Alfred Tennyson

Northern Farmer

Poem by Alfred Tennyson


Dosn't thou 'ear my 'erse's legs, as they canters awaay?
Proputty, proputty, proputty -that's what I 'ears 'em saay.
Proputty, proputty, proputty -Sam, thou's an ass for thy paains:
Theer's moor sense i' one o' 'is legs nor in all thy braains.


Woa -theer's a craw to pluck wi' tha, Sam: yon's parson's 'ouse -
Dosn't thou knaw that a man mun be eather a man or a mouse?
Time to think on it then; for thou'll be twenty to weeak.
Proputty, proputty -woa then, woa -let ma 'ear mysen speak.


Me an' thy muther, Sammy, 'as bean a-talkin' o' thee;
Thou's bean talkin' to muther, an' she bean a tellin' it me.
Thou'll not marry for munny -thou's sweet upo' parson's lass -
Noa -thou'll marry fur luvv -an' we boath on us thinks tha an ass.


Seeaed her todaay goa by -Saaint's-daay -they was ringing the bells.
She's a beauty thou thinks -an' soa is scoors o' gells,
Them as 'as munny an' all -wot's a beauty? -the flower as blaws.
But proputty, proputty sticks, an' proputty, proputty graws.


Do'ant be stunt: taak time: I knaws what maakes tha sa mad.
Warn't I craazed fur the lasses mysen when I wur a lad?
But I knawed a Quaaker feller as often 'as towd ma this:
"Doant thou marry for munny, but goa wheer munny is!"


An' I went wheer munny war: an' thy muther coom to 'and,
Wi' lots o' munny laaid by, an' a nicetish bit o' land.
Maaybe she warn't a beauty: -I niver giv it a thowt -
But warn't she as good to cuddle an' kiss as a lass as 'ant nowt?


Parson's lass 'ant nowt, an' she weant 'a nowt when 'e's dead,
Mun be a guvness, lad, or summut, and addle her bread:
Why? fur 'e's nobbut a curate, an' weant niver git naw 'igher;
An' 'e maade the bed as 'e ligs on afoor 'e coomed to the shire.


An thin 'e commed to the parish wi' lots o' Varsity debt,
Stook to his taail they did, an' 'e 'ant got shut on 'em yet.
An' 'e ligs on 'is back i' the grip, wi' noan to lend 'im a shove,
Woorse nor a far-weltered yowe: fur, Sammy, 'e married fur luvv.


Luvv? what's luvv? thou can luvv thy lass an' 'er munny too,
Maakin' 'em goa togither as they've good right to do.
Could'n I luvv thy muther by cause o' 'er munny laaid by?
Naay -fur I luvved 'er a vast sight moor fur it: reason why.


Ay an' thy muther says thou wants to marry the lass,
Cooms of a gentleman burn: an' we boath on us thinks tha an ass.
Woa then, proputty, wiltha? -an ass as near as mays nowt -
Woa then, wiltha? dangtha! -the bees is as fell as owt.


Break me a bit o' the esh for his 'ead, lad, out o' the fence!
Gentleman burn! what's gentleman burn? is it shillins an' pence?
Proputty, proputty's ivrything 'ere, an', Sammy, I'm blest
If it isn't the saame oop yonder, fur them as 'as it's the best.


Tis'n them as 'as munny as breaks into 'ouses an' steals,
Them as 'as coats to their backs an' taakes their regular meals.
Noa, but it's them as niver knaws wheer a meal's to be 'ad.
Taake my word for it, Sammy, the poor in a loomp is bad.


Them or thir feythers, tha sees, mun 'a bean a laazy lot,
Fur work mun 'a gone to the gittin' whiniver munny was got.
Feyther 'ad ammost nowt; leastways 'is munny was 'id.
But 'e tued an' moiled 'issen dead, an 'e died a good un, 'e did.


Look thou theer wheer Wrigglesby beck cooms out by the 'ill!
Feyther run oop to the farm, an' I runs oop to the mill;
An' I'll run oop to the brig, an' that thou'll live to see;
And if thou marries a good un I'll leave the land to thee.


Thim's my noations, Sammy, wheerby I means to stick;
But if thou marries a bad un, I'll leave the land to Dick. -
Coom oop, proputty, proputty -that's what I 'ears 'im saay -
Proputty, proputty, proputty -canter an' canter awaay.