Home, Sweet Home.
I’m a Bedfordshire Chap, and Bill Stumps is my name,
And to tell it don’t give me no manner of shame;
For a man as works honest and hard for his livin’,
When he tells you his name, needn’t feel no misgivin’.
And works’s what I live by. At dawn o’ the day,
While some folks is snorin’, I’m up and away;
When I stops for my Bavor ‘twould dew your heart good,
To see how I relish the taste o’ my food.
I’m fond o’ my hoein’, and ploughin’, and drill,
And my hosses all knows me and works with a will;
I’m fond o’ my ‘chinin’, and thackin’ and drainin’,
For when work’s to be done, ‘taint no use a complainin.’
I whistles a tune if the mornins be dark;
When I goes home o’ nights, I sings sweet as a lark;
And you’ll travel some distance afore you can find
A chap more contented and happy in mind.
And I’ll tell ye the reason, I’ve got a good wife,
The joy o’ my heart, and the pride o’ my life.
She ain’t made o’ gold, nor ain’t much of a beauty,
But she’s allers a tryin’ to dew of her duty.
And a tidier home there ain’t none in the town
Than mine and my Polly’s–I’ll lay you a crown!
If it ain’t quite a palace, I’m sure ’tis as clean:
And I’m King o’ my cottage, and Polly’s the Queen.
But things wasn’t allers as lively as now–
There’s thirty good years since I fust went to plough;
I wor then but a lad, and a bad’un, I fear,
Just a trifle tew partial to baccy and beer.
So my maister he very soon gone me the sack,
And my faither he gone me the stick to my back;
But I cared for his bangins and blows not a rap;
I wor sich a queer onaccountable chap!
To make a long story as short as I can;
When I’d done as a boy, I became a young man;
And, as happens to most men at that time o’ life,
I axed a young ‘ooman if she’d be my wife.
And Poll she consented. O, how my heart beat,
When she gone me her hand, smilin’ wonderful sweet!
I could hear my heart beatin’, just like a Church bell,
Till I thought as my weskit ‘ud bust pretty well.
But worn’t I main happy, and well nigh a crazy,
When I heard her her say “Yes,” blushin’ sweet as a daisy!
We was axed in the church–no one dared to say nay;
So The Rector he spliced us, one fine soommer day.
My Poll wor a steady young gal, and a good ‘un
For washin’ and scrubbin’, and makin’ a pudden;
Not one o them gossiping gals, wot I hate,
But a quoietish ‘ooman, wi’ brains in her pate.
But soom how or other things didn’t go right;
There wasn’t atwixt us no manner o’ spite;
But I stayed out o’ Saturdays nights, and I fear
Spent more nor I’d ought on my baccy and beer.
And Poll she look’d sadly, but didn’t say nought;
She was one as ‘ud allers say less than she thought;
But I know’d what she thought–so a cloud kind o’ come,
And darkened the sun as once shone in our home,
But it come to a pass–’twas the fifth o’ November,
The day and the year I shall allers remember:
Twas midnight and past when I come to my door,
Scarce able to stan’–well, I won’t say no more?
Next mornin’ my head it wor well nigh a splitten,
And I stagger’d and stagger’d, as weak as a kitten;
But the wust of it all wor the dressin’ I got
From Polly–oh, worn’t it main spicy and hot?
What she said I won’t tell you; but you married men,
As knows wot it is to be pecked by a hen,
Wot I means yer to guess pretty plainish ‘ull find,
When I tells you she gone me “a bit of her mind.”
And now I’m as sober as sober can be,
And me and my Poll, as we sits down to tea,
Don’t care very far of an evenin’ to roam–
We’re allers so jolly contented at home.
I wears no blue ribbon outside o’ my coat,
For a pint o’ good ale seems to freshen my throat;
But offer me more and I’m bound to refuse it–
For my Poll’s got a tongue, and her knows how to use it.
So I takes just a pint, when there’s coppers to spare–
A pint wi’ your dinner ain’t no great affair–
But the time’ o’ the day as suits Polly and me,
Is when we sits down of an evenin’ to tea.
For the young ‘uns sits round us all smilin’ and clean;
And Sally knits stockings wot’s fit for the Queen;
Little Bill reads a book, and Jemima she sews,
And how happy our home is the parish all knows.
* * * * * *
Now young men and maids, if ye’ll listen to me,
I’ll give you some counsel all gratis and free–
Young men if you want to be happy in life,
Remember Bill Stumps, and look out for a wife.
Not one o’ them husseys as gossips and chatters,
And is allers o’ mindin’ of other folk’s matters,
But one as ‘ull work, and be gentle and kind,
And as knows when to gi’e you “a bit of her mind.”
Young maids who are willing young wives to become,
Remember, the sweetest of places is home;
But remember, no husband ‘ull find his home sweet,
If it ain’t bright and cheerful, and tidy and neat.
If all’s of a mullock and dirty and dusty,
When he pops home to dinner, he’ll turn rayther crusty;
But be tidy, and careful in cookin’ his grub,
And, I’ll bet what you like, he wont go to the Pub.
So send off the young’uns to school afore nine;
And when they and faither come home for to dine,
Don’t gi’e ’em cold taters and bacon half-fried,
But a meal as ‘ull cheer ’em and warm their inside.
And don’t let the children go roamin’ o’ night,
But keep ’em at home for their faither’s delight;
And I hope you may all be as happy and jolly,
In your Bedfordshire homes, as Bill Stumps and his Polly!
(E W Bowling)
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Based on Keywords: fust, coppers, wor, gossips, pops, maister, sews, pass-, crusty, pecked, freshen