Samuel Bamford

(1788-1872 / England)

The Bard's Reformation. - Poem by Samuel Bamford

Adieu to the Alehouse, where pounds I have spent,
For drinkin' and smokin' bring little content,
Where laughin' an' grinnin',
An' bettin' an' winnin',
Cause sorrowful sinnin',
The roar and the rant,
A better beginnin' is now my intent.

Adieu to the fiddle, the dance, an' the song,
To the lads an' the lasses I've trip't it among,
Adieu unto Johnny,
Who dances so bonny,
The tightest of ony;
Yon flag it can tell*
The weight of his steps, an' he timeth them well.

Adieu to the glance of the love-lookin' e'e,
To the lip that is sweet as the mel of the bee;
The waist that is charmin'
The movement so warmin',
The purpose disarmin',
Of mortals like me;
An' prudence alarmin' commands me to flee.

Adieu to the lads, who are dons in the fray,
I've borne their sore bruises for mony a day;
There's Darby an' Dobbin',
Mad Ab au' Rough Robin',
For kickin' or nobin'
Do carry the bay,
There's no country gobbin can bear it away.

Farewell to the lads who love frolic an' fun,
An' gayly support it when once 'tis begun;
There's Dick, Ned, an' Simon,
True lovers of joy, mon,
I ne'er found them coy, mon,
At fuddle or spree;
The tear an' the sigh, mon, before 'em will flee.

Farewell to the Doctor, whose wit is as bright
As the glim of the glow-worm on grey Summer's night;
His cordial, delicious,
His green peas for issues,
Pills, plasters, and washes,
Are flitted to Lees,
The sick of the village to free from disease.

'The Gentleman's' company I must refrain,
Although the denial may cost me much pain;
He singeth so sweetly,
He diddles so neatly,
With snuff he will treat ye,
Ay, 'honour' he will;
The toper of topers is 'Gentleman Sprill.'

So now to my own little nook I'll retire,
I'll bar out the storm, an' I'll trim up the fire,
This witchery breakin',
All folly forsakin',
To study betakin',
My mind to improve;
My muse ever wakin' to freedom an' love.
*At the Suffield's Arms, in Middleton, a flag is shown broken by the dancing of Johnny Ogden, supposed at that time to be the best dancer in Lancashire.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010



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