Monday, May 2, 2011

Val, Maester, it ban op to yu

(Let's call this Edgar Guest in quasi-Norwegian. This is a sample of dialect poetry from The Norsk Nightingale by William F. Kirk. Wildly popular in its day, which was 100 years ago - no doubt read aloud from the podium - and now, merely weird).


Ay s'pose yu tenk life ban hard game.
Ay guess yu lak to qvit, perhaps.
Ay hear yu say, "It ban a shame
To see so many lucky chaps."
Yu say, "Dese guys ban mostly yaps:
Ay vish ay had some money, tu,
And not get all dese gude hard raps."
Val, Maester, it ban op to yu.
Sometimes ay s'pose yu vork long hours,
And ant get wery fancy pay;
Den yu can't buying stacks of flowers
And feed yure girl in gude café,
And drenk yin rickies and frappé.
Oh, yes! dis mak yu purty blue.
Yu lak to have more fun, yu say?
Val, Maester, it ban op to yu.
Dis vorld ant got much room to spare
For men vich make dis hard-luck cry,—
'Bout von square foot vile dey ban har,
And six feet after dey skol die.
Time "fugit,"—high-school vord for "fly";
And purty sune yure chance ban tru.
So, ef yu lak to stack chips high,
Val, Maester, it ban op to yu.

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