John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

Drink - Poem by John Hartley

When yo see a chap covered wi' rags,
An hardly a shoe to his fooit,
Gooin sleawshin along ovver th' flags,
Wi' a pipe in his maath black as sooit;
An he tells yo he's aght ov a job,
An he feels wellny likely to sink,--
An he hasn't a coin in his fob,
Yo may guess what he's seekin--it's Drink.

If a woman yo meet, poorly dressed,
Untidy, an spoortin black e'en;
Wi' a babby hawf clammed at her breast,
Neglected an shame-to-be-seen;
If yo ax, an shoo'll answer yo true,
What's th' cause of her trouble? Aw think,
Yo'll find her misfortuns are due
To that warst o' all enemies,--Drink.

Ax th' wretches convicted o' crime,
What caused 'em to plunge into sin,
An they'll say ommost ivvery time,
It's been th' love o' rum, whisky or gin.
Even th' gallus, if it could but tell
Ov its victims dropt ovver life's brink;
It wod add a sad lot moor to swell
The list ov those lost throo strong Drink.

Yet daily we thowtlessly pass,
The hell-traps 'at stand like a curse;
Bedizened wi' glitter an glass,
To mak paupers, an likely do worse.
Some say 'at th' millenium's near,
But they're reckonin wrang aw should think,
When they fancy the King will appear,
In a world soa besotted wi' Drink.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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