Yorkshire Ditties, First Series eBook

John Hartley (poet)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Yorkshire Ditties, First Series.

Uncle Ben

A gradely chap wor uncle Ben
   As iver lived ith’ fowd: 
He made a fortun for hissen,
   An’ lived on’t when he’r owd. 
His yed wor like a snow drift,
   An’ his face wor red an’ breet,
An’ his heart wor like a feather,
   For he did the thing ’at’s reet.

He wore th’ same suit o’ fustian clooas
   He’d worn sin aw wor bred;
An’ th’ same owd booits, wi’ cappel’d tooas,
   An’ th’ same hat for his yed;
His cot wor lowly, yet he’d sing
   Throo braik o’ day till neet;
His conscience niver felt a sting,
   For he did the thing ’at’s reet.

He wod’nt swap his humble state
   Wi’ th’ grandest fowk i’ th’ land;
He niver wanted silver plate,
   Nor owt ’at’s rich and grand;
He did’nt sleep wi’ curtained silk
   Drawn raand him ov a neet,
But he slept noa war for th’ want o’ that,
   For he’d done the thing ’at’s reet.

Owd fowk called him “awr Benny,”
   Young fowk, “mi uncle Ben,”—­
An’ th’ childer, “gronfather,” or “dad,”
   Or what best pleased thersen. 
A gleam o’ joy coom o’er his face
   When he heeard ther patterin feet,
For he loved to laik wi’ th’ little bairns
   An’ he did the thing ’at’s reet.

He niver turned poor fowk away
   Uncared for throo his door;
He ne’er forgate ther wor a day
   When he hissen wor poor;
An’ mony a face has turned to Heaven,
   All glistenin wi’ weet,
An’ prayed for blessins on owd Ben,
   For he did th’ thing ’at’s reet.

He knew his lease wor ommost spent,
   He’d sooin be called away;
Yet he wor happy an’ content,
   An’ waited th’ comin day;
But one dark neet he shut his e’en,
   An’ slept soa calm an’ sweet,
when mornin coom, th’ world held one less,
   ’At did the thing ’at’s reet.

The New Year’s Resolve

Says Dick, “ther’s a’ notion sprung up i’ mi yed,
   For th’ furst time i’ th’ whole coorse o’ mi life,
An’ aw’ve takken a fancy aw’st like to be wed,
   If aw knew who to get for a wife.

Aw dooant want a woman wi’ beauty, nor brass,
   For aw’ve nawther to booast on misel;
What aw want is a warm-hearted, hard-workin’ lass,
   An’ ther’s lots to be fun, aw’ve heeard tell.

To be single is all weel enuf nah an’ then,
   But it’s awk’ard when th’ weshin’ day comes;
For aw nivver think sooapsuds agree weel wi’ men;
   They turn all mi ten fingers to thumbs.

An’ awm sure it’s a fact, long afoor aw get done,
   Aw’m slopt throo mi waist to mi fit;
An’ th’ floor’s in’ a pond, as if th’ peggy-tub run,
   An’ mi back warks as if it ’ud split.

Aw fancied aw’st manage at breead-bakin’ best;
   Soa one day aw bethowt me to try,
But aw gate soa flustered, aw ne’er thowt o’th’ yeast,
   Soa aw mud as weel offered to fly.

Project Gutenberg
Yorkshire Ditties, First Series from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.