Aw did mak a dumplin’, but a’a! dear a
Abaght that lot aw hardly dar think;
Aw ne’er fan th’ mistak’ till aw missed th’ sooap, yo see,
An’ saw th’ suet i’th’ sooap-box o’th’ sink.
But a new-year’s just startin’, an’
soa aw declare
Aw’ll be wed if a wife’s to be had;
For mi clooas is soa ragg’d woll aw’m ommost hauf bare,
An’ thease mullucks, they’re drivin’ me mad.
Soa, if yo should know, or should chonce to hear tell,
Ov a lass ’at to wed is inclined,
Talegraft me at once, an’ aw’ll see her misel
Afoor shoo can alter her mind.”
It was an humble cottage,
Snug in a rustic lane,
Geraniums and fuschias peep’d
From every window-pane;
The dark-leaved ivy dressed its walls,
Houseleek adorned the thatch;
The door was standing open wide,
They had no need of latch.
And close besides the corner
There stood an old stone well,
Which caught a mimic waterfall,
That warbled as it fell.
The cat, crouched on the well-worn steps,
Was blinking in the sun;
The birds sang out a welcome
To the morning just begun.
An air of peace and happiness
Pervaded all the scene;
The tall trees formed a back ground
Of rich and varied green;
And all was steeped in quietness,
Save nature’s music wild,
When all at once, methought I heard
The sobbing of a child.—
I listened, and the sound again
Smote clearly on my ear:
“Can there,”—I wondering asked myself—
“Can there be sorrow here?”—
I looked within, and on the floor
Was sat a little boy,
Striving to soothe his sister’s grief
By giving her a toy.
“Why weeps your sister thus?” I asked;
“What is her cause of grief?
Come tell me, little man,” I said,
“Come tell me, and be brief.”
Clasping his sister closer still,
He kissed her tear-stained face,
And thus, in homely Yorkshire phrase,
He told their mournful case.
“Mi mammy, sir, shoos liggin thear,
I’ th’ shut-up bed i’ th’ nook;
An’ tho aw’ve tried to wakken her,
Shoo’ll nawther spaik nor look.
Mi sissy wants her poridge,
An’ its time shoo had em too,
But th’ foir’s gooan aght an’ th’ mail’s all done—
Aw dooant know what to do.
An’ O, my mammy’s varry cold—
Just come an’ touch her arm:
Aw’ve done mi best to hap her up,
But connot mak her warm.
Mi daddy he once fell asleep,
An’ niver wakken’d moor:
Aw saw ’em put him in a box,
An’ tak him aght o’ th’ door.
He niver comes to see us nah,
As once he used to do,
An’ let’mi ride upon his back—
Me, an’ mi sissy too.