He'd had his share ov ups an daans,
His sprees an troubles too;
Ov country joys an life i' taans,
He'd run th' whoal gamut throo.
He labored hard to mak ends meet,
An keep things all ship-shap:
An th' naybor's sed, 'at lived i'th' street,
"He's a varry daycent chap."
He paid his rent an gave his wife
Enuff for clooas an grub,
To pleas her he'd insured his life,
An joined a burial club.
His childer, - grander nivver ran
To climb a father's knee;
Noa better wife had onny man, -
Noa praader chap could be.
He tuk noa stock i' fleetin time,
He nivver caanted th' years;
For he wor hale, just in his prime,
An nowt to cause him fears.
He nivver dreamt ov growin old,
Sich thowts ne'er made him freat,
He sed, - "Why aw'm as gooid as gold,
Aw'm but a youngster yet!"
His childer thrave like willow wands,
An made fine maids an men,
But th' thowt ne'er entered in his nut,
'At he grew old hissen.
His e'en wor oppened one fine day,
His dreams o' youth all fled;
An th' reason on it wor, they say, -
His dowter, - shoo gate wed.
"E'a, gow!" he sed, "but this licks me!
Shoo's but a child hersen, -
Ov all things! - why, - it connot be
Her thowts should turn to men!"
"Whisht!" sed his wife, "we wed as young,
An shoo's moor sense bi far, -
An then tha knows shoo's th' grandest lass
'At lives at Batley Carr."
He gave a grooan, for on his lass
He'd set a deal o' stooar.
He lit his pipe an filled his glass,
Then fixed his e'en o'th' flooar.
"By gum!" he sed, "but this is rough,
Aw ne'er knew owt as bad,
If shoo's a wife, its plain enuff
Aw connot be a lad."
"Aw must be old, - aw say, - old lass, -
Does't think aw'm growin grey?
Gooid gracious! but ha time does pass!
But tha doesn't age a day.
Tha'rt just as buxum nah as then,
Aw'st think tha must feel shamed,
Tha luks as young as her thisen, -
Or could do, if tha framed."
"Aw'st ha to alter all mi ways, -
Noa moor aw'st ha to rooam; -
Just sattle daan an end mi days
Cronkt up bith' hob at hooam.
An 'fore owts long, as like as net,
Wol crooidled up i'th' nook,
Ther'll be some youngster browt, aw'll bet,
To watch his grondad smook."
"Do stop! aw wonder ha tha dar,
Behave thi soa unkind!
Does't think 'at th' lads i' Batley Carr
Are all booath dumb an blind?
Shoo's wed a steady, honest chap,
An shoo's booath gooid an fair,
Ther's net another fit to swap, -
They mak a gradely pair."
"'Man worn't made to live alooan,'
Tha tell'd me that thisen: -
Tha needn't shak thi heead an grooan; -
Tha's happen changed sin then.
But if ther ivver wor a crank,
It's been my luck to see,
It wor my childer's father
When he furst coom coortin me."
"But rest content, its all for th' best; -
An then tha must ha known, -
Shoo thowt it time at shoo possest
A nice hooam ov her own."
"Well - may they prosper! That's my prayer, -
They'st nivver want a friend
Wol aw'm alive, - but aw'st beware,
An watch theas younger end."