Violets

Sister, tha knows while we was on th' planks
Aside o' t' grave, an' th' coffin set
On th' yaller clay, wi' th' white flowers top of it
Waitin' ter be buried out o' th' wet?

An' t' parson makin' haste, an' a' t' black
Huddlin' up i' t' rain,
Did t' 'appen ter notice a bit of a lass way back
Hoverin', lookin' poor an' plain?

—How should I be lookin' round!
An' me standin' there on th' plank,
An' our Ted's coffin set on th' ground,
Waitin' to be sank!

I'd as much as I could do to think
Of 'im bein' gone
That young, an' a' the fault of drink
An' carryin's on!—

Let that be; 'appen it worna th' drink, neither,
Nor th' carryin' on as killed 'im.
—No, 'appen not,
My sirs! But I say 'twas! For a blither
Lad never stepped, till 'e got in with your lot.—

All right, all right, it's my fault! But let
Me tell about that lass. When you'd all gone
Ah stopped behind on t' pad, i' t' pourin' wet
An' watched what 'er 'ad on.

Tha should ha' seed 'er slive up when yer'd gone!
Tha should ha' seed 'er kneel an' look in
At th' sloppy grave! an' 'er little neck shone
That white, an' 'er cried that much, I'd like to begin

Scraightin' mysen as well. 'Er undid 'er black
Jacket at th' bosom, an' took out
Over a double 'andful o' violets, a' in a pack
An' white an' blue in a ravel, like a clout.

An' warm, for th' smell come waftin' to me. 'Er put 'er face
Right in 'em, an' scraighted a bit again,
Then after a bit 'er dropped 'em down that place,
An' I come away, acause o' th' teemin' rain.

But I thowt ter mysen, as that wor th' only bit
O' warmth as 'e got down theer; th' rest wor stone cold.
From that bit of a wench's bosom; 'e'd be glad of it,
Gladder nor of thy lilies, if tha maun be told.
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