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Short poem

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Northern Farmer: Old Style

              1  Wheer 'asta beän saw long and meä liggin' 'ere aloän?
              2Noorse? thoort nowt o' a noorse: whoy, Doctor's abeän an' agoän;
              3Says that I moänt 'a naw moor aäle; but I beänt a fool;
              4Git ma my aäle, fur I beänt a-gawin' to breäk my rule.

              5  Doctors, they knaws nowt, fur a says what 's nawways true;
              6Naw soort o' koind o' use to saäy the things that a do.
              7I 've 'ed my point o' aäle ivry noight sin' I beän 'ere.
              8An' I 've 'ed my quart ivry market-noight for foorty year.

              9  Parson 's a beän loikewoise, an' a sittin' ere o' my bed.
            10"The amoighty 's a taäkin o' you to 'isén, my friend," a said,
            11An' a towd ma my sins, an' s toithe were due, an' I gied it in hond;
            12I done moy duty boy 'um, as I 'a done boy the lond.

            13  Larn'd a ma' beä. I reckons I 'annot sa mooch to larn.
            14But a cast oop, thot a did, 'bout Bessy Marris's barne.
            15Thaw a knaws I hallus voäted wi' Squoire an' choorch an' staäte,
            16An' i' the woost o' toimes I wur niver agin the raäte.

            17  An' I hallus coom'd to 's choorch afoor moy Sally wur deäd,
            18An' 'eard 'um a bummin' awaäy loike a buzzard-clock ower me 'eäd,
            19An' I niver knaw'd whot a meän'd but a thowt ä 'ad summut to saäy.
            20An' I thowt a said what a owt to 'a said, an' I coom'd awaäy.

            21  Bessy Marris's barne! tha knaws she laäid it to meä.
            22Mowt a beän, mayhap, for she wur a bad un, sheä.
            23'Siver, I kep 'um, I kep 'um, my lass, tha mun understond;
            24I done moy duty boy 'um, as I 'a done boy the lond.

            25  But Parson a cooms an' a goäs, an' a says it easy an' freeä:
            26"The amoighty 's taäkin o' you to 'issén, my friend," says 'eä.
            27I weänt saäy men be loiars, thaw summun said it in 'aäste;
            28But 'e reäds wonn sarmin a weeäk, an' I 'a stubb'd Thurnaby waäste.

            29  D' ya moind the waäste, my lass? naw, naw, tha was not born then;
            30Theer wur a boggle in it, I often 'eärd 'um mysén;
            31Moäst loike a butter-bump, fur I 'eärd 'um about an' about,
            32But I stubb'd 'um oop wi' the lot, an' raäved an' rembled 'um out.

            33  Keäper's it wur; fo' they fun 'um theer a-laäid of is' faäce
            34Down i' the woild 'enemies afoor I coom'd to the plaäce.
            35Noäks or Thimbleby--toäner 'ed shot 'um as dead as a naäil.
            36Noäks wur 'ang'd for it opp at 'soize--but git ma my aäle.

            37  Dubbut looök at the waäaste; theer warn't not feeäd for a cow;
            38Nowt at all but bracken an' fuzz, an' looök at it now--
            39Warn't worth nowt a haäcre, an' now theer 's lots o' feeäd,
            40Fourscoor yows upon it, an' some on it down i' seeäd.

            41  Nobbut a bit on it 's left, an' I meän'd to 'a stubb'd it at fall,
            42Done it ta-year I meän'd, an' runn'd plow thruff it an' all,
            43If godamoighty an' parson 'ud nobbut let ma aloän,--
            44Meä, wi haäte hoonderd haäcre o' Squoire's, an' lond o' my oän.

            45  Do godamoighty knaw what a's doing a-taäkin' o' meä?
            46I beänt wonn as saws 'ere a beän an yonder a peä;
            47An' Squoire 'ull be sa mad an' all--a' dear, a' dear!
            48And I 'a managed for Squoire coom Michaelmas thutty year.

            49  A mowt 'a taäen owd Joänes, as 'ant not a 'aäpoth o' sense,
            50Or a mowt a' taäen young Robins--a niver mended a fence:
            51But godamoighty a moost taäke meä an' taäke ma now,
            52Wi' aäf the cows to cauve an' Thurnaby hoälms to plow!

            53  Looök 'ow quoloty smoiles when they seeäs ma a passin' boy,
            54Says to thessén, naw doubt, "What a man a beä sewer-loy!"
            55Fur they knaws what I beän to Squoire sin' fust a coom'd to the 'All;
            56I done moy duty by Squoire an' I done moy duty boy hall.

            57  Squoire 's i' Lunnon, an' summun I reckons 'ull 'a to wroite,
            58For whoa 's to howd the lond ater meä that muddles ma quoit;
            59Sartin-sewer I beä, thot a weänt niver give it to Joänes,
            60Naw, nor a moänt to Robins--a niver rembles the stoäns.

            61  But summun 'ull come ater meä mayhap wi' 'is kittle o' steäm
            62Huzzin' an' maazin' the blessed feälds wi' the Divil's oän teäm.
            63Sin' I mun doy I mun doy, thaw loife they says is sweet,
            64But sin' I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldn abeär to see it.

            65  What atta stannin' theer fur, an' doesn bring me the aäle?
            66Doctor 's a 'toättler, lass, an a's hallus i' the owd taäle;
            67I weänt breäk rules fur Doctor, a knaws naw moor nor a floy;
            68Git ma my aäle, I tell tha, an' if I mun doy I mun doy.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Alfred lord Tennyson, Enoch Arden (1864). Alfred lord Tennyson, Works (London: Macmillan, 1891). tenn T366 A1 1891a Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1865
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP 2.406.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/13

Composition date: February 1861
Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson