'."

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