Church Gangin'

Yan Sabbath day, i’ summer time, 

When leeaves were green an’ flowers smelt prime, 

An’ lile birds raised a din, 

I chanced to pass a house o’ prayer, 

That rear’d its steeple in the air, 

As fooaks were gangin’ in. 

 

Baath young an’ owd, an’ rich an’ poor, 

In mackin’ for the oppen door, 

Au in a thrang did mix : 

Some straad i’ pride, like king or queen, 

Some tripp’d like fairies ower the green, 

Some totter’d in on sticks. 

 

I stood an’ watch’d ’em walkin’ in, 

To hear of future woe for sin,

An’ bliss for t’ just an’ wise ;

An’ whal I gloor’d wi’ vacant stare, 

An’ watch’d ’em enter t’ house o’ prayer, 

Strange thowts began to rise. 

 

I ex’d mysel, “ What is it brings 

Yon mingled group of human things, 

That fra their houses come ! 

Do they come here to sing an’ pray, 

An’ to the priest attention pay ? ” 

Answer says, “ Nobbut some. ” 

 

There’s yan smart Miss, i’ gay attire, 

I’ hopes to mak ‘em au admire, 

Her varra best she’ll don ; 

An’ yan sits near whose wonderin’ ee 

Is peepin’ up an’ down to see 

What sich a yan hes on. 

 

An’ yan comes in wi’ wavin’ hair, 

Put up wi’ ivvry art an’ care, 

Beneath a fancy bonnet ; 

She hopes to turn au een that way, 

For it’s baath new, an’ smart an’ gay,

Wi’ artificials on it. 

 

An’ yan comes in wi’ haughty stride, 

His heart puff’d up wi’ empty pride, 

He thinks naan like hissel ; 

He hesn’t come in here this day 

To join his voice wi’ them that pray, 

But just to cut a swell. 

 

An’ some bent down as if i’ prayer, 

Ower t’ top o’ t’ pew, wi’ careless stare, 

Do nowt but squint an’ sken ; 

To words of truth they pay naa heed, 

They feel as if fra prison freed, 

When t’ clerk says t’ last Amen. 

 

An’ then, again, there’s some who gang, 

Wi’ solemn looks an’ faaces lang, 

To sing the sang o’ praise ; 

Who weear religion as a cloak, 

To hid fra unsuspectin’ fooak 

Their cunnin’ roguish ways. 

 

Au t’ sarvice through wi’ pious looks, 

They hing their faaces ower their books, 

They act the saint right well ; 

On holy things they seem intent, 

While au the time to saave a cent,

They’d cheat t’ owd lad hissel.

 

There’s some, na doubt — but, ah ! a few ! 

Who gang wi’ hearts sincere an’ true, 

To worship heaven’s high King ; 

Who humbly kneel befoor the throne, 

An’ in return for mercies shown, 

Their heartfelt praises sing.