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Passions in PoetryNorthern Farmer. Old Style
by Lord Alfred Tennyson


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Passions in Poetry Home > All Poems > Classic Poetry > Lord Alfred Tennyson > Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
Lord Alfred Tennyson
Poetry | Biography | Resources
Northern Farmer. Old Style
by Lord Alfred Tennyson


Wheer 'asta bean saw long and mea liggin' 'ere aloan?
Noorse? thoort nowt o' a noorse: whoy, Doctor's abean an' agoan:
Says that I moant 'a naw moor aale: but I beant a fool:
Git ma my aale, fur I beant a-gooin' to break my rule.


Doctors, they naws nowt, fur a says what's nawways true:
Naw soort o' koind o' use to saay the things that a do.
I've 'ed my point o' aale ivry noight sin' I bean 'ere,
An' I've 'ed my quart ivry market-noight for foorty year.


Parson's a bean loikewise, an' a sittin' 'ere o' my bed.
"The amoighty's a taakin o' you to 'issen, my friend," a said,
An' a towd ma my sins, an's toithe were due, an' I gied it in hond;
I done moy duty boy 'um, as I 'a done boy the lond.


Larned a ma' bea. I reckons I 'annot sa mooch to larn.
But a cast oop, thot a did, 'boot Bessy Marris's barne,
Thaw a knaws I hallus voate wi' Squoire an' choorch an' staate,
An' i' the woorst o' toimes I wur niver agin the raate.


An' I hallus coomed to 's choorch afoor moy Sally wur dead,
An' 'eerd 'um a bummin' awaay loike a buzzard-clock ower my 'ead,
An' I niver knawed whot a meaned but I thowt a 'ad summut to saay,
An' I thowt a said whot a owt to 'a said an' I coomed awaay.


Bessy Marris's barne! tha knaws she laaid it to mea.
Mowt a bean, mayhap, fur she wur a bad un, shea.
'Siver, I kep 'um, I kep 'um, my lass, tha mun understond;
I done moy duty boy 'um, as I 'a done boy the lond.


But Parson a comes an' a goos, an' a says it easy an' freea,
"The amoighty's a taakin o' you to 'issen, my friend," says 'ea.
I weant saay men be loiars, thaw summun said it in 'aaste:
Bur 'e reads wonn sarmin a weeak, an' I 'a stubbed Thurnaby waaste.


D'ya moind the waaste, my lass? naw, naw, tha was not born then;
Theer wur a boggle in it, I often 'eerd 'um mysen;
Moast loike a butter-bump, fur I 'eerd 'um aboot an' aboot,
But I stubbed 'um oop wi' the lot, an' raaved an' rembled 'um oot.


Keaper's it wur; fo' they fun 'um theer a-laaid of 'is faace
Doon i' the woild 'enemies afoor I coomed to the plaace.
Noaks or Thimbleby -toaner 'ed shot 'um as dead as a naail.
Noaks wur 'anged fur it oop at 'soize -but git ma my aale.


Dabbut loook at the waaste: theer warn't not feead for a cow;
Nowt at all but bracken an' fuzz, an' loook at it now -
Warnt worth nowt a haacre, an' now theer's lots o' feead,
Fourscoor yows upon it an' some on it doon i' seead.


Nobbut a bit on it's left, an' I meaned to a' stubbed it at fall,
Done it ta-year I meaned, an' runned plow thruff it an' all,
If godamoighty an' parson 'ud nobbut let ma aloan,
Mea, wi' haate oonderd haacre o' Squoire's, an' lond o' my oan.


Do godamoighty knaw what a's doing a-taakin' o' mea?
I beant wonn as saws 'ere a bean an' yonder a pea;
An' Squoire 'ull be sa mad an' all - a' dear a' dear!
And I 'a managed for Squoire coom Michaelmas thutty year.


A mowt 'a taaen owd Joanes, as 'ant nor a 'aapoth o' sense,
Or a mowt 'a taaen young Robins -a niver mended a fence:
But godamoighty a moost taake mea an' taake ma now
Wi' aaf the cows to cauve an' Thurnaby hoalms to plow!


Loook 'ow quoloty smoiles when they seeas ma a passin' boy,
Says to thessen naw doubt, "what a man a bea sewer-loy!"
Fur they knaws what I bean to Squoire sin fust a coomed to the 'All;
I done moy duty by Squoire an' I done my duty boy hall.


Squoire's i' Lunnon, an' summen I reckons 'ull 'a to wroite,
For whoa's to howd the lond ater mea thot muddles ma quoit;
Sartin-sewer I bea, thot a weant niver give it to Joanes,
Naw, not a moant to Robins -a niver rembles the stoans.


But summun 'ull come ater mea mayhap wi' 'is kittle o' steam
Huzzin' an' maazin' the blessed fealds wi' the Divil's oan tem.
Sin' I mun doy I mun doy, thaw loife they says is sweet,
But sin' I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldn abear to see it.


What atta stannin' theer fur, an' doesn bring ma the aale?
Doctor's a 'toattler, lass, an' a's hallus i' the owd taale;
I weant break rules fur Doctor, a knaws naw moor nor a floy;
Git ma my aale I tell tha, an' if I mun doy I mun doy.


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