William Barnes (1801-1886)
There's thik wold hag, Moll Brown, look zee, jus' past!
I wosh the ugly sly wold witch
Would tumble over into ditch;
I woulden pull her out not very vast.
No, no. I don't think she's a bit belied,
No, she's a witch, aye, Molly's evil-eyed.
Vor i do know o' many a withren blight
A-cast on vo'k by Molly's mutter'd spite;
She did, woone time, a dreadful deal o' harm
To Farmer Gruff's vo'k, down at Lower Farm.
Vor there, woone day, they happend to offend her,
An' not a little to their sorrow,
Because they woulden gi'e or lend her
Zome 'hat she come to bag or borrow;
An' zoo, they soon becan to vind
That she'd gone and left behind
Her evil wish that had such pow'r,
That she did meake their milk and eale turn zour,
An' addle all the aggs their vowls did lay;
They coulden vetch the butter in the churn,
An' all the cheese began to turn
All back agean to curds an' whey;
The little pigs, a runnen with the zow,
Did zicken, zomehow, nobody know'd how,
An vall, an' turn their snouts toward the sky.
An' only gi'e woone little grunt, an' die;
An, all the little ducks an' chicken
Wer death-struck out in yard a-picken
Their bits of food, an' vell upon their head,
An' flapp'd their little wings an' drapp'd down dead.
They coulden fat the calves, they woulden thrive;
They coulden seave their lambs alive;
Their sheep wer a-coath'd, or gi'ed no wool;
The hosses vell away to skin an' bwones,
An' got so weak they coulden pull
A half a peck o' stones;
The dog got dead-alive an' drowsy,
The cat vell sick an' woulden' mousy;
An' every time the vo'k went up to bed,
They were a-nag-rod till they were half dead.
They us'd to keep her out of the house, 'tis true,
A-nailen up at door a hosses' shoe;
An I've a-heard the farmer's wife did try
To dawk a needle or a pin
In drough her wold hard wither'd skin,
An' draw her blood, a-comen by:
But she could never vetch a drap,
For pins would ply an' needles snap
Agean her skin; an' that, in coo'se,
Did meake the hag bewitch them woo'se.