Marriott Edgar ( )

Three HaPence a Foot

Ill tell you an old-fashioned story 
That Grandfather used to relate, 
Of a joiner and building contractor; 
Is name, it were Sam Oglethwaite.

In a shop on the banks of the Irwell, 
Old Sam used to follow is trade, 
In a place youll have eard of, called Bury; 
You know, where black puddings is made.

One day, Sam were filling a knot ole 
Wi putty, when in thro the door 
Came an old feller fair wreathed wi whiskers; 
Tould chap said Good morning, Im Noah. 

Sam asked Noah what was is business, 
And tould chap went on to remark, 
That not liking the look of the weather, 
E were thinking of building an Ark. 

Ed gotten the wood for the bulwarks, 
And all tother shipbuilding junk, 
And wanted some nice Birds Eye Maple 
To panel the side of is bunk.

Now Maple were Sams Monopoly; 
That means it were all is to cut, 
And nobody else adnt got none; 
So e asked Noah three hapence a foot.

A hapenny too much, replied Noah 
A Penny a foots more the mark; 
A penny a foot, and when train comes, 
Ill give you a ride in me Ark. 
But neither would budge in the bargain; 
The whole daft thing were kind of a jam, 
So Sam put is tongue out at Noah, 
And Noah made Long Bacon  at Sam 

In wrath and ill-feeling they parted, 
Not knowing when theyd meet again, 
And Sam had forgot all about it, 
Til one day it started to rain. 

It rained and it rained for a fortnit, 
And flooded the ole countryside. 
It rained and it kept on raining, 
Til the Irwell were fifty mile wide.

The ouses were soon under water, 
And folks to the roof ad to climb. 
They said twas the rottenest summer 
That Bury ad ad for some time. 

The rain showed no sign of abating, 
And water rose hour by hour, 
Til the only dry land were at Blackpool, 
And that were on top of the Tower.

So Sam started swimming to Blackpool; 
It took im best part of a week. 
Is clothes were wet through when e got there, 
And is boots were beginning to leak.

E stood to is watch-chain in water, 
On Tower top, just before dark, 
When who should come sailing towards im 
But old Noah, steering is Ark.

They stared at each other in silence, 
Til Ark were alongside, all but, 
Then Noah said: What price yer Maple? 
Sam answered Three hapence a foot.

Noah said Nay; Ill make thee an offer, 
The same as I did tother day. 
A penny a foot and a free ride. 
Now, come on, lad, what does tha say? 

Three hapence a foot, came the answer.
So Noah is sail ad to hoist, 
And sailed off again in a dudgeon, 
While Sam stood determined, but moist.

Noah cruised around, flying is pigeons, 
Til fortieth day of the wet, 
And on is way back, passing Blackpool, 
E saw old Sam standing there yet.

Is chin just stuck out of the water; 
A comical figure e cut, 
Noah said: Now whats the price of yer Maple? 
Sam answered: Three hapence a foot. 

Said Noah: Yed best take my offer; 
Its last time Ill be hereabout; 
And if water comes half an inch higher, 
Ill happen get Maple for nowt. 

Three hapence a foot itll cost yer, 
And as fer me, Sam said, dont fret. 
The skys took a turn since this morning; 
I think itll brighten up yet.

Marriott Edgar's other poems:
  1. Alberts Return
  2. Henry the Seventh
  3. Albert and the Eadsman
  4. Queen Matilda
  5. Richard Coeur-de-Lion

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