T’ Kersmas Party

When cowd December’s sturdy breeze

L’ chimney-tops did grummle,

Or teearin’ through the leeafless  trees,

On lang, dark neets did rummle ;  

A lot o’ young fooaks, smart an’ gay,

An’ owd uns, free an’ hearty,

Agreed amang thersels ’at they

Wad hev a Kersmas party

At haam some neet.


They kick’d up sich a fuss an’ spreead,

And med sich preparations —

They baak’d grand tarts, an’ mix’d their breead,

Wi’ spices fra au nations. —

To drive away baath want an’ cowd

It seem’d their inclination ;

An’ t’ nebors round, baath young an’ owd,

Au gat an invitation

To gang yan neet.


Smart sprigs o’ spruce an’ ivy green

Were fra the ceilin’ hingin’,

An’ in their midst, conspicuous seen,

The misletoe was swingin’.

The lamp shaan forth as clear as day,

An’ nowt was thaar neglected ;

An’ happy, smilin’ faaces say

“ Some company is expected

To come this neet.”


An’ first com Moll wi’ girt lang Jack,

A strappin’, good-like fellow ;

An’ followin’ cloosely at their back,

Com Bob an’ Isabella.

Wi’ “ How’s yersel ? ” an’ “ How d’ye do? ”

They sit down i’ their plaaces,

Till t’ room sa big, au through an’ through,

Wi’ happy, smilin’ faaces

Was fill’d that neet.


A merrier lot than this I naam

Ne’er met at ony party —

Au girt, grand balls they put to shaam,

They were sa gay an’ hearty.

Here yan hed med hersel quite fine,

Wi’ laace an’ braid’s assistance ;

An’ thaar a girt, grand crinoline,

To keep t’ lads at a distance

Stood out that neet.


The lads draw up to t’ fire their chairs,

An’ merrily pass their jokes off ;

The lasses au slip off upstairs’

To poo their hats an’ cloaks off.

Befoor a glass ’at hings at t’ side,

They au tak up their station ;

An’ think within thersels, wi’ pride,

They’ll cause a girt sensation

’Mang t’ lads that neet.


An’ now the lusty Kermas cheer

Is browt out for t’ occasion ;

To pies an’ tarts, an’ beef an’ beer,

They git an invitation ;

An’ some, i’ tune to put it by,

Play havoc on each dainty,

Whal some there is, so varra shy,

Scaarce let thersels hev plenty

To itt that neet.


Against the host of good things thaar

They wage an awful battle ;

They’re crying out, “ A lile bit maar ! ”

An’ plates an glasses rattle.

Here yan’s naa time a word to pass,

Thrang suppin’ an’ thrang bitin’ ;

Thaar, simperin’, sits a girt soft lass,

That waits for mich invitin’

An’ fuss that neet.

An’ when this good substantial fare

Hes gi’n ’em satisfaction,

They side au t’ chairs, an’ stand i’ pairs,

Wi’ heels i’ time for action.

See-sahin’ t’ fiddler now begins,

The best that he is aable ;

He rosins t’ stick an’ screws up t’ pins,

An’ jumps up on to t’ taable

To play that neet.


Thaar, back an’ forrad, in an’ out,

His elbow it gahs tiltin’ ;

An’ to an’ fro, an’ round about,

The dancers they are liltin’.

Some dance wi’ eease i’ splendid style,

Wi’ tightly-fittin’ togs on ;

Whal others bump about au t’ while,

Like drainers wi’ their clogs on

Saa numb’d that neet.


An’ when they’ve reel’d an’ danc’d their fling,

Their chairs au round are ranged :

They tell droll taals, they laugh, they sing,

An’ jokes are enterchanged.

A merry tune t’ girt kettle sings’

An’ t’ fire is blazin’ breetly ;

Wi’ cheerful din t’ owd farmhouse rings,

An’ hours fly ower ’em sweetly,

An’ swift that neet.


T’ owd women preeach’d an’ talk about

Their claas bein’ owd an’ rotten,

An’ still bein’ foorc’d to speck an’ clout,

It’s sich a price is cotton.

T’ owd men sit round wi’ pipe an’ glass,

In eearnest conversation ;

On t’ ways an’ meeans o’ saavin’ brass,

An’ t’ rules an’ t’ laws o’ t’ nation,

They talk that neet.


Now, girt lang Jack, ’at lives on t’ moor,

Wi’ cunnin’ an’ wi’ caution,

Is beckonin’ Moll to gang to t’ door,

Wi’ sly mischievous notion.

Moll taks the hint, nor thinks it wrang,

Her heart that way inclinin’ ;

She says to t’ rest she thinks she’ll gang

To see if t’ stars are shinin’

Out clear that neet.


Then down a field they tak a walk,

An’ then they wend their way back ;

To hev a bit o’ pleasant talk

They shelter under t’ haystack.

She didn’t say “ For shaam ! ” not she,

Though oft-times Johnny kiss’d her ;

She said she just wad run an’ see

If t’ other fooaks hed miss’d her

Fra t’ room that neet.


A chap ’at hed two watchful een,

Of which they weren’t thinkin’,

When peepin’ round that neet hed seen

Lang Jack at Molly winkin’,

Says he, “ Now’s t’ time to hev a stir !

Let’s just gang out an’ watch her,

We’s hev some famous fun wi’ her.

If we can nobbut catch her

Wi’ him this neet. ”


Then two or three, bent on a spree,

Out to t’ door gang thungin’ ;

But hauf a yard they scaarce could see,

It was as dark as dungeon.

Jack hears their footsteps comin’ slow,

An’ fra her side he slinks off;

Runs round t’ house end, jumps ower a wau,

An’ up to t’ knees i’ t’ sink-trough

He splash’d that neet.


Now, ye young men, be who ye may,

That’s bent on fun an’ sportin’,

Whare’er ye be, by neet or day,

Remember Jack’s misfortun.

Though things unlook’d for on ye creep,

Don’t do owt in a splutter ;

But learn to look befoor ye leap,

Least ye in some deep gutter

Stick fast some neet.