Edwin Waugh

(1817-1890 / England)

The Little Doffer - Poem by Edwin Waugh

A merry little doffer lad
Coom down to Shapper's mill,
To see if he could get a shop;
He said his name wur 'Bill.'
'Bill what, my lad?' th' o'erlooker said;
'Arto co'de nought beside?'
'Oh, yigh/'said th'lad;
'they co'n me things—
Sometimes,—'at's bad to bide!'

'But what's thi faither's name, my lad?
Thou'll surely tell me that!'
Said th' lad, 'Some co'n him 'Apple Dad,—
His gradely name's 'Owd Hat/
'My uncle Joe's co'de 'Flopper Chops!'
An' sometimes 'Owd Betide!'
They co'n him those
at th' weighvin'- shops;
An' I know nought beside.'

Said th' o'erlooker, 'I know owd Joe,—
He weighvs for Billy Grime;
But, what dun they co' thee, my lad,
When they co'n at dinner-time?'
Th' lad grinned, an' said, 'They never han
To co' me then,—no fear!'
Said th' o'erlooker, 'How's that, my lad?'
Said th' lad, 'I'm al'ays theer!'

'My lad, thou looks a lively cowt;
Keen as a cross-cut saw;
Short yure, sharp teeth, a twinklin e'e,
An' a little hungry maw!
'But, wheer hasto bin wortchin at?
What's brought tho down our way?'
Said th' lad, 'I wortched for Tommy Platt;
He's gan me th' bag, to-day.'

'Thou's brought thi character, I guess?'
Says th' lad, 'yo're wrang, I doubt:'
Says th' o'erlooker to th' lad, 'How's this?'
Says th' lad, 'I'm better bowt!'
Said th' o'erlooker, 'I never see
Sich a whelp sin I wur bom!
But, I'll try what I can make o' thee:
Come to thi wark to-Tnnm!'


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010



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