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Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Northern Farmer: New Style


              1  Dosn't thou 'ear my 'erse's legs, as they canters awaäy?
              2Proputty, proputty, proputty--that's what I 'ears 'em saäy.
              3Proputty, proputty, proputty--Sam, thou's an ass for thy paaïns:
              4Theer's moor sense i' one o' 'is legs, nor in all thy braaïns.

              5  Woä--theer's a craw to pluck wi' tha, Sam; yon 's parson's 'ouse--
              6Dosn't thou knaw that a man mun be eäther a man or a mouse?
              7Time to think on it then; for thou'll be twenty to weeäk.
              8Proputty, proputty--woä then, woä--let ma 'ear mysén speäk.

              9  Me an' thy muther, Sammy, 'as been a'talkin' o' thee;
            10Thou's beän talkin' to muther, an' she beän a tellin' it me.
            11Thou'll not marry for munny--thou's sweet upo' parson's lass--
            12Noä--thou 'll marry for luvv--an' we boäth of us thinks tha an ass.

            13  Seeä'd her todaäy goä by--Saäint's-daäy--they was ringing the bells.
            14She's a beauty, thou thinks--an' soä is scoors o' gells,
            15Them as 'as munny an' all--wot's a beauty?--the flower as blaws.
            16But proputty, proputty sticks, an' proputty, proputty graws.

            17  Do'ant be stunt; taäke time. I knaws what maäkes tha sa mad.
            18Warn't I craäzed fur the lasses mysén when I wur a lad?
            19But I knaw'd a Quaäker feller as often 'as towd ma this:
            20"Doänt thou marry for munny, but goä wheer munny is!"

            21  An' I went wheer munny war; an' thy muther coom to 'and,
            22Wi' lots o' munny laaïd by, an' a nicetish bit o' land.
            23Maäybe she warn't a beauty--I niver giv it a thowt--
            24But warn't she as good to cuddle an' kiss as a lass as 'ant nowt?

            25  Parson's lass 'ant nowt, an' she weänt 'a nowt when 'e 's deäd,
            26Mun be a guvness, lad, or summut, and addle her breäd.
            27Why? for 'e 's nobbut a curate, an' weänt niver get hissén clear,
            28An' 'e maäde the bed as 'e ligs on afoor 'e coom'd to the shere.

            29  An' thin 'e coom'd to the parish wi' lots o' Varsity debt,
            30Stook to his taäil thy did, an' 'e 'ant got shut on 'em yet.
            31An' 'e ligs on 'is back i' the grip, wi' noän to lend 'im a shuvv,
            32Woorse nor a far-welter'd yowe: fur, Sammy, 'e married for luvv.

            33  Luvv? what's luvv? thou can luvv thy lass an' 'er munny too,
            34Maäkin' 'em goä togither, as they've good right to do.
            35Couldn I luvv thy muther by cause 'o 'er munny laaïd by?
            36Naäy--fur I luvv'd 'er a vast sight moor fur it: reäson why.

            37  Ay, an' thy muther says thou wants to marry the lass,
            38Cooms of a gentleman burn: an' we boäth on us thinks tha an ass.
            39Woä then, proputty, wiltha?--an ass as near as mays nowt--
            40Woä then, wiltha? dangtha!--the bees is as fell as owt.

            41  Breäk me a bit o' the esh for his 'eäd, lad, out o' the fence!
            42Gentleman burn! what's gentleman burn? is it shillins an' pence?
            43Proputty, proputty's ivrything 'ere, an', Sammy, I'm blest
            44If it isn't the saäme oop yonder, fur them as 'as it 's the best.

            45  Tis'n them as 'as munny as breaks into 'ouses an' steäls,
            46Them as 'as coats to their backs an' taäkes their regular meäls,
            47Noä, but it 's them as niver knaws wheer a meäl's to be 'ad.
            48Taäke my word for it Sammy, the poor in a loomp is bad.

            49  Them or thir feythers, tha sees, mun 'a beän a laäzy lot,
            50Fur work mun 'a gone to the gittin' whiniver munny was got.
            51Feyther 'ad ammost nowt; leastways 'is munny was 'id.
            52But 'e tued an' moil'd issén dead, an' 'e died a good un, 'e did.

            53  Looök thou theer wheer Wrigglesby beck cooms out by the 'ill!
            54Feyther run oop to the farm, an' I runs oop to the mill;
            55An' I 'll run oop to the brig, an' that thou 'll live to see;
            56And if thou marries a good un I 'll leäve the land to thee.

            57  Thim's my noätions, Sammy, wheerby I means to stick;
            58But if thou marries a bad un, I 'll leäve the land to Dick.--
            59Coom oop, proputty, proputty--that's what I 'ears 'im saäy--
            60Proputty, proputty, proputty--canter an' canter awaäy.


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, The Holy Grail and other poems (London: Strahan, 1870 [1869]). PR 5559 H5 1870 ROBA. Alfred lord Tennyson, Works (London: Macmillan, 1891). tenn T366 A1 1891a Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1869
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP 2.409.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/13

Rhyme: aabb


Other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson