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But sin' my herse would crounch an' crear, a stopped my wurk that day,
Fir a 'eerd the owd church clock strike two, thof the thick end o' a mile away.
A stubb'd the five aäcre wheer a kill'd a foumard an' moudy-warp;
An' sin' it war near the darklins, a unpied some tätes an' sharp.
A went to see if the lad ad wheeled the manner fra out
o' the crew,
But 'e dacker'd, an' a thowt it a very nïste gam, so gev 'im more to do.
A towd 'im to chop the billetin, an' to put the bronkus up,
To fasten the stable sneck an' hesp, or a was sewer 'e wouldn't stop;
To see if 'is rabbit a'd werried, to count up the chickens o' the latest cletch,
An to go t' the gainest shop, a panshan an' blether o' same to fetch.
A scraped up the squad an' the sluther mysen, an' med the yard look feät;
Then a called to my wife i' the ramper to git me sum
zut to yeät.
Nah doänt be in a stütle," she said, "yower quite colly-wessen to-day,
When a've milked the cows an' fed the cauves, we'll hev a cup o tây.
I'swaulin' the house a' tumpoked o'er the tub, an wetted both my feet,
So bring in a yule-clog an' kid, fir we'll hev a good fire ta-neet."
A took off my sliver all clatty an' clagg'd, an' put o' my toggery soon, Expectin' the butcher woe promised to call a' three i' the efternoon.
A've nobbut kep two pigs ta-year, a oftens hev fed fower,
One a' kill'd but yesterday an' its mattler the day afoor;
An' toner a'mun sell, but which on 'em a hardlins knaw,
Th' one that's hangin' o' the stee, or that o' the cratch belaw.
We soon got agait a' talking o' the places an' towns we'ad seen,
Ayther o' woalds, i' fens, or marshes, wheerivver we'ad been.
A hev flitted fra Conam to Sallaby, but at Randle a war born,
An' it was at Wattam, wheer my lass fost seed the light o' morn.
A once went fra Freshney Fen, wi' my fayther, to Louath fair,
To see an owd uncle, woe lived up a smootin at the back o' Eastgate theer,
Woe 'ad sich a curious hype, and took great strinds as 'e mov'd along,
That a tried to get shut on 'im, when a wur tired, fir a warn't tiff when young.
My wife took Patty to sarvice, to a lady at Cawtrup Manor last week,
An' said, "No gress, mum, grows under 'er foot, sheä moves about so quick;
That house is a cosher wheer 'er sister lives, by the brig i' Gantrup town,
An 'er brother is a confined labourer at Earby. wi' a farmer Brown.
One wottle-day a took owr Bill fra Nor Cotes to Lurbur an' back,
But a pagged 'im a deal, so a'm sartin-sewer, the next time a'll teck Jack.
Owr Joe 'as been playin' at pick an' hotch, or 'awmin' about o' apiece;
An' 'stead o'usin' the gablic is ridin' that frangy funnel o' his.
By the spurrin's i' the gatrum, a guess 'e 's off to Hogstrup fur the maister's spur.
Yet if it warn't fir fear o' a mäleck a'd giv 'im a nap o' the knurr.
A gev ower talkin', an' chuck'd a bone o'the cobbles fir the dog to nag,
When a seed the bai'ns 'ad broken the band, or brusted the miller's bag.
Those bai'ns, i' their clammux aa' play, 'ad slapped a pitcher o' cream,
As Tommy war raävin' Jaäne's tidy about, an' meckin'
on 'er scream.
My wife clammed Tom an' spanked 'im, then lugged 'is tab an' 'ad 'm undress'd, an' put
When I said-That's rayt, nah wire in a boster,
'em all to rest.
Bu Liz 'ad to kill all the clocks, an' to syle the loppered milk out o' the soh;
Then a said to my wife, when a suppered up, an' 'ad no more to do,
'Tis roaky ta-neet, an' cazzlety weather, but to-morrow a 'd foast to boon,
So let us be off to bed my lass, fir a mun git up soon. (By permission of the Author.)
(A GERMAN LEGend.)
[This legend has a peculiar interest as being the source from whence Washington Irving obtained the idea for his "Rip Van Winkle."]
PETER KLAUS was a goatherd of Sittendorf, and tended his flocks in the Kyffhausen mountains; here he was accustomed to let them rest every evening in a mead
surrounded by an old wall, while he made his muster of them; but for some days he had remarked that one of his finest goats always disappeared some time after coming to this spot, and did not join the flock till late watching her more attentively, he observed that she slipped through an opening in the wall, upon which he crept after the animal, and found her in a sort of cave, busily employed in gleaning the oat-grains that dropped down singly from the roof. He looked up and shook his ears amidst the shower of corn that now fell down upon him, but with all his inquiry could discover nothing. At last he heard above the stamp and neighing of horses, from whose mangers it was probable the oats had fallen.
Peter was yet standing in astonishment at the sound of horses in so unusual a place, when a boy appeared, who by signs, without speaking a word, desired him to follow. Accordingly he ascended a few steps and passed over a walled court into a hollow, closed in on all sides by lofty rocks, where a partial twilight shot through the over-spreading foliage of the shrubs. Here, upon the smooth, fresh lawn, he found twelve knights playing gravely at nine-pins, and not one spoke a syllable; with equal silence Peter was installed in the office of setting up the nine-pins.
At first he performed this duty with knees that knocked against each other, as he now and then stole a partial look at the long beards and slashed doublets of the noble knights. By degrees, however, custom gave him courage; he gazed on everything with firmer look, and at last even ventured to drink out of a bowl that stood near him, from which the wine exhaled a most delicious odour. The glowing juice made him feel as if re-animated, and whenever he found the least weariness, he again drew fresh vigour from the inexhaustible goblet. Sleep at last overcame him.
Upon waking, Peter found himself in the very same inclosed mead where he was wont to tell his herds. He rubbed his eyes, but could see no sign either of dog or goats, and was, besides, not a little astonished
at the high grass, and shrubs, and trees which he had never before observed there. Not well knowing what to think, he continued his way over all the places that he had been accustomed to frequent with his goats, but nowhere could he find any traces of them; below him he saw Sittendorf, and, at length, with hasty steps, he descended.
The people, whom he met before the village, were all strangers to him; they had not the dress of his acquaintance, nor yet did they exactly speak their language, and, when he asked after his goats, all stared and touched their chins. At last he did the same almost involuntarily, and found his beard lengthened by a foot at least, upon which he began to conclude that himself and those about him were equally under the influence of enchantment; still he recognised the mountain he had descended, for the Kyffhausen; the houses, too, with their yards and gardens, were all familiar to him, and to the passing questions of a traveller, several boys replied by the name of Sittendorf.
With increasing doubt he now walked through the village to his house: it was much decayed, and before it lay a strange goatherd's boy in a ragged frock, by whose side was a dog worn lank by age, that growled and snarled when he spoke to him. He then entered the cottage through an opening which had once been closed by a door; here, too, he found all so void and waste that he tottered out again at the back door as if intoxicated, and called his wife and children by their names; but none heard, none answered.
In a short time, women and children thronged around the stranger with the long hoary beard, and all, as if for a wager, joined in inquiring what he wanted. Before his own house to ask others after his wife, or children, or even of himself, seemed so strange, that, to get rid of these querists, he mentioned the first name that occurred to him; "Kurt Steffen ?" The bystanders looked at each other in silence, till at last an old woman said, "He has been in the churchyard these twelve years, and you'll not go there to-day." "Velten Meier ?"