John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

Whear Natur Missed It - Poem by John Hartley

As Rueben wor smookin his pipe tother neet,
Bi th' corner o'th' little 'Slip Inn;'
He spied some fowk marchin, an fancied he heeard
A varry queer sooart ov a din.
As nearer they coom he sed, 'Bless mi life!
What means all this hullaballoo?
If they dooant stop that din they'll sewer get run in,
An just sarve 'em reight if they do.'

But as they approached, he saw wi' surprise,
They seemed a respectable lot;
An th' hymn at they sung he'd net heeard for soa long,
Wol he felt fairly rooited to th' spot.
I'th' front wor a woman who walked backards rooad,
Beatin time wi' a big umberel,
An he sed, 'Well, aw'll bet, that licks all aw've seen yet,
What they'll do next noa mortal can tell.'

On they coom like a flood, an shoo saw Rueben stood,--
An her een seemed fair blazin wi' leet;
'Halt!' shoo cried, an shoo went an varry sooin sent
Rueben's pipe flyin off into th' street.
'Young man,' shoo began, 'if yo had been born
To smoke that old pipe, then insteead,
Ov a nice crop o' hair Natur wod a put thear
A chimly at top o' thi heead.'

Rueben felt rather mad, for 'twor all th' pipe he had,
An he sed, 'Well, that happen mud be;
But aw'm nobbut human, an thee bein a woman
Has proved a salvation to thee.
If a chap had done that aw'd ha knocked him daan flat,
But wi' yo its a different thing;
But aw'm thinkin someha, th' same law will allaa
Me too smook, at allaas yo to sing.'

Shoo gloored in his face an went back to her place,
As shoo gave him a witherin luk;
An swung her umbrel,--ovverbalanced, an fell
An ligg'd sprawlin her length amang th' muck.
All her army seemed dumb, an th' chap wi' th' big drum,
Turned a bulnex, an let on her chest;
Wol th' fiddles an flute wor ivvery one mute,
An th' tamborines tuk a short rest.

Then Rueben drew near, an he sed in her ear,
As he lifted her onto her feet;
'Sometimes its as wise when we start to advise,
To be mindful we're net indiscreet.
If yo'd been intended to walk backardsway,
To save yo from gettin that bump,
Dame Natur, in kindness, aw'll ventur to say,
Wod ha planted a e'e i' yor bustle.'


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010



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