Northern Farmer (Old Style)

A poem by Alfred Tennyson

Wheer ’asta beän saw long and meä liggin’ ’ere aloän?
Noorse? thoort nowt o’ a noorse: whoy, doctor’s abeän an’ agoän:
Says that I moänt ’a naw moor aäle: but I beänt a fool:
Git ma my aäle, fur I beänt a-gooin’ to breäk my rule.

Doctors, they knaws nowt, for a says what’s nawways true:
Naw soort o’ koind o’ use to saäy the things that a do.
I’ve ’ed my point o’ aäle ivry noight sin’ I beän ’ere,
An’ I’ve ’ed my quart ivry market-noight for foorty year.

Parson’s a beän loikewoise, an’ a sittin’ ere o’ my bed.
‘The amoighty’s a taäkin o’ you to ’issén, my friend,’ a said,
An’ a towd ma my sins, an’s toithe were due, an’ I gied it in hond;
I done my duty by un, as I ’a done by the lond.

Larn’d a ma’ beä. I reckons I ’annot sa mooch to larn.
But a cast oop, thot a did, ’boot Bessy Marris’s barn.
Thaw a knaws I hallus voäted wi’ Squoire an’ choorch an staäte,
An’ i’ the woost o’ toimes I wur niver agin the raäte.

An’ I hallus comed to ’s choorch afoor moy Sally wur deäd,
An’ ’eärd ’um a bummin’ awaäy loike a buzzard-clock ower my ’eäd,
An’ I niver knaw’d whot a mean’d but I thowt a ’ad summut to saäy,
An I thowt a said whot a owt to ’a said an’ I comed awaäy.

Bessy Marris’s barn! tha knaws she laäid it to meä.
Mowt ’a beän, mayhap, for she wur a bad un, sheä.
’Siver, I kep un, I kep un, my lass, tha mun understond;
I done my duty by un as I ’a done boy the lond.

But Parson a comes an’ a goäs, an’ a says it easy an’ freeä
‘The amoighty’s a taäkin o’ you to ’issen, my friend,’ says ’eä.
I weänt saäy men be loiars, thof summun said it in ’aäste:
But a reäds wonn sarmin a weeäk, an’ I ’a stubb’d Thornaby waäste.

D’ya moind the waäste, my lass? naw, naw, tha was not born then;
Theer wur a boggle in it, I often ’eärd ’um mysen;
Moäst loike a butter-bump, for I ’eärd ’um about an’ about,
But I stubb’d un oop wi’ the lot, an’ raäved an rembled ’um out.

Keäper’s it wur; fo’ they fun ’um theer a laäid on ’is faäce
Down i’ the woild ’enemies afoor I coom’d to the plaäce.
Noäks or Thimbleby—toäner ’ed shot un as deäd as a naäil.
Noäks wur ’ang’d for it oop at ’soize—but git ma my aäle.

Dubbut looök at the waäste: theer warn’t not feeäd for a cow:
Nowt at all but bracken an’ fuzz, an’ looäk at it now—
Warn’t worth nowt a haäcre, an’ now theer’s lots o’ feeäd,
Fourscoor yows upon it an’ some on it down i’ seeäd.

Nobbut a bit on it’s left, an’ I meän’d to ’a stubb’d it at fall,
Done it ta-year I meän’d, an’ runn’d plow thruff it an’ all,
If godamoighty an’ parson ’ud nobbut let ma aloän,
Meä, wi’ haäte hoonderd haäcre o’ Squoire’s, an’ lond o’ my oän.

Do godamoighty knaw what a’s doing a-taäkin’ o’ meä?
I beänt wonn as saws ’ere a beän an’ yonder a peä;
An’ Squoire ’ull be sa mad an’ all—a’ dear a’ dear!
And I ’a managed for Squoire coom Michaelmas thutty year.

A mowt ’a taäen owd Joänes, as ’ant a ’aäpoth o’ sense,
Or a mowt a’ taäen young Robins—a niver mended a fence:
But godamoighty a moost taäke meä an’ taäke ma now
Wi aäf the cows to cauve an’ Thornaby hoälms to plow!

Loook ’ow quoloty smoiles when they sees ma a passin’ by,
Says to thessén naw doot ‘what a mon a beä sewer-loy!’
For they knaws what I beän to Squoire sin fust a coom’d to the ‘All;
I done moy duty by Squoire an’ I done my duty boy all.

Squoire’s in Lunnon, an’ summun I reckons ’ull ’a to wroite,
For whoä’s to howd the lond ater meä thot muddles ma quoit;
Sartin-sewer I beä, thot a weänt niver give it to Joänes,
Naw, nor a moänt to Robins—a niver rembles the stoäns.

But summun ’ull come ater meä mayhap wi’ ’is kittle o’ steam
Huzzin’ an’ maäzin’ the blessed feälds wi’ the Divil’s oaän teäm.
Sin I mun doy I mun doy, thaw loife they says is sweet,
But sin I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldn abeär to see it.

What atta stannin’ theer for, an’ doesn bring ma the aäle?
Doctor’s a ’toättler, lass, an a’s hallus i’ the owd taäle;
I weänt break rules fur Doctor, a knaws naw moor nor a floy;
Git ma my aäle I tell tha, an’ if I mun doy I mun doy.

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