Uncle Ben.

A poem by John Hartley

A gradely chap wor uncle Ben
As ivver lived i'th' fowd:
He made a fortun for hissen,
An lived on't when he'r owd.
His yed wor like a snow drift,
An his face wor red an breet,
An his heart wor like a feather,
For he did the thing 'at's reet.

He wore th' same suit o' fustian clooas
He'd worn sin aw wor bred;
An th' same owd booits, wi' cappel'd tooas,
An th' same hat for his yed;
His cot wor lowly, yet he'd sing
Throo braik o' day till neet;
His conscience nivver felt a sting,
For he did the thing 'at's reet.

He wod'nt swap his humble state
Wi' th' grandest fowk i'th' land;
He nivver wanted silver plate,
Nor owt 'at's rich an grand;
He did'nt sleep wi' curtained silk
Drawn raand him ov a neet,
But he slept noa war for th' want o' that,
For he'd done the thing 'at's reet.

Owd fowk called him "awr Benny,"
Young fowk, "mi uncle Ben," -
An th' childer, "gronfather," or "dad,"
Or what best pleased thersen.
A gleam o' joy coom o'er his face
When he heeard ther patterin feet,
For he loved to laik wi th' little bairns
An he did the thing 'at's reet.

He nivver turned poor fowk away
Uncared for throo his door;
He ne'er forgate ther wor a day
When he hissen wor poor;
An monny a face has turned to Heaven,
All glistenin wi' weet,
An prayed for blessins on owd Ben,
For he did the thing 'at's reet.

He knew his lease wor ommost spent,
He'd sooin be called away;
Yet he wor happy an content,
An waited th' comin day.
But one dark neet he shut his e'en,
An slept soa calm an sweet,
When mornin coom, th' world held one less,
'At did the thing 'at's reet.

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