Poems by John Hartley

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Aw'd rayther face a redwut brick,
As aw passed Wit'orth chapel 'twor just five o'clock,
Bet wor a stirrin, strappin lass,
One neet aw went hooam, what time aw can't tell,
Poor Dick nah sleeps quietly, his labor is done,
It wor Kursmiss day, - we wor ready for fun,
Whear is thi Daddy, doy? Whear is thi mam?
Aw'm as rich as a Jew, tho aw havn't a meg,
Tha'rt a rough en; - aye tha art, - an aw'll bet
Aw wodn't gie a penny piece
We've mooast on us, at one 'time or another, accidentally dropt amang company withaat havin ony idea o' spendin mich time wi' em, an' yet we've kept stoppin an' stoppin, feelin as happy as con be, an' niver thinkin for a minit what a blowin-up we sho
Why lad, awm sewer tha'rt ommost done,
A little lad, - bare wor his feet,
One neet as aw trudged throo mi wark,
Just listen to mi stooary lads,
A'a! its grand to have th' place to yorsen!
"Nah, lass, caar thi daan, an let's have a chat, -
"Come, John lad, tell me what's to do,
Yo fowk 'at's some brass to invest,
When rich fowk are feastin, an poor fowk are grooanin,
Oh the snow, - the bright fleecy snow!
Aw know some fowk will call it crime,
It nobbut luks like tother day,
Little childer, - little childer;
Ther's a Squire lives at th' Hall 'at's lukt up to,
A'a dear, what it is to be big!
Who is it, when one starts for th' day
Wod yo leead a happy life?
Bless all them bonny lasses,
"Another day will follow this,"
Jenny, Jenny, dry thi ee,
Aw've been laikin for ommost eight wick,
Dear little Alice lay dying; -
The wind it blew cold, and the ice was thick,
Some tawk becoss they think they're born
It worn't for her winnin ways,
H a! if yo'd nobbut known that lass,
Its a long time sin thee an' me have met befoor, owd lad, -
On the sixteenth of June, eighteen eighty-three,
Another! - well, my bonny lad,
Niver try to mak a fooil ov onybody this month; ther's fooils enuff i'th world already. It's oft struck me what a varry slight difference ther is between a wise man and a fooil; one aims at summat an' hits it - tother aims at summat an' misses it; an
Aw nivver rammel mich abaat,
Why the dickens do some fowk keep thrustin,
Saw yo that lass wi' her wicked een?
Her ladyship's getten a babby, -
Beautiful babby! Beautiful lad!
"Awst nivver be jaylus, net aw!"
Aw wander'd aght one summer's morn,
She may be dark or may be fair,
Backward turn, oh! recollection!
Some fowk ivverlastinly grummel,
Bide thi time! it's sure to come,
Young Billy Bumble bowt a pig,
As aw hurried throo th' taan to mi wark,
As aw hurried throo th' taan to mi wark,
O, the lasses, the lasses, God bless 'em!
Bonny little Blue-bells
When but a little toddlin thing,
Bonny Yorksher! how aw love thi!
This place 'is nearly a mile from the good old town of Halifax.
Sin Leeds wor a city it puts on grand airs,
May is the month for Buttermilk! A doctor once tell'd me it wor worth a guinea a pint; he sed it licked cod liver oil, castor oil; or paraffin oil. Castor oil, he said, war varry gooid for ther bowels, cod liver oil for ther liver, an' paraffin oil f
Aw dooat on a lass wi' a bonny face,
"O! charming May!"
I named him Claude, 'twas a strange conceit,
May is abaat th' warst pairt o'th' year for a wed chap, for he connot walk aat, an' he cannot be comfortable at hooam, becoss it's th' cleeanin' daan time. Talk abaat weshin' days! they're fooils to cleeanin' days. Buckstun lime an' whitewesh, bees-w
Come thi ways in, an God bless thi, lad!
Bonny lassie, come thi ways,
If yo've a fancy for a spree,
Coortin days, - Coortin days, - loved one an lover!
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Just a word i' thi ear, -
Little patt'rin, clatt'rin feet,
Down in the deeps of dark despair and woe; -
Two old fogies, - Dick an me, -
"Gooid gracious!" cried Susy, one fine summer's morn,
"Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall net be disappointed."
Ditherum dump lived i'th' haase behund th' pump,
As through life you journey onward
Aw've a rare lump o' beef on a dish,
Dooant forget the old fowks, -
When yo see a chap covered wi' rags,
Th' mooin shone breet wi' silver leet,
Candidates at an election allus reminds me ov a lot o' bees turned aat, for they fly abaat th' country buzzin' an' hummin', wol yor fair capt what a din they con mak; but as sooin as they pop into th' hive o' St. Stephen's yo niver hear a muff - they
It's a long loin 'at's niver a turn, an' th' longest loin ends somewhear. Ther's a end to mooast things, an' this is th' end o' the year. When a chap gets turned o' forty, years dooant seem as long as once they did - he begins to be feeared o' time r
Ov whooalsum food aw get mi fill, -
If ther's ony sooart o' fowk aw hate, it's them at's allus lukkin' aght for faults; - hang it up! they get soa used to it, wol they willn't see ony beauties if they are thear. They remind me ov a chap 'at aw knew at wed a woman 'at had a wart at th'
When ther's a flaar show, clooas show at th' same time. Aw hear fowk tawk abaat "floral gems," and sich like stuff, but aw understand varry little abaat it. But aw've a few gems ov another sooart at sich times - aw call 'em gems o' thowt. Aw'm allus
Ther's some born fooils, an' ther's some mak thersen fooils, an'. ther's some get made fooils on. When we hear fowk tell tales abaat sein' boggards, an gettin' ther planets ruled, we think it saands fooilish. Nah an' then one turns up rayther simple,
Last May Mr. Goosequill, attorney-at-law, liberally forgave a poor widow the expenses of a trial in which he had been engaged. It is a singular fact that a tom-cat, which had been for years in the gentleman's family, having caught a mouse, let it go
Said Mistress Smith to Mistress Green,
Give it 'em hot, an be hanged to ther feelins!
Ge me thi hand, mi trusty friend,
Draw thi cheer nigher th' foir, put th' knittin away,
Sleep bonny babby, thi grondad is near,
'A, Johnny! A'a, Johnny! aw'm sooary for thee!
Old age, aw can feel's creepin on,
Squibs an' crackers! Starleets an' catterin wheels! Bunfires an' traikle parkin! This is th' time for a bit ov a jollification. Guy Fawkes did a gooid turn, after all, when he tried to blow th' Parliament haase up; for we should ha' had one spree les
Then its O! for a wife, sich a wife as aw know!
Varry monny years ago, when this world wor rather young,
I hope my readers will regard that varry gooid advice, when they see th' grass cut - "Mak hay woll th 'sun shines." There's nowt aw like better nor to spend a day or two in a hay field. Tawk abaat "Ho de Colong!" It doesn't smell hauf as weel to me a
He wor a poor hard workin lad,
Ye little flowrets, wild an free,
"Come, help thisen, lad, - help thisen!"
Hide not Thy face, - and though the road
He'd had his share ov ups an daans,
Hold up yer heeads, tho' at poor workin men
Th' mooast remarkable thing 'at aw' con recollect abaat this time last year, wor a trip to Hollinworth Lake. Ther'd been a collection made at the Longloin Sunday Schooil for a new gas meeter; an after they'd getten th' brass, they bethought 'em 'at t
Wor yo ivver at Horton Tide?
I shall never forget the day, Annie,
"I would not live alway,"
I'd a dream last night of my boyhood's days,
Dear Jenny, if fortun should favour mi lot,
Oh! Come to me, darling! My Sweet!
Divine Service was held in the Temperance Hall, when the celebrated Dr. Foaming Drinkwater preached from the text Exodus 16 ch. 33 v., "And Moses said unto Aaron, take a pot," and in an eloquent sermon of 1h. 55m. the Revd. lecturer clearly showed th
Awm noa radical, liberal nor toory,
This world's made up ov leet an shade,
It's a comfort a chap can do withaat what he connot get. It feels hard to have to do wi' less nor what a body has at present, but if it has to be it will be, an' it's cappin' ha' fowk manage to pool throo haiver bad th' job is. It's naa use for a cha
Ther's things i'plenty aw despise; -
It wad be a poor shop, wad this world, if it worn't for love! But even love has its drawbacks. If it worn't for love ther'd be noa jaylussy - Shakspere calls jaylussy a green-eyed monster, an' it may be for owt aw know, an' aw dooan't think 'at them
One limpin Jimmy wed a lass;
Th' sun shone breet at early morn,
Lads an lasses lend yor ears
Awst be better when spring comes, aw think,
O winds 'at blow, an flaars 'at grow,
Awm sittin o' that old stooan seeat,
What a lot ov advice ther is wasted; -
Place thy lilly-white hand in mine,
"Well, Robert! what's th' matter! nah mun,
Sweet, drooping, azure tinted bells,
Nay surelee tha's made a mistak;
Whew! - Tha'rt in a famous hurry!
Winsome, wee and witty,
I've been sitting reviewing the past, dear wife,
Shoo wor a bonny, bonny lass,
Th' swallows are buildin ther nests, Jenny,
Let's love one another, it's better bi far;
Love - love - love - love, -
Let's mak a gooid start, nivver fear
Mak th' best on't, - mak th' best on't, - tho' th' job be a bad en,
These winds blow rayther strong - stronger sometimes nor what feels pleasant. Ther's monny a chap has a race wi' his hat, an' it luks a sheepish sooart ov a trick, an' iverybody can affooard to laff at him just becoss it isn't them. But for all that
When aw cooarted Mary Hanner,
One Easter Mundy, for a spree,
Have yo seen awr Mary's bonnet?
My Mary's as sweet as the flowers that grow,
Matilda Jane wor fat an fair,
"Nah, Matty! what meeans all this fuss?
At a meeting of the tax-collectors of the W - - R - -g of - -shire, held in one of the cells beneath the Town Hall it was proposed, "That we, the tax gatherers and rate collectors of the W - - R - -g of - -shire do intend to throw up our offices, unl
Aw've travelled East, West, North, an South,
Mi darlin' Muse, aw coax and pet her,
Aw've a treasure yo'd laff if yo saw,
Let us have a jolly spree,
Aw'm wearily trudgin throo mire an weet,
What matters if some fowk deride,
Aw like fowrk to succeed i' life if they've an honest aim,
It wor dark an mi way wor across a wild mooar,
At Wibsey Slack lived modest Jack,
Yo fowk 'ats tempted to goa buy
Aw wodn't care to live at all,
A'a, Jonny! a'a Johnny! aw'm sooary for thee!
Fairest lass amang the monny,
They tell me aw'm a vulgar chap,
My Polly's varry bonny,
Annie - Oh! what a weary while
A short time ago Mr. Fitzivitz, of Rank end, was seen to be swimming at a great rate and making a most extensive spread in the river plate. Several friends cautioned him not to go so far out of his depth, but he was utterly heedless of advice, he div
"Mooar fowk get wed nor what do weel,"
We are near the last bend of the river,
Nettie, Nettie! oh, she's pretty!
It shows varry little sense for fowk to object to a new machine till they've tried it, or to fancy it'll be th' means o' smashin th' trade. Luk at th' paaer looms; when they I wor started all th' hand-loom weyvers struck wark, becoss they said it ud
Its net oft at aw have mich to do wi' parties. Th' fact is aw'm wed, an' young fowk dooant want me, becoss they say aw've made my markets, an' wed fowk dooant oft ax me becoss aw suppose aw dooant oft ax them. But this month last year aw did get a in
Let others boast ther bit o' brass,
What suits one body doesn't suit another. Aw niver knew two fowk 'at allus thowt alike; an' if yo iver heard a poor chap talkin' abaat somebdy 'ats weel off, he's sure to say 'at if he'd his brass he'd do different throo what they do.
This world is net a paradise,
Dullest month of all the year, -
Did we but know what lurks beyond the NOW;
They reckon to brew a gooid sup o' ale in October, an' they call it "Prime owd October." Ther's monny a war thing i'th' world nor a sup o' gooid drink. Landlords an' teetotal-lecturers manage to get a livin' aat on it some way; - but it's th' same wi
"Soa, yo're th' new parson, are yo?
Awm havin a smook bi misel,
He wandered slipshod through the street,
On Calder's green banks I stroll sadly and lonely,
Once agean welcome! oh, what is ther grander,
When dull November's misty shroud,
Passing events, - tell, what are they I pray?
Aw've heeard ov Mary Mischief,
What tho' th' claads aboon luk dark,
"Sup up thi gill, owd Peter Prime,
His face wor varry thin an pale,
A lecture on this subject was delivered on Tuesday evening, to the members of the Ladies' Needle and Thimble Association, by the Rev. James Sleek, curate of St. Enock's-in-the-Mist. After adverting to the plagues of Egypt, the learned lecturer dwelt
Plain Jane - plain Jane;
A'a! it's grand to ha plenty o' brass!
Do you remember the wood, love,
Tawkin abaat policemen reminds me ov a mess one on 'em gate into a while sin. Aw shalln't tell awther his name or his number, becoss it's net my wish to get ony body into trouble. It's enuff for me to say he's a gooid-lukkin chap, an' if he isn't wed
Poor old hat! poor old hat! like misen tha's grown
Ther's some fowk like watter,
This is the age of progress; and it is not slo progress nawther. The worst on it is, we're all forced to go on whether we like it or net, for if we stand still a minit, ther's somedy traidin' ov us heels, an' unless we move on they'll walk ovver us,
Aw think aw could tell what day it wor th o' aw didn't know if aw could see a lot o' factry fowk gooin to ther wark. Mondy's easy to tell, becoss th' lasses have all clean approns on, an' ther hair hasn't lost its Sundy twists, an' twines ther faces
Have yo seen mi bonny Mary,
Shoo wor shoeless, an shiverin, an weet, -
Gooid bye, lass, aw dunnot blame,
None ever knew I had wronged her,
Oh lend me thy hand in the darkness,
Ther's a deal o' things scattered raand, at if fowk ud tak th' trouble to pick up might do 'em a paar o' gooid, an' my advice is, if yo meet wi' owt i' yor way 'at's likely to mak life better or happier, sam it up, but first mak sure yo've a reight t
After the annual excursion of the Lowly Dale Scientific Society, the members were addressed by Mr. Evertrot Gagthorp. New specimens, the product of their recent journey, now enrich the Museum: viz. In Geology - Limestone, pumice stone, soft stone, wh
Iverybody 'at is owt is awther just settin' off or just gettin' back throo th' spaws. Ther's nowt like th' sea breeze! But a chum o' mine says th' sea breeze is a fooil to Saltaire, but he cannot mak me believe it. Ther's nowt ever suits me as weel a
Aw've been walkin up th' loin all ith weet,
Blackberries are ripe in September, an' we may consider th' year's ripe, for when this month gets turned, things 'll begin o' gooin' th' back way. Its vany wonderful when we look reight at it. This world's a wonderful spot, an' ther's a deal o' wonde
It isn't 'at aw want to rooam
Shiver the goblet and scatter the wine!
(Written on seeing a wealthy Townsman rudely push a poor little girl off the pavement.)
"The drunkard shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
Sing on, tha bonny burd, sing on, sing on;
We're older nor we used to be,
Aw'm turned o' sixty, nah, old lass,
Smiles are things aw like to see, an'. they're noa less acceptable becoss sometimes ther's a tear or two. A chap at's a heart ov a reight sooart under his waistcoit cannot allus be smilin'. Awve met a deal o' sooarts o' fowk i' my bit o' time, an' th
Aw've travell'd o'er land, an aw've travell'd o'er sea,
Awm a young Yorksher lad as jolly an gay,
What's a poor lass like me to do,
Oh, isn't it nice to be somebody's? -
Nah chaps, pray dooant think it's a sarmon awm praichin,
Th' sun wor settin, - red an gold,
Come lassie be stirrin, for th' lark's up ith' lift,
"Tha wodn't goa an leave me, Jim,
Last eve the sun went down
Mistress Moore is Johnny's wife,
Roughest roads, we often find,
A poor owd man wi' tott'ring gait,
We read ov a man once possessed ov a devil,
Aw heeard a funny tale last neet -
It's hard what poor fowk mun put up wi'!
Aw like to see a lot o' lads
Th' last month o' th' year; an' ther's summat rayther sorrowful abaat th' last o' owt, exceptin' trouble; an' still to me ther's allus summat varry interestin' abaat owt at's "th' last." Aw've watched men when they've been buildin' a long chimley, bu
Young Harry wor a single chap,
Ther's a spark just o'th tip o' mi pen,
Little bonny, bonny babby!
Yo've heeard tell abaat th new railrooad aw dar say? It's an age o' steeam is this! Smook nuisance and boilers brustin are ivery-day affairs, an' ivery thing an' ivery body seem to be on at full speed. Aw wonder 'at noabdy invents a man wi a drivin p
Aw'll nivver get druffen noa mooar,
It wor th' owd, owd story he towd her,
Some poets sing o' gipsy queens,
Sal Sanguine wor a bonny lass,
Once in a little country taan
Ha weel aw remember that big Christmas puddin,
Goa hooam, - tha little drabbled brat,
Aw've nowt agean mi naybors,
Awm nobbut a poor workin man,
"A'a Mary aw'm glad 'at that's thee!
Mi hair is besprinkled wi' gray,
A little lad, but thinly clad,
Little linnet, - stop a minnit, -
Merrily rang out the midnight bells,
What a charm ther is abaat owt new; whether it's a new year or a new waist-coit. Aw sometimes try to fancy what sooart ov a world ther'd be if ther wor nowt new.
Says Dick, "ther's a nooation sprung up i' mi yed,
It was an humble cottage,
My heart was sad when first we met;
Little simple violet,
"He's a nowt!
Life's pathway is full o' deep ruts,
Ther's sunshine an storm as we travel along,
They're all buildin nests for thersen,
Those days have gone, those happy days,
She has gone for ever from earth away,
A'a awm feeared tha's come too sooin,
Tha bonny little pooasy! aw'm inclined
Here'sa song to mi brave old friend,
Aw live in a snug little cot,
Its long sin th' parson made us one,
Darling child, to thee I owe,
Wake up my harp! thy strings begin to rust!
Bonny burd! aw'm fain to see thee,
Bonny burd! aw'm fain to see thee,
Born at Hull, November, 1806. Died at Beeston, near Nottingham, March 13th, 1892.
He'd a breet ruddy face an a laffin e'e,
How should I know,
As awm sittin enjoyin mi pipe,
When shall we meet again?
This world's full o' trubbles fowk say, but aw daat it,
Look around and see the great men
A gradely chap wor uncle Ben
Ha monny young folk are langin for th' fourteenth o' February! An ha mony old pooastmen wish it ud niver come? Sawr owd maids an' crusty owd bachelors wonder 'at fowk should have noa moor sense nor to waste ther brass on sich like nonsense. But it's
"On Valentine's day, will a gooid gooise lay," is a varry old sayin', an' aw dare say a varry gooid en; an' if all th' geese wod nobbut lay o' that day ther'd be moor chonce o' eggs bein' cheap. But it isn't th' geese we think on at th' fourteenth o'
Draw closer to my side to-night,
Ther's mewsic ith' shuttle, ith' loom, an ith frame,
That old warmin pan wi' it's raand, brazzen face,
July is th' month to gooa a spawin'; an' fowk luk forrard to it just th' same as if they conldn't do withaat it. Th' fact is aw hardly dar say owt agean it, for awm fond ov a bit ov a off mysen; but then ther's different ways o' dooin it. A chap at g
Gie me a little humble cot,
What is it maks a crusty wife
Young Alick gate wed, as all gradely chaps do,
A'a, dear! what a life has a mother!
They say 'at its a waste o' brass - a nasty habit too, -
What wor it made me love thee, lass?
As Rueben wor smookin his pipe tother neet,
Bells ring out a joyful sound,
If at hooam yo have to tew,
Down in a cellar cottage
A'a, Willie, lad, aw'm fain to hear
Winter's comin'! Top coits an' nickerbockers begin to be sowt up. A chap enjoys his bed a bit better, an' doesn't like gettin' up in a mornin' quite as weel. Tawkin' abaat enjoyin' bed makes me think ova young chap aat o' Midgley at' gate wed an' bro
'Tis strange 'at fowk will be sich fooils
Bonny lads, and bonny lasses!
Work if tha can, it's thi duty to labor;
Annie I dreamed a strange dream last night,
Young Jockey he bowt him a pair o' new shooin,