Let th' Lasses Alooan!

A poem by John Hartley

What a lot ov advice ther is wasted; -
What praichin is all thrown away; -
Young fowk lang for pleasures untasted,
An its little they'll heed what yo say.
Old fowk may have wisdom i' plenty,
But they're apt to forget just one thing;
What suits sixty will hardly fit twenty,
An youth ivver will have its fling.

Old Jenny sat silently freeatin, -
Sed Alec, "Pray lass, what's to do?"
But his old wife went on wi her knittin,
As if shoo'd a task to get throo.
Then shoo tuk off her specs, and sed sadly,
"Awm capt ha blind some fowk can be;
Ther's reason for me lukkin badly,
But nowt maks a difference to thee."

Ther's awr Reuben, he's hardly turned twenty,
An awr Jim isn't nineteen wol May; -
Aw provide for em gooid things i plenty,
An ne'er a wrang word to em say;
But they've noa sooiner swoller'd ther drinkin,
Nor they're don'd, an away off they've gooan,
An awm feared, - for aw connot help thinkin,
At they dunnot let th' lasses alooan.

Ther's that forrad young hussy, Sal Sankey,
Awm thankful shoo's noa child o' mine: -
When awr Reuben's abaat shoo's fair cranky; -
An shoo's don'd like some grand lady fine.
An Reuben's soa soft he can't see it,
An aw mud as weel praich to a stooan,
He does nowt but grin when aw tell him,
To mind, an let th' lasses alooan.

Awr Jim follers Reuben's example,
He hasn't a morsel o' wit!
An yond lass o' Braans, - shoo's a sample
Ov a gigglin, young impitent chit.
An he'd cheek to tell me shoo wor bonny, -
One like her!! - Why, shoo's just skin an booan
Awd have better nor her if awd onny,
But he'd better let th' lasses alooan.

"All th' four went to th' meetin last Sundy, -
Aw dursn't think what they'll do next;
An ther worrit one on em at Mundy
Could tell what th' chap tuk for his text.
Tha may laff, like a child at a bubble,
But thi laff may yet end in a grooan;
For they're sartin to get into trubble,
If they dunnot lei th' lasses alooan."

"Aw connot help laffin, old beauty!
Tho' aw know at tha meeans to do reight;
Tha's nivver neglected thi duty,
An tha's kept thi lads honest an straight.
Just think ha ther father behaved when
He met thee i'th' days at are gooan;
Tha knows ha aw beg'd, an aw slaved, then
To win th' lass at aw ne'er let alooan."

"Aw've nivver regretted that mornin,
When aw made thi mi bonny young bride,
An although we're nah past life's turnin,
We still jog along, side bi side.
We've shared i' booath pleasures an bothers,
An ther's noa reason why we should mooan;
An its folly to try to stop others,
For lads willn't let th' lasses alooan,"

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