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John Hartley (poet)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about Yorkshire Ditties, First Series.
difference i’th way they spend it.  I’ th’ country they all sit raand th’ fire wi’ their parkin an’ milk’ or else rooasted puttaties, an’ they tell tales, an’ they laf an’ talk till they’ve varry near burned ther shoo toas off, an’ getten soa starved o’ ther back ’at they willn’t be shut ov a cold for a month; but i’th’ taan there’s allus th’ mooast to do i’th’ public haases.  Aw think aw shall niver forget a marlock we had th’ last plot.  It wor in a public haase somewhere between “Spice Cake-loin” an’ Whiskum Dandy; ther wor a raam full o’ fowk, an’ aw nooatised ’at iverybody’s pockets wor swelled aat, an’ thinks aw, aw shouldn’t be capp’d if ther wor a dust here in a while.  They just wanted somdy to start.  In a bit one on ’em gate up to goa aat, an’ th’ landlord (he’d a cork leg) drop’d a cracker into his pocket.  He hadn’t gooan far when bang it went; he turns back an’ leets abaat two dozzen an’ sends ’em in to th’ middle o’th’ raam.  “Nah, lads! for God’s sake show a bit o’ sense,” says th’ landlord, “dooant begin sich like wark as that i’ this raam, nah dooant.”  He mud as weel ha’ just whistled jigs to a mile-stoop; aat coom iverybody’s stock, an’ i’ less nor hauf a minit ther wor sich a hullabaloo i’ that shop as aw niver heeared afoor.  To mak matters war, somdy had shut th’ door an’ fesened it, an’ th’ place wor full o’ rick, an iverybody ommost chooak’d.  Aw gate under th’ seat, an’ in a bit somdy smashes th’ window an’ bawls aat “fire! fire!” I’ two or three minits ther coom a stream o’ watter into th’ raam as thick as my shackle, an’ smash went th’ chandilleer.  Th’ landlord wor mad ommost—­lukkin glasses an’ picters went one after tother, an’ aw faand aat ‘as aw couldn’t swim, aw should ha’ to shift, or else aw should be draaned.  Some kind soul managed to braik th’ door daan an’ we gate aat, but aw could hear th’ landlord yelling aat ’at sombdy had stown his cork leg.  Ha’ they went on aw dooant know, for aw steered straight hooam.  At abaat six o’clock th’ next morning, as aw went to my wark, aw saw a cork leg with a varry good booit on it, hangin’ to a gas lamp, an aw wonder’d whose it wor.

Th’ Last Month

Th’ last month o’ th’ year; an’ ther’s summat rayther sorrowful abaat th’ last o’ owt, exceptin’ trouble; an’ still to me ther’s allus summat varry interestin’ abaat owt at’s “th’ last.”  Aw’ve watched men when they’ve been buildin’ a long chimley, but aw’ve niver felt mich interest till it’s come th’ time for ’em to put on th’ last stooan; they’ve labored day by day, riskin boath life an’ limb, an’ still aw’ve felt varry little anxiety; but it’s just th’ fact on it bein’ th’ last stooan; an’ aw’ve hardly been able to tak my een off it till it’s been finished an’ th’ last man’s come safe daan.  But still it’s a sorrowful saandin’ word is “last.”  Th’ last farewell—­th’ last look—­th’ last breath—­an’ th’ last restin, place; it sets fowk thinkin what there’ll be after “th’ last.” 

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