Marra To Bonney

A poem by Frederic William Moorman

What would you do wi' a doughter--
Pray wi' her, bensil(1) her, flout her?--
Say, what would you do wi' a daughter
That's marra to Bonney(2) hissen?

I prayed wi' her first, of a Sunday,
When chapil was lowsin' for t' neet;
An' I laid all her cockaloft marlocks(3)
'Fore th' Almighty's mercy-seat.
When I looked for her tears o' repentance,
I jaloused(4) that I saw her laugh;
An' she said that t' Powers o' Justice
Would scatter my words like chaff.

Then I bensilled her hard in her cham'er,
As I bensils owd Neddy i' t' cart.
If prayers willent teach thee, my dolly,
Happen whip-stock will mak thy tears start.
But she stood there as chuff as a mawmet,(5)
Not one chunt'rin(6) word did she say:
But she hoped that t' blooid o' t' martyrs
Would waish all my sins away.

Then I thought, mebbe floutin' will mend her;
So I watched while she cam out o' t' mill,
And afore all yon Wyke lads an' lasses
I fleered at her reight up our hill.
She winced when she heeard all their girnin',
Then she whispered, a sob i' her throat:
"I reckon I'll noan think o' weddin'
While women are given their vote."

What would you do wi' a doughter--
Pray wi' her, bensil her, flout her?--
Say, what would you do wi' a daughter
That's marra to Bonney hissen?

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