John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

Th' Short-Timer - Poem by John Hartley

Some poets sing o' gipsy queens,
An some o' ladies fine;
Aw'll sing a song o' other scenes,--
A humbler muse is mine.
Jewels, an' gold, an silken frills,
Are things too heigh for me;
But wol mi harp wi vigour thrills,
Aw'll strike a chord for thee.

Poor lassie wan,
Do th' best tha can,
Although thi fate be hard.
A time ther'll be
When sich as thee
Shall have yor full reward.

At hauf-past five tha leaves thi bed,
An off tha goes to wark;
An gropes thi way to mill or shed,
Six months o'th' year i'th' dark.
Tha gets but little for thi pains,
But that's noa fault o' thine;
Thi maister reckons up _his_ gains,
An ligs i bed till nine.

Poor lassie wan, &c.

He's little childer ov his own
'At's quite as old as thee;
They ride i' cushioned carriages
'At's beautiful to see;
They'd fear to spoil ther little hand,
To touch thy greasy brat:
It's wark like thine at makes em grand--
They nivver think o' that.

Poor lassie wan, &c.

I' summer time they romp an' play
Where flowers grow wild and sweet;
Ther bodies strong, ther spirits gay,
They thrive throo morn to neet.
But tha's a cough, aw hear tha has,
An oft aw've known thee sick;
But tha mun work, poor little lass,
Foa hauf-a-craan a wick.

Poor lassie wan, &c.

Aw envy net fowks' better lot--
Aw shouldn't like to swap.
Aw'm quite contented wi mi cot;
Aw'm but a workin chap.
But if aw had a lot o' brass
Aw'd think o' them at's poor;
Aw'd have yo' childer workin less,
An mak yor wages moor.

Poor lassie wan, &c.

'There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.'
Noa fact'ry bell shall greet thi ear,
I' that sweet home ov love;
An' those at scorn thi sufferins here
May envy thee above.

Poor lassie wan, &c.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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