Coom, wenches, git to work!
Now, Keziah, theer’s thy fork,
And the waggin’s in the corn!
When the craws tum-poäke that waäy
And are yawlin’ soä, they saäy
It ’ull change befoor the morn.
Howr Betsey got a plaäce,
But she pulled an awkward faäce—
Nivver ’lowed howt to the Fair—
And they’ve silver laäid fur dinner,
And sez graäce! If she graws thinner
Work weänt hurt—she’s flesh to spare.
But Jemima—she’s at home;
We was foorced to let her come,
She was dithery of her ’ead.
Poor lass! she hed a stroäke—
Let the tea-things down—they broäke—
Wasn’t saäfe i’ hand, they sed.
And they meant kind when they sacked her,—
Gev the gell a good character,—
Quoite content, they told our Ben;
But when squoire’s wife coomed by
And axed questions—mebbe I
Was’nt saáfe i’ hand mysen.
Fur she saäys, sez she, “I hear
Your Jemima’s head is queer,
And Jemima she hes fits.”
And I pulls mysen oop straight,
Reight i’ front of my oarn grate,
Fit to teear her into bits.
“Marm,” I sez, “It is a shaame
Fur to naame the very naame!
Howr Jemima maay be weeak,
And when silver cooms to taable,
Not honwillin but honhaable—
Unheppen, soä to speak.
“If the gell weänt wesh a plaäte,
If she ligs till hoäver laäte,
Can’t sarve pigs nor milk a cow—
Why, then, marm, I’ve nowt to saäy
When you taäke her naäme awaäy
By the things you’ve menshuned now.
“No, marm, noä! we maäy be poor,
And my maister sez, what’s moor,
We are poor as rats, and wuss!
And he sez theer’s noä disgraäce—
He would tell it to your faäce—
In bein’ poor like hus.
“But howr famly nivver hed
Fits! it nivver shall be sed
Fits howr gell from sarvice sent.
Noä, Jemima in ’er wits
Maäy be weeäk—she doänt hev fits!
And the squoire’s wife she went.”
(Poems, Ballads, and Bucolics, p. 190)