The best of Dorset in words and pictures

Christmas with William Barnes — Grammer’s Shoes

I do seem to zee Grammer as she did use
Vor to show us, at Chris’mas, her wedden shoes,
An’ her flat spreaden bonnet so big an’ round
As a girt pewter dish a-turn’d upside down;
When we all did draw near
In a cluster to hear
O’ the merry wold soul how she did use
To walk an’ to dance wi’ her high-heel shoes.

She’d a gown wi’ girt flowers lik’ hollyhocks,
An’ zome stockens ‘o gramfer’s a-knit wi’ clocks,
An’ a token she kept under lock an’ key, –
A small lock ov his heair off avore’t wer grey.

An’ her eyes wer red,
An’ she shook her head,
When we’d all a-look’d at it, an’ she did use
To lock it away wi’ her wedden shoes.
She could tell us such teales, about heavy snows,
An’ o’ rains an’ o’ floods when the waters rose
All up into the housen, an’ carr’d awoy
All the bridge wi’ a man an’ his little bwoy;
An’ o’ vog an’ vrost,
An’ o’ vo’k a-lost,
An’ o’ pearties at Chris’mas, when she did use
Vor to walk hwome wi’ gramfer in high-heel shoes.

Ev’ry Chris’mas she lik’d vor the bells to ring,
An’ to have in the zingers to hear em sing
The wold carols she heard many years a-gone,
While she warm’d em zome cider avore the bron';
An’ she’d look an’ smile
At our dancen, while
She did tell how her friends now a-gone did use
To reely wi’ her in their high-heel shoes.

Ah! An’ how she did like vor to deck wi’ red
Holly-berries the window an’ wold clock’s head,
An’ the clavy wi’ boughs o’ some bright green leaves,
An’ to meake twoast an’ eale upon Chris’mas eves;
But she’s now, drough greace,
In a better pleace,
Though we’ll never vorget her, poor soul, nor lose
Gramfer’s token ov heair, nor her wedden shoes.

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