Frederic William Moorman

The Gardener and the Robin

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Why! Bobbie, so thou's coom agean!
I'm fain to see thee here;
It's lang sin I've set een on thee,
It's ommost hauf a yeer.
What's that thou says? Thou's taen a wife
An' raised a family.
It seems thou's gien 'em all the slip
Now back-end's drawin' nigh.

I mun forgi'e thee; we're owd friends,
An' fratchin's not for us;
Blackbirds an' spinks(1) I can't abide,
At doves an' crows I cuss.
But thou'll noan steal my strawberries,
Or nip my buds o' plum;
Most feather-fowl I drive away,
But thou can awlus coom.

Ay, that's thy place, at top o' t' clod,
Thy heead cocked o' one side,
Lookin' as far-learnt as a judge.
Is that a worrm thou's spied?
By t' Megs! he's well-nigh six inch lang,
An' reed as t' gate i' t' park;
If thou don't mesh him up a bit,
He'll gie thee belly-wark.

My missus awlus lets me know
I'm noan so despert thin;
If I ate sausages as thou
Eats worrms, I'd brust my skin!
Howd on! leave soom for t' mowdiwarps(2)
That scrats down under t' grund ;
Of worrms, an' mawks,(3) an' bummel-clocks(4)
Thou's etten hauf a pund.

So now thou'll clear thy pipes an' sing:
Grace after meat, I s'pose.
Thou looks as holy as t' owd saint
I' church wi' t' brokken nose.
Thou's plannin' marlocks(5) all the time,
Donned i' thy sowdier coat;
An' what we tak for hymns o' praise
Is just thy fratchin' note.

I've seen thee feightin' theer on t' lawn,
Beneath yon laurel tree;
Thy neb was reed wi' blooid, thou looked
As chuffy(6) as could be.
Thou's got no mense nor morals, Bob,
But weel I know thy charm.
Ay, thou can stand upon my spade.
I'll niver do thee harm.

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Frederic William Moorman