Bite Bigger.

A poem by John Hartley

As aw hurried throo th' taan to mi wark,
(Aw wur lat, for all th' whistles had gooan,)
Aw happen'd to hear a remark,
At ud fotch tears throo th' heart ov a stooan. -
It wur raanin, an snawin, an cowd,
An th' flagstoans wur covered wi muck,
An th' east wind booath whistled an howl'd,
It saanded like nowt but ill luck;
When two little lads, donn'd i' rags,
Baght stockins or shoes o' ther feet,
Coom trapesin away ower th' flags,
Booath on em sodden'd wi th' weet. -
Th' owdest mud happen be ten,
Th' young en be hauf on't, - noa moor;
As aw luk'd on, aw sed to misen,
God help fowk this weather at's poor!
Th' big en sam'd summat off th' graand,
An aw luk'd just to see what 't could be;
'Twur a few wizend flaars he'd faand,
An they seem'd to ha fill'd him wi glee:
An he sed, "Come on, Billy, may be
We shall find summat else by an by,
An if net, tha mun share thease wi me
When we get to some spot where its dry."
Leet-hearted they trotted away,
An aw follow'd, coss 'twur i' mi rooad;
But aw thowt awd ne'er seen sich a day -
It worn't fit ta be aght for a tooad.
Sooin th' big en agean slipt away,
An sam'd summat else aght o'th' muck,
An he cried aght, "Luk here, Bill! to-day
Arn't we blest wi' a seet o' gooid luck?
Here's a apple! an th' mooast on it's saand:
What's rotten aw'll throw into th' street -
Worn't it gooid to ligg thear to be faand?
Nah booath on us con have a treat."
Soa he wiped it, an rubb'd it, an then
Sed, "Billy, thee bite off a bit;
If tha hasn't been lucky thisen
Tha shall share wi me sich as aw get."
Soa th' little en bate off a touch,
T'other's face beemed wi pleasur all throo,
An' he sed, "Nay, tha hasn't taen much,
Bite agean, an bite bigger; nah do!"

Aw waited to hear nowt noa moor, -
Thinks aw, thear's a lesson for me!
Tha's a heart i' thi breast, if tha'rt poor:
Th' world wur richer wi' moor sich as thee!
Tuppince wur all th' brass aw had,
An awd ment it for ale when coom nooin,
But aw thowt aw'll goa give it yond lad,
He desarves it for what he's been dooin.
Soa aw sed, "Lad, here's tuppince for thee,
For thi sen," - an they stared like two geese;
But he sed, woll th' tear stood in his e'e,
"Nay, it'll just be a penny a piece."
"God bless thi! do just as tha will,
An may better days speedily come;
Tho clam'd, an hauf donn'd, mi lad, still
Tha'rt a deal nearer Heaven nur some."

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