John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

Aw'M Havin' A Smook Bi Misel', - Poem by John Hartley

'Aw'm havin' a smook bi misel',
Net a soul here to spaik a word to,
Aw've noa gossip to hear nor to tell,
An ther's nowt I feel anxious to do.

Aw've noa noashun o' writin' a line,
Tho' aw've jist dipt mi pen into th' ink,
Towards wor kin aw don't mich incline,
An aw'm ommost to lazy to think.

Aw've noa riches to mak me feel vain,
An yet aw've as mich as aw need;
Aw've noa sickness to cause me a pain,
An noa troubles to mak mi heart bleed,

Awr Dolly's crept off to her bed,
An aw hear shoo's beginnin' to snoor;
(That upset me when furst we wor wed,
But nah it disturbs me noa moor.)

Like me, shoo taks things as they come,
Makkin th' best o' what falls to her lot,
Shoo's content wi her own humble hooam,
For her world's i' this snug little cot.

We know 'at we're both growin' old,
But Time's traces we hardly can see;
An tho' fifty years o'er us have roll'd,
Shoo's still th same young Dolly to me.

Her face may be wrinkled an grey,
An her een may be losin' ther shine,
But her heart's just as leetsum to-day
As it wor when aw first made her mine.

Aw've mi hobbies to keep mi i' toit,
Aw've noa whistle nor bell to obey,
Aw've mi wark when aw like to goa to it,
An mi time's all mi own, neet an day.

An tho' some pass mi by wi a sneer,
An some pity mi lowly estate,
Aw think aw've a deealless to fear
Nor them 'at's soa wealthy an great.

When th' sky stretches aght blue an breet,
An th' heather's i' blossom all raand,
Makkin th' mornin's cooi! breezes smell sweet,
As they rustle along ovver th' graand.

When aw listen to th' lark as he sings
Far aboon, ommost lost to mi view,
Aw lang for a pair ov his wings,
To fly wi him, an sing like him, too.

When aw sit under th' shade ov a tree,
Wi mi book, or mi pipe, or mi pen,
Aw think them 'at's sooary for me
Had far better pitty thersen.

When wintry storms howl ovver th' moor,
An snow covers all, far an wide,
Aw carefully festen mi door,
An creep claise up to th' fire inside.

A basin o' porridge may be,
To some a despisable dish,
But it allus comes welcome to me,
If aw've nobbut as mich as aw wish

Mi cloas are old-fashioned, they say,
An aw havn't a daat but it's true;
Yet they answer ther purpose to-day
Just as weel as if th' fashion wor new.

Let them 'at think joys nobbut dwell
Wheear riches are piled up i' stoor,
Try to get a gooid share for thersel',
But leave me mi snug cot up o' th' moor

Mi 'bacca's all done, soa aw'll creep
Off to bed, just as quiet as a maase
For if Dolly's disturbed ov her sleep,
Ther'n be a fine racket i' th' haase.

Aw mun keep th' band i' th' nick if aw can,
For if shoo gets her temper once crost,
All comforts an joys aw may plan
Is just soa mich labour 'at's lost.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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