Marriott Edgar ( )


Joe Ramsbottom


Joe Ramshottom rented a bit of a farm 
From its owner, Squire Goslett his name;
And the Gosletts came over with William the First,
And found Ramsbottoms here when they came.

One day Joe were ploughing his three-acre field
When the front of his plough hit a rock,
And on closer inspection o t damage he found
As the coulter had snapped wi the shock.

Hed got a spare coulter at home in his shed, 
But that were some distance away, 
And he reckoned by t time he had been there and back
Hed have wasted best part of the day.

The accident appened not far from the place
Where the Squire had his sumptuous abode;
He thought he might borrow a coulter from him,
And save going back all that road.

He were going to ask... but he suddenly stopped, 
And he said  Nay-Id better not call; 
He might think it cheek I borrowed from him, 
Id best get my own after all.

He were going off back when he turned to himself
And said Thats a gormless idea; 
The land you were ploughing belongs to the Squire,
It were is rock as caused all this ere!

This eartened Joe up, so he set off again,
But he very soon stopped as before, 
And he said Happen SquireII have compny to tea,
Nay Id, better go round to t back.

Then he answered himself in a manner quite stern
And said Heres a nice how-de-do!
You can manage without him when alls said and done,
And where would he be without you?

Joe knew this were right and he knew it were just,
But he didnt seem happy somehow, 
So he said Well, theres no harm in paying a call,
And I neednt say owt about plough.

This suggestion that he were afraid of the Squire
Were most deeply resented by Joe; 
He said Right! Ill show you... Ill go up at once,
At the worst he can only say No.

Then he said After all as Ive done in the past
He would have a nerve to decline; 
He ought to be thankful to give me his plough, 
Seein damage his rock did to mine.

Then he said Who is he To be puffed up wi pride,
And behave as if he were King Dick 
Hes only a farmer the same as myself,
As Ill tell him an all- Jolly quick.

Then he turned round and looked himself straight in the face,
And he said What youre scared of beats me;
Ramsbottoms was landlords when Gosletts was nowt,
And its him should be working for thee!

Then he said Im surprised at myself, so I am,
To think I should so condescend 
As to come hat in hand to a feller like im
And ask if hes owt he can lend.

This argument brought him to Squires front door,
It were open and Squire stood inside; 
He said Hello, Joe... What brings thee right up here?
Youll know in a tick, Joe replied.

He said Praps you think yourself better than me, 
Well, Im telling you straight that youre not
And I dont want your coulter... Your plough-or your farm,
You can-do what you like with the lot.



Marriott Edgar's other poems:
  1. Albert and His Savings
  2. Balbus
  3. Asparagus
  4. Gunner Joe
  5. The Channel Swimmer


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