John Hartley

John Hartley Poems

  • 51.  
    It isn't 'at aw want to rooam
    An leeav thi bi thisen: For aw'm content enuff at hooam,
  • 52.  
    As aw hurried throo th' taan to mi wark,
    (Aw wur lat, for all th' whistles had gooan,) Aw happen'd to hear a remark,
  • 53.  
    Ther's a deal o' things scattered raand, at if fowk ud tak th' trouble to pick up might do 'em a paar o' gooid, an' my advice is, if yo meet wi' owt i' yor way 'at's likely to mak life better or happier, sam it up, but first mak sure yo've a reight to it. Nah, aw once knew a chap at fan a topcoit, an' he came to me, an' says - "A'a lad! awve fun one o' th' grandest topcoits to-day at iver tha clapt thi' een on." "Why, where did ta find it?" aw says. "Reight o' th' top o' Skurcoit moor." "Well, tha'rt a lucky chap," aw says, "what has ta done wi' it?" "Aw niver touched it; 'aw left it just whear it wor." "Well, tha art a faoil; tha should ha' brout it hooam." "E'ea! an' aw should ha' done, but does ta see ther wor a chap in it." Aw tell'd him he'd made a fooil on me, an' aw consider'd mysen dropt on, but noa moor nor he wor wi' havin' to leave th' coit. "Neer heed," he said "fowk can allus do baat what they can't get," an' aw thowt ther wor a bit o' wisdom i' what he said. But what caps me th' mooast is at fowk tug an' tew for a thing as if ther life depended on it, an' as sooin as they find they cannot get it, they turn raand an' say they care nowt abaat it. We've all heeard tell abaat th' "fox an' grapes," an' ther's a deal o' that sooart o' thing. This world's full o' disappointments, an' we've all a share. Th' Bradford Exchange wor oppened this month, 1867, an' aw luk on it, that wor a sad disappointment to some. "Exchange is noa robbery," they say, but if some fowk knew what it had cost, they might think it had been a dear swap. Ther are fowk at call it "a grand success" - but then awve heeard some call th' Halifax Taan Hall "a grand success," but they haven't made me believe it. It may do a deal o' gooid, aw'll not deny that; it may taich fowk to let things alooan at they dooan't understand - let's hooap soa. Ovver th' door-hoil they've put "Act Wisely," an' it's time they did. Its summat like telling a chap to be honest, at the same time yo'r picking his pocket. But we've noa business to grummel, its awr duty to "submit to th' powers that be" (if they're little ens); but a chap cannot help langin' for th' time when brains an' net brass shall fit a man for a Taan Caancillor. But fowk mun get consolation aat o' summat, soa they try to fancy th' Taan Hall luks handsome. Its like th' chap 'at saw his horse fall into th' beck; - he tugg'd an' pool'd, and shaated an' bawl'd, but th' horse went flooatin' on, plungin' its legs abaat, makkin' th' watter fly i' all direckshuns but it wur noa use, for it wur draanded at th' last. When he went hooam he tell'd th' wife abaat it
    "What does ta say?" shoo says; "is it draanded?"
  • 54.  
    As awm sittin enjoyin mi pipe,
    An tooastin mi shins beside th' hob, Aw find ther's a harvest quite ripe,
  • 55.  
    Ther's sunshine an storm as we travel along,
    Throo life's journey whear ivver we be; An its wiser to leeten yor heart wi' a song,
  • 56.  
    Said Mistress Smith to Mistress Green,
    Aw'm feeard we'st ha to flit; Twelve year i' this same haase we've been,
  • 57.  
    Those days have gone, those happy days,
    When we two loved to roam, Beside the rivulet that strays,
  • 58.  
    Aw like to see a lot o' lads
    All frolicsome an free, An hear ther noisy voices,
  • 59.  
    Fairest lass amang the monny,
    Hair as black as raven, O. Net another lass as bonny,
  • 60.  
    Have yo seen awr Mary's bonnet?
    It's a stunner, - noa mistak! Ther's a bunch o' rooasies on it,
  • 61.  
    We are near the last bend of the river,
    Soon will the prospect be bright; Already the waves seem to quiver,
  • 62.  
    Awm noa radical, liberal nor toory,
    Awm a plain spokken, hard-workin man; Aw cooart nawther fame, wealth nor glory,
  • 63.  
    My Mary's as sweet as the flowers that grow,
    By the side of the brooklet that runs near her cot; Her brow is as fair as the fresh fallen snow,
  • 64.  
    Who is it, when one starts for th' day
    A cheerin word is apt to say, At sends yo leeter on yor way?
  • 65.  
    If ther's ony sooart o' fowk aw hate, it's them at's allus lukkin' aght for faults; - hang it up! they get soa used to it, wol they willn't see ony beauties if they are thear. They remind me ov a chap 'at aw knew at wed a woman 'at had a wart at th' end ov her nooas, but it war nobbut a little en, an' shoo wor a varry bonny lass for all that; but when they'd been wed a bit, an' th' newness had getten warn off, he began to fancy at this wart grew bigger ivery day, an' he stared at it, an' studied abaght it, wol when he luk'd at his wife he could see nowt else, an' he kept dinging her up wi' it wol shoo felt varry mich troubled. But one day, as they wor gettin' ther dinner, he said, "Nay, lass, aw niver did see sich a thing as that wart o' thy nooas is growing into; if it gooas on tha'll be like a rhynockoroo or a newnicorn or summat!"
    "Well," shoo says, "when tha wed me tha wed th' wart an' all, an' if tha doesn't like it tha con lump it."
  • 66.  
    This place 'is nearly a mile from the good old town of Halifax.
    Aa! ther wor a flare-up at Booith-Taan Hall that neet! It had been gein aat 'at they'd to be a meetin' held to elect a new Lord-Mayor, for New-Taan, Booith-Taan, an' th' Haley Hill, on which particular occashun, ale ud be supplied at Tuppence a pint upstairs. Ther wor a rare muster an' a gooid deeal o' argyfyin' tuk place abaat who shud be th' chearman. But one on 'em - a sly old fox - had kept standin' o' th' floor sidlin' abaat woll ivery other chear wor full, an' then after takkin a pinch o' snuff, he said, "Gentlemen, aw see noa reason aw shuddent tak this place mysen, as iverybody else has getten set daan." Two or three 'at wor his friends said "Hear, hear," an' two or three 'at worn't said "Sensashun!"
  • 67.  
    Annie I dreamed a strange dream last night,
    At my bedside, I dreamed, you stood clad in white; Your dark curly hair 'round your snow-white brow, -
  • 68.  
    Dear little Alice lay dying; -
    I see her as if 'twas to-day, And we stood round her snowy bed, crying,
  • 69.  
    Whear is thi Daddy, doy? Whear is thi mam?
    What are ta cryin for, poor little lamb? Dry up thi peepies, pet, wipe thi wet face;
  • 70.  
    Varry monny years ago, when this world wor rather young,
    A varry wicked sarpent, wi' a varry oily tongue, Whispered summat varry nowty into Mistress Adam's ear;
  • 71.  
    "On Valentine's day, will a gooid gooise lay," is a varry old sayin', an' aw dare say a varry gooid en; an' if all th' geese wod nobbut lay o' that day ther'd be moor chonce o' eggs bein' cheap. But it isn't th' geese we think on at th' fourteenth o' this month i'ts th' little ducks, an' th' billy dux. A'a aw wish aw'd all th' brass 'at's spent o' valentines for one year; aw wodn't thank th' queen to be mi aunt. Ther's nobdy sends me valentines nah. Aw've known th' time when they did, but aw'm like a old stage cooach, aw'm aat o' date. Aw'st niver forget th' furst valentine aw had sent. Th' pooastman browt it afoor aw'd getten aat o' bed, an' it happen'd to be Sunday mornin'. Aw read it ovver an' ovver agean, an' aw luk'd at th' directions an' th' pooast mark, but aw cudn't make aat for mi life who'd sent it; but whoiver it war aw wor detarmined to fall i' love wi' her as soain as aw gate to know. Then aw shov'd it under th' piller an' shut mi een an' tried to fancy what sooart ov a lass shoo must be, an' someha aw fell asleep, an' aw dremt, but aw willn't tell yo what aw dremt for fear yo'll laff. But when aw wakken'd, aw sowt up an' daan, but nowhere could aw find th' valentine. Aw wor ommost heartbrokken, an' aw pool'd all th' cloas off th' bed, an' aw luk'd under it, an' ovver it, but net a bit on it could aw see, an' at last aw began to fancy 'at aw must ha dremt all th' lot, an' 'at aw'd niver had one sent at all; but when aw wor gettin' mi breeches on, blow me! if it worn' t stuck fast wi a wafer to mi shirt lap. What her 'at sent it ud a sed if shoo'd seen it, aw can't tell an' aw wodn't if aw could; but aw know one thing, aw wor niver i' sich a muck sweeat afoor sin aw wor born, an' when aw went to mi braikfast aw 'wor soa maddled, wol aw couldn't tell which wor th' reight end o'th' porridge spooin, but aw comforted misen at last wi' thinkin' 'at aw worn't th' furst 'at had turned ther back ov a valentine.

  • 72.  
    A'a! its grand to have th' place to yorsen!
    To get th' wimmen fowk all aght o'th' way! Mine's all off for a trip up to th' Glen,
  • 73.  
    "Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall net be disappointed."
    Aw once knew a chap they called old Sammy; he used ta gaa wi a donkey, an th' mooast remarkable things abaat him wor his clogs an' his rags. Sammy had niver been wed, tho' he war fifty years old, but it wor allus believed he'd managed ta save a bit a' brass. One day he war gain up Hepenstull Bunk, Jenny o' Jooans a' th' Long Lover wor goin up befoor him, an' whether it wor at her clogs were made a' his favrite pattern, or her ancles had summat abaat 'em different to what he'd iver seen befoor, aw cannot tell, but it seems a feelin coom ovver him all at once, sich as he'd niver had befoor, an' when he'd managed ta overtak her, he sed, "It's loaning for heeat aw think, Jenny." "Eea, aw think its likely for bein wut," shoo sed. "Awve just been thinkin," sed Sammy, "at if I wornt na a single old chap, aw shouldn't have to trail up an' daan in a lot a' rags like thease, for awm sure this jacket has hardly strength to hing o' mi rig, an' mi britches are soa full o' hoils wol awm feeared sometimes when awm puttin em on, at awst tummel throo an braik my neck." "Well, reight enuff, a woife's varry useful at times," shoo sed, "but as tha hasn't one if tha'll learn mi thi jacket, aw'll see if it cannot be mended far thi a bit." "Aw allus thowt tha war a gooid sooart, Jenny, an' awl tak thi at thi word," he sed: so he pool'd off his coit an gave it her an' it were arranged 'at he should call for it next neet. You may bet yor life he didn't forget, an when he saw it mended up, an' brushed wol it luk'd ommost as gooid as new, he luk'd first at it an then at her, an at last he sed, "Aw think we should be able to get on varry weel together, what says ta?" Aw dooant know what shoo sed, but it wornt long befoor they wor wed, for Sammy thowt shoo'd be worth her mait if it wor nobbut for mendin up his old duds. They hadn't been wed long, when he axed her to mend his britches. - "A'a," shoo sed, "Aw cannot mend em, aw niver could sew i' mi life!" "Why that is a tale," he sed, "tha mended mi jacket all reight!" "Nay, indeed aw nawther! - Aw mended nooon on it! Aw sent it to th' tailor an paid for it doin." "Then awm dropt on," sed Sammy, "for aw expected tha'd be able to do all sich like wark." "Tha should niver expect owt an' then tha willnt get dropt on," shoo sed. - "That, wor a bit o' varry gooid advice.
  • 74.  
    "Gooid gracious!" cried Susy, one fine summer's morn,
    "Here's a bonny to do! aw declare! Aw wor nivver soa capt sin th' day aw wor born!
  • 75.  
    They reckon to brew a gooid sup o' ale in October, an' they call it "Prime owd October." Ther's monny a war thing i'th' world nor a sup o' gooid drink. Landlords an' teetotal-lecturers manage to get a livin' aat on it some way; - but it's th' same wi' ale as wi' iverything else nah days, - it's nowt made on unless it's sharp. It's a sharp age we live in; - hand-loom waivin' an' stage coaches are all too slow; iverybody an' iverything keeps growin' sharper. But we arn't as sharp as what they are i' 'Merica yet - they're too sharp. They tell me they ha' to lapp thersen up i' haybands afoor they goa to bed, for fear o' cuttin' th' sheets. Aw heeard tell o' one chap runnin' a race wi' a flash o' leetnin', an' they say he'd ha' won but for one ov his gallus buttons comin' off. An' another 'at used to mak leather garters an' throw 'em ovver his heead, an' he could mak 'em soa sharp 'at he allus kept one pair flyin'. He worn't a bad hand at his job, he worn't that. One day aw axed a chap 'at had been, "if they wor raylee as sharp as what fowk gave 'em credit for?" "Why," he says, "they wor sharper nor aw liked on, or else aw shouldn't ha' come back; but aw couldn't get on noa rooad: aw tried two or three different trades, but aw made nowt aat, an' at last aw set up as tubthumper; but that wodn't do. They niver wanted ought makkin' - they wor too sharp for that; they allus brought yo summat to mend; - becoss they knew a chap couldn't charge as mich for mendin' an owd tub as for makkin' a new en; soa if they'd ony sooart ov a owd tub lagg, or a piece of a barrel bottom, they browt it to get mended into a new tub. Aw did as weel as aw could amang it; but one day a chap comes in an' says, 'Aw want yo to do a bit o' repairin' for me.' 'Varry gooid, sur,' says aw, 'an' what might yo be wantin?' 'Well,' he says, 'aw've an owd bung hoil here, do yo think yo could fit me a fresh barrel to it?' Aw niver spake for a minit, then aw says, 'wod yo be gooid enuff to lend me a hand to put theas shuts up?' 'Wi' pleasure, sur,' he said, an' he did, an' aw left th' job an' coom hooam, for aw thowt they wor rayther too sharp." Mun, a chap can be too sharp sometimes. My advice is, be as sharp as yo like, if yo're sharp in a reight way, but thers some things it's as weel to be slow abaat. Be slow to do a shabby trick, an' be sharp to help a poor body 'at needs it. Be slow to see other fowk's faults, an' be sharp to improve yor own. Be slow to scandalise yor neighbors, an' keep a sharp luk aat to steer clear ov iverybody else's business; yo'll find it 'll give yo moor time to luk after yor own.

  • 76.  
    Little patt'rin, clatt'rin feet,
    Runnin raand throo morn to neet; Banishin mi mornin's nap, -
  • 77.  
    What's a poor lass like me to do,
    'At langs for a hooam ov her own? Aw'm a hale an bonny wench too,
  • 78.  
    A little lad, - bare wor his feet,
    His 'een wor swell'd an red, Wor sleepin, one wild New Year's neet, -
  • 79.  
    Why the dickens do some fowk keep thrustin,
    As if th' world hadn't raam for us all? Wi consarn an consait they're fair brustin,
  • 80.  
    Aw'd rayther face a redwut brick,
    Sent flyin at mi heead; Aw'd rayther track a madman's steps,
  • 81.  
    A gradely chap wor uncle Ben
    As ivver lived i'th' fowd: He made a fortun for hissen,
  • 82.  
    Goa hooam, - tha little drabbled brat,
    Tha'll get thi deeath o' cold; Whear does ta live? Just tell me that,
  • 83.  
    Down in the deeps of dark despair and woe; -
    Of Death expectant; - Hope I put aside; Counting the heartbeats, slowly, yet more slow, -
  • 84.  
    Why lad, awm sewer tha'rt ommost done,
    This ovvertime is killin; 'Twor allus soa sin th' world begun,
  • 85.  
    Did we but know what lurks beyond the NOW;
    Could we but see what the dim future hides; Had we some power occult that would us show
  • 86.  
    Last May Mr. Goosequill, attorney-at-law, liberally forgave a poor widow the expenses of a trial in which he had been engaged. It is a singular fact that a tom-cat, which had been for years in the gentleman's family, having caught a mouse, let it go for pity's sake the following day.

  • 87.  
    "Another day will follow this,"
    Ah, - that shall sewerly be, But th' day 'at dawns to-morn, my lad,
  • 88.  
    Beautiful babby! Beautiful lad!
    Pride o' thi mother and joy o' thi dad! Full ov sly tricks an sweet winnin ways; -
  • 89.  
    Oh! Come to me, darling! My Sweet!
    Here where the sunlight reposes; Pink petals lie thick at my feet,
  • 90.  
    Nay surelee tha's made a mistak;
    Tha'rt aght o' thi element here; Tha may weel goa an peark up o'th' thack,
  • 91.  
    Awst be better when spring comes, aw think,
    But aw feel varry sickly an waik, Awve noa relish for mait nor for drink,
  • 92.  
    After the annual excursion of the Lowly Dale Scientific Society, the members were addressed by Mr. Evertrot Gagthorp. New specimens, the product of their recent journey, now enrich the Museum: viz. In Geology - Limestone, pumice stone, soft stone, white stone, plum stone, and cherry stone. Conchology - Egg shell Tortoise shell nut shell and satchel. Botany - Corn flour, grog blossom, and many leaves from the book of nature. Entomology - a swallow tail had been obtained, but the president going to a dress party, had got the loan of it.

  • 93.  
    Annie - Oh! what a weary while
    It seems since that sad day; When whispering a fond "good bye,"
  • 94.  
    Oh, isn't it nice to be somebody's? -
    Somebody's darling and pet, To be shrined in the heart of a dear one,
  • 95.  
    This world's full o' trubbles fowk say, but aw daat it,
    Yo'll find as mich pleasure as pain; Some grummel at times when they might do withaat it,
  • 96.  
    That old warmin pan wi' it's raand, brazzen face,
    Has hung thear for monny a day; 'Twor mi Gronny's, an th' haase wodn't luk like th' same place,
  • 97.  
    "The drunkard shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
    Far, far beyond the skies,
  • 98.  
    May is abaat th' warst pairt o'th' year for a wed chap, for he connot walk aat, an' he cannot be comfortable at hooam, becoss it's th' cleeanin' daan time. Talk abaat weshin' days! they're fooils to cleeanin' days. Buckstun lime an' whitewesh, bees-wax an' turpitine - black-leead an' idleback, stare a chap i' th' face ivery where. Pots an' pans - weshin' bowls an' peggy tubs, winteredges an' clooas lines - brooms an' besoms - dish claots an' map claots, block up ivery nook an' corner; an' if iver ther is a time when a chap darn't spaik it's then. If he thinks th' haase is cleean enuff, an' doesn't want owt dooin' at, his wife's sure to call him a mucky haand, an' say 'at he wodn't care if he wor up to th' shoo tops i' filth; an' if he says he thinks it wants a cleean, shoo'll varry sooin ax him if he can tell her whear ther's another haase as cleean, for shoo doesn't know one, an' if he does, he's welcome to goa. But it all ends i' th' same thing - its th' time o' th' year for a reight upset, an' it 'll ha to have it, whether it wants it or net. Ther's noa way to suit a woman at sich times, but to be as quiet as yo can. If yo say, "Come, lass, con aw help thi a bit," shoo's sure to snap at yo, as if shoo'd bite yor heead off, an' tell yo to get aat ov her gate, for yor allus under her nooas, woll shoo can do nowt. An' if yo goa aat o'th' gate, shoo'll ax yo as sooin as yo come in, ha yo can fashion to spend' yor time gaddin abaat when yo know ha things is at hooam, an' you dooant care th' toss ov a button for her, but just mak her into a slave, an' niver think o' sich a thing as liggin' on a helpin' hand. Ther's noa way to do but to bide it as weel as yo can, an' say little, for it doesn't last long. But even when its ovver, yo mun be careful what yo say, for if yo tell her yo think it luks better for th' labor, shoo's sure to say at "shoo sees varry little difference, an' shoo wor fare capt, for ivery thing wor as cleean as a pin." An' if yo say yo can see noa difference, shoo'll say, "Tha can see nowtt," - but shoo knows whether its different or net, for shoo's taen aboon a barra' looad o' muck aat o' that haase that wick. Soa my advice is, to say nowt at sich times till yo're axed, an then say as they say. Aw once heeard ov a young couple at wor baan to get wed, an' they made it up allus to say an' think alike, an' then they'd be sure net to fall aat; soa they went to th' church an' gate made man an wife, an' as they wor walkin' hooam he said, "Aw think this is th' happiest day o' awr lives." "E'ea," shoo says, "aw think it is." "Aw think we shall have some rain afoor long," he said. "E'ea," shoo says, "aw think it luks likely for weet." "A'a did ta iver see a faaler bonnet nor that lass has on," shoo said? "Noa lass, aw think aw niver did," he replied; "but what a bonny lass shoo is, isn't shoo?" "Nay, nobbut middlin'," shoo says. "Well aw think her a beauty." "Aw wonder where tha luks," shoo said, "but if tha'rt soa taen wi' her, tha con have her astead o' me." "Nay, lass," he said, "tha knows we've agreed allus to think an' say alike, an' awm sure shoo's a varry bonny lass." "Well an' awm sure shoo's as plain a stick as iver aw saw i' all my life, an' if aw agree to say an' think what tha does, it wor cos aw thowt tha wor reight i' thi heead." Soa they walk'd hooam lukkin varry glum, an' differ'd for th' futer same as other fowk. When a chap gets wed he should be ready for th' warst. Aw once knew a chap at fell i' love wi a woman 'at he met in a railway train, an' as they lived a long way apart, they did ther coortin i' writin' an' at last th' day wor fixed for 'em to get wed. Joa went to fotch her an' walk her to th' church, an' as they wor gooin' he thowt shoo walked rayther queer, soa he says, "Susy, does ta limp?" "Limp!" shoo says, "net aw, aw limp noan." Soa they went on, an' just as they wor gooin' into th' church, he said, "Susy, awm sure tha seems to limp." "A'a, Joa," shoo says, "aw wonder what tha'll say next." Soa Joa an' Susy gate wed. When they wor gooin hooam he said, "Susy, awm sure tha limps." "Aw know aw limp," shoo says, "aw allus limp'd; is a woman ony war for limpin'?"

  • 99.  
    One neet aw went hooam, what time aw can't tell,
    But it must ha been lat, for awd th' street to mysel. Furst one clock, then t'other, kept ringin aght chimes,
  • 100.  
    He'd had his share ov ups an daans,
    His sprees an troubles too; Ov country joys an life i' taans,
Total 133 poems written by John Hartley

Poem of the day

The Wounded Heart
 by Robert Herrick

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
May by

Read complete poem

Popular Poets