Th' Little Stranger.

A poem by John Hartley

Little bonny, bonny babby!
How tha stares, an' weel tha may,
For its but an haar or hardly
Sin' tha furst saw th' leet o' day.

A'a tha little knows, young moppet,
Ha awst have to tew for thee;
But may be when forced to drop it,
'At tha'll do a bit for me.

Are ta maddled mun amang it?
Does ta wonder what aw mean?
Aw should think tha does, but dang it,
Where's ta been to leearn to scream?

That's noa sooart o' mewsic, bless thi,
Dunnot peawt thi lip like that;
Mun, aw hardly dar to nurse thi,
Feared awst hurt thi, little brat.

Come, aw'll tak thi to thi mother,
Shoo's more used to sich nor me,
Hands like mine worn't made to bother
Wi sich ginger-breead as thee.

Innocent an' helpless craytur,
All soa pure an' undefiled,
If ther's ought belangs to heaven,
Lives o'th' earth, it is a child.

An' its hard to think 'at someday,
If tha'rt spared to weather throo,
'At tha'll be a man, an' someway
Have to feight life's battles too.

Kings an' Queens, an' lords an' ladies,
Once wor nowt noa moor to see,
An' th' warst wretch at hung o'th' gallows,
Once wor born as pure as thee.

An' what tha at last may come to,
God aboon us all can tell;
But aw hope 'at tha'll be lucky,
Even tho aw fail mysel.

Do aw ooin thi? its a pity,
Hush! nah prathi dunnot freat;
Goa an' snoozle to thi titty,
Tha'rt too young for trouble yet.

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