Aw wander'd aght one summer's morn,
Across a meadow newly shorn;
Th' sun wor shinin breet and clear,
An fragrant scents rose up i'th' air,
An all wor still.
When, as my steps wor idly rovin,
Aw coom upon a seet soa lovin!
It fill'd mi heart wi' tender feelin,
As daan aw sank beside it, kneelin
O'th' edge o'th' hill.
It wor a little skylark's nest,
An two young babby burds, undrest,
Wor gapin wi' ther beaks soa wide,
Callin for mammy to provide
Ther mornin's meal;
An high aboon ther little hooam,
Th' saand o' daddy's warblin coom;
Ringin soa sweetly o' mi ear,
Like breathins throo a purer sphere,
He sang soa weel.
Ther mammy, a few yards away,
Wor hoppin on a bit o' hay;
Too feeard to coom, too bold to flee;
An watchin me wi' troubled e'e,
Shoo seem'd to say:
"Dooant touch my bonny babs, young man!
Ther daddy does the best he can
To cheer yo with his sweetest song;
An thoase 'll sing as weel, ere long,
Soa let 'em stay."
"Tha needn't think aw'd do 'em harm -
Come shelter 'em and keep 'em warm!
For aw've a little nest misel,
An two young babs, aw'm praad to tell,
'At's precious too;
An they've a mammy watching thear,
'At howds them little ens as dear,
An dearer still, if that can be,
Nor what thease youngens are to thee,
Soa come, - nah do!
"A'a well! - tha'rt shy, tha hops away, -
Tha doesn't trust a word aw say;
Tha thinks aw'm here to rob an plunder,
An aw confess aw dunnot wonder -
But tha's noa need;
Aw'll leave yo to yorsels, - gooid bye!
For nah aw see yor daddy's nigh;
He's dropt that strain soa sweet and strong;
He loves yo better nor his song -
He does indeed."
Aw walk'd away, and sooin mi ear
Caught up the saand o' warblin clear;
Thinks aw, they're happy once agean;
Aw'm glad aw didn't prove so meean
To rob that nest;
For they're contented wi' ther lot,
Nor envied me mi little cot;
An in this world, as we goa throo,
It is'nt mich gooid we can do,
An do awr best.
Then let us do as little wrong
To onny as we pass along,
An never seek a joy to gain
'At's purchased wi' another's pain,
It isn't reet.
Aw shall goa hooam wi' leeter heart,
To mend awr Johnny's little cart:
(He allus finds me wark enuff
To piecen up his brocken stuff,
For ivvery neet.)
An Sally - a'a! if yo could see her!
When aw sit daan to get mi teah,
Shoo puts her dolly o' mi knee,
An maks me sing it "Hush a bee,"
I'th' rocking chear;
Then begs some sugar for it too;
What it can't ait shoo tries to do;
An turnin up her cunnin e'e,
Shoo rubs th' doll maath, an says, "yo see,
It gets its share."
Sometimes aw'm rayther cross, aw fear!
Then starts a little tremblin tear,
'At, like a drop o' glitt'rin dew
Swimmin within a wild flaar blue,
Falls fro ther e'e;
But as the sun in April shaars
Revives the little droopin flaars,
A kind word brings ther sweet smile back:
Aw raylee think mi brain ud crack
If they'd ta dee.
Then if aw love my bairns soa weel,
May net a skylark's bosom feel
As mich consarn for th' little things
'At snooze i'th' shelter which her wings
Soa weel affoards?
If fowk wod nobbut bear i' mind
How mich is gained by bein kind;
Ther's fewer breasts wi' grief ud swell,
An fewer fowk ud thoughtless mell
Even o'th' burds.
Babby Burds. by John Hartley