Jimmy's Choice.

A poem by John Hartley

One limpin Jimmy wed a lass;
An this wor th' way it coom to pass -
He'd saved a little bit o' brass,
An soa he thowt he'd ventur
To tak unto hissen a wife,
To ease his mind ov all its strife,
An be his comfort all throo life -
An, pray, what should prevent her?

"Awve brass enuff," he sed, "for two,
An noa wark at awm foorced to do,
But all th' day long can bill an coo,
Just like a little pigeon.
Aw nivver have a druffen rant;
Aw nivver praich teetotal cant;
Aw nivver booast at awm a saint,
I' matters o' religion.

"Then with a gradely chap like me,
A lass can live mooast happily;
An awl let all awr neighbors see
We'll live withaat a wrangle;
For if two fowk just have a mind
To be to one another kind,
They each may be as easy twined
As th' hannel ov a mangle.

"For love's moor paar nor oaths an blows,
An kind words, ivverybody knows,
Saves monny a hundred thaasand rows;
An soa we'll start wi kindness;
For if a chap thinks he can win
Love or respect wi oaths an din,
He'll surely find he's been let in,
An sarved reight for his blindness."

Soa Jimmy went to tell his tale
To a young lass called Sally Swale,
An just for fear his heart should fail,
He gate a drop o' whiskey.
Net mich, but just enuff, yo see,
To put a spark into his e'e,
An mak his tongue a trifle free,
An mak him strong an frisky.

Young Sally, shoo wor varry shy,
An when he'd done shoo breathed a sigh,
An then began to sob an cry
As if her heart wor brokken.
"Nay, Sally lass, - pray what's amiss?"
He sed, an gave a lovin kiss,
"If awd expected owt like this,
Awm sewer awd ne'er ha spokken."

At last shoo dried her bonny een,
An felt as praad as if a queen;
An nivver king has ivver been
One hawf as praad as Jimmy.
An soa they made all matters sweet,
An one day quietly stroll'd up th' street,
Till th' owd church door coom into seet -
Says Jim, "Come, lass, goa wi me."

Then wed they wor an off they went
To start ther life ov sweet content;
An Sally ax'd him whear he meant
Ther honey-mooin to spend at?
Says Jim, "We're best at hooam, aw think,
We've lots o' stuff to ait an drink."
But Sally gave a knowin wink,
An sed, "Nay, awl net stand that.

"Tha needn't think aw meean to be
Shut up like in a nunnery;
Awm fond o' life, an love a spree,
As weel as onny other."
"Tha cannot goa," sed Jim, "that's flat."
"But goa aw shall, awl tell thee that!
What wod ta have a woman at?
Shame on thee for sich bother!"

Jim scrat his heead, "Nah lass," sed he,
"One on us mun a maister be,
Or else we'st allus disagree,
An nivver live contented."
Sed Sal, "Awd ne'er a maister yet,
An if tha thowt a slave to get,
Tha'll find thisen mista'en, awl bet;
Awm sewer aw nivver meant it."

Jim tried his best to change her mind,
But mud as weel ha saved his wind;
An soa to prove he worn't unkind,
He gave in just to pleeas her.
He's allus follow'd th' plan sin then,
To help her just to pleeas hersen;
An nah, he says, "They're fooilish men
At wed a wife to teeas her."

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