Letter to the Poet’s Brother, on extending his leave of absence


I’ll tell thee, plainly, Maister Frank !

Thou’s playin’ off a tidy prank,

An’ dodgin’ us i’ style.

When thou up into Howgill went,

We didn’t think ’twas thy intent

To stop sa lang a while.


This is the four-an’-thirtieth day,

That’s pass’d sen thou first went away

I’ taty mowd to scrat ;

An’, if ye’ve nobut wrowt like men,

Ye will hev done yer job lang sen ;

I’m gay weel sewer o’ that.


Thou wants weel threshin’ wi’ a stick

For playin’ this unmanly trick —

It is a down-reight shaam ;

When we’ve baath lime an’ cooals to leead,

An’ gaps to wau, an’ muck to spread,

An’ lots o’ wark at haam.


On Tuesdays I’m uncommon thrang,

For I’ve to Settle town to gang,

To do the market wark,

An’, when I get back haam wi’ t’ cart,

I hev to change my cooat an’ start

An’ fotch au t’ beeas i’ t’ dark.


My mother oft sings out amain,

She’ll fret an’ murmer an’ complain,

An’ let me hev na peeace ;

For if I’ve ony-whar to gang,

She’ll say, “ Now mind, an’ don’t stop lang,

For whaa’s to milk au t’ beeas. ”


Ned Hague, who lives wi’ Mr. Hart,

An’ Ned, who follows Marchbank’s cart,

Keep exing me about thee ;

An’ Alice says she will be fain

When Frank comes marchin’ haam again,

She’s fairly lost without thee.


Now, when thou hes this letter read,

To au that I hev herein sed

I hope thou wilt attend ; 

For I sal be sa sadly vext,

If thou don’t come by Tuesday next —

 I’ll kick thy hinderend.