Briggate at Setterdy Neet.

A poem by John Hartley

Sin Leeds wor a city it puts on grand airs,
An aw've noa wish to bother wi' others' affairs;
'At they've mich to be praad on aw freely admit,
But aw think thier's some things they mud alter a bit.
They've raised some fine buildings 'at's worth lookin at, -
They're a credit to th' city, thers noa daat o' that;
But ther's nowt strikes a stranger soa mich as a seet
O'th' craad 'at's i' Briggate at Setterdy neet.

Aw've travelled a bit i' booath cities an taans,
An aw've oft seen big craads when they've stept aght o' baands; -
Well, - excitement sometimes will lead fowk astray,
When they dooant meean owt wrang, but just rollikin play,
But Leeds is a licker, - for tumult an din, -
For bullies an rowdies an brazzen-faced sin.
Aw defy yo to find me another sich street, -
As disgraceful, as Briggate at Setterdy neet.

Poleecemen are standin i' twos an i' threes,
But they must be stooan blinnd to what other fowk sees;
It must be for ornaments they've been put thear, -
It cant be nowt else, for they dooant interfere.
Young lads who imagine it maks 'em seem men
If they hustle an shaat and mak fooils o' thersen.
Daycent fowk mun leeav th' cawsey for th' middle o'th' street
For its th' roughs at own Briggate at Setterdy neet.

An if yo've a heart 'at can feel, it must ache
When yo hear ther faal oaths an what coorse jests they make;
Yet once they wor daycent an wod be soa still,
But they've takken th' wrang turnin, - they're gooin daan hill.
Them lasses, soa bonny, just aght o' ther teens,
Wi' faces an figures 'at's fit for a queen's.
What is it they're dooin? Just watch an yo'll see 't,
What they're hawkin i' Briggate at Setterdy neet.

They keep sendin praichers to th' heathen an sich,
But we've heathen at hooam at require 'em as mich:
Just luk at that craad at comes troopin along,
Some yellin aght th' chorus o'th' new comic song;
Old an young, - men an wimmen, - some bummers, some swells,
Turned aght o' some dnnkin an singin room hells; -
They seek noa dark corners, they glory i'th' leet,
This is Briggate, - their Briggate, at Setterdy neet.

Is it axin too mich ov "the powers that be,"
For a city's main street from sich curse to be free?
Shall Morality's claims be set all o' one side,
Sich a market for lewdness an vice to provide?
Will that day ivver come when a virtuous lass,
Alone, withaat insult, in safety may pass?
Its time for a change, an awm langin to see 't, -
A respectable Briggate at Setterdy neet.

Them well-meeanin parents, at hooam at ther ease,
Are oft wilfully blind to sich dangers as theas;
Their sons an their dowters are honest an pure, -
That may be, - an pray God it may ivver endure.
But ther's noa poor lost craytur, but once on a time,
Wor as pure as ther own an wod shudder at crime.
The devil is layin his snares for ther feet, -
An they're swarmin i' Briggate at Setterdy neet.

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