Lamentin' An Repentin'. Awst be better when spring comes, aw think,
But aw feel varry sickly an waik,
Awve noa relish for mait nor for drink,
An awm ommost too weary to laik.

What's to come on us all aw can't tell,
For we havn't a shillin put by;
Ther's nowt left to pop nor to sell,
An aw cannot get trust if aw try.

My wife has to turn aght to wark,
An th' little uns all do a share;
An they're tewin throo dayleet to dark,
To keep me sittin here i' mi chair.

It doesn't luk long sin that day
When Bessy wor stood bi mi side;
An shoo promised to love an obey,
An me to protect an provide.

Shoo wor th' bonniest lass i' all th' taan,
An fowk sed as they saw us that day,
When we coom aght o' th' church, arm i' arm,
Shoo wor throwin' hersen reight away.

But shoo smiled i' mi face as we went,
An her arm clung moor tightly to mine;
"Aw feel happy," shoo sed, "an content
To know at tha'rt mine an awm thine."

Aw wor praad ov her bonny breet een, -
Aw wor praad ov her little white hand, -
An aw thowt shoo wor fit for a queen,
For ther wornt a grander ith' land.

We gat on varry weel for a bit,
An aw stuck to mi wark like a man,
An enjoying mi hooam, thear awd sit,
As a chap at works hard nobbut can.

We hadn't been wed quite a year,
When they showed me a grand little lad,
An th' old wimmen sed, "Sithee! luk here!
He's th' image exact ov his dad."

But mi mates nivver let me alooan,
Till aw joined i' ther frolics and spree,
An tho' Bessy went short, or had nooan,
Shoo wor kinder nor ivver to me.

Sometimes when shoo's ventur'd to say,
"Come hooam an stop in lad, to-neet."
Awve felt shamed an awve hurried away,
For her een have been glist'nin wi weet.

An awve sed to misen 'at awd mend,
For it's wrang to be gooin on soa;
But at neet back to th' aleus awd wend,
Wi th' furst swillgut at ax'd me to goa.

Two childer wor added to th' stock,
But aw drank, an mi wark went to th' bad;
An awve known em be rooarin for jock,
Wol awve druffen what they should ha had.

Aw seldom went hooam but to sleep,
Tho Bessy ne'er offered to chide;
But grief 'at is silent is deep,
An sorrow's net easy to hide.

If th' childer wod nobbut complain,
Or Bessy get peevish an tart,
Aw could put up wi th' anguish or pain,
But ther kindness is braikin mi heart.

Little Emma, poor child, ov a neet
Does th' neighbours odd jobs nah and then,
An shoo runs hersen off ov her feet,
For a hawpny, they think for hersen.

An shoo saved em until shoo gat three,
But this mornin away shoo went aght,
An spent em o' bacca for me,
'Coss shoo thowt aw luk'd looansum withaat.

It's a lesson awst nivver forget,
An awve bid a gooid-bye to strong drink;
An theyst hev ther reward yo can bet; -
Awst be better when spring comes aw think.

An if spendin what's left o' mi life
For ther sakes can mak up for lost time,
Ther shan't be a happier wife,
Nor three better loved childer nor mine.

Aw can't help mi een runnin o'er,
For mi heart does mi conduct condemn;
But awl promise to do soa noa moor,
If God spares me to Bessy and them.

Lamentin' An Repentin'. by John Hartley