‘Bacca Smookin’


Yan winter’s day, as I walk’d out,

I sah a chap, baath strang an’ stout,

Come waadin’ through the snah ;

He grasp’d a cudgel stout an’ strang,

An’ as he trudg’d the rooad alang,

His ’bacca he did blah.


An’ as I watch’d him turn the nook,

Envelop’d in the cloud o’ smook

That round his heead did thicken ;

I ponder’d deeply in my mind,

What joy he in the pipe could find

That in his mouth was stickin’.


For meet that man whene’er ye may,

Be ’t summer time or winter’s day,

Ye’re sewer to see him smookin’ ;

Wi’ his black pipe, beneeath his snout,

He thrahs girt clouds o’ reek about,

Just like a chimley walkin’.


Last thing ere he retires to rest,

First thing as soon as he is drest,

The pipe mun hev a turn ;

An’ efter ivvry meal he gits,

Grave-lookin’ as a judge, he sits,

His Indian weed to burn.


Though he of good substantial stuff

Hes itten till he’s hed enough,

He feels there’s summat wrang ;

’Till fra the chimley-piece he brings

The queerest of invented things —

A pipe near two foot lang.


Then up to t’ fire his chair he draws,

An’ for his ’bacca-pot he caus,

An’ puffs wi’ might an’ main ;

While t’ stifling vapour curls an’ creeps,

As mist along the mountain sweeps

When it’s been heavy rain.


Week efter week, an’ nivver miss,

I’ nasty, stinkin’ stuff like this,

His money he will war ;

While if some beggar, fill’d wi’ grief,

Com up to him to crave relief,

He’d say he’d nowt to spar’.


An’ men who toil fra day to day,

Wi’ nowt else but their scanty pay

Their families’ wants to feed, —

Although theirsels, their barns, an’ wife,

Sud gang i’ tatters au their life,

They, too, mun blah their weed.


An’ fast young men, i’ ivvry town,

Wi’ t’ fancy pipe strut up an’ down —

They think it is sa jolly ; —

Thaar, arm i’ arm down t’ streets they reel ;

But, while they think they look genteel,

They nobbut shew their folly.


An’ nobbut look at bits o’ lads,

How soon they imitate their dads ;

For, ere they’re weel turn’d ten,

If they can souk a black clay stick,

Without yance turnin’ pale or sick,

They think it maks ’em men.


In some calm nook, wi’ mony a scratch,

To set on fire a brimstone match,

Some lile ragg’d scamp will stop ;

Then full o’ pride he’ll stretch about,

While fra his mouth the reek spouts out,

As fra a lime-kiln top.


Now, ye owd men, whose heeads are grey,

Thrah pipe an’ ’bacca-box away,

An’ on this habit trample ;

An’ ne’er advise the risin’ squad

To let alaan a practice bad,

’Till first ye set t’ example.


For I’ve often seen it’s been the caase,

Ye, wi’ the pipe stuck in yer faace,

Yer good advice wad tell ;

Persuadin’ young uns ne’er to start,

But hedn’t courage in yer heart

To give it up yersel.


An’ be advis’d, ye lads, by me,

An’ let this stinkin’ rubbish be —

It’s sewer to mack ye sick :

An’ if ye hev some brass to war,

Ye’ll finnd it will be better far


To buy a toffy-stick.