The Picnic

The summer sun raase breet an’ fair,

An’ softly breeath’d the mornin’ air

Out fra the clear south-west.

I’ leeafy bowers the young birds sung,

An’ Natur’ au look’d fresh an’ young —

I’ varied splendour drest.


The fields were au i’ vapour veil’d,

Till, by the warm, breet rays assail’d,

Up fled the leet grey mist.

The flowers expanded one by one,

As fast as the refreshin’ sun,

Their dewy faaces kissed.


An’ mony a lad jump’d out o’ bed,

As soon as the first streeak o’ red

Proclaim’d the comin’ mornin’ ;

An’ mony a bonny, bloomin’ lass

Stood full an hour befoor the glass,

Thrang deckin’ an’ adornin’.


An’ pleasure danc’d i’ mony an ee,

An’ mony a heart, wi’ mirth an’ glee,

Was flutter’d an’ excited —

An’ this was t’ cause, ye’ll understand —

Some friends a grand picnic hed plann’d,

An’ they hed been invited.


It hed been fix’d au reight an’ streight,

For them to meet at hauf-past eight,

Au ready for a start.

To carry t’ things ’at they required

They’d been the neet befoor, an’ hired

A tidy leet spring-cart.


An’ when they meet, what fuss they mak !

They smile an’ nod, an’ hands they shak,

Quite in a friendly way ;

Their looks, their laughter, indicate

They ivvry yan inticipate

A reg’lar merry day.


Now baskets, fill’d wi’ spoons an’ cups,

An’ plates, to hod the bits an’ sups,

Were hunted out i’ plenty ;

An’ into t’ cart they also cram

Lile baskets, stuff’d wi’ beef an’ ham,

An’ mony another dainty.


For fear they sud git mark’d or crack’d,

Two teapots next i’ straw were pack’d —

Yan clay an’ t’ other metal ;

An’ sticks an’ chips they browt i’ bags,

An’ last of au, lapp’d up i’ rags,

A girt, black copper-kettle.


Although impatient of delay,

They stow their needful things away,

Wi’ caar an’ calculation ;

This done, they then their march commence —

For Gordale Scar — some six miles hence —

Was their grand destination.


Heigh in the heavens the sun did blaze ;

He pour’d his hot, unpityin’ rays

Upon the lads — poor fellows !

The lasses naa distress betray’d,

But tripp’d alang beneeath the shade

Of their lile, silk umbrellas.


Ower limestone rocks, an’ ling an’ bent,

Ower hill an’ slack, away they went,

Beneeath the burnin’ sun :

But lang befoor they gat to t’ plaace,

Some wiped the heat-drops off their faace,

An’ said that they were done.


But when at length the spot they’ve gain’d —

Tho’ just befoor, they’d au complain’d

Of bein’ hot an’ tired —

Some brak out into loud hurrahs,

While others upwards turn’d their gaze,

An’ silently admired.


This was t’ first time some on ’em’d been

To see the grand romantic scene,

Now to their view display’d ;

But, hed they walk’d six times as far,

They said the seet of Gordale Scar

Their toil hed weel repaid.


When they’d examin’d an’ survey’d,

An’ this remark an’ t’ other made,

They for the feeast prepare ;

For some by this began to feel

That though a walk is varra weel,

Men can’t subsist on air.


Then au who can perform their part —

Some fotch the chip-bags fra the cart,

An’ soon a fire they raise.

Plates, teapots, kettle, some hunt out,

An’ thus they run an’ fuss about,

Employ’d i’ various ways.


Naa chairs nor tables they possess’d,

They plann’d, contriv’d, an’ did their best,

An’ substitutes they fand :

Upon the grund a cloth they spreead,

An’ on a rock they cut their breead,

An’ au look’d varra grand.


By this, they have arranged their things,

By this, the kettle puffs an’ sings,

Till t’ lid does fairly dance.

Wi’ langin’ looks they au draw near,

An’ wait impatiently to hear —

“ We’d best begin at yance. ”


Then down o’ t’ top o’ t’ grund some sat,

Some stood, some knelt, an’ some laid flat,

But au gat to it fairly ;

To wark went thirty paar o’ jaws,

Asteead o’ forks they used their paws,

An’ fand they answer’d rarely.


This was naa time for formal pride,

The best amang ’em cast aside

Their taast, their style, an’ breedin’ ;

An’ lad an’ lass, wi’ au their might,

Were pitchin’ into t’ left an’ right,

Like hungry, wild beeasts feedin’.


The dainty piles fast disappear’d,

An’ cups were drain’d, an’ plates were clear’d,

An’ havoc strange was made.

Hed ony hungry plooman seen,

He wad ha’ oppen’d wide his een

To watch the parts they play’d.


An’ when at length they’ve hed their fill, —

Then up they rise wi’ reight good-will,

Fra t’ biggest down to t’ leeast.

Some wesh the pots wi’ caarless speed,

An’ some collect for future need,

The remnants of the feeast.


Some lish young lads start fra the rest,

An’ up the rocks’ steep, rugged breast

They scramble just like tars ;

While others their assistance lend,

An’ help the lasses to ascend

The ugly crags an’ scars.


Befoor ’em au, gangs caarless Will ;

Intent is he to show his skill

I’ scalin’ rocks an’ staans ;

But ah ! he sadly miss’d his mark,

For down he fell, an’ scraap’d the bark

Fra off his poor shin-baans.


Now Harry — who at ivvry chance

Hes cast a sly an’ meeaning glance

On bonny Mary Jane —

Says to hissel — “ Now, hit or miss,

An opportunity like this

May nivver come again. ”


Saa straight up to her side he walk’d,

An’ pleasantly to her he talk’d,

An’ his assistance proffer’d ;

Naa answer, queer or cross, she maks,

But, seein’ naa objection, taks

The arm that he hes offer’d.


Then on the lot they turn their backs,

An’ up the rudely hauf-form’d tracks,

He tenders her his aid ;

While she, i’ merry mood meanwhile,

Wi’ mony a winnin’ smirk an’ smile,

His kindness weel repaid.


Upon a crag, owergrown wi’ grass,

Beneeath the cliffs’ ower-hingin’ mass,

They sit t’aan clooas to t’ other.

Nowt can they hear, nowt do they see,

Becos they er saa busily

Engaged wi’ yan another.


Then Johnny, who was fond o’ pranks,

Com deftly up, wi’ nimmle shanks,

To see what they were doin’ ;

An’ thaar held fast i’ tight embraace,

Wi’ hand i’ hand, an’ faace to faace,

Like turtle doves they’re cooin’.


But, seein’ Johnny, up they sprang,

An’ down, to join the noisy thrang,

They slowly wend their way ;

While them below, who’d watch’d the fun,

Wav’d hats an’ caps, an’ then begun

Loud shoutin’, “ Hip, Hurrah ! ”


An’ now they form a merry ring,

An’ round they run, an’ loud they sing,

An’ mony a lass gat kiss’d ;

Whal others who were nivver tried,

Altho’ they seem’d quite satisfied,

Were vex’d at bein’ miss’d.


An’ when they’ve spent a rompin’ fit,

The lasses think they’ll rest a bit,

An’ sit down in a group ;

Meanwhile, the lads i’ full career,

Are strivin’ which t’ bigg’st space can clear,

At hop, skip, stride, an’ lowp.


An’ now the breet midsummer sun

His daily course hes nearly run ;

For, ower the valleys green,

His last faint, ling’rin’ ray he sends,

Remindin’ our picnickin’ friends,

They’d better close the scene.


Then gams an’ tricks were thrahn aside,

An’ clooaks put on an’ hat-strings tied,

An’ au was fuss an’ fluster.

For six miles’ tramp, ower hedge an’ dike,

Girt hooals, rough waus, an’ au sich like,

Their power they now mun muster.


Some walk’d off leetly, two an’ two —

I think it’s wisdom saa to do,

It seems the eeasiest style ; —

Some walk’d i’ knotts of five or six,

Whal others, nut inclined to mix,

March’d off i’ single file.


I think it’s needless that I tell

How things went on, an’ what befell,

Except I just may say —

Skirts, torn wi’ climmin’ waus i’ t’ dark,

Fand mony a lass enough o’ wark

To fit her au t’ next day.