Johnny Bland, the Blacksmith

A blacksmith strang was Johnny Bland, 

He wrought within a smiddy ; 

Wi’ his girt hammer in his hand, 

He used to bump the stiddy. 

He was a chap of girt renown, 

A chap weel knahn to ony : 

Naa other blacksmith i’ the town 

Could shoe a horse like Johnny. 

 

He was a chap of giant length, 

He stood up like a steeple ; 

He was a chap of giant strength, 

Compared wi’ other people. 

He was a tar to rant an’ fight, 

Naan liked wi’ him to quarrel ; 

And yet wi’ au his power and might, 

He bow’d befoor a barrel. 

 

When neet drew on her dusky veil, 

His hammer ceeas’d to clatter ; 

He’d gang an’ cau for pints of ale, 

Or else for gin an’ watter. 

An thaar wi’ his grim, sooty faace, 

He’d sweear, an’ drink an’ riot ; 

An’ naa policeman i’ the plaace 

Durst try to mak him quiet. 

 

Or wi’ a lot o’ worthy mates, 

A wondrous taal relatin’, 

They sagely wag their rusty pates’ 

Some question fine debatin’, 

Oft Johnny to his feet wad start, 

An’ brandishin’ a bottle 

Cry, “ Landlord, fill another quart ! 

We’ll nivver be teetotal. ” 

 

Now Johnny Bland he hed a wife, 

Ye seldom see her marra ; 

Yet she, poor woman, led a life 

Like a taad beneath a harra. 

She was baath thin an’ poorly drest, 

Good claas she stood girt need on ; 

An’ warse be far than au the rest,

She oft hed lile to feed on.

 

She was a clever, thrifty wife,

Hed he but reightly used her ;

But au through this their wedded life,

He saarly hed abused her.

He play’d saw eel a tyrant’s part,

A cruel, harden’d sinner !

She pined away ; her varra heart

Was broken down within her.

 

An’ Johnny hed a lot o’ barns, -

He used to treat ‘em shockin’ ;

They ran about au specks an’ darns,

Without a shoe or stockin’.

Asteead o’ learnin’ what was reight,

They war an awful sample ;

They learn’d to swear, an’ brawl, an’ feight ;

They follow’d his example.

 

There com a chap yan efternoon,

Inquirin’ efter Johnny ;

His claas were cloth, an’ baath his shoon

Were black’d, an’ shaan reight bonny.

Thaar Johnny stood, an’ his girt hand

Again his ribs he planted,

An’ tell’d him he was Johnny Bland,

An’ ext him what he wanted.

 

The stranger spak him mild an’ fair, — 

“ I am a temperance man ; 

I come to bid ye all beware, 

And try another plan. 

Strong drink it is a deadly curse, 

A foe to joy and gladness ; 

It ruins health, it robs the purse, 

And fills your home with sadness. ” 

 

Then Johnny turn’d his heead away, 

An’ said, “ I tell ye plain, 

“ If that be au ye have to say 

“ Ye’d best gang back again. 

“ I’ve heeard sich stuff as that befoor, 

“ But hed maar sense than heed it ; 

“ Saa now ye’d best walk off to t’ door ! ” –

But still the stranger pleaded. 

 

He tell’d him of his evil ways, 

Of wife an’ barns neglected, 

An’ how they mud see happier days, 

An’ au become respected. 

The truth struck haam to Johnny now, 

His ee began to glisten ; 

Wi’ his rough hand he wiped his brow,

An’ stopt his wark to listen.

 

The stranger bade him snap the chain, 

Which in its links hed twined him, 

An’ nivver touch or taast again, 

But cast the cup behind him. 

Then Johnny said, “ I hev been wrang, 

“ I frankly ahn my blunder ; 

“ I’ve been a slave to drink ower lang ;

“ I’ll brek my bonds asunder. ” 

 

Now Johnny’s ceas’d to be a fool, 

An’ left off gin an whisky ; 

His barns like others gang to school, 

An’ naan maar fair an frisky. 

An’ what a change is wi’ his wife ! 

But ’tis a change for t’ better ; 

I hardly think, upon my life, 

Ye’d ken her if ye met her. 

 

Asteead o’ gowns which look’d as though 

They hed bin chew’d by t’ rattens, 

She can turn out wi’ t’ best an’ show 

Her muslins an’ her satins. 

Her haam is now a tidy plaace, 

An’ kept i’ ample order ; 

She weears a happy, smilin’ face, 

Beneeath a smart cap border. 

 

Ye drinkers, come an’ sign yer naam, 

Wi’ full determination ; 

An’ pray for strength when ye git haam, 

To keep ye fra temptation. 

Mak up yer minds to cast away 

Baath pewter pint an’ bottle ; 

Ye’ll find ye’ll nivver rue the day 

Ye com to sign teetotal. 

 

Ye maybe say drink maks ye strang, 

Ye cannot work without it : 

I beg to say, I think ye’re wrang ; 

That’s t’ lang an’ short about it. 

There’s mony a yan who ne’er drank ale, 

Or rum, or gin an’ watter, 

Can stoutly wield a spaad or flail, 

Or mak a stiddy clatter.