Th' Better Part.
A poor owd man wi' tott'ring gait,Wi' body bent, and snowy pate,Aw met one day;—An' daan o' th' rooad side grassy banksHe sat to rest his weary shanks;An' aw, to wile away my time,O'th' neighbouring hillock did recline,An' bade "gooid day."
Said aw, "Owd friend, pray tell me true,If in your heart yo niver rueThe time 'ats past?Does envy niver fill your breastWhen passin fowk wi' riches blest?An' do yo niver think it wrangAt yo should have to trudge alang,Soa poor to th' last?"
"Young man," he said "aw envy nooan;But ther are times aw pity some,Wi' all mi heart;To see what troubled lives they spend,What cares upon their hands depend;Then aw in thoughtfulness declare'At 'little cattle little care'Is th' better part.
Gold is a burden hard to carry,An' tho' Dame Fortune has been charyO' gifts to me;Yet still aw strive to feel content,An' think what is, for th' best is meant;An' th' mooast ov all aw strive for here,Is still to keep mi conscience clear,From dark spots free.
An' while some tax ther brains to findWhat they'll be forced to leave behind,When th' time shall come;Aw try bi honest word an' deed,To get what little here aw need,An' live i' hopes at last to say,When breath go as flickerin away,'Awm gooin hooam.'"
Aw gave his hand a hearty shake,It seem'd as tho' the words he spakeSank i' mi heart:Aw walk'd away a wiser man,Detarmined aw wod try his planI' hopes at last 'at aw might beAs weel assured ov Heaven as he;That's th' better part.
Aw've a rare lump o' beef on a dish,We've some bacon 'at's hung up o' th' thack,We've as mich gooid spike-cake as we wish,An' wi' currens its varry near black;We've a barrel o' gooid hooam brewed drink,We've a pack o' flaar reared agean th' clock,We've a load o' puttates under th' sink,So we're pretty weel off as to jock.Aw'm soa fain aw can't tell whear to bide,But the cause aw dar hardly let aat;It suits me moor nor all else beside;Aw've a paand 'at th' wife knows nowt abaat.Aw can nah have a spree to misel?Aw can treat mi old mates wi' a glass;An' aw sha'nt ha' to come home an' tellMy old lass, ha' aw've shut all mi brass.Some fowk say, when a chap's getten wed,He should nivver keep owt thro' his wife;If he does awve oft heard 'at it's sed,'At it's sure to breed trouble an' strife;If it does aw'm net baan to throw up,Tho' aw'd mich rayther get on withaat;But who wodn't risk a blow up,For a paand 'at th' wife knows nowt abaat.Aw hid it i' th' coil hoil last neet,For fear it dropt aat o' mi fob,Coss aw knew, if shoo happened to see 't,At mi frolic wod prove a done job.But aw'll gladden mi een wi' its face,To mak sure at its safe in its nick;—But aw'm blest if ther's owt left i' th' place!Why, its hook'd it as sure as aw'm wick.Whear its gooan to's a puzzle to me,An' who's taen it aw connot mak aat,For it connot be th' wife, coss you seeIt's a paand 'at shoo knew nowt abaat.But thear shoo is, peepin' off th' side,An' aw see'at shoo's all on a grin;To chait her aw've monny a time tried,But I think it's nah time to give in.A chap may be deep as a well,But a woman's his maister when done;He may chuckle and flatter hissel,But he'll wakken to find at shoo's won.It's a rayther unpleasant affair,Yet it's better it's happened noa daat;Aw'st be fain to come in for a shareO' that paand at th' wife knows all abaat.
Awm sittin o' that old stooan seeat,Wheear last aw set wi' thee;It seems long years sin' last we met,Awm sure it must be three.Awm wond'rin what aw sed or did,Or what aw left undone:'At made thi hook it, an' get wed,To one tha used to shun.Aw dooant say awm a handsom chap,Becoss aw know awm net;But if aw wor 'ith' mind to change,He isn't th' chap, aw'll bet.Awm net a scoller, but aw knowA long chawk moor ner him;It couldn't be his knowledge box'At made thi change thi whim.He doesn't haddle as mich brassAs aw do ivery wick:An' if he gets a gradely shop,It's seldom he can stick.An' then agean,—he goes on th' rant;Nah, that aw niver do;—Aw allus mark misen content,Wi' an odd pint or two.His brother is a lazy lout,—His sister's nooan too gooid,—Ther's net a daycent 'en ith' bunch,—Vice seems to run ith' blooid.An yet th'art happy,—soa they say,That caps me moor ner owt!Tha taks a deal less suitin, lass,Nor iver awst ha' thowt.Aw saw yo walkin aat one neet,Befoor yo'd getten wed;Aw guess'd what he wor tawkin, thoAw dooant know what he sed....