Heather Bells.

A poem by John Hartley

Ye little flowrets, wild an free,
Yo're welcome, aye as onny!
Ther's but few seets 'at meet mi ee
'At ivver seem as bonny.
Th' furst gift 'at Lizzie gave to me,
Wor a bunch o' bloomin heather,
Shoo pluckt it off o'th' edge o'th' lea,
Whear we'd been set together.

An when shoo put it i' mi hand,
A silent tear wor wellin
Within her ee; - it fell to th' graand,
A doleful stooary tellin.
"It is a little gift," shoo sed,
"An sooin will fade an wither,
Yet, still, befooar its bloom is shed,
We two mun pairt for ivver."

I tried to cheer her trubbled mind,
Wi' tender words endearin;
An raand her neck mi arms entwined,
But grief her breast wor tearin.
"Why should mi parents sell for gold,
Ther dowter's life-long pleasure?
Noa charm 'at riches can unfold,
Can match a true love's treasure."

"But still, aw mun obey ther will, -
It isn't reight to thwart it;
But mi heart's love clings to thee still,
An nowt but deeath can part it,
Forgie me if aw cause a pang, -
Aw'll love thee as a brother, -
Mi heart is thine, an oh! its wrang,
Mi hand to give another."

"Think on me when theas fields grow bare,
An cold winds kill the flowers,
Ov bitterness they have a share;
Their lot is like to awrs.
An if aw'm doomed to pine away,
Wi' pleasure's cup untasted,
Just drop a tear aboon the clay,
'At hides a young life wasted."

"Why should awr lot soa bitter be,
Theas burds 'at sing together,
When storms are commin off they flee,
To lands ov sunny wreather?
An nah, when trubbles threaten thee
What should prevent thee gooin,
An linkin on thi fate wi' me,
Withaat thi parents knowin?"

"Tha knows my love is soa sincere,
Noa risk can mak it falter,
Soa put aside all daat an fear,
An goa wi' me to th' altar
I' one month's time my wife tha'll be, -
Or less if tha'll but shorten it."
"Well then," says Lizzy, "aw'll agree,
Tha'st have me in a fortnit."

Shoo laft an cried, - aw laft as weel,
Aw feear'd shoo did'nt meean it;
But Lizzie proved as true as steel, -
Her fowk sed nowt ageean it.
An who that wealthy chap could be,
Aw nivver shall detarmin,
For if aw ax shoo glints wi' glee.
An says, "Thee mind thi farmin."

An soa aw till mi bit o' graand,
An oft when aght together,
I'th' cooil o'th' day we saunter raand
An pluck a sprig o' heather.
Soa sweethearts nooat theas simple facts,
An trust i' one another;
A lass i' love ne'er stops to ax,
Her fayther or her mother.

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