It's a comfort. (Prose)

A poem by John Hartley

It's a comfort a chap can do withaat what he connot get. It feels hard to have to do wi' less nor what a body has at present, but if it has to be it will be, an' it's cappin' ha' fowk manage to pool throo haiver bad th' job is. It's naa use for a chap to keep longin' for sum mat better, unless he's willin' to buckle to, an' work for it; an' a chap wi' an independent mind ne'er freeats becoss he hasn't all he wants; he sets hissen to get it, an' if he's detarmined he oft succeeds, an' if net he doesn't sit daan an' mump, but up an' at it agean. Havin' a lot o' brass doesn't mak a chap happy, but spend in' it may do, an' if a chap's wise he'll try to spend it in a way 'at'll bring happiness for a long time to come. Ther's some fowk feeared 'at they con niver spend brass safely; they're allus freeten'd of loisin' it; but they've noa need, for if they spent it i' dooin' gooid, they'll allus be sure o' gooid interest, for they'll be pleased every time they think on it. Nah, ther's some things i' this world 'at yo connot looise. It's a varry easy thing to loise a cork aat ov a bottle, but it's impossible to loise th' hoil aat ov a bottle neck. Yo may braik th' bottle all to pieces, but th' hoil is somewhear; it nobbut wants another bit o' glass twistin' raand it, an' yo'll find it's as gooid as iver it wor, an' it's just soa wi' a gooid action; yo may loise th' seet on it, but it's somewhear abaat; it nobbut wants circumstances twistin' raand it, an' yo'll find it's thear - it's niver lost. If fowk 'ud get into this way o' thinkin', ther'd be a deal moor gooid done nor ther is. Haiver mich brass a chap has, if he's moor wants nor he con satisfy, he's poor enuff; an' aw think if fowk 'ud spend a bit less time i' tryin' to get rich, an' a bit moor i' tryin' to lessen ther wants, they'd be moor comfortable bi th' hauf. But yo' may carry things too far even i' savin'. Aw once knew a chap 'at wor a regular skinflint; he'd gie nowt - noa, net as mich as a crumb to a burd; an' if iver any wor seen abaat his haase they used to be sat daan to be young ens 'at hadn't le'nt wit. Well, he once went to buy a seck o' coils, an' to be able to get 'em cheaper he fetched 'em throo th' pit; it wor th' depth o' winter, but as he had to hug 'em two mile it made th' sweeat roll off him.. When he gate hooam he put 'em daan an' shook his heead. "By gow," he sed, "awm ommost done, but aw'll mak' yo' pay for this, for aw willn't burn another coil this winter." An' he stuck, to his word, an' wheniver he wor starved, he used to get th' seck o' coils ov his back an' walk raand th' haase till he gat warm agean - an' he says they're likely to fit him his bit o' rime aat. "Well," yo'n say, "that chap wor a fooil," an' aw think soa misen, an' varry likely if he'd seen us do some things he'd think we wor fooils. We dooant allus see things i'th' same leet - for instance, a pompus chap wor once tawkin' to me abaat his father. "My father," he said, "was a carver and gilder, an' he once carved a calf so naturally that you would fancy you could hear it bleat." "Well, aw didn't know thi father," aw sed, "but aw know thi mother once cauved one, for aw've heeard it bleat." Yo' should just ha' seen him when aw sed soa! - didn't he pull th' blinds daan, crickey!

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