BALLAD - "Ere the church bell i the morn had tung four"

Another little known 'dialect' Clare poem from the 1818-20 period, here printed exactly as Clare wrote it.  Love the Clare words... tung, claumpt, cockt and nockt, braken, mun... and that's only the first 8 lines!  Line 16 is interesting in its use of 'bunting' - this is what Professor Robinson has to say on the word, "since a bunter is a low street-woman this probably means, in a vulgar way, courting".

Jemmy might think he's won, but Roger is lurking...

Ere the church bell i the morn had tung four
Fudging old Jemmy claumpt over the moor
He cockt up his beaver & nockt at the door
& up wi ye Jenney bawls he
Deuce take him god knows I een wisht him neck braken
But mizerdly dad & old mam was awaken
Who telld me take chance when it is to be taken
So jemmys fair drudge I mun be

Tho Id promisd roger full late i' the even
& hed pledgd his honor of fairings being given
Besides invitations from ten or eleven
All better then droning old Jim
But parents full often nick love full of crosses
Old jim he coud brag of his waggons & horses
Obey 'em I mun or abide by the losses
I forcd to go bunting wi him

& pleasd wer his heart & his pockets wer lind too
& fairings he bought me what ere Id a mind too
But sly rascal roger shuffd close up behind too
& gave me a lear from his eye
Old jemmy poor lad all in vain he might bother
Hed taen me too far from the reach of my mother
I humourd him till I got loosd from my tether
Then wi roger I bid him good bye

EP II 101

1 comment:

Toffeeapple said...

I think I will have to read this several times over to get anything like the real sense of it. Thank you for posting.