John Hartley

John Hartley Poems

  • 1.  
    Th' sun shone breet at early morn,
    Burds sang sweetly on the trees; Larks wor springin from the corn,
  • 2.  
    A lecture on this subject was delivered on Tuesday evening, to the members of the Ladies' Needle and Thimble Association, by the Rev. James Sleek, curate of St. Enock's-in-the-Mist. After adverting to the plagues of Egypt, the learned lecturer dwelt at length upon the plagues of the present day, which he classed under the following heads: - Servants, poor relations, borrowers, teetotallars, tobacco-smokers, and children in arms. To counteract these evils were such associations as the one he had the honor to address, select tea meetings, fancy bazaars, and perambulators. The lecture gave great satisfaction.

  • 3.  
    Coortin days, - Coortin days, - loved one an lover!
    What wod aw give if those days could come ovver? Weddin is joyous, - its pleasur unstinted;
  • 4.  
    Once agean welcome! oh, what is ther grander,
    When years have rolled by sin' yo left an old friend? An what cheers yor heart, when yo far away wander,
  • 5.  
    Aw live in a snug little cot,
    An' tho' poor, yet aw keep aght o' debt, Cloise by, in a big garden plot,
  • 6.  
    Bonny Yorksher! how aw love thi!
    Hard an rugged tho' thi face is; Ther's an honest air abaat thi,
  • 7.  
    Sin Leeds wor a city it puts on grand airs,
    An aw've noa wish to bother wi' others' affairs; 'At they've mich to be praad on aw freely admit,
  • 8.  
    She has gone for ever from earth away,
    Yet those tiny fingers haunt me still; In the silent night, when the moons pale ray,
  • 9.  
    It wor th' owd, owd story he towd her,
    Th' story, 'at's owder nor time; Nowt ivver chap whisper'd wor owder,
  • 10.  
    Old age, aw can feel's creepin on,
    Aw've noa taste for what once made me glad; Mi love ov wild marlocks is gooan,
  • 11.  
    "Soa, yo're th' new parson, are yo?
    Well, awm fain to see yo've come; Yo'll feel a trifle strange at furst,
  • 12.  
    My Polly's varry bonny,
    Her een are black an breet; They shine under her raven locks,
  • 13.  
    As aw passed Wit'orth chapel 'twor just five o'clock,
    Aw'd mi can full o' teah, an a bundle o' jock; An aw thowt th' bit o' bacca aw puffed on mi way
  • 14.  
    As through life you journey onward
    Many a hill you'll have to climb; Many a rough and dang'rous pathway,
  • 15.  
    When shall we meet again?
    One more year passed; One more of grief and pain; -
  • 16.  
    Awm havin a smook bi misel,
    Net a soul here to spaik a word to, Awve noa gossip to hear nor to tell,
  • 17.  
    Some poets sing o' gipsy queens,
    An some o' ladies fine; Aw'll sing a song o' other scenes, -
  • 18.  
    Whew! - Tha'rt in a famous hurry!
    Awm nooan baan to try to catch thi! Aw've noa dogs wi' me to worry
  • 19.  
    It wor Kursmiss day, - we wor ready for fun,
    Th' puddin wor boil'd an th' rooast beef wor done; Th' ale wor i'th' cellar, an th' spice-cake i'th' bin,
  • 20.  
    Awm sittin o' that old stooan seeat,
    Wheear last aw set wi' thee; It seems long years sin' last we met,
  • 21.  
    Aw'm wearily trudgin throo mire an weet,
    For aw've finished another day's wark; An welcome to me is that flickerin leet,
  • 22.  
    Its long sin th' parson made us one,
    An yet it seems to me, As we've gooan thrustin, toilin on,
  • 23.  
    "A'a Mary aw'm glad 'at that's thee!
    Aw need thy advice, lass, aw'm sure; - Aw'm all ov a mooild tha can see,
  • 24.  
    "Come, help thisen, lad, - help thisen!"
    Wor what mi uncle sed. We'd just come in throo makkin hay,
  • 25.  
    This is the age of progress; and it is not slo progress nawther. The worst on it is, we're all forced to go on whether we like it or net, for if we stand still a minit, ther's somedy traidin' ov us heels, an' unless we move on they'll walk ovver us, an' then when we see them ommost at top o'th' hill, we shall find us sen grubbin' i'th' muck at th' bottom. A chap mun have his wits abaat him at this day or else he'll sooin' be left behund. Ther's some absent minded fowk think they get on varry weel i'th' owd way an' they're quite content, but its nobbut becoss they're too absent minded to see ha mich better they mud ha done if they'd wakken'd up a bit sooiner. Aw once knew a varry absent minded chap; he wur allus dooin' some sooart o' wrang heeaded tricks. Aw' remember once we'd booath to sleep i' one bed, an aw gate in fust, an' when aw luk'd to see if he wor commin', aw'm blow'd! if he hadn't put his cloas into bed an hung hissen ovver th' cheer back. Awm sure aw connot tell where all this marchin' is likely to lead us to at last, but aw hooap we shall be all reight, for aw do think ther's plenty o' room to mend even yet, but the deuce on it is,' ther's soa monny different notions abaat what is reight wol aw'm flamigaster'd amang it. Some say drink is the besetting sin; another says 'bacca is man's ruination. One says we're all goin' to the devil becoss we goa to church, an' another says we'st niver goa to heaven if we goa to th' chapel, but aw dooant let ony o' them things bother me. 'At ther is a deeal o' sin i'th' world aw dooant deny, an', aw think ther is one 'at just bears th' same relation to other sins as a split ring bears to a bunch o' keys; it's one 'at all t'other things on: an' that's selfishness, an we've all sadly too mich o' that. We follow that "number one" doctrine sadly too mich, - iverybody seems bent o' gettin, but ther's varry few think o' givin' - (unless its advice, ther's any on 'em ready enuff to give that; but if advice wor stuff 'at they could buy potatoes wi', ther' wodn't be as mich o' that knockin' abaat for nowt as ther' is).
    We're all varry apt to know the messur o' ivrybody's heead but us own; we can tell when a cap fits them directly, but we con niver tell when ther's one 'at just fits us. Miss Parsnip said last Sunday, when shoo'd been to th' chapel, "at shoo wondered ha Mrs. Cauliflaar could fashion to hold her heead up, for shoo niver heeard a praicher hit onybody harder in all her life," An' Mrs. Cauliflaar tell'd me "'at if shoo wor Miss Parsnip shoo'd niver put her heead i' that chapel ageean, for iverybody knew 'at he meant her' when he wor tawkin' abaat backbitin'." An'soa it is; we luk at other fowk's faults through th' thin end o' th' spy glass, but when we want to look at us own, we turn it raand.
  • 26.  
    Let's love one another, it's better bi far;
    Mak peace wi yor Brother - it's better nor war! Life's rooad's rough enuff, - let's mak it mooar smooth,
  • 27.  
    One neet as aw trudged throo mi wark,
    Thinks aw, nah mi labor is done, Aw feel just inclined for a lark,
  • 28.  
    Gie me a little humble cot,
    A bit o' garden graand, Set in some quiet an' sheltered spot,
  • 29.  
    "Nah, Matty! what meeans all this fuss?
    Tha'rt as back'ard as back'ard can be; Ther must be some reason, becoss
  • 30.  
    When ther's a flaar show, clooas show at th' same time. Aw hear fowk tawk abaat "floral gems," and sich like stuff, but aw understand varry little abaat it. But aw've a few gems ov another sooart at sich times - aw call 'em gems o' thowt. Aw'm allus wonderin. Aw wonder a deal aw've noa business to wonder. When aw see a lot o' nice young lasses i' muslin dresses, all spankin clean, an ommost makkin a chap wish he worn't wed - aw wonder if ther petticoits an' stockins is as cleean. An when aw see a lot o' white faced lads, 'a'ts hardly getten ther hippins off, smokin cigars, an' spittin o'th' floor ivery two or three yards, - aw wonder if they dooant wish they wor finished, an' aw wonder what ther mothers is dooin to let 'em aat by thersen. An' when aw hear tell ha mich brass they get at th' doors, aw wonder ha mich on it wor borrow'd to goa wi' - an' sometimes aw wonder what they do wi' it after they've getten it - but that's noa business o' mine; - its a hungary job, aw know. Aw mony a time wonder, when aw hear th' bands o' music strike up, what Lord Byron ment when he said, "When music arose with its voluptuous swell;" for aw've booath seen an' heeard monny a voluptuous swell at a flaar show. An' aw wonder sometimes ha it is 'at fowk 'at goa wi a shawl o' ther heead to pick aat a sheep heead i'th' market, can't be content unless they're donned i' silks an' satins to goa see a twoathree marrygolds an' fushias. An' sometimes aw wonder 'what i'th' name o' fortun aw'm dooin thear mysen, an' if anybody axes me, aw wonder what business it is o' their's; - an' its just a case o' wonderin throo beginnin to th' endin', an' aw wonder when fowk 'll leearn a bit o' wit. Aw wonder if fowk think th' same abaat me. Aw wonder if they do. Aw shouldn't wonder if they did.

  • 31.  
    Then its O! for a wife, sich a wife as aw know!
    Who's thowts an desires are pure as the snow, Who nivver thinks virtue a reason for praise,
  • 32.  
    Darling child, to thee I owe,
    More than others here will know; Thou hast cheered my weary days,
  • 33.  
    It was an humble cottage,
    Snug in a rustic lane, Geraniums and fuschias peep'd
  • 34.  
    Here'sa song to mi brave old friend,
    A friend who has allus been true; His day's drawin near to its end,
  • 35.  
    Aw've been walkin up th' loin all ith weet,
    Aw felt sure tha'd be comin that way; For tha promised tha'd meet me to-neet,
  • 36.  
    Sweet, drooping, azure tinted bells,
    How dear you are; Bringing the scent of shady dells,
  • 37.  
    Ther's some fowk like watter,
    An others like beer; It doesn't mich matter,
  • 38.  
    Wor yo ivver at Horton Tide?
    It wor thear 'at aw won mi bride; An the joy o' mi life,
  • 39.  
    Nah chaps, pray dooant think it's a sarmon awm praichin,
    If aw tell yo some nooations at's entered mi pate; For ther's nubdy should turn a cold shoulder to taichin,
  • 40.  
    It's hard what poor fowk mun put up wi'!
    What insults an snubs they've to tak! What bowin an scrapin's expected,
  • 41.  
    Squibs an' crackers! Starleets an' catterin wheels! Bunfires an' traikle parkin! This is th' time for a bit ov a jollification. Guy Fawkes did a gooid turn, after all, when he tried to blow th' Parliament haase up; for we should ha' had one spree less i' the' year but for him. Ax twenty fowk this question o' th' fourth o' November, "Are yo gooin to buy ony fireworks this year?" an aw dar be bun to say yo willn't find one i'th' lot but what'll say "Aw've summat else to do wi' my brass nor to waste it o' sich like fooilery as that." An' still, aw'll wager at nineteen on 'em buy some after all. Ther's a deal o' difference i'th way they spend it. I' th' country they all sit raand th' fire wi' their parkin an' milk' or else rooasted puttaties, an' they tell tales, an' they laf an' talk till they've varry near burned ther shoo toas off, an' getten soa starved o' ther back 'at they willn't be shut ov a cold for a month; but i'th' taan there's allus th' mooast to do i'th' public haases. Aw think aw shall niver forget a marlock we had th' last plot. It wor in a public haase somewhere between "Spice Cake-loin" an' Whiskum Dandy; ther wor a raam full o' fowk, an' aw nooatised 'at iverybody's pockets wor swelled aat, an' thinks aw, aw shouldn't be capp'd if ther wor a dust here in a while. They just wanted somdy to start. In a bit one on 'em gate up to goa aat, an' th' landlord (he'd a cork leg) drop'd a cracker into his pocket. He hadn't gooan far when bang it went; he turns back an' leets abaat two dozzen an' sends 'em in to th' middle o'th' raam. "Nah, lads! for God's sake show a bit o' sense," says th' landlord, "dooant begin sich like wark as that i' this raam, nah dooant." He mud as weel ha' just whistled jigs to a mile-stoop; aat coom iverybody's stock, an' i' less nor hauf a minit ther wor sich a hullabaloo i' that shop as aw niver heeared afoor. To mak matters war, somdy had shut th' door an' fesened it, an' th' place wor full o' rick, an iverybody ommost chooak'd. Aw gate under th' seat, an' in a bit somdy smashes th' window an' bawls aat "fire! fire!" I' two or three minits ther coom a stream o' watter into th' raam as thick as my shackle, an' smash went th' chandilleer. Th' landlord wor mad ommost - lukkin glasses an' picters went one after tother, an' aw faand aat 'as aw couldn't swim, aw should ha' to shift, or else aw should be draaned. Some kind soul managed to braik th' door daan an' we gate aat, but aw could hear th' landlord yelling aat 'at sombdy had stown his cork leg. Ha' they went on aw dooant know, for aw steered straight hooam. At abaat six o'clock th' next morning, as aw went to my wark, aw saw a cork leg with a varry good booit on it, hangin' to a gas lamp, an aw wonder'd whose it wor.

  • 42.  
    A short time ago Mr. Fitzivitz, of Rank end, was seen to be swimming at a great rate and making a most extensive spread in the river plate. Several friends cautioned him not to go so far out of his depth, but he was utterly heedless of advice, he dived still deeper, and was observed to sink over head and ears in debt, leaving a large circle of friends to bewail his loss. His body has since been recovered, but all that could have comforted his anxious friends had fled, alas for ever.

  • 43.  
    Passing events, - tell, what are they I pray?
    Are they some novelty? - Nay, nay, nay! Ever since the world its course began,
  • 44.  
    They're all buildin nests for thersen,
    One bi one they goa fleetin away; A suitable mate comes, - an then,
  • 45.  
    Bless all them bonny lasses,
    I' Yorksher born an bred! Ther beauty nooan surpasses,
  • 46.  
    Let's mak a gooid start, nivver fear
    What grum'lers an growlers may say; That nivver need cause yo a tear,
  • 47.  
    When aw cooarted Mary Hanner,
    Aw wor young an varry shy; An shoo used to play th' peanner
  • 48.  
    Life's pathway is full o' deep ruts,
    An we mun tak gooid heed lest we stumble; Man is made up of "ifs" and of "buts,"
  • 49.  
    Mistress Moore is Johnny's wife,
    An Johnny is a druffen sot; He spends th' best portion of his life
  • 50.  
    A'a, Willie, lad, aw'm fain to hear
    Tha's won a wife at last; Tha'll have a happier time next year,
Total 133 poems written by John Hartley

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The Wounded Heart
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Come bring your sampler, and with art
Draw in't a wounded heart
And dropping here and there:
Not that I think that any dart
Can make your's bleed a tear,
Or pierce it anywhere;
Yet do it to this end: that I
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