Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

Northern Farmer: Old Style - Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wheer 'asta beän saw long and meä liggin' 'ere aloän?
Noorse? thoort nowt o' a noorse: whoy, Doctor's abeän an' agoän;
Says that I moänt 'a naw moor aäle; but I beänt a fool;
Git ma my aäle, fur I beänt a-gawin' to breäk my rule.
Doctors, they knaws nowt, fur a says what 's nawways true;
Naw soort o' koind o' use to saäy the things that a do.
I 've 'ed my point o' aäle ivry noight sin' I beän 'ere.
An' I 've 'ed my quart ivry market-noight for foorty year.
Parson 's a beän loikewoise, an' a sittin' ere o' my bed.
"The amoighty 's a taäkin o' you to 'isén, my friend," a said,
An' a towd ma my sins, an' s toithe were due, an' I gied it in hond;
I done moy duty boy 'um, as I 'a done boy the lond.

Larn'd a ma' beä. I reckons I 'annot sa mooch to larn.
But a cast oop, thot a did, 'bout Bessy Marris's barne.
Thaw a knaws I hallus voäted wi' Squoire an' choorch an' staäte,
An' i' the woost o' toimes I wur niver agin the raäte.

An' I hallus coom'd to 's choorch afoor moy Sally wur deäd,
An' 'eard 'um a bummin' awaäy loike a buzzard-clock ower me 'eäd,
An' I niver knaw'd whot a meän'd but a thowt ä 'ad summut to saäy.
An' I thowt a said what a owt to 'a said, an' I coom'd awaäy.

Bessy Marris's barne! tha knaws she laäid it to meä.
Mowt a beän, mayhap, for she wur a bad un, sheä.
'Siver, I kep 'um, I kep 'um, my lass, tha mun understond;
I done moy duty boy 'um, as I 'a done boy the lond.

But Parson a cooms an' a goäs, an' a says it easy an' freeä:
"The amoighty 's taäkin o' you to 'issén, my friend," says 'eä.
I weänt saäy men be loiars, thaw summun said it in 'aäste;
But 'e reäds wonn sarmin a weeäk, an' I 'a stubb'd Thurnaby waäste.

D' ya moind the waäste, my lass? naw, naw, tha was not born then;
Theer wur a boggle in it, I often 'eärd 'um mysén;
Moäst loike a butter-bump, fur I 'eärd 'um about an' about,
But I stubb'd 'um oop wi' the lot, an' raäved an' rembled 'um out.

Keäper's it wur; fo' they fun 'um theer a-laäid of is' faäce
Down i' the woild 'enemies afoor I coom'd to the plaäce.
Noäks or Thimbleby--toäner 'ed shot 'um as dead as a naäil.
Noäks wur 'ang'd for it opp at 'soize--but git ma my aäle.

Dubbut looök at the waäaste; theer warn't not feeäd for a cow;
Nowt at all but bracken an' fuzz, an' looök at it now--
Warn't worth nowt a haäcre, an' now theer 's lots o' feeäd,
Fourscoor yows upon it, an' some on it down i' seeäd.

Nobbut a bit on it 's left, an' I meän'd to 'a stubb'd it at fall,
Done it ta-year I meän'd, an' runn'd plow thruff it an' all,
If godamoighty an' parson 'ud nobbut let ma aloän,--
Meä, wi haäte hoonderd haäcre o' Squoire's, an' lond o' my oän.

Do godamoighty knaw what a's doing a-taäkin' o' meä?
I beänt wonn as saws 'ere a beän an yonder a peä;
An' Squoire 'ull be sa mad an' all--a' dear, a' dear!
And I 'a managed for Squoire coom Michaelmas thutty year.

A mowt 'a taäen owd Joänes, as 'ant not a 'aäpoth o' sense,
Or a mowt a' taäen young Robins--a niver mended a fence:
But godamoighty a moost taäke meä an' taäke ma now,
Wi' aäf the cows to cauve an' Thurnaby hoälms to plow!

Looök 'ow quoloty smoiles when they seeäs ma a passin' boy,
Says to thessén, naw doubt, "What a man a beä sewer-loy!"
Fur they knaws what I beän to Squoire sin' fust a coom'd to the 'All;
I done moy duty by Squoire an' I done moy duty boy hall.

Squoire 's i' Lunnon, an' summun I reckons 'ull 'a to wroite,
For whoa 's to howd the lond ater meä that muddles ma quoit;
Sartin-sewer I beä, thot a weänt niver give it to Joänes,
Naw, nor a moänt to Robins--a niver rembles the stoäns.

But summun 'ull come ater meä mayhap wi' 'is kittle o' steäm
Huzzin' an' maazin' the blessed feälds wi' the Divil's oän teäm.
Sin' I mun doy I mun doy, thaw loife they says is sweet,
But sin' I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldn abeär to see it.

What atta stannin' theer fur, an' doesn bring me the aäle?
Doctor 's a 'toättler, lass, an a's hallus i' the owd taäle;
I weänt breäk rules fur Doctor, a knaws naw moor nor a floy;
Git ma my aäle, I tell tha, an' if I mun doy I mun doy.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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