He wandered slipshod through the street,
His clothes had many a rent;
His shoes seemed dropping from his feet,
His eyes were downward bent.
His face was sallow, pale and thin,
His beard neglected grew,
Upon his once close shaven chin,
Like bristles sticking through.
I'd known him in much better state,
As "old hard-working Mike,"
I asked, would he the cause relate?
Said he, "Awm aght on th' strike.
Yo're capt, noa daat, to see me thus,
Aw'm shamed to meet a friend;
It's varry hard on th' mooast on us,
We wish 't wor at an end.
Aw cannot spend mi time i'th' haase,
An see mi childer pine;
They havn't what'll feed a maase,
But that's noa fault o' mine.
Th' wife's varry nearly brokken daan, -
Shoo addles all we get,
Wol aw goa skulkin all throo th' taan,
I' sorrow, rags an debt.
But then yo know it has to be,
Th' committee tells us that;
They owt to know, - but as for me,
Aw find it's hard, - that's flat.
They say 'at th' miaisters suffer mooar
Nor we can ivver guess; -
But th' sufferin they may endure,
Maks mine noa morsel less.
But then th' committee says it's reight;
Soa aw mun rest content,
An we mun still, goa on wi' th' feight,
What comes o' jock or rent.
Aw dooant like to desart mi mates,
But one thing aw dooant like;
When th' table shows but empty plates
It's hard to be on th' strike.
Gooid day, - for cake awst ha to fend,
Them childer's maaths to fill;
Th' committee say th' strike sooin will end;
Aw hooap to God it will."