From
Through a Victorian Child's Eye

Ahr Mary's Bonnet - a Yorkshire dialect poem by John Hartley

This is a poem by John Hartley, a prolific West Riding dialect poet and it's called, Ahr Mary's Bonnet.
 
Have yo seen awr Mary's bonnet?
It's a stunner - nooa mistak!
Ther's a bunch o' rooasies on it,
An' a feather daan her back.
Yollo ribbons an' fine laces,
An' a cock-a-doodle-doo,
An' raand her bonny face is
A string o' posies blue.
 
When shoo went to church last Sunday,
T' parson could'nt finnd his text;
An' fat old Mistress Grundy
Sed, 'Eh, Mary! pray what next!'
T' lads wink'd at one another-
T'lasses snikered i' ther glee,
An' t' whooal o't' congregation
Had her bonnet i' ther ee.
 
Sooin t'singers started singin',
But they braik daan one bi one,
For t'hymn wor on 'The flowers
Of fifty summers gone.',
But when they saw awr Mary,
They made a mullock on it,
For they thowt' at all them flaars
Had been put on Mary's bonnet.
 
Then t'parson said mooast kindly,
'Ther wor noa offence intended;
But flaar shows wor aht o' place,
I' t' church wheeare saints attended.
An' if his errin sister wished
To finnd her way to glory;
Shoo shouldn't carry on her heead,
A whooal conssarvatory.'
 
Nah, Mary isn't short o' pluck,
Shoo jumpt up in a minnit,
Shoo lukt as if shoo'd swollo t' church,
An' ivverybody in it.
'Parson,' shoo said, 'yor heead is bare-
Nowt in it an' nowt on it;
Suppooas yo put some flaars thear,
Like theease 'at's in my bonnet.'
Shoo jumpt up in a minnit
Shoo lukt as if shoo'd swollo t'church
An' ivverybody in it.
'Parson,' shoo said,'yor heead is bare-
Nowt in it an' nowt on it
Suppooas yo put some flaarsthear
Like theease 'at's in my bonnet'
 
© Poem appears in "Yorkshire Dialect Classics" By A Kellet
Country Publications Ltd 1995