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Friends Are Few When Fooak Are Poor.


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Friends Are Few When Fooak Are Poor


by William Billington


When aw hed wark, an' brass to spend,

Aw never wanted for a friend;

Fooak coom a campin every neet,

An mooved when meetin me i'th' street;

Mi company wor cooarted then

Bi business chaps, an' gentlemen—

Aw ceawnted comrades then bi t' scoor,

Bud neaw aw've noan, becose aw'm poor.


Aw'd invitations every day,

To dine, or sup, or teck mi tay,

Or caw an' hev a friendly chat

Wi Mr. This and Mrs. That;

An' Squire Consequence, to boot,

Ud ax me o'er to fish—or shoot

Wi dog an' gun, o'er fell an' moor—

Bud that's knockt off, becose aw'm poor.


Then Scotchmen bothered me wi' goods,

An' tongues as smooth as soft-sooap suds,

For patronage; an' strove to ged it

Wi' yerds o' cloth, an' years o' credit!

Bud neaw they'n torned ther tune, bi th' mass;

Some's hawkin tay—for reddy brass!

Some kornd si th' number o' mi door, '

They'n groon so blind, sin' aw grew poor.


An' wod mecks matters look moor feaw,

Mi kinsfooak doesn't know mi neaw;

Puffed up wi' pride to sitch a pitch,

They'n no relations—bud wot's rich!

An' even my own brother Jim,

He ses aw'm nowt akin to him¬-

"Bi gum!" thowt aw, "bud that's a througher,

A mon's a boggart when he's poor."


Aw know there's t' Warkheawse when o's done,

Bud whooa likes gooin to th' Union?

Aw'd liefer lay mo deawn an' dee

Nor live on public charity!

On parish pay, or teawn's relief

One's looked on next door to a thief;

An wonst inside o' th' Warkheawse door,

They'll keep yo alive, bud nod mich moor!


Sooa th' world wags on, fro day to day,

An' still id ses, or seems to say,

"This poverty's a deadly sin

Wod banishes booath friends an' kin,

An' stinks in every noble nooas."

Sooa yo, who've nether meyt nor clooas,

Mun live o'th' air, an lie o'th' floor,

An serve yo reet—becose yo're poor.

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