To a True Friend.

A poem by John Hartley

Here'sa song to mi brave old friend,
A friend who has allus been true;
His day's drawin near to its end,
When he'll leeav me, as all friends mun do.
His teeth have quite wasted away,
He's grown feeble an blind o' one ee,
His hair is all sprinkled wi' gray,
But he's just as mich thowt on bi me.

When takkin a stroll into th' taan,
He's potterin cloise at mi heels;
Noa matter whearivver aw'm baan,
His constancy nivver once keels.
His feyts an his frolics are o'er,
But his love nivver offers to fail;
An altho' some may fancy us poor,
They could'nt buy th' wag ov his tail.

If th' grub is sometimes rayther rough,
An if prospects for better be dark;
He nivver turns surly an gruff,
Or shows discontent in his bark.
Ther's nubdy can tice him away, -
He owns but one maister, - that's me,
He seems to know all 'at aw say,
An maks th' best ov his lot, what it be.

Aw've towt him a trick, nah an then,
Just when it has suited mi whim;
But aw'm foorced to admit to misen,
At aw've leearned far mooar lessons throo him.
He may have noa soul to be saved,
An when life ends i' this world he's done;
But aw wish aw could say aw'd behaved
Hawf as weel, when my life's journey's run.

Yo may call it a fooilish consait, -
But to me he's soa faithful an dear,
'At whativver mi futer estate,
Aw'st feel looansum if Dick isn't thear.
But if foorced to part, once for all,
An his carcase to worms aw mun give,
His mem'ry aw oft shall recall,
For he nivver can dee wol aw live.

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