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William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

Hay-Meaken. Nunchen Time


A.
Back here, but now, the jobber John
Come by, an' cried, 'Well done, zing on,
I thought as I come down the hill,
An' heärd your zongs a-ringèn sh'ill,
Who woudden like to come, an' fling
A peäir o' prongs where you did zing?'
J.
Aye, aye, he woudden vind it plaÿ,
To work all day a-meäkèn hay,
Or pitchèn o't, to eärms a-spread
By lwoaders, yards above his head,
'T'ud meäke en wipe his drippèn brow.
A.
Or else a-reäkèn a'ter plow.
J.
Or workèn, wi' his nimble pick,
A-stiffled wi' the hay, at rick.
A.
Our Company would suit en best,
When we do teäke our bit o' rest,
At nunch, a-gather'd here below
The sheäde theäse wide-bough'd woak do drow,
Where hissèn froth mid rise, an' float
In horns o' eäle, to wet his droat.
J.
Aye, if his swellèn han' could drag
A meat-slice vrom his dinner bag.
'T'ud meäke the busy little chap
Look rather glum, to zee his lap
Wi' all his meal ov woone dry crowst,
An' vinny cheese so dry as dowst.
A.
Well, I dont grumble at my food,
'Tis wholesome, John, an' zoo 'tis good.
J.
Whose reäke is that a-lyèn there?
Do look a bit the woo'se vor wear.
A.
Oh! I mus' get the man to meäke
A tooth or two vor thik wold reäke,
'Tis leäbor lost to strike a stroke
Wi' him, wi' ha'f his teeth a-broke.
J.
I should ha' thought your han' too fine
To break your reäke, if I broke mine.
A.
The ramsclaws thin'd his wooden gum
O' two teeth here, an' here were zome
That broke off when I reäk'd a patch
O' groun' wi' Jimmy, vor a match:
An' here's a gap where woone or two
Wer broke by Simon's clumsy shoe,
An' when I gi'ed his poll a poke,
Vor better luck, another broke.
In what a veag have you a-swung
Your pick, though, John? His stem's a-sprung.
J.
When I an' Simon had a het
O' pookèn, yonder, vor a bet,
The prongs o'n gi'd a tump a poke,
An' then I vound the stem o'n broke,
But they do meäke the stems o' picks
O' stuff so brittle as a kicks.
A.
There's poor wold Jeäne, wi' wrinkled skin,
A-tellèn, wi' her peakèd chin,
Zome teäle ov her young days, poor soul.
Do meäke the young-woones smile. 'Tis droll.
What is it? Stop, an' let's goo near.
I do like theäse wold teäles. Let's hear.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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