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The Dartmoor Derby

Hullo! sez I, “wel Zam, ow be-e?-
I’m orful glad agin to zee-e,
Zince thee est bene zo ill:
Thay tel mee that yer thawt uv dyin,
But wid thi praars and Missus cryin
Thare’s murcy vur the still.”

Wel, Jahn, vur wekes, nite after nite
Me ead waz in sich dredvul plite
I thawt I shude go mad:
Tha bed zeem’d wirlin rounde an rounde;
Tha ceilin zeem’s ta be the groude;
An wat waz wus, be-dad.

The Passon wispur’d in mi heer,
An ax’d me – “is youre konshence clere?”
But wat ta zay – O Lord! –
I didden knaw; zo shet me ies,
An waint ta zlepe, or jist made wize,
An nevur zpok a wurd.

Most mitey glad waz I ta yer
‘E zay “gude bi” ta mi old Dear,
An ztump doun ore tha ztairs!
But that big wurd zo vriten’d mee,
Vur wance I got hupon mi nee
An zed a vue more praars:

Thank God vur that. Zo Zam, sez I
That horid time is nou gon bi;
An nou thee’rt wel wance more,
Well jist go hup to Leusdon races,
Ta zee tha zights an purty vaces,
An ort else that’s in zstore.

‘Twil du tha gude, an zo ‘twil mee
Ta zee our littel anyul zpree,
Awey vrom ducks and rakes-
Vrom grinting pigs an belloring cows;
Tha zite ov zhovels, picks, an plows,
An zkirrivires, an rakes.

But vust us stapd into tha inn
Ta ha a drap o’ Plymouth gin
An then us joggd along:
vur varmers, like moste o  thue vokes,
Must ha oure draps bevore the jokes
An then us wags our tong.

Zo then us todled hup tha Down;
‘Twaz warne, an zo the zwet rowld down;
Us zoon got thursty tue;
An orful glad was us  
The ghentil vokes zomitey kinde;
An then to zee the vue:

Zome undreds, yung an old, ware thare;
It zeemd jist like a Chickcargo fair;
An then tha race begun:
Bagur, an didden they powneys go
Vust rate all rounds tha kourse, an zo-
With othur zoarts ov vun –

Us zplit our zides, an laffd zo much,
I thawt that Zam wid wante a krutch,
An Zam, a thawt the zame;
Vor e, a dubled down his back, –
It zeemed hiz middle bone wid crack, –
Hiz face luked in a flame.

The bwoys an maydens danc’d abowt,
Wile zome wid holler, zome wid showt, –
Us niver eard more a roare:
Zome chaps did ooer tha urdles jump,
An zome vald down an got a thump,
An zeem’d to veel it zoare.

Be jabuer, Jahn! thare go tha Barun,
A purty little grey du car un-
‘Tiz Halsa’s, I be zure:
Waht Halsa? sez I: Wey thecky chap.
Hu keeps tha travlin’ buchers shop,
An cums roun ta owr door.

Tha band wax playin’ mitey fine
An zeemed ta kepe most exlent time –
‘Twaz Widden’s band they zed:
“Widden,”sez Zam,”an huis e?”
Why, Za , sez I, wy daunt yer zee?
“Auh! ess I du, bedad.

Sez Zam. An then us thawt ‘twaz time
Ta start; an zo well stap tha rime,
An zay ta all “gude bi;”
But wan more word us  yer must zay,-
Us nevur zpent a better day:
Zo nou weel zhet tha ie.

But zlepe! I daunt zuppose us shell, –
Us zhure to yer tha Ztarter’s bell,
An yer tha drum zo lowd-
A thumpin, bumpin in our ear,
An yer tha klarinet zo clere,
An zee the mitey crowd.

Zo, there, ‘twant du to zay ort more-
Perhaps, ta yer tha missus znore
Wil elp ta zit us rite:
An now, I’m zhure I’ve zed enuff
Without a word ov brag nor puff;
An zo, my vriends, gude nite.

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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