Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A LANCASHIRE DIALOGUE, OCCASIONED BY A PREACHER WITHOUT NOTES, by JOHN BYROM



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A LANCASHIRE DIALOGUE, OCCASIONED BY A PREACHER WITHOUT NOTES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Wus yo at church o' sunday morning, john?
Last Line: James. If onny comes, I'll tak it; john,—good bye!
Subject(s): Clergy; Lancashire, England; Language; Preaching & Preachers; Speech; Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops; Words; Vocabulary; Oratory; Orators


JAMES AND JOHN.

JAMES. Wus yo at Church o' Sunday morning, John?
JOHN. Ay, Jeeams, I was; and would no' but ha' gone
For ne'er so mich.—What, wur no yo theer then?
JAMES. Nou; and I ha' no' miss'd, I know no' when.
JOHN. Whoy, yo had e'en faoo luck on't.—
JAMES. So I hear,
At maes me ash ye, whether yo wur theer.
They tell'n me that a pairson coome, and took
His text bi hairt, and preach'd withaoot a book.
JOHN. He did, for sartin, and hauf freeten'd mee
And moor besoide;—but he soon leet us see
He wanted noane.—
JAMES. Whoy, could he do withaoot?
JOHN. Yoi, better, mon, bi hauf for being baoot.
It gan me sich a notion,—for my pairt,
I think 'at au true preaching is by hairt:
Sich as we han I do no' meean to bleeame,
But conno' cau it fairly bi that neeame.
A book may do at whooam for larning seeake,
But in a pilpit, wheer a mon shid speeake,
And look at th' congregation i' their feeace,
He canno' do't for pappers in a keease.
He ta'es fro' them what he mun say, and then
Just looks as if he gan it 'um again.
It is i' th' Church, or one could hairdly tell
But he wur conning summat to himsel:
Monny a good thing, there, I ha' hard read oo'er,
But never knew what preeaching wus befoor.
JAMES. And prei ye, John, haoo done ye know it naoo?
JOHN. Lukko,—this mon has tou't it me sumhaoo.
JAMES. A ready scholar!
JOHN. "Scholar?" whoy,—a dunce
May see, beloike, what's shown him au at wunce.
JAMES. It ma'es me think, yo're allivated soa,
O'one that's gloppen'd 'at has seen a shoa.
JOHN. Would yo had seen and hard, as weel as I,—
And if I shid say felt, I shid no' lie,
What it wus moy good luck to hyear and see!
Yo'd a bin gloppen'd too, as weel as me.
JAMES. Happen, I meeght; but con I understond
Onny thing on't, Good John, at second hond?
Yo han this preeaching seeacret at a hit;
Con yo remember haoo it wus a bit?
JOHN. "Con yo remember?"—comes into mi hyead
Your telling once o'whot yoar lowyer said
Agen ou'd Hunks, the Justice o' the peeace,
'At would ha' ta'en away yoar faither's leease;
Haoo yo discroib'd him, what a mon o'th' lows!
What a fine tungue! and haoo he geet the coaze;
Haoo thooas at wur not at the Soizes too
Could no' believe t'one hauf o'whot wus true!
JAMES. "Remember?" Ay, and shall do while I'm whick,
Haoo bravely he fund aoot a knavish trick.
He seeav'd my faither monny a starling paoond,
And bu' for him I had no' bin o' th' graoond.
That wus a mon worth hyearing!—if yoar mon
Could talk loike him, I shid be gloppen'd, John.
But, lukko' me, theeas lowyers are au tou't
To speak their nomminies as soon as thou't:
Haoo done yo think would Judge and Jury look,
If onny on 'um shid go tak a book
Aoot of his pockett, and so read away?
They'd'n soon think he had no' mich to say.
Aoor honest lowyer had my faither's deed;
But, mon, he gan it th' clark o' th' coort to read;
And then he spooak! And if you had bu' seen—
Whoy, th' Judge himsel could ne'er keep off his een;
The jury gaupt agen;—and weel they meeght,
For e'ry word 'at he had said wus reeght.
JOHN. Weel, Jeeams,—and if a man shid be as wairm
Abaoot his hev'n as yo abaoot yoar fairm,
Dunno' yo think he'd be as pleeast to hear
A Pairson mak his reeght to houd it clear?
And show the De'el to be as fause a foe
As that ou'd rogue, the Justice, wus to yo?
JAMES. Naoo, John, I see what yo been driving at,
And I'm o' yoar oppinion as to that.
I shid no grutch at takking a lung wauk
To hyear a Clargyman, that could bu' tauk
As that mon did,—could sarch a thing to th' boan,
And in good yarnest, mak the coaze his ooan.
I seeldom miss a Sunday hyearing thooas,
'At preeachen weel enugh as preeaching gooas;
But I ha' thou't sumtimes, haooever good,
A sarmon meeght be better, if it would;
'At if it could no' mak folks' een to weep,
It sartinly mit keep 'um au fro' sleep.
Yet I ha' seen 'um nodding, toimes enoo,
Not only childer, but church-wairdens too.
Could your fine preeacher—morning was too soon—
Ha' kept folks wakken, John, i' th' afternoon?
JOHN. I wish he would ha' tri'd;—and, I dare say,
That morning meeght have answer'd for au day.
He must ha' ta'en a pretty dose, I think,
'At coud ha' gen that afternoon a wink.
Sich looking! and sich list'ning! one mit read
In e'ry feeace, "Ay, heer's a mon indeed!"
Some meeght ha' slept, if he had com'n agen,
Befoor he spooak;—I'm shure they could no' then.
JAMES. They wurn, its loike, whaint fond o' summut new.
JOHN. Nea, nea; that winno' haud a sarmon throo.
Au they that listen'd when he first begun
Kept list'ning moor and moor till he had done.
Had he gone eend away, I gi' mi word,
He had me fast bi th' ears,—I'd not ha' stirr'd.
Naoo yo mun think 'at he taukt weel at leeast,
And passing weel, 'at eich-body wur pleeast.
They would no', loikly, give him au their vooats
Ooanly becose o' preeaching withaoot nooats.
JAMES. Whoy, but according to my thinking, John,
It gi's a hugeous vontidge to a mon
To preeach withaoot book, if he can bu' do't,
And he mun needs be better heard, to boot.
Aoor lowyer had noane, and I hauf can feel
It wus the reason whoy he spooak so weel:
Yet, as yo sen, "that ooanly winno' do,"—
For th' mon agen him praited like a foo.
JOHN. Jeeams, its e'en haird upon a lowyer's tungue,
They hoirn it aoot to oather wreeght or wrung;—
A diff'rent keease to that o' pairsons woide,
They are or shid be au o' the same soide;
It maks, mayhap, aoor lowyers reeadier far
To pleead withaoot book, til aoor pairsons are.
JAMES. Its loike it duz; for folks will larn to speeak
Sanner bi hauf for contradickshon's seeak;
And specially if when their tale is toud,
I' truth or loies, they mun be paid i' goud.
Pairsons are paid;—and if they win, may pay
Thir curates, John, to preeach for um or pray:
And then they do not, when they ma'en a raoot,
Tungue it so mich as fling thir book abaoot.
Yet word o' maooth, if it be reeght, 's no sin;
Whoy conno pairsons preeach by't if they win?
JOHN. I know no':—custom's druven to extreeams;
This may be one 'at they han getten, Jeeams;
Some feeamous fellies meeght at first begin;
And au the rest han follow'd 'um e'er sin:
When a bell-weather leeaps but o'er a stray,
At that same pleck au th' rest mun jump away.
JAMES. Marry, I wish 'at pairsons, one i' ten,
Would bu' jump back into th' oud way agen.
Some han greeat books, enoo to fill a cairt:—
Strange! 'at they conno' lay a thing to hairt,
Sich as they loiken best, and ha the paoor
To dray it fro' within for one hauf haoor!
Haoo coome this man to do't?
JOHN. I conno' tell:—
Do it he did;—so yeeasy to himsel,—
And yet wi so mich yarnestness and fooarce
Of tungue, and hond, and look, and good discooarse,
Au smooth and clear;—and e'ry turn it took,
Still woinding to't loike weater in a brook;
'At onny man o' larning, takking aiam,
Meeght ha' larnt fro' him to ha' done the saiame.
JAMES. "Larning!"—when preeachers first coome in, they sen,
They wurn no' monny on 'um larned men,
Nor gentry nooather—
JOHN. Whoy, and they sen true:—
But in aoor days I daoot it woono' do,
To ha' thooas preeach 'at com'n so meeghty short
O'th' first beginners, so weel fitted for't.
Would but aoor gentlemen o' larning troy
To preeach fro' th' hairt, and lay theeir pappers bye,
We shid no' think warse on 'um for thir kin,
Nor loike um less, haooever larn'd they bin:
Aoor folks i' th' church-time would be moor devaoot,
And moind the bus'ness 'at they wurn abaoot:
And thooas good sarmons 'at mooast on um ma'en,
By au good folks would be mich better ta'en.
Witness this gentlemon, o' Sunday morn,
The best 'at I e'er hard sin I wur born.
But, come,—I'll say no moor:—yo'st hear him first:—
I wish with au my hairt he wur the worst.
JAMES. Ay, yo may wish;—but will he preach agen?
Haoo ar yo shure o' that?
JOHN. Nay, soa they sen,—
Yo're loike to tak yoar chaunce as weel as I.
JAMES. If onny comes, I'll tak it; John,—Good bye!





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