I’m near wore to a shadder, Miss Quilliam,
Gerrin’ all them wans off yestiddy,
Dhressed up in theer bes’, nate an’ tidy,
For the Sundaa School Anniversary.
For theer’s Grandaa firs’ thing in the mornin’
That cretchy because it was fine,
An’ the service not held in the medder
On wood sates like it was in HIS time!
My! he moaned an’ he groaned somethin’ awful,
Till I shouted, “Grandaa! hush yer noise!
It’s fair mithered I am with yer jo-in’;
Gi’s a han’ with the gels an’ the boys.
For theer father is missin’ as usyal,
When theer’s plenty o’ work to be done;
Puffin’ smook from his pipe like a chimley
Roun’ the pig sthies as like. I know John!
Here! put this shirt on young Willie, an’ watch him
That he’s washed roun’ his neck an’ his ears;
Yer could sow seeds in his tidemark las’ Sundaa;
Jus’ you clout him, an’ dunt min’ his tears!
An’ tighten that belt on li’l Tommy
So his pants wunt be hangin’ half mas’;
An’ run a comb through that thicket of Alfie’s,
Or they’ll think theer’s a dawg in his class!
An’ purra li’l sight on the baby,
The veg villish! – a lyin’ out theer
Coo-cooin’ to the birds in the garden;
At leas’ at that age yer know wheer they are!
An’ Jessie! come in, yer young divil!
Ye’ll git what for if yer play roun’ that dub
In yer new dhress an’ socks! Wet this flannen,
An’ give them black han’s a good scrub!
An’ you Margit! come arra that saucepan!
My! it’s always in mischief yer gerrin’!
Ye’ll have the preacher took faint in the pulpit
If yer go smellin’ o’ priddhas an’ herrin’!
Well, I’d jus’ got them fixed up, Miss Quilliam,
With collection, nice flowers an’ fresh eggs,
When I throd on the cat accidental,
An’ the dirt made a dive for me legs!
An’ he ratched an’ he tore at me sthockin’s;
Lawse! warra skelter an’ go theer was in!
For me arm sthruck the thray on the dhresser,
An’ the tay things crashed down with a din.
An’ the childher was shoutin’ and screamin’,
An’ the flowers all got fell on the flure;
Then young Alifie gorra howl o’ the craythur
An’ hiced the fien’ out through the dhure!
An’ his father come in at that minute,
An’ my heck! but his sof’ dhreamy smile
Was wiped clane off his gob by the tomcat,
An’ his owl pipe went flyin’ a mile!
Goy hi! the clearin’ up then, Miss Quilliam,
Before John, me an’ Grandaa could go!
An’ I had to give Baby his banya,
An’ gerrim changed, an’ then lave him with Flo.
But we got to the Chapel on time though,
For all I didn’ trus’ th’owl motor-bike!
An’ the place theer was packed out with people;
Ay! commawlyers an’ commisthries alike!
An’ the childher all bright as li’l angels.
The sowls! singin’ sweet hymns o’ praise;
An’ I wep’ as I ast God to bless them,
An’ to grant them His peace all theer days.
banya = milk
veg villish = little dear, little darling
priddhas = potatoes
commawlyers = old friends
commisthries = strangers
(source: ‘By the Red Fuchsia Tree’ by Kathleen Faragher (1967); artwork is unknown title by ? Wade http://bit.ly/1i6qE12)