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Northern Farmer. Old Style
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

English poet and dramatist, generally considered to be the chief representative of the Victorian age in poetry. Tennyson's major works include his Poems. Chiefly Lyrical (1830); his two volume work, again entitled Poems, of 1842 which includes, alongside rewritten earlier works, the dramatic monologue 'Ulysses', 'Morte d'Arthur' and 'Sir Galahad' - his first pieces dealing with Arthurian legend, 'Locksley Hall' and 'Break, Break, Break'; the novella Princess: a Medly (1847) and his In Memorium A.H.H. (1850), a tribute to his deceased friend Arthur Hallam.

Other major works, this time from Tennyson's second period of creative out put after being made poet laureate, include Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington (1852), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) and Maud (1855), what Tennyson referred to as his "monodrama".

He also wrote, in later years, a number of works centred on Arthurian legends, including The Idylls of the King (1859), The Holy Grail and Other Poems (1870) and Gareth and Lynette (1872), as well as some poetic dramas: Queen Mary (1875), Harold (1877), Becket (1884) and, his only prose work, The Promise of May (produced at the Globe Theatre in November 1882). Other important works are Despair (1881), Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), Demeter and Other Poems (1889) and his famous Crossing the Bar (1889). At Alfred's request, his poem "Crossing the Bar," an epitaph of sorts, is always printed last in any collection of his works (our thanks to visitor Cynthia R. for reminding Passions of this oversight).

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 te„m.
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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