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Yorkshire Dialect Poems by F.W. Moorman

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Lang taame he wander'd up an' doon,
Till, led by some mysterious hand,
On Lunnon Brig he teak his stand.
An' there he waited day by day,
An' just were boun(4) to coom away,
Sea mich he thowt he were to bleame
To gang sea far aboot a dream,
When thus a man, as he drew near,
Did say, "Good friend, what seek you here,
Where I have seen you soon and late?"
His dream tiv him he did relate.
"Dreams," says the man, " are empty things,
Mere thoughts that flit on silver'd wings;
Unheeded we should let them pass.
I've had a dream, and thus it was,
That somewhere round this peopled ball,
There's such a place as Lealholm Hall(5);
Yet whether such a place there be,
Or not, is all unknown to me.
There in a cellar, dark and deep,
Where slimy creatures nightly creep,
And human footsteps never tread,
There is a store of treasure hid.
If it be so, I have no doubt,
Some lucky wight will find it out.
Yet so or not is nought to me,
For I shall ne'er go there to see."
The man did slyly twice or thrice
The Cockney thenk for his advice;
Then heame agean withoot delay
He cherfully did tak his way.
An' set aboot the wark, an' sped,
Fun' ivvery thing as t' man had said;
Were iver efter seen to flourish
T' fanest gentleman iv all t' parish.
Folks wonder'd sair, an' ,weel they might,
Whoor he gat all his guineas bright.
If it were true, i' spite o' fame,
Tiv him it were a lucky dream."

1. Drive. 2. Long ago. 3. That. 4. Ready.
5. In the neighbourhood of Whitby.

The Milkin'-Time

J. H. Dixon (1803-1876)

Meet me at the fowd at the milkin'-time,
Whan the dusky sky is gowd at the milkin'-time;
Whan the fog(1) is slant(2) wi' dew,
An' the clocks(3) go hummin' thro'
The wick-sets(4) an' the branches of the owmerin'(5) yew.

Weel ye knaw the hour of the milkin'-time,
The girt bell sounds frev t' tower at the milkin'-time;
Bud as gowd sooin turns to gray,
An' I cannot have delay,
Dunnot linger by the way at the milkin'-time.

Ye'll find a lass at's true at the milkin'-time,
Shoo thinks of nane bud you at the milkin'-time;
Bud my fadder's gittin' owd,
An' he's gien a bit to scowd,
Whan I's ower lang at the fowd at the milkin'-time.

Happen ye're afeard at the milkin'-time;
Mebbe loike ye've heerd at the milkin'-time
The green fowk shak their feet,
Whan t' moon on Heeside's breet,
An' it chances so to-neet, at the milkin'-time.

There's yan, an' he knaws weel whan it's milkin'-time;
He'd feace the varra de'il at the milkin'-time.
He'd nut be yan to wait
Tho' a barguest(6) war i' t' gate,(7)
If the word I'd nobbud say 't at the milkin'-time.

1. Aftermath. 2. Wet. 3. Beetles 4. Quick-sets. 5. Overshadowing
6. The barguest is an apparition, taking usually the form of a big
black dog with saucer eyes. 7. Way, road.

I Niver can call Her my Wife

Ben Preston (1819-1902)

I'm a weyver, ye knaw, an' awf deead,
So I do all at iver I can
To put away aat o' my heead
The thowts an' the aims of a man.
Eight shillin' i' t'wick's what I arn,
When I've varry gooid wark an' full time,
An' I think it's a sorry consarn
For a fella at's just in his prime.

Bud aar maister says things is as weel
As they have been or iver can be,
An' I happen sud think so misel
If he'd nobbud swop places wi' me.
Bud he's welcome ta all he can get,
I begrudge him o' noan of his brass,
An' I'm nowt bud a madlin(1) to fret,
Or to think o' yon beautiful lass.

I niver can call her my wife,
My love I sal niver mak knawn,
Yit the sarra that darkens her life
Thraws its shadda across o' my awn.
When I knaw at her heart is at eease,
Theer is sunshine an' singin' i' mine;
An' misfortunes may come as they pleease,
Yit they seldom can mak me repine.

Bud that Chartist wor nowt bud a slope(2)--
I were fooild by his speeches an' rhymes,
For his promises wattered my hope,
An' I leng'd for his sunshiny times;
Bud I feel at my dearest desire
Within me 'll wither away;
Like an ivy-stem trailin' i' t' mire,
It's deein for t' want of a stay.

When I laid i' my bed day an' neet,
An' were geen up by t' doctors for deead,
God bless her! shoo'd coom wi' a leet
An' a basin o' grewil an' breead.
An' I once thowt I'd aat wi' it all,
Bud so kindly shoo chatted an' smiled,
I were fain to turn ovver to t' wall,
An' to bluther an' roar like a child.

An' I said, as I thowt of her een,
Each breeter for t' tear at were in 't,
It's a sin to be niver forgeen,
To yoke her to famine an' stint;
So I'll e'en travel forrad throo life,
Like a man throo a desert unknawn;
I mun ne'er have a home nor a wife,
Bud my sorras 'll all be my awn.

So I trudge on alone as I owt,
An' whativer my troubles may be,
They'll be sweetened, poor lass, wi' the thowt
At I've niver browt trouble to thee.
Yit a bird has its young uns to guard,
A wild beast a mate in his den,
An' I cannot bud think at it's hard­
Nay, deng it, I'm roarin' agen!

1. Fool 2. Impostor.

Come to thy Gronny, Doy(1)

Ben Preston

Come to thy gronny, doy, come to thy gronny,
Bless thee, to me tha'rt as pratty as onny;
Mutherlass barn of a dowter unwed,
Little tha knaws, doy, the tears at I've shed;
Trials I've knawn both for t' heart an' for t' heead,
Shortness o' wark, ay, an' shortness o' breead.

These I could bide, bud tho' tha'rt noan to blame,
Bless thee, tha browt me both sorra an' shame;
Gronny, poor sowl, for a two month or more
Hardly could feshion to lewk aat. o' t' door;
T' neighbours called aat to me, "Dunnot stand that,
Aat wi' that hussy an' aat wi' her brat."

Deary me, deary me! what could I say?
T' furst thing of all, I thowt, let me go pray;
T' next time I slept I'd a dream, do ye see,
Ay, an' I knew at that dream were for me.
Tears of Christ Jesus, I saw 'em that neet,
Fall drop by drop on to one at His feet.

After that, saw Him wi' barns raand His knee,
Some on 'em, happen, poor crayturs like thee;
Says I at last, though I sorely were tried,
Surely a sinner a sinner sud bide;
Neighbours may think or may say what they will,
T' muther an' t' dowter sal stop wi' me still.

Come on 't what will, i' my cot they sal caar,(2)
Woe be to them at maks bad into waar(3);
Some fowk may call thee a name at I hate,
Wishin' fra t' heart tha were weel aat o' t' gate;
Oft this hard world into t' gutter 'll shove thee,
Poor little lamb, wi' no daddy to love thee.

Dunnot thee freeat, doy, whol granny hods up,
Niver sal tha want a bite or a sup;
What if I work these owd fingers to t' boan,
Happen tha'll love me long after I'm goan;
T' last bite i' t' cupboard wi' thee I could share't,
Hay! bud tha's stown(4) a rare slice o' my heart.

Spite of all t' sorra, all t' shame at I've seen,
Sunshine comes back to my heart throo thy een;
Cuddle thy gronny, doy,
Bless thee, tha'rt bonny, doy,
Rosy an' sweet fra thy braa to thy feet,
Kingdoms an' craans wodn't buy thee to-neet.

1 Darling. 2. Cower, take shelter. 3. Worse. 4. Stolen.

Owd Moxy

Ben Preston

Owd Moxy wrowt hard for his morsil o' breead,
An' to keep up his courage he'd sing,
Tho' Time wi' his scythe hed mawn t' crop on his heead
An' then puffed it away wi' his wing.

Reight slavish his labour an' little his wage,
His path tuv his grave were bud rough,
Poor livin' an' hardships, a deal more nor age,
Hed swealed(1) daan his can'le to t' snuff.

One cowd winter morn, as he crept aat o' bed,
T' owd waller felt dizzy an' sore:-
"Come, frame(2) us some breykfast, Owd Duckfooit, he said,
"An' I'll finish yond fence up at t' moor;

"I'll tew(3) like a brick wi' my hammer an' mall,(4)
An' I'll bring home my honey to t' hive,
An' I'll pay t' bit o' rent an' wer(5) shop-score an' all,
An' I'll dee aat o' debt if I live."

So Peg made his pobs(6) an' then futtered(7) abaat,
An' temm'd(8) him his tea into 't can,
Then teed up some bacon an' breead in a claat,
For dearly shoo liked her owd man.

Then Moxy set aat on his wearisome way,
Wadin' bravely throo t' snaw-broth i' t' dark;
It's a pity when fellas at's wakely an' grey
Hes to walk for a mile to their wark.

Bud summat that mornin' made Moxy turn back,
Tho' he hardly knew what it could meean,
So, cudlin' Owd Peggy, he gave her a smack,
An' then started for t' common ageean.

All t' day a wild hurricane wuther'd(9) throo t' glen,
An' then rush'd like a fiend up to t' heeath;
An' as Peggy sat knittin' shoo said tuv hersen,
"Aw dear! he'll be starruv'd to t' deeath."

An' shoo felt all that day as shoo'd ne'er felt afore,
An' shoo dreeaded yit hunger'd for neet ;
When harknin' an' tremlin' shoo heeard abaat t' door
A mutterin, an' shufflin o' feet.

Five minutes at after,(10) Owd Peg, on her knees,
Were kussin' a forehead like stone;
An' to t' men at stood by her wi' tears i' their ees,
Shoo said, "Go, lads, an' leave me alone."

When they straightened his body, all ready for t' kist,(11)
It were seen at he'd thowt of his plan;
For t' shop-score an' t' rent war safe locked in his fist,
So he deed aat o' debt, like a man.

1. Melted. 2. Prepare. 3. Toil. 4. Mallet. 5. Our.
6. Porridge. 7. Bustled. 8. Poured. 9. Roared.
10. Afterwards, 11. Coffin.

Dean't mak gam o' me (1875)

Florence Tweddell

I went last week to Stowslay(1) Fair,
My sweetheart for to see;
She promis'd she would meet me there-
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I rigg'd misel' all i' my best,
As fine as fine could be;
An' little thowt how things would to'n(2);
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I walk'd to t' toon, an' bowt a cane,
To cut a dash, ye see;
An' how I swagger'd up an' doon!
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I thowt, if nobbut Poll would come,
How happy we sud be!
I'd treat her into t' penny show,
Bud dean't mak gam o' me :
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

At last I saw her coomin' in;
Bud what else did I see?
Jack Hodge was walkin' biv her saade!
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

Stright up I went, an' "Poll!" says I,
"I's waiting, lass, for thee!"
"Then thoo mun wait!" was all she said,
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

She teak Jack's airm, an' there I stead
Quite flabbergash'd, ye see:
I thowt I sud hav dropt to t' grund,
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

Poor Nancy Green com seaglin'(3) up,
"What's matter, Dick?" says she:
"Jack Hodge is off wi' Poll!" says I,
Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

"Why, niver maand her; let her gan ;
She's better gean!" said she:
Bud I thowt nut; an' then I cried,
Bud dean't mak gam o' me :
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I's nobbut a poor country lad
At's lost my heart, ye see:
I'll gan nea mair to t' Pomesun Fair,(4)
Sea dean't mak gam o' me :
Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

1. Stokesley. 2. Turn out. 3. Sauntering.
4. The fair held at Stokesley on the
Saturday before Palm Sunday

Coom, stop at yam to-neet Bob

Florence Tweddell

"Coom, stop at yam(1) to-neet, Bob,
Dean't gan oot onnywhere:
Thoo gets thisel t' leeast vex'd, lad,
When thou sits i' t' awd airm-chair.

"There's Keat an' Dick beath want thee
To stop an' tell a teale:
Tak little Keatie o' thy knee,
An' Dick 'll sit on t' steal.

"Let's have a happy neet, Bob,
Tell all t' teales thoo can tell;
For givin' pleeasure to the bairns
Will dea thee good thisel.

"I knaw it's sea wi' me, Bob,
For oft when I've been sad,
I've laik'd an' laugh'd wi' them, mon,
Untel my heart's felt glad.

"An' sing that laatle sang, Bob,
Thoo used to sing to me,
When oft we sat at t' river saade,
Under t' awd willow tree.

"What happy taames them was, Bob,
Thoo niver left me then
To gan to t' yal-hoose neet be neet
Amang all t' drunken men.

"I does my best for thoo, Bob,
An' thoo sud dea t' seame for me:
Just think what things thoo promised me
Asaade t' awd willow tree!"

"I prithee say nea mair, lass,
I see I ain't dean reet;
I'll think of all thoo's said to me,
An' stop at yam to-neet."

"I'll try to lead a better life-
I will, an' that thoo'll see!
Fra this taame fo'th I'll spend my neets
At yam, wi' t' bairns an' thee!"

1. Home.

Ode to t' Mooin

J. H. Eccles (1824-1883)

I like to see thy quaint owd face
Lewk softly daan on me,
E'en though I ne'er could find thy nose
Nor catch thy watchful ee.

Full monny times I've seen thee rise,
When busy day were done,
When daan behint t' owd maantain tops
Had passed t' breet evenin' sun.

I like to see thee when sweet spring
Cooms back to hill an' vale;
When odours rise through t' hawthorn bush,
An' float on t' evenin' gale.

When lovers walk on t' primrose benks,
An' whisper soft an' low;
Dreamin' just same as me an' t' wife
Did monny years ago.

I like to see thee when t' June rose
Is wet wi' fallin' dew,
When t' nightingale maks t' owd woods ring
Wi' music fresh an' new

When fairies dance on t' top o' t' flaars
An' roam through t' pleasant dells,
Like monarchs i' their marble halls,
I' t' lilies' virgin bells.

I like to see thee when t' ripe corn
Is wavin' to an' fro;
When t' squirril goes a-seekin' nuts
An' jumps thro' bough to bough.

When t' purple heather covers t' hills,
An' t' hunters, tired and worn,
Back through the fairy-haunted glens
Unto their homes return.

I like to see thee when all raand
Is white wi' drivven snow,
When t' streams are stopp'd by owd Jack Frost
An' foaks slip as they go.

I like to see thee all t' year raand,
When t' sky is fair an' breet,
An' allus hail wi' fond delight
The noble queen o' t' neet.

I used to think at I could reach
Up to thy face wi' ease,
If I had but a big long stick;
For tha were but green cheese.

But naa I've got far different thowts,
An' learnt to understand
At tha art one o' t' wondrous works
Formed by t' gert Maker's hand.

Aunt Nancy

J. H. Eccles

Aunt Nancy's one o' t' savin' sort,
At niver lets t' chonce pass;
Yet wouldn't do owt mean or low
For t' sake o' gettin' t' brass.

Her home's as clean as need be seen,
Whoiver may go in;
An' as for Nancy, dear-a-me!
Shoo's like a new-made pin.

Shoo's full o' thrift an' full o' sense,
An' full o' love beside;
Shoo rubs an' scrubs thro' morn to neet
An' maks t' owd haase her pride.

Her husband, when his wark is doon,
Sits daan i' t' owd arm chair ;
Forgets his troubles as he owt,
An' loises all his care.

Wi' pipe an' book i' t' chimley nook
Time flies on noiseless wing;
Shoo sits an' knits wi' pleasant face,
He's happy as a king.

Wi' tattlin' folks shoo's niver seen
I' alley, loin(1) or street,
But goes her way wi' modest step,
Exact an' clean an' neat.

Her neighbours soomtimes watch her aat,
An' say shoo's praad an' stiff;
But all their gossip cooms to nowt,
Aunt Nancy's reight enif.

Wi' basket oft shoo walks abroad
To some poor lonely elf;
To ivery one shoo knaws t' reight way
At's poorer nor(2) herself.

Shoo niverr speyks o' what shoo gives,
Kind, gentle-hearted sowl;
I' charity her hands find wark,
Shoo's good alike to all.

He niver tells her what he thinks,
Nor flatters nor reproves;
His life is baand wi' gowlden bands
To t' woman at he loves.

God bless her, shoo's a dimond breet,
Both good i' mind an' heart;
An angel spreeadin' light an' love,
That plays a noble part.

Shoo's worthy of a monarch's choice,
Her worth can ne'er be towld ;
Shoo cam to mak folks' hearts feel glad,
Shoo's worth her weight i' gowld.

1 Lane. 2 Than.

Coom, don on thy Bonnet an' Shawl (1867)

Thomas Blackah

Coom, don on thy bonnet an' shawl,
An' straighten thy cap an' thy hair;
I's really beginnin' to stall(1)
To see thee sit dazzin'(2) i' t' chair.

Sea coom, let us tak a walk oot,
For t' air is as warm as a bee;
I hennot(3) a morsel o' doot
It'll help beath lile Willy an' thee.

We'll gan reet throo t' Middle Toon,
As far as to Reavensgill Heead(4);
When thar, we can sit wersens doon
On t' crags close at side o' t' becksteead.

An' then, oh! hoo grand it'll be
To pass a few minutes away,
An' listen t' birds sing on each tree
Their carols for closin' the day.

An' all aboot t' green nobby hills,
T' lile daisies their beauties will show;
An' t' perfume at Flora distils
Like breath o' the mornin' will blow.

Then don on thy bonnet an' shawl,
An' coom let's be walkin' away;
I's fairly beginnin' to stall
To see thee sit dazzin' all t' day.

1 Grow tired. 2. Dozing. 3. Have not.
4. Near Pateley Bridge.

My awd hat

Thomas Blackah

I'll wear thee yet awhile, awd hat,
I'll wear thee yet awhile;
Though time an' tempest, beath combined,
Have changed thy shap an' style.
For sin we two togither met,
When thoo were nice an' new,
What ups an' doons i' t' world we've had,
Bud awlus braved 'em through.

That glossy shade o' thine, awd hat,
That glossy shade o' thine,
At graced thy youthful days is gean,
Which maks me noo repine.
Fra monny a gleam an' monny a shoor
Thoo's sheltered my awd heead;
Bud sean a smarter, tider hat
Will shelter 't i' thy steead.

Though friends have proved untrue, awd hat,
Though friends have proved untrue,
An' vanished in adversity,
Like mist or mornin' dew;
Yet when fierce storms or trials com
I fand a friend i' thee;
Sea noo, when thoo's far on, awwd hat,
Thoo 'st finnd a friend i' me.

Some nail or crook 'll be thy heame
O' t' joists, or back o' t' door;
Or, mebbe, thoo'l be bunched(1) aboot
Wi' t' barns across o' t' floor.
When t' rain an' t' wind coom peltin' through
Thy crumpled, battered croon,
I'll cut thee up for soles to wear
I' my awd slender shoon.

1. Kicked

Reeth Bartle Fair(1) (1870)

John Harland

This mworning as I went to wark,
I met Curly just coomin' heame;
He had on a new flannin sark(2)
An' he saw at I'd just gitten t' seame.
"Whar's te been?" said awd Curly to me.
"I've been down to Reeth Bartle Fair."
"Swat(3) te down, mun, sex needles,"(4) said he,
An' tell us what seets te saw there."

"Why, t' lads their best shoon had put on,
An' t' lasses donn'd all their best cwoats;
I saw five pund of Scotch wether mutton
Sell'd by Ward and Tish Tom for five grwoats.
Rowlaway had fine cottons to sell,
Butteroy lace an' handkerchers browt;
Young Tom Cwoats had a stall tuv hissel,
An' had ribbins for varra near nowt.

"Thar was Enos had good brandy-snaps,
Bill Brown as good spice as could be;
Potter Robin an' mair sike-like chaps
Had t' bonniest pots te could see.
John Ridley, an' awd Willy Walls,
An' Naylor, an' twea or three mar,
Had apples an' pears at their stalls,
An' Gardener Joe tea was thar.

"Thar was scissors an' knives an' read(5) purses,
An' plenty of awd cleathes on t' nogs,(6)
An' twea or three awd spavin'd horses,
An' plenty o' shoon an' new clogs.
Thar was plenty o' good iron pans,
An' pigs at wad fill all t' deale's hulls(7);
Thar was baskets, an skeps, an' tin cans,
An' bowls, an' wood thivles for gulls.(8)

"Thar was plenty of all maks(9) o' meat,
An' plenty of all sworts o' drink,
An' t' lasses gat monny a treat,
For t' gruvers(10) war all full o' chink.
I cowp'd(11) my black hat for a white un,
Lile Jonas had varra cheap cleath;
Jem Peacock an' Tom talk'd o' feightin',
But Gudgeon Jem Puke lick'd 'em beath.

"Thar was dancin' an' feightin' for ever,
Will Wade said at he was quite griev'd;
An' Pedlety tell'd 'em he'd never
Forgit 'em as lang as he leev'd.
They knock'd yan another about,
Just warse than a sham to be seen,
Charlie Will look'd as white as a clout,
Kit Puke gat a pair o' black een.

"I spied our awd lass in a newk,
Drinkin' shrub wi' grim Freesteane, fond lad;
I gav her a varra grow(12) leuk;
O, connies,(13) but I was just mad.
Sea I went to John Whaites's to drink,
Whar I war'd(14) twea an' seempence i' gin;
I knaw not what follow'd, but think
I paddl'd through t' muck thick an' thin.

"For to-day, when I gat out o' bed,
My cleathes were all sullied sea sar,
Our Peggy and all our fwoak said
To Reeth Fair I sud never gang mar.
But it's rake-time,(15) sea I mun away,
For my partners are all gain' to wark."
Sea I lowp'd up an bade him good day,
An' wrowt at t' Awd Gang(16) tell 't was dark."

1. The fair held at Reeth in Swaledale on
St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24.
2. Shirt. 3. Sit.
4. "Sex needles" is literally the interval of time during
which a knitter would work the loops off six needles.
5. Red. 6. Pegs. 7. Sties.
8. Sticks for stirring hasty puddings.
9. Sorts. 10. Miners. 11. Bartered. 12. Ugly.
13. Mates. 14. Spent. 15. Time for the next shift.
16. A lead mine

The Christmas Party (1876)

Tom Twistleton

When cowd December's sturdy breeze
In chimley-tops did grumble,
Or, tearing throug'h the leafless trees,
On lang dark neets did rumble,
A lot o' young folks, smart an' gay,
An' owds uns, free an' hearty,
Agreed amang thersels at they
Would have a Christmas party
At hame some neet

They kicked up sich a fuss an' spreead,
An' made sich preparations;
They baked grand tarts an' mixed their breead
Wi' spices frae all nations.
To drive away baith want an' cowd
It seem'd their inclination;
An' t' neebours round, baith young an' owd,
All gat an invitation
To gang that neet.

Smart sprigs o' spruce an' ivy green
Were frae the ceiling hinging,
An' in their midst, conspicuous seen,
The mistletoe was swinging.
The lamp shone forth as clear as day,
An' nowt was there neglected;
An' t' happy, smiling faces say,
Some company is expected
To coom this neet.

An' first com Moll wi' girt lang Jack,
A strapping, good-like fella;
An' following closely at their back
Com Bob and Isabella.
With "How's yoursel?" an' "How d'ye do?"
They sit down i' their places,
Till t' room sae big, all through an' through,
Wi' happy smiling faces
Was filled that neet.

A merrier lot than this I name
Ne'er met at onny party;
All girt grand balls they put to shame,
They were sae gay an' hearty.
Here yan had made hersel quite fine,
Wi' lace an' braid's assistance;
An' there a girt grand crinoline,
To keep t' lads at a distance,
Stood out that neet.

The lads draw up to t' fire their chairs,
An' merrily pass their jokes off;
The lasses all slip off upstairs,
To pu' their hats an' cloaks off.
Befoor a glass that hings at t' side
They all tak up their station,
An' think within theirsels wi' pride
They'll cause a girt sensation
'Mang t' lads that neet.

An' now the lusty Christmas cheer
Is browt out for t' occasion;
To pies an' tarts, an' beef an' beer,
They git an invitation.
An' some, i' tune to put it by,
Play havoc on each dainty,
Whal some there is, sae varra shy,
Scarce let theirsels have plenty
To eat that neet.

Against the host o' good things there
They wage an awful battle;
They're crying out, "A lile bit mair!"
An' plates an' glasses rattle.
Here, yan's nae time a word to pass,
Thrang(1) supping an' thrang biting;
There, simpering sits a girt soft lass
That waits for mich inviting
An' fuss that neet.

An' when this good substantial fare
Has gien 'em satisfaction,
They side(2) all t' chairs, an' stand i' pairs,
Wi' heels i' tune for action.
See-sawing, t' fiddler now begins
The best that he is able;
He rosins t' stick an' screws up t' pins
An' jumps up on to t' table,
To play that neet.

There, back an' forrad, in an' out,
His elbow it gaas silting,(3)
An' to an' fro, an' round about,
The dancers they are lilting.
Some dance wi' ease i' splendid style,
Wi' tightly-fitting togs on,
Whal others bump about all t' while,
Like drainers wit their clogs on,
Sae numb'd that neet.

An' when they've reel'd an' danc'd their fling,
Their chairs all round are ranged;
They tell droll tales, they laugh, they sing,
An' jokes are interchanged.
A merry tune t' girt kettle sings,
An' t' fire is blazing breetly ;
Wi' cheerful din t' owd farmhouse rings,
An' hours fly ower them sweetly
An' swift that neet.

T' owd women preach an' talk about
Their claes being owd an' rotten,
An' still being forc'd to speck an' clout,(4)
It's sich a price is cotton.
T' owd men sit round, wi' pipe an' glass,
In earnest conversation;
On t' ways an' means o' saving brass,
An' t' rules an' t' laws o' t' nation,
They talk that neet.

Now girt lang Jack, that lives on t' moor,
Wi' cunning an' wi' caution,
Is beckoning Moll to gang to t' door
Wi' sly mischievous motion.
Moll taks the hint, nor thinks it wrang,
Her heart that way inclining;
She says to t' rest she thinks she'll gang
To see if t' stars are shining
Out clear that neet.

Then down a field they tak a walk,
An' then they wend their way back;
To have a bit o' pleasant talk
They shelter under t' haystack.
She did not say "For shame!" not she,
Though oft-times Johnny kiss'd her;
She said she just would run an' see
If t' other folks had missed her
Frae t' room that neet.

A chap that had two watchful een,
Of which they waren't thinking,
When peeping round that neet, had seen
Long Jack at Molly winking.
Says he, "Now's t' time to have a stir,
Let's just gang out an' watch her;
We's have some famous fun wi' her,
If we can nobbut catch her
Wi' him this neet.

Then two or three, bent on a spree,
Out to the door gang thungein',(5)
But hauf a yard they scarce could see,
It was as dark as dungeon.
Jack hears their footsteps coming slow,
An' frae her side he slinks off;
Runs round t' house-end, jumps ower a wa',
An' up ower t' knee i' t' sink-trough
He splash'd that neet.

Now, ye young men, be who ye may,
That's bent on fun an' sportin',
Whare'er ye be, by neet or day,
Remember Jack's misfortin.
Though things unlook'd for on ye creep,
Don't do owt in a splutter;
But learn to look befoor ye leap,
Lest ye in some deep gutter
Stick fast some neet.

1. Busily. 2. Clear away. 3. Rising up.
4. Mend and patch. 5. Thumping.

Nelly o' Bob's

John Hartley (1839-1915)

Who is it at lives i' that cot on the lea,
Joy o' my heart an' leet o' my ee?
Who is that lass at's so dear unto me?
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it goes trippin' ower dew-spangled grass,
Singin' so sweetly? Shoo smiles as I pass,
Bonniest, rosy-cheek'd, gay-hearted lass!
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it I see i' my dreams of a neet ?
Who lovingly whispers words tender an' sweet,
Till I wakken to find shoo's nowheer i' t' seet?
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it at leads me so lively a donce,
Yet to tawk serious ne'er gies me a chonce,
An' niver replied when I begged on her once?
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it at ivery chap's hankerin' to get,
Yet tosses her heead an' flies off in a pet,
As mich as to say, "You've not getten me yet"?
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it could mak life a long summer's day,
Whose smile would drive sorrow an' trouble away,
An' mak t' hardest wark, if for her, seem like play?
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it I'll have if I've iver a wife,
An' love her, her only, to th' end o' my life,
An' nurse her i' sickness, an' guard her from strife?
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

Who is it at's promised, to-neet if it's fine,
To meet me at t' corner o' t' mistal(1) at nine?
Why, it's her at I've langed for so long to mak mine-
Nelly o' Bob's o' t' Crowtrees.

1. Cow-Shed

Bite Bigger

John Hartley

As I hurried through t' taan to my wark,
-I were lat,(1) for all t' buzzers had gooan-
I happen'd to hear a remark
At 'ud fotch tears thro' th' heart of a stooan.

It were rainin', an' snawin', an' cowd,
An' th' flagstones were cover'd wi' muck,
An' th' east wind both whistled an' howl'd,
It saanded like nowt bud ill luck.

When two little lads, donn'd(2) i' rags,
Baat(3) stockin's or shoes o' their feet,
Com trapsin' away ower t' flags,
Boath on 'em sodden'd wi' t' weet.

Th' owdest mud happen be ten,
T' young un be haulf on't, no more;
As I look'd on, I said to misen,
"God help fowk this weather at's poor!"

T' big un samm'd(4) summat off t' graand,
An' I look'd just to see what 't could be,
'T were a few wizen'd flaars he'd faand,
An' they seem'd to hae fill'd him wi' glee.

An' he said, "Coom on, Billy, may be
We sal find summat else by an' by;
An' if not, tha mun share these wi' me,
When we get to some spot wheer it's dry."

Leet-hearted, they trotted away,
An' I follow'd, 'cause t' were i' my rooad;
But I thowt I'd ne'er seen sich a day,
It wern't fit to be aat for a tooad.

Sooin t' big un agean slipp'd away,
An' samm'd summat else aat o' t' muck;
An' he cried aat, "Look here, Bill, to-day
Arn't we blest wi' a seet o' gooid luck?

"Here's a apple, an' t' mooast on it's saand,
What's rotten I'll throw into t' street.
Wern't it gooid to lig theer to be faand?
Naa boath on us can have a treat."

So he wip'd it an' rubb'd it, an' then
Said, "Billy, thee bite off a bit;
If tha hasn't been lucky thisen,
Tha sal share wi' me sich as I get."

So t' little un bate off a touch,(5)
T' other's face beam'd wi' pleasure all through,
An' he said, "Nay, tha hasn't taen mich,
Bite agean, an' bite bigger, naa do."

I waited to hear nowt no more;
Thinks I, there's a lesson for me;
Tha's a heart i' thy breast, if tha'rt poor;
T' world were richer wi' more sich as thee.

Two pence were all t' brass at I had,
An' I meant it for ale when com nooin ;
Bud I thowt, I'll go give it yond lad,
He desarves it for what he's been doin'.

So I said, "Lad, here's twopence for thee,
For thisen." An' they star'd like two geese;
Bud he said, whol t' tear stood in his ee,
"Naa, it'll just be a penny apiece."

"God bless thee! do just as tha will,
An' may better days speedily come;
Though clamm'd(6) an' hauf donn'd,(7) my lad, still
Tha'rt a deal nearer Heaven nor(8) some."

1. Late. 2. Dressed. 3. Without. 4. Picked.
5. Small piece. 6. Starved 7. Dressed 8. Than

Rollickin' Jack

John Hartley

I know a workin' lad,
His hands are hard an' rough,
His cheeks are red an' braan,
But I like him weel enough.
His ee's as breet 's a bell,
An' his curly hair is black,
An' he stands six foot in his stockin' feet,
An' his name is Rollickin' Jack.

At morn, if we should meet,
He awlus has a smile,
An' his heart is gay an' leet,
When trudgin' to his toil.
He whistles, or he sings,
Or he stops a joke to crack;
An' monny a lass at he happens to pass
Looks shyly at Rollickin' Jack.

His mother's old an' gray;
His father's deead an' gooan;
He'll niver move away
An' leave her all alooan.
Choose who(1) should be his wife,
Shoo'll mak a sad mistak,
For he's ivery inch a mother's lad,
Is this rough an' rollickin' Jack.

An' still I think sometimes
Th' old woman wants a nurse;
An' as for weddin' Jack,
Why, there's monny a lass done worse.
Of coorse it's not for me
To tell him who to tak,
But there's one I could name, if I could but for shame,
Just the lass to suit Rollickin' Jack.

1. Whoever.

Jim's Letter

James Burnley (Born 1842)

Whats this? A letter thro'(1) Jim?
God bless him! What has he to say?
Here, Lizzie, my een's gettin' dim,
Just read it, lass, reight straight away.
Tha trem'les, Liz. What is there up?
Abaat thy awn cousin tha surely can read;
His ways varry oft has made bitter my cup,
But theer--I forgive him--read on, niver heed

That's it--"as it leaves me at present "--
His father's expression to nowt!
Go on, lass, t' beginnin's so pleasant
It couldn't be mended wi' owt.
What's that? He has "sent a surprise"?
What is 't, lass? Go on! a new gaan, I'll be bun',
Or happen a nugget o' famous girt size;
Whativer it is it's t' best thing under t' sun.

Ay, lad, I dare say, "life is rough,"
For t' best on 't is nut varry smooth;
I' England it's hilly enough,
Niver name wi' them diggers uncouth.
But theer, Liz, be sharp an' let's have his surprise.
I'm capt(2) wheer tha's gotten that stammerin' cough,
Tha reads a deal better nor that when tha tries.
Good gracious! What's t' matter? Shoo's fainted reight off!

Hey! Lizzie, tha flays(3) me; coom here,
An' sit wheer tha'll get some fresh air:
Tha'rt lookin' so bad at I fear
Tha's much war(4) nor I were aware.
That's reight, lass, get tul it once more,
Just read reight to t' end on 't, an' then
We'll just tak a walk for a bit aat o' t' door,
Whol tha feels rayther more like thisen.

What! Bless us! Aar Jim gotten wed!
It is a surprise, on my word.
Who is she? That's all at he's said?
I wish then I niver had heard.
At one time I thowt happen thee he'd admire,
An' that's haa we all sud have liked it to be.
Bud, sithee! What's that, Liz, at's burnin' on t' fire?
It's t' ribbin Jim bowt thee! Ay, ay, lass, I see.

1. From. 2. Puzzled. 3. Frightenest. 4. Worse.

A Yorkshire Farmer's Address to a Schoolmaster

George Lancaster (Born 1846)

Good day to you, Misther skealmaisther,
the evenin' is desperate fine,
I thowt I wad gie ye a call aboot
that young sonnie o' mine.
I couldn't persuade him to come,
sea I left him behont(1) me at yam,(2)
Bud somehoo it's waintly(3) possess'd me
to mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.
He's a kind of a slack-back, ye knaw,
I niver could get him to work,
He scarcelins wad addle(4) his saut
wiv a ploo, or a shovel, or fork.
I've tried him agean an' agean,
bud I finnd that he's nea use at yam,
Sea me an' my missus agreed
to mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.
If I sends him to wark, why, he'll chunther(5)
an' gie me the a awfullest leaks,
He'd a deal rayther lig upo' d' sofy
wi' novels an' them soort o' beaks.
Sea I thowt a skealmaisther wad suit him,
a lowse soort o' job, do ye see,
Just to keep a few bairns oot o' mischief,
as easy as easy can be.
Of coorse you've to larn 'em to coont,
an' to figure a bit, an' to read,
An' to sharpen 'em up if they're numskulls,
wiv a lalldabber(6) ower their heead,
Bud it's as easy as easy, ye knaw,
an' I think it wad just suit oor Sam,
An' my missus, she's just o' my mind,
for she says that he's nea use at yam.
It was nobbut this mornin' I sent him
to gan an' to harrow some land,
He was boamin'(7) asleep upo' d' fauf,(8)
wiva rubbishly beak iv his hand;
I gav him a bunch(9) wi' my feat,
an' rattled him yarmin'(10) off yam.
Sea I think that I'll send him to you,
you mun mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.
He's a stiff an' a runty(1) young fellow,
I think that' he'll grow up a whopper,
He'd wallop the best lad you've got,
an' I think he wad wallop him proper;
Bud still he's a slack-back, ye knaw,
an' seein' he's nea use at yam,
I think I shall send him to you,
you mun mak a skealmaisther o' Sam.

1. Behind. 2. Home. 3 Strangely. 4.Earn.
5. Grumble. 6. Cuff. 7. Trailing along.
8. Fallow. 9. Kick. 10. Whining.

The Window on the Cliff Top (1888)

W. H. Oxley

"What! Margery, still at your window
In this blinding storm and sleet!
Why, you can't see your hand before you,
And I scarce could keep my feet.

"Why, even the coast-guards tell me
That they cannot see the sand;
And we know, thank God, that the cobles
And yawls have got to land.

"There's five are safe at Scarbro',
And one has reach'd the Tyne,
And two are in the Humber,
And one at Quay,(2) makes nine."

"Aye, aye, I'd needs be watchful,
There's niver a soul can tell,
An' happen 'twixt yan o' t' snaw-blints(3)
Yan mud catch a glimpse o' t' bell.

"I reckon nowt o' t' coast-guards!
What's folks like them to say?
There's neer a yan amang 'em
Knaws owt aboot oor bay.

"I's niver leave my winder
Whiles there's folks as has to droon;
An' it wadna be the first time
As I've help'd ta wakken t' toon.

"I isn't good for mich noo,
For my fourscore years is past;
But I's niver quit my winder,
As long as life sal last.

"'Twas us as seed them Frenchmen
As wreck'd on Speeton sands;
'Twas me as seed that schooner
As founder'd wi' all hands.

"'Twas me first spied oor cobles
Reight ower t' end o' t' Brig,
That time when all was droonded;
I tell'd 'em by there rig.(4)

"Aye, man, I's neen sae drowsy,
Don't talk o' bed to me;
I's niver quit my winder,
Whiles there's a moon to see.

"Don't talk to me o' coast-guards!
What's them to sike as me?
They hasn't got no husbands,
No childer, lost i' t' sea.

"It's nobbut them at's felt it,
As sees as I can see;
It's them as is deead already
Knaws what it is to dee.

"Ye'd niver understan' me;
God knaws, as dwells above,
There's hearts doon here, lives, broken,
What's niver lost their love.

"But better noo ye'd leave me,
I's mebbe not misen;
We fisher-folks has troubles
No quality can ken."

1. Thick-set. 2. Bridlington.
3. Snow-storms. 4. Dress.

Aar Maggie

Edmund Hatton

I believe aar Maggie's coortin',
For shoo dresses hersen so smart,
An' shoo's allus runnin' to t' window
When there's ony o' t' chaps abaat:
Shoo willent wear her owd shawl,
Bud dons a bonnet atstead,(1)
An' laps her can in her gaan
As shoo goes to t' weyvin' ,shed.

Of a neet wi' snoddened(2) hair,
An' cheeks like a summers cherry,
An' lips fair assin'(3) for kisses,
An' een so black an' so merry,
Shoo taks her knittin' to t' meadows,
An' sits in a shady newk,
An' knits while shoo sighs an' watches
Wi' a dreamy, lingerin' lewk.

Thus knittin', sighin' an' watchin',
Shoo caars(4) aat on t' soft meadow grass,
Listenin' to t' murmurin' brooklet,
An' waitin' for t' sweethear't to pass;
Shoo drops her wark i' her appron,
An' glints aat on t' settin' sun,
An' wonders if he goes a-courtin'
When his long day's wark is done.

When shoo hears t' chap's fooitsteps comin',
Shoo rises wi' modest grace;
Ay, Mag, thou sly, lovin' lassie,
For shame o' thy bashful face!
Shoo frames(5) to be goin' home'ards,
As he lilts ower t' stile,
Bud when he comes anent(6) herr,
Shoo gies him sich a smile.

Then he places his arm araand her,
An' shoo creeps cloise to his side,
An' leyns her heead on his waiscoit,
An' walks wi' an air o' pride.
Bud oh! you sud see her glances,
An' oh! you sud hear 'em kiss,
When they pairt thro' one another!
If shoo isn't coortin', who is?

1. Instead. 2. Smoothed out. 3. Asking.
4. Cowers, lies. 5. Makes pretence. 6. Beside.

Parson Drew Thro' Pudsey (1st Ed)
T' First o' t' Sooart (2nd Ed)

John Hartley

>From pp 135, 136, 75, 76 and 77 of second edition.

I heeard a funny tale last neet,
I couldn't howd frae laughin' ;
'Twere at t' Bull's Head we chonced to meet,
An' spent an haar i' chaffin'.
Some sang a song, some cracked a joke,
An' all seemed full o' larkin' ;
An' t' raam were blue wi' bacca smoke,
An' ivery ee 'd a spark in.

Long Joe at comes thro' t' Jumples Clough
Were gettin' rayther mazy,
An' Warkus Ned had supped enough
To turn their Betty crazy,
An' Bob at lives at t' Bogeggs farm,
Wi' Nan thro' t' Buttress Bottom,
Were treatin' her to summat warm-
It's just his way. Odd drot 'em!

An' Jack o' t' Slade were theer as weel,
An' Joe o' Abe's thro' Waerley,
An' Lijah off o' t' Lavver Hill
Were passin' th' ale raand rarely.
Thro' raand an' square they seemed to meet
To hear or tell a story,
But t' gem o' all I heeard last neet
Were one by Doad o' t' Glory.

He bet his booits at it were true,
An' all seemed to believe him;
Though if he lost he needn't rue,
But 't wodn't done to grieve him.
His uncle lived it Pudsey taan,
An' practised local praichin';
An' if he 're lucky, he were baan
To start a schooil for taichin'.

But he were takken vary ill,
He felt his time were comin';
They say he browt it on hissel
Wi' studyin' his summin.
He called his wife an' neighbours in
To hear his deein' sarmon,
An' telled 'em if they lived i' sin
Their lot 'd be a warm 'un.

Then, turnin' raand unto his wife,
Said, "Mal, tha knaws, owd craytur,
If I'd been blest wi' longer life
I might hae left things straighter.
Joe Sooithill owes me eighteen pence;
I lent it him last love-feast."
Says Mall, "He hasn't lost his sense,
Thank God for that at least."

"An' Ben o' t' top o' t' bank, tha knows,
We owe him one paand ten."
"Just hark," says Mally, "theer he goes,
He's ramellin' agean."
"Don't tak a bit o' notice, folk;
You see, poor thing, he's ravin'.
It cuts me up to hear sich talk;
He's spent his life i' savin'."

"An', Mally lass," he said agean,
"Tak heed o' my direction,
T' schooil owes me hauf a craan, I mean
My share o' t' last collection.
Tha'll see to that an' have what's fair,
When my poor life is past."
Says Mally, "Listen, I declare,
He's sensible at last."

He shut his een and sank to rest,
Death seldom claimed a better;
They put him by, bud what were t' best,
He sent 'em back a letter,
To tell' em all haa he'd goan on,
An' haa he gate to enter,
An' gav 'em rules to act upon
If iver they sud ventur.

Saint Peter stood wi' keys i' hand,
Says he, "What do ye want, sir,
If to go in, you understand,
Unknown to me, you can't, sir.
Pray what's your name? Where are ye thro'(3)?
Just make your business clear?",
Says he, "They call me 'Parson Drew,'
I've come thro' Pudsey here."

"Ye've come thro' Pudsey, do ye say?
Don't try sich jokes on me, sir;
I've kept these doors too long a day,
I can't be fooled by thee, sir."
Says Drew; "I wodn't tell a lie
For t' sake o' all there's in it,
If ye've a map o' England by,
I'll show you in a minute."

So Peter gate a time-table,
They gloor'd(4) ower t' map together,
An' Drew did all at he were able,
But couldn't find it either.
At last says he, "There's Leeds Taan Hall,
An' there stands Bradford's Mission;
It's just between them two--that's all,
Your map's an old edition.

"Bud theer it is--I'll lay a craan;--
An' if ye've niver knawn it,
Ye've miss'd a bonny Yorkshire taan,
Though monny be at scorn it."
He oppen'd t' gate; says he, "It's time
Somebody coom--I'll trust thee;--
Tha'll find inside no friends o' thine,
Tha'rt first at's coom thro' Pudsey."

1. Makes pretence. 2. Beside.
3. From. 4. Stared.

Pateley Reaces 1874


>From The Nidderdill Olminao, 1875,
edited by "Nattie Nidds" (Pateley Bridge).

Attention all, baith great an' small,
An' doan't screw up your feaces;
While I rehearse i' simple verse,
A count o' Pateley Reaces.

Fra all ower moors they com by scores
Girt skelpin'(1) lads an' lasses;
An' cats an' dogs, an' coos an' hogs,
An' horses, mules an' asses.

Awd foaks were thar, fra near an' far,
At couldn't fairly hopple;
An' laffin' brats, as wild as cats,
Ower heeads an' heels did topple.

The Darley lads arrived i' squads,
Wi' smiles all ower their feaces;
An' Hartwith youths, wi' screwed-up mooths,
In wonder watched the reaces.

Fra Menwith Hill, and Folly Gill,
Thorngat, an' Deacon Paster,
Fra Thruscross Green, an' t' Heets Were seen
Croods coomin' thick an' faster.

'Tween Bardin Brigg and Threshfield Rig
Awd Wharfedeale gat a thinnin';
An' Ger'ston plods(2) laid heavy odds
On Creaven Lass for winnin'.

Sich lots were seen o' Hebdin Green,
Ready sean on i' t' mornin',
While Aptrick chaps, i' carts and traps,
Were off to Pateley spornin'.(3)

All Greenho Hill, past Coddstone's kill,(4)
Com toltherin'(5) an' singin',
Harcastle coves, like sheep i' droves,
Awd Palmer Simp were bringin'.

Baith short an' tall, past Gowthit Hall,
Tup dealers kept on steerin',
For ne'er before, roond Middles Moor,
Had there been sich a clearin'.

All kinds and sorts o' games an' sports,
Had Pateley chaps provided,
An' weel did t' few their business do
At ower 'em all persided.

'T'wad tak a swell a munth to tell
All t' ins an' t' oots o' t' reaces,
Hoo far they ran, which horses wan,
An' which were back'd for pleaces.

Awd Billy Broon lost hauf a croon
Wi' Taty-Hawker backin',
For Green Crag flew, ower t' hurdles true,
An' wan t' match like a stockin'.

An' Creaven Lass won lots o' brass,
Besides delightin' t' Brockils,
An' Eva danc'd, an' rear'd and pranc'd;
An gif(6) she stood o' cockles.

But t' donkey reace were star o' t' pleace,
For awd an' young observers;
'Twad meade a nun fra t' convent run
An' ne'er again be nervous.

Tom Hemp fra t' Stean cried oot, "Weel dean,"
An' t' wife began o' chaffin';
Whal Kirby Jack stack up his back,
An' nearly brast wi' laffin'.

Sly Wilsill Bin, fra een to chin,
Were plaister'd up wi' toffy,
An' lang-leg Jane, he browt frae t' Plain,
Full bent on winnin' t' coffee.

Young pronsy(7) flirts, i' drabbl'd skirts,
Like painted peeacocks stritches(8);
While girt chignons like milkin'-cans
On their top-garrits perches.

Fat Sal fra' t' Knott scarce gat to t' spot,
Afore she lost her bustle,
Which sad mishap quite spoil'd her shap,
An' meade her itch an' hustle.

Lile pug-nosed Nell, fra Kettlewell,
Com in her Dolly Vardin,
All frill'd an' starch'd she proodly march'd
Wi' squintin' Joe fra Bardin.

Tha're cuffs an' falls, tunics an' shawls,
An' fancy pollaneeses,
All sham displays, ower tatter'd stays,
An' hard-worn ragg'd chemises.

Tha're mushroom fops, fra' fields an' shops,
Fine cigarettes were sookin',
An' lots o' youths, wi' beardless mooths,
All kinds o' pipes were smookin'.

An' when at last the sports were past,
All heamward turn'd their feaces;
To ne'er relent at e'er they spent
A day wi' Pateley Reaces.

1. Huge 2. Grassington labourers.
3. Spurring. 4. Kiln. 5. Hobbling.
6. If 7. Over-dressed. 8. Strut about.

Play Cricket (1909)

Ben Turner

Whativer task you tackle, lads,
Whativer job you do,
I' all your ways,
I' all your days,
Be honest through an' through:
Play cricket.

If claads oppress you wi' their gloom,
An' t' sun seems lost to view,
Don't fret an' whine,
Ask t' sun to shine,
An' don't o' livin' rue:
Play cricket.

If you're i' debt, don't growl an' grunt,
An' wish' at others had
T' same want o' luck;
But show more pluck,
An' ne'er mak others sad:
Play cricket.

If in your days there's chonce to do
Good deeds, then reight an' fair,
Don't hesitate,
An' wait too late,
An' say you'n(1) done your share:
Play cricket.

We've all a row to hoe, that's true,
Let's do it best we can;
It's nobbut once
We have the chonce
To play on earth the man:
Play cricket.

1. You have.

The File-cutter's Lament to Liberty (1910)

E. Downing

Nay, I'm moithered,(1) fairly maddled,(2)
What's a "nicker-peck"(3) to do?
My owd brain's a egg that's addled,
Tryin' to see this matter through.

Here's a strappin' young inspector--
Dacent lad he is, an' all--
Says all things mun be correct, or
I shall have to climb the pole.

Says as all my bonny pigeons
As I keep wi' me i' t' shop,
Mun be ta'en to other regions;
Here the law wain't ler 'em stop.

Says as how my little terrier
Mun foind kennellin' elsewheer.
I expect awst(4) have to bury 'er;
Shoo'll rest nowheer else bur(5) here.

Says as I mun wear a appron
Throo my shoulder to my knee;
An' (naa, listen! this puts t' capper on)
Says how cleanly it mun be.

Each ten men mun have a basin,
Fastened, mark you, fixed and sure,
For to wesh ther hands and face in;
Not to throw it aat o' door.

There's to be two ventilators,
In good order and repair;
Us at's short o' beef an' taters,
Has to fatten on fresh air.

Each shop floor mun be substantial-
Concrete, pavement, wood, or brick-
So that water from the branch'll
Keep the dust from lyin' thick.

An' for iv'ry bloomin' stiddie(6)
There's so many cubic feet,
We'st(7) ha' room to play at hiddie(8)
Us at isn't aat i' t' street.

Eh, I can't tell hauf o' t' tottle(9)
Of these Regulations steep;
I expect a suckin'-bottle
Will be t' next we have to keep.

Eh! I know, mun! who knows better?
It's for t' good of all, is this.
Iv'rybody's teed to t' letter,
'Cause o' t' few at's done amiss.

Eytin' leead-dust brings leead-colic,
Sure as mornin' brings the day.
Does te think at iver I'll lick
Thumb and fingers' dirt away?

Well, good-bye, my good owd beauty--
Liberty, naa left to few!
Since the common-weal's my duty,
Dear owd Liberty--adieu!

1. Perplexed. 2. Bewildered. 3. File-cutter.
4. I shall. 5. But. 6. Stithy
7. We shall. 8. Hide and seek. 9. Total.

A Kuss (1912)

John Malham-Dembleby

Ye may bring me gowd bi t' bowlful,
Gie me lands bi t' mile,
Fling me dewy roses,
Stoor(1) set on my smile.
Ye may caar(2) ye daan afoor me,
Castles for me build,
Twine me laurel garlands,
Let sweet song be trilled.
Ye may let my meyt be honey,
Let my sup be wine,
Gie me haands an' hosses,
Gie me sheep an' kine.
Yit one flaid(3) kuss fra her would gie
Sweeter bliss to me
Nor owt at ye could finnd to name,
Late(4) ye through sea tul sea.

I've seen her hair gleam gowden
In t' Kersmas yollow sun,
An' ivery inch o' graand she treeads
Belang her sure it mun.
Her smile is sweet as roses,
An' sweeter far to me,
An' praad she hods her heead up,
As lass o' heigh degree.
Bonnie are green laurel leaves,
I'd sooiner my braa feel
T' laughin' lips o' t' lass I love,
Though bays be varry weel.

I'm varry fond o' singin',
What bonnier could be
Nor my fair lass hersen agate(5)
A-singin' love to me?
It's reight to live on spice an' sich,
An' sup a warmin' glass,
But sweet-stuff's walsh,(6) an' wine is cowd,
Aside my lovely lass.
Tak ye your haands an' hosses,
Tak ye your sheep an' kine;
To finnd my lass ower t' hills I'll ride,
She sal be iver mine.

1. Value. 2. Cower. 3. Trembling.
4. Search. 5. Busy. 6. Insipid.

Huntin' Song

Richard Blakeborough

It's neet an' naa we're here, lads,
We're in for gooid cheer, lads;
Yorkshiremen we all on us are,
Yorkshiremen for better or war(1);
We're tykes an' we're ghast(2) uns,
We're paid uns an' fast uns,
Awther for better or awther for war!

All t' lot

Then shaat till ye've gor hooast,(3) lads,
Sing, Yorkshiremen, wer tooast, lads,
Wer king, wer heeath, wer haands, lads,
Wer hooam, wer hearth, wer baans,(4) lads."

There's some at nooan are here, lads,
Forger em we sal ne'er, lads;
Yorkshiremen they all on 'em war,
Yorkshiremen yit all on 'em are.
There's thrang(5) uns an' looan(6) uns,
There's wick uns an' gooan uns,
They're all reight somewheer, an' we 'st be no war!

All t' lot

Then shaat till ye've gor hooast, lads,
Sing, "Yorkshiremen, wer tooast, lads,
Wer king, wer heeath, wer haands, lads,
Wer hooam, wer hearth, wer baans, lads."

1. Worse. 2. Spirited. 3. Got hoarse.
4. Children. 5. Busy. 6. Lonely

Spring (1914)

F. J. Newboult

Owd Winter gat notice to quit,
'Cause he'd made sich a pigsty o' t' place,
An' Summer leuked raand when he'd flit,
An' she says, I"t's a daanreyt disgrace!
Sich-like ways!
I niver did see sich a haase to come intul
i' all my born days!

But Spring says, "It's my job, is this,
I'll sooin put things streyt, niver fear.
Ye go off to t' Spaws a bit, Miss,
An' leave me to fettle up here!"
An' sitha!
Shoo's donned a owd appron, an' tucked up her sleaves,
an' set to, with a witha!

Tha can tell, when t' hail pelts tha like mad,
At them floors bides a bit of a scrub;
Tha knaws t' flegstuns mun ha' been bad,
When she teems(1) aat all t' wotter i' t' tub.
Mind thy eyes!
When shoo gets hod o' t' long brush an' sweeps aat them chamers,
I'll tell tha, t' dust flies!

Whol shoo's threng(2) tha'll be best aat o' t' gate(3):
Shoo'll care nowt for soft tawk an' kisses.
To tell her thy mind, tha mun wait
Whol shoo's getten things ready for t' missis.
When shoo's done,
Shoo'll doff her owd appron, an' slip aat i' t' garden,
an' call tha to come.

Aye, Summer is t' roses' awn queen,
An' shoo sits i' her state, grandly dressed;
But Spring's twice as bonny agean,
When shoo's donned hersen up i' her best
Gaan o' green,
An' stands all i' a glow,- wi' a smile on her lips
an' a leet i' her een.

To t' tips of her fingers shoo's wick.(4)
Tha can see t' pulses beat i' her braa.
Tha can feel her soft breath comin' quick,
An' it thrills tha-tha duzn't knaw haa.
When ye part,
Them daffydaandillies shoo's kissed an' then gi'en
tha--they'll bloom i' thy heart!

1. Pours. 2. Busy. 3 Way. 4. Alive.

Heam, Sweet Heam (1914)

A. C. Watson

When oft at neet I wanders heame
To cosy cot an' busy deame,
My hardest day's wark seems but leet,
When I can get back heame at neet,
My wife an' bairns to sit besaade,
Aroond my awn bit firesaade.
What comfort there's i' steep(1) for me,
A laatle prattler on my knee!
What tales I have to listen tea!
But just at fost there's sike to-dea
As niver was. Each laatle dot
Can fain agree for t' fav'rite spot.
Sike problems they can set for me
'T wad puzzle waaser heeads mebbe.
An' questions hawf a scoor they ask,
To answer' em wad prove a task;
For laatle thowts stray far away
To things mysterious, oot o' t' way.
An' then sike toffer(2) they torn oot,
An' pratty lips begin to poot,
If iverything's nut stowed away
To cumulate frae day to day.
Sike treasures they could niver spare,
But gether mair an' mair an' mair
In ivery pocket. I've nea doot
They've things they think the wo'ld aboot.
An' when their bed-taame's drawin' nigh,
Wi' heavy heead an' sleepy eye,
It's vary laatle din they mak,
But slyly try a nap to tak.
An' when on t' lats(3) they've gone aboon,
I fills my pipe an' sattles do on
To have a comfortable smewk.
An' then at t' news I has a lewk;
Or hods a bit o' talk wi' t' wife,
The praade an' comfort o' my life.
Cawd winds may blaw, an' snaw-flakes flee,
An' neets may be beath lang an' dree,
Or it may rain an' rain agean,
Sea lang as I've my day's wark dean,
I wadn't swap my humble heame
For bigger hoose or finer neame.
If all could as contented be,
There'd be mair joy an' less mis'ry.

1. In store. 2. Odds and ends. 3. Laths.

Then an' Nae

E. A. Lodge

Privately printed by Mr. E. A. Lodge in a volume entitled
Odds an' Ends (n. d.).

When I were but a striplin'
An' bare a scoor year owd,
I thowt I'd gotten brains enew
To fill all t' yeds(1) i' t' fowd.

I used to roor wi' laffin'
At t' sharpness o' my wit,
An' a joke I made one Kersmiss
Threw my nuncle in a fit.

I used to think my mother
Were a hundred year behund;
An' my father--well, my father
Nobbut fourteen aence to t' pund.

An' I often turned it ovver,
But I ne'er could fairly see
Yaeiver(2) sich owd cronies
Could hae bred a chap like me.

An' whene'er they went to t' market,
I put my fillin's in;
Whol my father used to stop me
Wi' "Prithee, hold thy din.

"Does ta think we're nobbut childer,
Wi' as little sense as thee?
When thy advice is wanted,
We'st axe thee, does ta see."

But they gate it, wilta, shalta,
An' I did my levil best
To change their flee-blown notions,
Whol their yeds were laid to t' west.

This happened thirty year sin;
Nae I've childer o' my own,
At's gotten t' cheek to tell me
At I'm a bit flee-blown.

1. Heads. 2. However.

Owd England

>From Tykes Abrooad (W. Nicholson, Wakefield, 1911).

Walter Hampson.

Tha'rt welcome, thrice welcome, Owd England;
It maks my een sparkle wi' glee,
An' does mi heart gooid to behold thee,
For I know tha's a welcome for me.
Let others recaant all thi failin's,
Let traitors upbraid as they will,
I know at thy virtues are many,
An' my heart's beeatin' true to thee still.

There's a gladness i' t' sky at bends ower thee,
There's a sweetness i' t' green o' thy grass,
There's a glory i' t' waves at embrace thee,
An' thy beauty there's naan can surpass.
Thy childer enrich iv'ry valley,
An' add beauty to iv'ry glen,
For tha's mothered a race o' fair women,
An' true-hearted, practical men.

There's one little spot up i' Yorkshire,
It's net mich to crack on at t' best,
But to me it's a kingdom most lovely,
An' it holds t' warmest place i' my breast.
Compared wi' that kingdom, all others
Are worthless as bubbles o' fooam,
For one thing my rovin' has towt me,
An' that is, there's no place like hooam.

I know there'll be one theer to greet me
At's proved faithful through many dark days,
An' little feet runnin' to meet me,
An' een at(1) howd love i' their gaze.
An' there's neighbours both hooamly an' kindly,
An' mates at are wor'thy to trust,
An' friends my adversity's tested,
At proved to be generous an' just.

An' net far away there's green valleys,
An' greeat craggy, towerin' hills,
An' breezes at mingle their sweetness
Wi' t' music o' sparklin' rills;
An' meadows all decked wi' wild-flaars,
An' hedges wi' blossom all white,
An' a blue sky wheer t' skylark is singin',
Just to mak known his joy an' delight.

Aye, England, Owd England! I love thee
Wi' a love at each day grows more strong;
In my heart tha sinks deeper an' deeper,
As year after year rolls along;
An' spite o' thy faults an' thy follies,
Whativer thy fortune may be,
I' storm or i' sunshine, i' weal or i' woe,
Tha'll allus be lovely to me.

May thy sons an' thy dowters live happy,
An' niver know t' woes o' distress;
May thy friends be for iver increeasin',
An' thy enemies each day grow less.
May tha niver let selfish ambition
Dishonour or tarnish thy swoord,
But use it alooan agean despots
Whether reignin' at hooam or abrooad.

1. That.

Love and Pie

J. A. Carill

>From Woz'ls Humorous Sketches and Rhymes in the East
Yorkshire Dialect (n. d.).

Whin I gor hoired et Beacon Farm a year last Martinmas,
I fund we'd gor a vory bonny soort o' kitchen lass;
And so I tell'd her plooin' made me hungry--thot was why
I awlus was a laatle sthrong on pudden and on pie.
And efther thot I thowt the pie was, mebbe, middlin' large,
And so I ate it for her sake--theer wasn't onny charge;
Until it seems t' missus asked her rayther sharply why
She awlus used t' biggest dish for pudden and for pie.

I wasn't mich of use, ye knaw, et this here fancy talkin',
She had no chance o' goin' oot for armin' it and walkin'.
But thin I knawed I gor her love whin I could see t' pies;
I knawed her thowts o' me were big by bigness o' their size.
The pies and gell I thowt thot geed,(1) they hardlins could be beaten,
She knawed I'd awlus thowts on her by way t' pies were eaten;
Until it seems t' missus asked her rayther sharply why
She awlus used t' biggest dish for pudden and for pie.

Noo just thoo wait a bit and see; I'm only thod-lad(2) noo,

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