John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

Growin Old - Poem by John Hartley

Old age, aw can feel's creepin on,
Aw've noa taste for what once made me glad;
Mi love ov wild marlocks is gooan,
An aw know awm noa longer a lad.
When aw luk back at th' mile stooans aw've pass'd,
As aw've thowtlessly stroll'd o'er life's track,
Awm foorced to acknowledge at last,
'At its mooastly been all a mistak.

Aw know aw can ne'er start agean,
An what's done aw can nivver undo,
All aw've gained has been simply to leearn
Ha mi hooaps, one bi one's fallen throo.
When a lad, wi' moor follies nor brains,
Aw thowt what awd do as a man;
An aw caanted mi profits an gains,
As a lad full ov hooap only can.

An aw thowt when mi beard 'gan to grow,
Aw could leead all this world in a string,
Yet it tuk but a few years to show
'At aw couldn't do onny sich thing.
But aw tewd an aw fowt neet an day,
An detarmined awd nivver give in,
Hooap still cheered me on wi' her ray,
An awd faith 'at i'th' long run awst win.

A fortun aw felt wor for me,
An joy seem'd i'th' grasp o' mi list;
An aw laffd as aw clutched it wi' glee,
But someha or other it miss'd.
Still, aw pluckt up mi courage once moor,
An aw struggled wi' might an wi' main,
But awd noa better luck nor befooar,
An mi harvest wor sorrow an pain.

An nah, when mi best days are passed,
An mi courage an strength are all spent;
Aw've to stand o' one side an at last,
Wi' mi failures an falls rest content,
In this world some pleasures to win,
Aw've been trubbled an tried an perplext,
An aw've thowtlessly rushed into sin,
An ne'er cared for a treasure i'th' next.

As mi limbs get moor feeble an waik,
An aw know sooin mi race will be run;
Mi heart ommost feels fit to braik,
When aw think what aw've left all undone.
Nah, aw've nobbut th' fag end o' mi days
To prepare for a world withaat end;
Soa its time aw wor changin mi ways.
For ther's noa time like the present to mend

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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