Th’ Little Black Hand
Ther’s a spark just o’th tip o’
An’ it may be poetical fire;
An’ suppoase ’at it is’nt—what then?
Wod yo bawk a chap ov his desire?
Aw’m detarmined to scribble away—
Soa’s them ’at’s a fancy con read;
An’ tho aw turn neet into day,
If aw’m suitin an odd en, neer heed!
Aw own ther’s mich pleasure i’ life;
But then ther’s abundance o’ care,
An’ them ‘at’s contented wi’ strife
May allus mak sure o’ ther share.
But aw’ll laff woll mi galluses braik,
Tho mi bed’s net as soft as spun silk;
An’ if butter be aght o’ mi raik,
Aw’ll ma’ th’ best ov a drop o’ churn milk.
It’s nooan them ‘at’s getten all
‘At’s getten all th’ pleasure, net it!
When aw’m smookin a pipe wi’ th’ owd lass,
Aw con thoil ’em whativer they get.
But sometimes when aw’m walkin throo th’
An’ aw see fowk hauf-clam’d, an’ i’ rags,
Wi noa bed to lig daan on at neet
But i’th’ warkus, or th’ cold-lukkin flags;
Then aw think, if rich fowk nobbut’ knew
What ther brothers i’ poverty feel,
They’d a trifle moor charity show,
An’ help ’em sometimes to a meal.
But we’re all far too fond of ussen,
To bother wi’ things aght o’th’ seet;
An’ we leeav to ther fate sich as them
‘At’s noa bed nor noa supper’ at neet.
But ther’s mony a honest heart throbs,
Tho’ it throbs under rags an’ i’ pains,
‘At wod’nt disgrace one o’th’ nobs,
’At booasts better blooid in his veins.
See that child thear! ’at’s working away,
An’ sweepin that crossin i’th’ street:
He’s been thear iver sin it coom day,
An’ yo’ll find him thear far into th’ neet.
See what hundreds goa thowtlessly by,
An’ ne’er think o’ that child wi’ his broom!
What care they tho’ he smothered a sigh,
Or wiped off a tear as they coom.
But luk! thear’s a man wi’ a heart!
He’s gien th’ poor child summat at last:
Ha his een seem to twinkle an’ start,
As he watches th’ kind gentleman past!
An’ thear in his little black hand
He sees a gold sovereign shine!
He thinks he ne’er saw owt soa grand,
An’ he says, “Sure it connot be mine!”
An’ all th’ lads cluther raand him i’
An’ tell him to cut aght o’th seet;
But he clutches it fast,—an’ nah see
Ha he’s threedin his way along th’ street,
Till he comes to that varry same man,
An’ he touches him gently o’th’ back,
An’ he tells him as weel as he can,
’At he fancies he’s made a mistak.
An’ th’ chap luks at that poor honest
With his little naked feet, as he stands,
An’ his heart oppens wide—he’s soa glad
Woll he taks one o’th little black hands,
An’ he begs him to tell him his name:
But th’ child glances timidly raand—
Poor craytur! he connot forshame
To lift up his een off o’th graand.