Lines composed on seeing a Woman intoxicated in Settle Streets on a Market Day.

Yan day, it was Tuesday, an’ Settle was thrang,

For fooaks to an’ fro in the market did gang ;

There were warkmen an’ tradesmen, an’ farmers, an’ squires,

An’ some com as sellers, an’ some com as buyers ;

Some med theirsels thrang amang hampers an’ crates,

An’ some stood i’ clusters an’ held girt debates ;

Whal others, who seem’d to hev nowt mich on hand,

Wi’ their hands i’ their pockets at t’ corners did stand.


An’ lasses an’ women, ’at com out o’ t’ moors,

Were standin’ at t’ drapers’ shop windows an’ doors.

Like magpies they chatter’d, an’ t’ main o’ their talk

Was a jacket, dress, bonnet, or watterproof cloak ;

An’ a woman I spied, quite respectably drest,

But still she was allus apart fra the rest,

An’ she’d ivvry appearance o’ being a sot,

For she couldn’t walk streight, nor stand steady o’ t’ spot.


Thaar she reel’d up an’ down in the full market-plaace,

Wi’ the marks of a drunkard stamp’d plain on her face ;

Her een they were blood-shot, her nooas red enough,

An’ her jacket an’ dress were au cover’d wi’ snuff.

Fooaks laugh’d as they pass’d, but naa heed did she pay,

Self-esteem an’ respect hed au vanish’d away.

Hed some artist been thaar her likeness to drah,

She’d hev med sich a pictur an Punch nivver sah.


Now starin’ she stood, wi’ a stupified glance,

First shut this ee, then that, an’ then shut baath at yance ;

Wi’ her hat cock’d on side way, her haar — black as jet—

Fell down i’ disorder, escaped fra her net ;

Untidy she seem’d, i’ faace an’ i’ form,

An’ she rock’d, when she walk’d, like a ship in a storm.

Then, thowt I, that poor fellow ‘ll hev a queer life

Who hes sich a dolly as thee for his wife.


Now, young chaps, ye ’at think about takkin’ a wife,

If ye wish to keep free fra au trouble an’ strife,

Don’t gang huntin’ about efter beauty or brass,

But fix on a modest an’ sensible lass —

Yan ’at’s caarful an’ tidy, i’ t’ habit o’ thinkin’,

An’ not yan i’ t’ habit o’ snuffin’ an’ drinkin’.

If ye git yan ’at’s drucken, an’ queer in her ways,

Ye may live i’ discomfort to t’ end o’ yer days.