Owr parson ’e called one daäy, he wur straängen fond o’
    the breeäd,
Kep’ ’em hissen he did, ’e ’d a deäl of bairns to feeäd:
“Wants to be kilt,” sez he, and ’e dobs his stick at the sty;
“It wudn’t be wuss, my friend, if we wur as fit to die.”

“Parson,” I sez, “you’re reight, I nivver larnt nowt at
An’ doänt tend reglar in choorch, but I maäs it a gineral
Nivver to gev yon critter it swill wi’out scrattin ’is ’eäd,
And thinkin’ a deäl o’ that vuss about ‘Giv us our daäily
“And he oops wi’ his eye does the critter, quite knawin’ and
    grunts, ‘Amen,’

Just like a clerk he does, and I thinks, thinks I, wi’ mysen,
Theer’s a many as grunts a deäl wi’ a deäl better stuff to
But noän ov ‘em does theer duty by dooin’ so well by theer meät.

“Fur nivver a daäy sin’ I threatened yon critter fur pork in
    the spring,—
Sow laäid upo’ six ov its brothers, the lazy lumberin’
Nivver a daäy nor a meäl but God O’mighty he knaws
It’s done it best by it vittel, and still ’e spreeads and graws.

“Nivver looked back it hesn’t i’ feeädin’ from fust to last—
‘Man’s life,’ so it sez i’ the Psalms, ‘is nobbut a shadder
    that’s past,’
Daävid nivver sed nowt o’ the pigs, they wur cloave footed
    things—but it’s queer,
Pigs to coom oop like a flower, o’moast, and die i’ a year.

“Yees, and theer quoite content is pigs, content to die,
It’s nobbut an owry world and narrer an all, is the sty;
And gentlemen quoite is pigs, they’ll lig i’ the straw till
    they’re fed,
And they weänt coom clatterin’ in like the bairns to clam
    their bread.

“Parson, I’ve offens thowt it wur all along o’ the swine,

That young man coomed to hissen as hed been so gentle-
Doesn’t thou think when they gethered the hacorns theer i’
    the yard,
He knawed that they nivver complained thoff the husks
    wur terrible hard?

“When you wur a preeäching in choorch tother daäy o’
    the Prodigal son,
I wur back here siver i’ thowt whoäle toime along o’ this ’un;
Thinks I, ’twur the pigs as turned ’im, they gev ’im the
    ring that was gilt,
And took off his clatty owd yanks—I wur glad ’twas a caulf
    as they kilt.

“Kilt! why I’m happen a sinner and rough and tough i’
    the heart,
And I leaves the owd mare to hersen now and then i’ the market cart,
But theer’s one thing I nivver could doä sin’ I hed taäils
    to my cwoät,
I nivver could coax it, and feed it, and then laäy knife to
    it throät.

“To my waäy o’ thinkin’ it’s moast loike killin’ a bairn o’
    your oän—
Pigs cries like a woman can cry, and groäns like a man
    can groän;
Not that they knaws afoorhand, Him as maäde ’em ’ull
    seeä to that,
Cudn’t doä noäways else, sin’ they work so well to git fat.

“I doänt so much mind when they’re deäd, I can scraäpe
    and scald wi’ the best;
Husk ’em, and wesh ’em, and hing ’em, and git ’em reight
    famously drest—
Deäd! we mun all on us die, so I sooän gits reconciled,
Besides, I’m a bit pork-proud, when I’ve browt it oop fro’
    a child.

“But as sewer as the daäy o’ condemnation gits round
Yon’s under sentence o’ death come Monday next to be
I’m hoff to the field or market when he’s gotten the last on
    ’is meeäls,
And missus she superintens—for women thinks nowt o’
    their squeeäls.

“But I maäs it a law, poor thing, to soften it hoff at the
Scrats his ’eäd a bit longer, and talks to ’im saäme as a
And the last few meeäls ov his life I reckon it’s Christian
To stir him in extra stuff and sugar ’is swill to ’is mind.

“Fwoäks may talk as they like, but I’ve fun that theer’s
    pigs and pigs,
I’ve larnt a deeäl fro’ that un as theer i’ i’ the crew-yard ligs,
‘Doä your best by your master’s meeät,’ I ’ears him
‘Noä world’s too small fur content, git ready ageän the

 (Poems, Ballads, and Bucolics, p. 197)