The Artist

Frederic William Moorman

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Lang-haired gauvies(1) coom my way, drawin' t' owd abbey an' brig,
All their crack is o' Art-staities an' picturs an' paints;
Want to put me on their canvas, donned i' my farmer's rig,
Tell me I'm pairt o' t' scenery, stained-glass windeys an' saints.

I reckon I'm artist an' all, though I niver gave it a thowt;
Breeder o' stock is my trade, Mike Pullan o' t' Abbey Close.
What sud a farmer want wi' picturs that brass has bowt?
All his art is i' t' mistal, wheer t' heifers are ranged i' rows.

Look at yon pedigree bull, wi' an eye as breet as a star,
An' a coat that shines like velvet, when it catches t' glent o' t' sun;
Hark to him bealin' for t' cows, wi' a voice like t' thunner on t' scar,
Watch them sinews i' t' neck, ripplin' wi' mischief an' fun.

Three generations o' men have lived their lives for yon bull,
Tewed at his keep all t' day, dreamed o' his sleekness all t' neet;
Moulded the bugth o' his buttocks, fashioned the breadth o' his skull -
Ivery one on 'em artists, sculptors o' butcher's meat.

What are your Rubens and Vandykes anent the craft that is Breed?
Anent the art that is Life, what's figures o' bronze or stone?
Us farmers '11 mould you models, better nor statties that's deead -
Strength that is wick i' the flesh, Beauty that's bred i' the bone.

Bailiff's doughter at t' Hollins, shoo's Breed, an' shoo's Life, an shoo's Art,
Bred frae a Westmorland statesman out o' a Craven lass;
Carries hersen like a queen when shoo drives to markit i' t' cart:
Noan o' yon scraumy-legged(2) painters sal iver git howd o' her brass

Picturs is reight enough for fowks cluttered up i' Leeds,
Fowks that have ne'er hannled beasts, can't tell a tup frae a yowe ;
But the art for coontry lads is the art that breathes an' feeds,
An' t' finest gallery i' t' worrld is a Yorkshire cattle-show.

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