I’ this the stink’est o’ alleys,
Ther be three heawses, an’ fourteen empty ballies;
Ther’s Collier Jim, he lies i’ ed,
Wi’ o broken leg an’ o werchin’ yed,
An’ he’s welly as good as berried an’ ded,
Tho’ his wife’s the best o’ Sallys.

Fro’ wik’s eend to wik’s eend, an’ thro’ it
They’n nowt but rue tay, an’ tay to it;
Tho’ th’ doctor rolls up in a four-wheel shay,
An’ orders poor Jim o pint o’ beef tay,
Wi’ o glass o’ port wine three times a day,
An’ o mutton chop – eawt o’ parish pay!
An’ Jim’s wife’s i’ wot’s cawd, an expectin’ way –
May the Lord send her gradely thro’ it.

Ther’s two twin bairns getten th’ brown-critters,*
I’ two-thri days they’ll soon be fitters
O’ cosy coffins i’ one smaw grave.
Dang me! if deoth durn’t best behave –
Better nor life – to a cradled slave,
Spoon-fed wi’ gin-an’-bitters,

Last wik we’n tan eawr little Mary
To hur whoam i’th’ cemetary;
(Along o’th’ road so wet an’ dree,ᵻ
Splash’d bi o weddin’ gay wur we);
Welly crack’d wur eawr Betty an’ me –
For dun yo see,
Hoo wur th’ only choily, but three;
For wun’s as good as a’ to Bet an’ me,
An’ luv as’ll niver get yeary.

Gron-dad’s fawn lame wi’ th’ rheumatic;
Mi woife lies stervin’ i’ th’ attic;
For ‘ith’ kitchen ther’s nobbit o pair o’meawlt shoon,
Wi’ o widowed fork an’ o eighrun spoon,
O hint o’ meighl poritch – i’th’ wooden spittoon!
O gleom o’ sunshine o’th’ table at noon,
An’ o felly eawtside as is grindin’ o tune
In o way welly airistocratic.

I’th’ gutter ther’s fayvur; i’th’ garret ther’s famine,
An’ mony o family quietly clammin’.
Ther’d little to spend an’ less to get,
For folk i’th’ grip o’th’ divil o’ debt!
(May the Lord keep aw on us honest yet.)
For ther’s lots o’ empty ballies to let,
An’ “things aren’t getten to th’ wust,” ses Bet,
“An’ sufferin’s wuss nor shammin’.”
January 26,1863. ADAM CHESTER.
* [Bronchitis] . ᵻWearisome.