Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Country Lad's Observations At The Hiring Fair In Ballymena

Here's another Ulster-Scots poem - A Country Lad's Observations At The Hiring Fair In Ballymena, written in November 1899 by County Antrim poet Adam Lynn from Random Rhymes From Cullybackey (Belfast, 1911).

A Country Lad's Observations At The Hiring Fair In Ballymena

Weel, freens, A gat me tae the toon,
Although big clouds were hoverin' roon,
An whiles an odd yin did come doon
Tae we got drack'd;
Yet mony a sinburnt-luckin' croon
Seem'd tae be cracked.

The hale toon seemd tae be aware
That Sethurday wus Hiring Fair,
And that ferm-servants wud be there
For a big day,
Who meant tae hae a treat sae rare
Wae six months' pay.

Here and there wus a wee ban'
The centre-piece a big ould man,
What maks' his leevin' off the lan'
Without a doot;
Bit see him view the horny han'
'Ere he spak' oot.

"Tell me, my man, noo can you sow,
And can you milk, and plough, and mow,
And build a load of hay or stro'
For market day?
If you can do these things, say so
I'll fix your pay."

The toon assumed its usual gait,
Folk mashing roon at nae wee rate,
Each luckin' for there ain dear mate
In blank despair;
And so may I if I keep blate
To the next Fair.

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