Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, by William Barnes

First Collection.

Spring.

The Spring.

When wintry weather’s all a-done,

An’ brooks do sparkle in the zun,

An’ nâisy-buildèn rooks do vlee

Wi’ sticks toward their elem tree;

When birds do zing, an’ we can zee

Upon the boughs the buds o’ spring —

Then I’m as happy as a king,

A-vield wi’ health an’ zunsheen.

Vor then the cowslip’s hangèn flow’r

A-wetted in the zunny show’r,

Do grow wi’ vi’lets, sweet o’ smell,

Bezide the wood-screen’d grægle’s bell;

Where drushes’ aggs, wi’ sky-blue shell,

Do lie in mossy nest among

The thorns, while they do zing their zong

At evenèn in the zunsheen.

An’ God do meäke his win’ to blow

An’ raïn to vall vor high an’ low,

An’ bid his mornèn zun to rise

Vor all alike, an’ groun’ an’ skies

Ha’ colors vor the poor man’s eyes:

An’ in our trials He is near,

To hear our mwoan an’ zee our tear,

An’ turn our clouds to zunsheen.

An’ many times when I do vind

Things all goo wrong, an’ vo’k unkind,

To zee the happy veedèn herds,

An’ hear the zingèn o’ the birds,

Do soothe my sorrow mwore than words;

Vor I do zee that ’tis our sin

Do meäke woone’s soul so dark ’ithin,

When God would gi’e woone zunsheen.

The Woodlands.

O spread ageän your leaves an’ flow’rs,

Lwonesome woodlands! zunny woodlands!

Here underneath the dewy show’rs

O’ warm-aïr’d spring-time, zunny woodlands!

As when, in drong or open ground,

Wi’ happy bwoyish heart I vound

The twitt’rèn birds a-buildèn round

Your high-bough’d hedges, zunny woodlands.

You gie’d me life, you gie’d me jaÿ,

Lwonesome woodlands! zunny woodlands

You gie’d me health, as in my plaÿ

I rambled through ye, zunny woodlands!

You gie’d me freedom, vor to rove

In aïry meäd or sheädy grove;

You gie’d me smilèn Fannèy’s love,

The best ov all o’t, zunny woodlands!

My vu’st shrill skylark whiver’d high,

Lwonesome woodlands! zunny woodlands!

To zing below your deep-blue sky

An’ white spring-clouds, O zunny woodlands!

An’ boughs o’ trees that woonce stood here,

Wer glossy green the happy year

That gie’d me woone I lov’d so dear,

An’ now ha’ lost, O zunny woodlands!

O let me rove ageän unspied,

Lwonesome woodlands! zunny woodlands!

Along your green-bough’d hedges’ zide,

As then I rambled, zunny woodlands!

An’ where the missèn trees woonce stood,

Or tongues woonce rung among the wood,

My memory shall meäke em good,

Though you’ve a-lost em, zunny woodlands!

Leady-Day, an’ Ridden House.

Aye, back at Leädy-Day, you know,

I come vrom Gullybrook to Stowe;

At Leädy-Day I took my pack

O’ rottletraps, an’ turn’d my back

Upon the weather-beäten door,

That had a-screen’d, so long avore,

The mwost that theäse zide o’ the greäve,

I’d live to have, or die to seäve!

My childern, an’ my vier-pleäce,

Where Molly wi’ her cheerful feäce,

When I’d a-trod my wat’ry road

Vrom night-bedarken’d vields abrode,

Wi’ nimble hands, at evenèn, blest

Wi’ vire an’ vood my hard-won rest;

The while the little woones did clim’,

So sleek-skinn’d, up from lim’ to lim’,

Till, strugglèn hard an’ clingèn tight,

They reach’d at last my feäce’s height.

All tryèn which could soonest hold

My mind wi’ little teäles they twold.

An’ riddèn house is such a caddle,

I shan’t be over keen vor mwore ō’t,

Not yet a while, you mid be sure ō’t —

I’d rather keep to woone wold staddle.

Well, zoo, avore the east begun

To redden wi’ the comèn zun,

We left the beds our mossy thatch

Wer never mwore to overstratch,

An’ borrow’d uncle’s wold hoss Dragon,

To bring the slowly lumbrèn waggon,

An’ when he come, we vell a-packèn

The bedsteads, wi’ their rwopes an’ zackèn;

An’ then put up the wold eärm-chair,

An’ cwoffer vull ov e’then-ware,

An’ vier-dogs, an’ copper kittle,

Wi’ crocks an’ saucepans, big an’ little;

An’ fryèn-pan, vor aggs to slide

In butter round his hissèn zide,

An’ gridire’s even bars, to bear

The drippèn steäke above the gleäre

O’ brightly-glowèn coals. An’ then,

All up o’ top o’ them ageän

The woaken bwoard, where we did eat

Our croust o’ bread or bit o’ meat —

An’ when the bwoard wer up, we tied

Upon the reäves, along the zide,

The woäken stools, his glossy meätes,

Bwoth when he’s beäre, or when the pleätes

Do clatter loud wi’ knives, below

Our merry feäces in a row.

An’ put between his lags, turn’d up’ard,

The zalt-box an’ the corner cupb’ard.

An’ then we laid the wold clock-ceäse,

All dumb, athirt upon his feäce,

Vor we’d a-left, I needen tell ye,

Noo works ’ithin his head or belly.

An’ then we put upon the pack

The settle, flat upon his back;

An’ after that, a-tied in pairs

In woone another, all the chairs,

An’ bits o’ lumber wo’th a ride,

An’ at the very top a-tied,

The childern’s little stools did lie,

Wi’ lags a-turn’d towárd the sky:

Zoo there we lwoaded up our scroff,

An’ tied it vast, an’ started off.

An’ — as the waggon cooden car all

We had to teäke — the butter-barrel

An’ cheese-wring, wi’ his twinèn screw,

An’ all the païls an’ veäts, an’ blue

Wold milk leads, and a vew things mwore,

Wer all a-carr’d the day avore,

And when the mwost ov our wold stuff

Wer brought outside o’ thik brown ruf,

I rambled roun’ wi’ narrow looks,

In fusty holes an’ darksome nooks,

To gather all I still mid vind,

O’ rags or sticks a-left behind.

An’ there the unlatch’d doors did creak,

A-swung by winds, a-streamèn weak

Drough empty rooms, an’ meäkèn sad

My heart, where me’th woonce meäde me glad.

Vor when a man do leäve the he’th

An’ ruf where vu’st he drew his breath,

Or where he had his bwoyhood’s fun,

An’ things wer woonce a-zaid an’ done

That took his mind, do touch his heart

A little bit, I’ll answer vor’t.

Zoo riddèn house is such a caddle,

That I would rather keep my staddle.

Easter Zunday.

Last Easter Jim put on his blue

Frock cwoat, the vu’st time — vier new;

Wi’ yollow buttons all o’ brass,

That glitter’d in the zun lik’ glass;

An’ pok’d ’ithin the button-hole

A tutty he’d a-begg’d or stole.

A span-new wes’co’t, too, he wore,

Wi’ yollow stripes all down avore;

An’ tied his breeches’ lags below

The knee, wi’ ribbon in a bow;

An’ drow’d his kitty-boots azide,

An’ put his laggèns on, an’ tied

His shoes wi’ strings two vingers wide,

Because ’twer Easter Zunday.

An’ after mornèn church wer out

He come back hwome, an’ stroll’d about

All down the vields, an’ drough the leäne,

Wi’ sister Kit an’ cousin Jeäne,

A-turnèn proudly to their view

His yollow breast an’ back o’ blue.

The lambs did plaÿ, the grounds wer green,

The trees did bud, the zun did sheen;

The lark did zing below the sky,

An’ roads wer all a-blown so dry,

As if the zummer wer begun;

An’ he had sich a bit o’ fun!

He meäde the maïdens squeäl an’ run,

Because ’twer Easter Zunday.

Easter Monday.

An’ zoo o’ Monday we got drough

Our work betimes, an ax’d a vew

Young vo’k vrom Stowe an’ Coom, an’ zome

Vrom uncle’s down at Grange, to come.

An’ they so spry, wi’ merry smiles,

Did beät the path an’ leäp the stiles,

Wi’ two or dree young chaps bezide,

To meet an’ keep up Easter tide:

Vor we’d a-zaid avore, we’d git

Zome friends to come, an’ have a bit

O’ fun wi’ me, an’ Jeäne, an’ Kit,

Because ’twer Easter Monday.

An’ there we plaÿ’d away at quaïts,

An’ weigh’d ourzelves wi’ sceäles an’ waïghts;

An’ jump’d to zee who jump’d the spryest,

An’ sprung the vurdest an’ the highest;

An’ rung the bells vor vull an hour.

An’ plaÿ’d at vives ageän the tower.

An’ then we went an’ had a taït,

An’ cousin Sammy, wi’ his waïght,

Broke off the bar, he wer so fat!

An’ toppled off, an’ vell down flat

Upon his head, an’ squot his hat,

Because ’twer Easter Monday.

Dock-Leaves.

The dock-leaves that do spread so wide

Up yonder zunny bank’s green zide,

Do bring to mind what we did do

At plaÿ wi’ dock-leaves years agoo:

How we — when nettles had a-stung

Our little hands, when we wer young —

Did rub em wi’ a dock, an’ zing

Out nettl’, in dock. In dock, out sting.

An’ when your feäce, in zummer’s het,

Did sheen wi’ tricklèn draps o’ zweat,

How you, a-zot bezide the bank,

Didst toss your little head, an’ pank,

An’ teäke a dock-leaf in your han’,

An’ whisk en lik’ a leädy’s fan;

While I did hunt, ’ithin your zight,

Vor streaky cockle-shells to fight.

In all our plaÿ-geämes we did bruise

The dock-leaves wi’ our nimble shoes;

Bwoth where we merry chaps did fling

You maïdens in the orcha’d swing,

An’ by the zaw-pit’s dousty bank,

Where we did taït upon a plank.

—(D’ye mind how woonce, you cou’den zit

The bwoard, an’ vell off into pit?)

An’ when we hunted you about

The grassy barken, in an’ out

Among the ricks, your vlèe-èn frocks

An’ nimble veet did strik’ the docks.

An’ zoo they docks, a-spread so wide

Up yonder zunny bank’s green zide,

Do bring to mind what we did do,

Among the dock-leaves years agoo.

The Blackbird.

Ov all the birds upon the wing

Between the zunny show’rs o’ spring —

Vor all the lark, a-swingèn high,

Mid zing below a cloudless sky.

An’ sparrows, clust’rèn roun’ the bough,

Mid chatter to the men at plough —

The blackbird, whisslèn in among

The boughs, do zing the gaÿest zong.

Vor we do hear the blackbird zing

His sweetest ditties in the spring,

When nippèn win’s noo mwore do blow

Vrom northern skies, wi’ sleet or snow,

But drēve light doust along between

The leäne-zide hedges, thick an’ green;

An’ zoo the blackbird in among

The boughs do zing the gaÿest zong.

’Tis blithe, wi’ newly-open’d eyes,

To zee the mornèn’s ruddy skies;

Or, out a-haulèn frith or lops

Vrom new-plēsh’d hedge or new-vell’d copse,

To rest at noon in primrwose beds

Below the white-bark’d woak-trees’ heads;

But there’s noo time, the whole däy long,

Lik’ evenèn wi’ the blackbird’s zong.

Vor when my work is all a-done

Avore the zettèn o’ the zun,

Then blushèn Jeäne do walk along

The hedge to meet me in the drong,

An’ staÿ till all is dim an’ dark

Bezides the ashen tree’s white bark;

An’ all bezides the blackbird’s shrill

An’ runnèn evenèn-whissle’s still.

An’ there in bwoyhood I did rove

Wi’ pryèn eyes along the drove

To vind the nest the blackbird meäde

O’ grass-stalks in the high bough’s sheäde:

Or clim’ aloft, wi’ clingèn knees,

Vor crows’ aggs up in swaÿèn trees,

While frighten’d blackbirds down below

Did chatter o’ their little foe.

An’ zoo there’s noo pleäce lik’ the drong,

Where I do hear the blackbird’s zong.

Woodcom’ Feast.

Come, Fanny, come! put on thy white,

’Tis Woodcom’ feäst, good now! to-night.

Come! think noo mwore, you silly maïd,

O’ chickèn drown’d, or ducks a-straÿ’d;

Nor mwope to vind thy new frock’s taïl

A-tore by hitchèn in a naïl;

Nor grieve an’ hang thy head azide,

A-thinkèn o’ thy lam’ that died.

The flag’s a-vleèn wide an’ high,

An’ ringèn bells do sheäke the sky;

The fifes do play, the horns do roar,

An’ boughs be up at ev’ry door:

They ’ll be a-dancèn soon — the drum

’S a-rumblèn now. Come, Fanny, come!

Why father’s gone, an’ mother too.

They went up leäne an hour agoo;

An’ at the green the young and wold

Do stan’ so thick as sheep in vwold:

The men do laugh, the bwoys do shout —

Come out you mwopèn wench, come out,

An’ go wi’ me, an’ show at leäst

Bright eyes an’ smiles at Woodcom’ feäst.

Come, let’s goo out, an’ fling our heels

About in jigs an’ vow’r-han’ reels;

While äll the stiff-lagg’d wolder vo’k,

A-zittèn roun’, do talk an’ joke

An’ smile to zee their own wold rigs.

A-show’d by our wild geämes an’ jigs.

Vor ever since the vwold church speer

Vu’st prick’d the clouds, vrom year to year,

When grass in meäd did reach woone’s knees,

An’ blooth did kern in apple-trees,

Zome merry day ’v’ a-broke to sheen

Above the dance at Woodcom’ green,

An’ all o’ they that now do lie

So low all roun’ the speer so high,

Woonce, vrom the biggest to the leäst,

Had merry hearts at Woodcom’ feäst.

Zoo keep it up, an’ gi’e it on

To other vo’k when we be gone.

Come otit; vor when the zettèn zun

Do leäve in sheäde our harmless fun,

The moon a-risèn in the east

Do gi’e us light at Woodcom’ feäst.

Come, Fanny, come! put on thy white,

’Tis merry Woodcom’ feäst to night:

There’s nothèn vor to mwope about —

Come out, you leäzy jeäde, come out!

An’ thou wult be, to woone at leäst,

The prettiest maïd at Woodcom’ feäst.

The Milk-Maid O’ The Farm.

O Poll’s the milk-maïd o’ the farm!

An’ Poll’s so happy out in groun’,

Wi’ her white païl below her eärm

As if she wore a goolden crown.

An’ Poll don’t zit up half the night,

Nor lie vor half the day a-bed;

An’ zoo her eyes be sparklèn bright,

An’ zoo her cheäks be bloomèn red.

In zummer mornèns, when the lark

Do rouse the litty lad an’ lass

To work, then she’s the vu’st to mark

Her steps along the dewy grass.

An’ in the evenèn, when the zun

Do sheen ageän the western brows

O’ hills, where bubblèn brooks do run,

There she do zing bezide her cows.

An’ ev’ry cow of hers do stand,

An’ never overzet her païl;

Nor try to kick her nimble hand,

Nor switch her wi’ her heavy taïl.

Noo leädy, wi’ her muff an’ vaïl,

Do walk wi’ sich a steätely tread

As she do, wi’ her milkèn païl

A-balanc’d on her comely head.

An’ she, at mornèn an’ at night,

Do skim the yollow cream, an’ mwold

An’ wring her cheeses red an’ white,

An’ zee the butter vetch’d an’ roll’d.

An’ in the barken or the ground,

The chaps do always do their best

To milk the vu’st their own cows round,

An’ then help her to milk the rest.

Zoo Poll’s the milk-maïd o’ the farm!

An’ Poll’s so happy out in groun’,

Wi’ her white païl below her eärm,

As if she wore a goolden crown.

The Girt Woak Tree That’s in the Dell.

The girt woak tree that’s in the dell!

There’s noo tree I do love so well;

Vor times an’ times when I wer young,

I there’ve a-climb’d, an’ there’ve a-zwung,

An’ pick’d the eäcorns green, a-shed

In wrestlèn storms vrom his broad head.

An’ down below’s the cloty brook

Where I did vish with line an’ hook,

An’ beät, in plaÿsome dips and zwims,

The foamy stream, wi’ white-skinn’d lim’s.

An’ there my mother nimbly shot

Her knittèn-needles, as she zot

At evenèn down below the wide

Woak’s head, wi’ father at her zide.

An’ I’ve a-plaÿed wi’ many a bwoy,

That’s now a man an’ gone awoy;

Zoo I do like noo tree so well

’S the girt woak tree that’s in the dell.

An’ there, in leäter years, I roved

Wi’ thik poor maïd I fondly lov’d —

The maïd too feäir to die so soon —

When evenèn twilight, or the moon,

Cast light enough ’ithin the pleäce

To show the smiles upon her feäce,

Wi’ eyes so clear’s the glassy pool,

An’ lips an’ cheäks so soft as wool.

There han’ in han’, wi’ bosoms warm,

Wi’ love that burn’d but thought noo harm,

Below the wide-bough’d tree we past

The happy hours that went too vast;

An’ though she’ll never be my wife,

She’s still my leäden star o’ life.

She’s gone: an’ she’ve a-left to me

Her mem’ry in the girt woak tree;

Zoo I do love noo tree so well

’S the girt woak tree that’s in the dell

An’ oh! mid never ax nor hook

Be brought to spweil his steätely look;

Nor ever roun’ his ribby zides

Mid cattle rub ther heäiry hides;

Nor pigs rout up his turf, but keep

His lwonesome sheäde vor harmless sheep;

An’ let en grow, an’ let en spread,

An’ let en live when I be dead.

But oh! if men should come an’ vell

The girt woak tree that’s in the dell,

An’ build his planks ’ithin the zide

O’ zome girt ship to plough the tide,

Then, life or death! I’d goo to sea,

A saïlèn wi’ the girt woak tree:

An’ I upon his planks would stand,

An’ die a-fightèn vor the land —

The land so dear — the land so free —

The land that bore the girt woak tree;

Vor I do love noo tree so well

’S the girt woak tree that’s in the dell.

Vellen O’ The Tree.

Aye, the girt elem tree out in little hwome groun’

Wer a-stannèn this mornèn, an’ now’s a-cut down.

Aye, the girt elem tree, so big roun’ an’ so high,

Where the mowers did goo to their drink, an’ did lie

In the sheäde ov his head, when the zun at his heighth

Had a-drove em vrom mowèn, wi’ het an’ wi’ drîth,

Where the haÿ-meäkers put all their picks an’ their reäkes,

An’ did squot down to snabble their cheese an’ their ceäkes,

An’ did vill vrom their flaggons their cups wi’ their eäle,

An’ did meäke theirzelves merry wi’ joke an’ wi’ teäle.

Ees, we took up a rwope an’ we tied en all round

At the top o’n, wi’ woone end a-hangèn to ground,

An’ we cut, near the ground, his girt stem a’most drough,

An’ we bent the wold head o’n wi’ woone tug or two;

An’ he sway’d all his limbs, an’ he nodded his head,

Till he vell away down like a pillar o’ lead:

An’ as we did run vrom en, there; clwose at our backs,

Oh! his boughs come to groun’ wi’ sich whizzes an’ cracks;

An’ his top wer so lofty that, now he is down,

The stem o’n do reach a-most over the groun’.

Zoo the girt elem tree out in little hwome groun’

Wer a-stannèn this mornèn, an’ now’s a-cut down.

Bringen Woone Gwaïn1 O’ Zundays.

Ah! John! how I do love to look

At theäse green hollor, an’ the brook

Among the withies that do hide

The stream, a-growèn at the zide;

An’ at the road athirt the wide

An’ shallow vword, where we young bwoys

Did peärt, when we did goo half-woys,

To bring ye gwaïn o’ Zundays.

Vor after church, when we got hwome,

In evenèn you did always come

To spend a happy hour or two

Wi’ us, or we did goo to you;

An’ never let the comers goo

Back hwome alwone, but always took

A stroll down wi’ em to the brook

To bring em gwaïn o’ Zundays.

How we did scote all down the groun’,

A-pushèn woone another down!

Or challengèn o’ zides in jumps

Down over bars, an’ vuzz, an’ humps;

An’ peärt at last wi’ slaps an’ thumps,

An’ run back up the hill to zee

Who’d get hwome soonest, you or we.

That brought ye gwaïn o’ Zundays.

O’ leäter years, John, you’ve a-stood

My friend, an’ I’ve a-done you good;

But tidden, John, vor all that you

Be now, that I do like ye zoo,

But what you wer vor years agoo:

Zoo if you’d stir my heart-blood now.

Tell how we used to play, an’ how

You brought us gwaïn o’ Zundays.

1 “To bring woone gwaïn,”— to bring one going; to bring one on his way.]

Evenèn Twilight.

Ah! they vew zummers brought us round

The happiest days that we’ve a-vound,

When in the orcha’d, that did stratch

To westward out avore the patch

Ov high-bough’d wood, an’ shelve to catch

The western zun-light, we did meet

Wi’ merry tongues an’ skippèn veet

At evenèn in the twilight.

The evenèn aïr did fan, in turn,

The cheäks the midday zun did burn.

An’ zet the russlèn leaves at plaÿ,

An’ meäke the red-stemm’d brembles sway

In bows below the snow-white maÿ;

An’ whirlèn roun’ the trees, did sheäke

Jeäne’s raven curls about her neck,

They evenèns in the twilight.

An’ there the yollow light did rest

Upon the bank towárd the west,

An’ twitt’rèn birds did hop in drough

The hedge, an’ many a skippèn shoe

Did beät the flowers, wet wi’ dew,

As underneäth the tree’s wide limb

Our merry sheäpes did jumpy, dim,

They evenèns in the twilight.

How sweet’s the evenèn dusk to rove

Along wi’ woone that we do love!

When light enough is in the sky

To sheäde the smile an’ light the eye

’Tis all but heaven to be by;

An’ bid, in whispers soft an’ light

’S the ruslèn ov a leaf, “Good night,”

At evenèn in the twilight.

An’ happy be the young an’ strong,

That can but work the whole day long

So merry as the birds in spring;

An’ have noo ho vor any thing

Another day mid teäke or bring;

But meet, when all their work’s a-done,

In orcha’d vor their bit o’ fun

At evenèn in the twilight.

Evenèn in the Village.

Now the light o’ the west is a-turn’d to gloom,

An’ the men be at hwome vrom ground;

An’ the bells be a-zendèn all down the Coombe

From tower, their mwoansome sound.

An’ the wind is still,

An’ the house-dogs do bark,

An’ the rooks be a-vled to the elems high an’ dark,

An’ the water do roar at mill.

An’ the flickerèn light drough the window-peäne

Vrom the candle’s dull fleäme do shoot,

An’ young Jemmy the smith is a-gone down leäne,

A-plaÿèn his shrill-vaïced flute.

An’ the miller’s man

Do zit down at his ease

On the seat that is under the cluster o’ trees.

Wi’ his pipe an’ his cider can.

May.

Come out o’ door, ’tis Spring! ’tis Maÿ

The trees be green, the vields be gaÿ;

The weather’s warm, the winter blast,

Wi’ all his traïn o’ clouds, is past;

The zun do rise while vo’k do sleep,

To teäke a higher daily zweep,

Wi’ cloudless feäce a-flingèn down

His sparklèn light upon the groun’.

The air’s a-streamèn soft — come drow

The windor open; let it blow

In drough the house, where vire, an’ door

A-shut, kept out the cwold avore.

Come, let the vew dull embers die,

An’ come below the open sky;

An’ wear your best, vor fear the groun’

In colours gaÿ mid sheäme your gown:

An’ goo an’ rig wi’ me a mile

Or two up over geäte an’ stile,

Drough zunny parrocks that do leäd,

Wi’ crooked hedges, to the meäd,

Where elems high, in steätely ranks,

Do rise vrom yollow cowslip-banks,

An’ birds do twitter vrom the spraÿ

O’ bushes deck’d wi’ snow-white maÿ;

An’ gil’cups, wi’ the deäisy bed,

Be under ev’ry step you tread.

We’ll wind up roun’ the hill, an’ look

All down the thickly-timber’d nook,

Out where the squier’s house do show

His grey-wall’d peaks up drough the row

O’ sheädy elems, where the rook

Do build her nest; an’ where the brook

Do creep along the meäds, an’ lie

To catch the brightness o’ the sky;

An’ cows, in water to theïr knees,

Do stan’ a-whiskèn off the vlees.

Mother o’ blossoms, and ov all

That’s feäir a-yield vrom Spring till Fall,

The gookoo over white-weäv’d seas

Do come to zing in thy green trees,

An’ buttervlees, in giddy flight,

Do gleäm the mwost by thy gaÿ light

Oh! when, at last, my fleshly eyes

Shall shut upon the vields an’ skies,

Mid zummer’s zunny days be gone,

An’ winter’s clouds be comèn on:

Nor mid I draw upon the e’th,

O’ thy sweet aïr my leätest breath;

Alassen I mid want to staÿ

Behine’ for thee, O flow’ry May!

Bob the Fiddler.

Oh! Bob the fiddler is the pride

O’ chaps an’ maïdens vur an’ wide;

They can’t keep up a merry tide,

But Bob is in the middle.

If merry Bob do come avore ye,

He’ll zing a zong, or tell a story;

But if you’d zee en in his glory,

Jist let en have a fiddle.

Aye, let en tuck a crowd below

His chin, an’ gi’e his vist a bow,

He’ll dreve his elbow to an’ fro’,

An’ plaÿ what you do please.

At Maypolèn, or feäst, or feäir,

His eärm wull zet off twenty peäir,

An’ meäke em dance the groun’ dirt-beäre,

An’ hop about lik’ vlees.

Long life to Bob! the very soul

O’ me’th at merry feäst an’ pole;

Vor when the crowd do leäve his jowl,

They’ll all be in the dumps.

Zoo at the dance another year,

At Shillinston or Hazelbur’,

Mid Bob be there to meäke em stir,

In merry jigs, their stumps!

Hope in Spring.

In happy times a while agoo,

My lively hope, that’s now a-gone

Did stir my heart the whole year drough,

But mwost when green-bough’d spring come on;

When I did rove, wi’ litty veet,

Drough deäisy-beds so white’s a sheet,

But still avore I us’d to meet

The blushèn cheäks that bloom’d vor me!

An’ afterward, in lightsome youth,

When zummer wer a-comèn on,

An’ all the trees wer white wi’ blooth,

An’ dippèn zwallows skimm’d the pon’;

Sweet hope did vill my heart wi’ jaÿ,

An’ tell me, though thik spring wer gaÿ,

There still would come a brighter Maÿ,

Wi’ blushèn cheäks to bloom vor me!

An’ when, at last, the time come roun’,

An’ brought a lofty zun to sheen

Upon my smilèn Fanny, down

Drough nēsh young leaves o’ yollow green;

How charmèn wer the het that glow’d,

How charmèn wer the sheäde a-drow’d,

How charmèn wer the win’ that blow’d

Upon her cheäks that bloom’d vor me!

But hardly did they times begin,

Avore I vound em short to staÿ:

An’ year by year do now come in,

To peärt me wider vrom my jaÿ,

Vor what’s to meet, or what’s to peärt,

Wi’ maïdens kind, or maïdens smart,

When hope’s noo longer in the heart,

An’ cheäks noo mwore do bloom vor me!

But there’s a worold still to bless

The good, where zickness never rose;

An’ there’s a year that’s winterless,

Where glassy waters never vroze;

An’ there, if true but e’thly love

Do seem noo sin to God above,

’S a smilèn still my harmless dove,

So feäir as when she bloom’d vor me!

The White Road Up Athirt the Hill.

When hot-beam’d zuns do strik right down,

An’ burn our zweaty feäzen brown;

An’ zunny slopes, a-lyèn nigh,

Be back’d by hills so blue’s the sky;

Then, while the bells do sweetly cheem

Upon the champèn high-neck’d team,

How lively, wi’ a friend, do seem

The white road up athirt the hill.

The zwellèn downs, wi’ chalky tracks

A-climmèn up their zunny backs,

Do hide green meäds an’ zedgy brooks.

An’ clumps o’ trees wi’ glossy rooks,

An’ hearty vo’k to laugh an’ zing,

An’ parish-churches in a string,

Wi’ tow’rs o’ merry bells to ring,

An’ white roads up athirt the hills.

At feäst, when uncle’s vo’k do come

To spend the day wi’ us at hwome,

An’ we do lay upon the bwoard

The very best we can avvword,

The wolder woones do talk an’ smoke,

An’ younger woones do plaÿ an’ joke,

An’ in the evenèn all our vo’k

Do bring em gwaïn athirt the hill.

An’ while the green do zwarm wi’ wold

An’ young, so thick as sheep in vwold,

The bellows in the blacksmith’s shop,

An’ miller’s moss-green wheel do stop,

An’ lwonesome in the wheelwright’s shed

’S a-left the wheelless waggon-bed;

While zwarms o’ comèn friends do tread

The white road down athirt the hill.

An’ when the windèn road so white,

A-climmèn up the hills in zight,

Do leäd to pleäzen, east or west,

The vu’st a-known, an’ lov’d the best,

How touchèn in the zunsheen’s glow,

Or in the sheädes that clouds do drow

Upon the zunburnt downs below,

’S the white road up athirt the hill.

What peaceful hollows here the long

White roads do windy round among!

Wi’ deäiry cows in woody nooks,

An’ haymeäkers among their pooks,

An’ housen that the trees do screen

From zun an’ zight by boughs o’ green!

Young blushèn beauty’s hwomes between

The white roads up athirt the hills.

The Woody Hollow.

If mem’ry, when our hope’s a-gone,

Could bring us dreams to cheat us on,

Ov happiness our hearts voun’ true

In years we come too quickly drough;

What days should come to me, but you,

That burn’d my youthvul cheäks wi’ zuns

O’ zummer, in my plaÿsome runs

About the woody hollow.

When evenèn’s risèn moon did peep

Down drough the hollow dark an’ deep,

Where gigglèn sweethearts meäde their vows

In whispers under waggèn boughs;

When whisslèn bwoys, an’ rott’lèn ploughs

Wer still, an’ mothers, wi’ their thin

Shrill vaïces, call’d their daughters in,

From walkèn in the hollow;

What souls should come avore my zight,

But they that had your zummer light?

The litsome younger woones that smil’d

Wi’ comely feäzen now a-spweil’d;

Or wolder vo’k, so wise an’ mild,

That I do miss when I do goo

To zee the pleäce, an’ walk down drough

The lwonesome woody hollow?

When wrongs an’ overbearèn words

Do prick my bleedèn heart lik’ swords,

Then I do try, vor Christes seäke,

To think o’ you, sweet days! an’ meäke

My soul as ’twer when you did weäke

My childhood’s eyes, an’ when, if spite

Or grief did come, did die at night

In sleep ’ithin the hollow.

Jenny’s Ribbons.

Jean ax’d what ribbon she should wear

’Ithin her bonnet to the feäir?

She had woone white, a-gi’ed her when

She stood at Meäry’s chrissenèn;

She had woone brown, she had woone red,

A keepseäke vrom her brother dead,

That she did like to wear, to goo

To zee his greäve below the yew.

She had woone green among her stock,

That I’d a-bought to match her frock;

She had woone blue to match her eyes,

The colour o’ the zummer skies,

An’ thik, though I do like the rest,

Is he that I do like the best,

Because she had en in her heäir

When vu’st I walk’d wi’ her at feäir.

The brown, I zaid, would do to deck

Thy heäir; the white would match thy neck;

The red would meäke thy red cheäk wan

A-thinkèn o’ the gi’er gone;

The green would show thee to be true;

But still I’d sooner zee the blue,

Because ’twer he that deck’d thy heäir

When vu’st I walk’d wi’ thee at feäir.

Zoo, when she had en on, I took

Her han’ ’ithin my elbow’s crook,

An’ off we went athirt the weir

An’ up the meäd toward the feäir;

The while her mother, at the geäte,

Call’d out an’ bid her not staÿ leäte,

An’ she, a-smilèn wi’ her bow

O’ blue, look’d roun’ and nodded, No.

Eclogue.

The ’Lotments.

John and Richard.

JOHN.

Zoo you be in your groun’ then, I do zee,

A-workèn and a-zingèn lik’ a bee.

How do it answer? what d’ye think about it?

D’ye think ’tis better wi’ it than without it?

A-recknèn rent, an’ time, an’ zeed to stock it,

D’ye think that you be any thing in pocket?

RICHARD.

O’, ’tis a goodish help to woone, I’m sure o’t.

If I had not a-got it, my poor bwones

Would now ha’ eäch’d a-crackèn stwones

Upon the road; I wish I had zome mwore o’t.

JOHN.

I wish the girt woones had a-got the greäce

To let out land lik’ this in ouer pleäce;

But I do fear there’ll never be nwone vor us,

An’ I can’t tell whatever we shall do:

We be a-most starvèn, an’ we’d goo

To ’merica, if we’d enough to car us.

RICHARD.

Why ’twer the squire, good now! a worthy man,

That vu’st brought into ouer pleäce the plan,

He zaid he’d let a vew odd eäcres

O’ land to us poor leäb’rèn men;

An’, faïth, he had enough o’ teäkers

Vor that, an’ twice so much ageän.

Zoo I took zome here, near my hovel,

To exercise my speäde an’ shovel;

An’ what wi’ dungèn, diggèn up, an’ zeedèn,

A-thinnèn, cleänèn, howèn up an’ weedèn,

I, an’ the biggest o’ the childern too,

Do always vind some useful jobs to do.

JOHN.

Aye, wi’ a bit o’ ground, if woone got any,

Woone’s bwoys can soon get out an’ eärn a penny;

An’ then, by workèn, they do learn the vaster

The way to do things when they have a meäster;

Vor woone must know a deäl about the land

Bevore woone’s fit to lend a useful hand,

In geärden or a-vield upon a farm.

RICHARD.

An’ then the work do keep em out o’ harm;

Vor vo’ks that don’t do nothèn wull be vound

Soon doèn woorse than nothèn, I’ll be bound.

But as vor me, d’ye zee, with theäse here bit

O’ land, why I have ev’ry thing a’mwost:

Vor I can fatten vowels for the spit,

Or zell a good fat goose or two to rwoast;

An’ have my beäns or cabbage, greens or grass,

Or bit o’ wheat, or, sich my happy feäte is,

That I can keep a little cow, or ass,

An’ a vew pigs to eat the little teäties.

JOHN.

An’ when your pig’s a-fatted pretty well

Wi’ teäties, or wi’ barley an’ some bran,

Why you’ve a-got zome vlitches vor to zell,

Or hang in chimney-corner, if you can.

RICHARD.

Aye, that’s the thing; an’ when the pig do die,

We got a lot ov offal for to fry,

An’ netlèns for to bwoil; or put the blood in,

An’ meäke a meal or two o’ good black-pudden.

JOHN.

I’d keep myzelf from parish, I’d be bound,

If I could get a little patch o’ ground.

Eclogue.

A Bit O’ Sly Coorten.

John and Fanny.

JOHN.

Now, Fanny, ’tis too bad, you teazèn maïd!

How leäte you be a’ come! Where have ye staÿ’d?

How long you have a-meäde me waït about!

I thought you werden gwaïn to come ageän:

I had a mind to goo back hwome ageän.

This idden when you promis’d to come out.

FANNY.

Now ’tidden any good to meäke a row,

Upon my word, I cooden come till now.

Vor I’ve a-been kept in all day by mother,

At work about woone little job an’ t’other.

If you do want to goo, though, don’t ye staÿ

Vor me a minute longer, I do praÿ.

JOHN.

I thought you mid be out wi’ Jemmy Bleäke,

FANNY.

An’ why be out wi’ him, vor goodness’ seäke?

JOHN.

You walk’d o’ Zunday evenèn wi’n, d’ye know,

You went vrom church a-hitch’d up in his eärm.

FANNY.

Well, if I did, that werden any harm.

Lauk! that is zome’at to teäke notice o’.

JOHN.

He took ye roun’ the middle at the stile,

An’ kiss’d ye twice ’ithin the ha’f a mile.

FANNY.

Ees, at the stile, because I shoulden vall,

He took me hold to help me down, that’s all;

An’ I can’t zee what very mighty harm

He could ha’ done a-lendèn me his eärm.

An’ as vor kissèn o’ me, if he did,

I didden ax en to, nor zay he mid:

An’ if he kiss’d me dree times, or a dozen,

What harm wer it? Why idden he my cousin?

An’ I can’t zee, then, what there is amiss

In cousin Jem’s jist gi’èn me a kiss.

JOHN.

Well, he shan’t kiss ye, then; you shan’t be kiss’d

By his girt ugly chops, a lanky houn’!

If I do zee’n, I’ll jist wring up my vist

An’ knock en down.

I’ll squot his girt pug-nose, if I don’t miss en;

I’ll warn I’ll spweil his pretty lips vor kissèn!

FANNY.

Well, John, I’m sure I little thought to vind

That you had ever sich a jealous mind.

What then! I s’pose that I must be a dummy,

An’ mussen goo about nor wag my tongue

To any soul, if he’s a man, an’ young;

Or else you’ll work yourzelf up mad wi’ passion,

An’ talk away o’ gi’èn vo’k a drashèn,

An’ breakèn bwones, an’ beäten heads to pummy!

If you’ve a-got sich jealous ways about ye,

I’m sure I should be better off ’ithout ye.

JOHN.

Well, if girt Jemmy have a-won your heart,

We’d better break the coortship off, an’ peärt.

FANNY.

He won my heart! There, John, don’t talk sich stuff;

Don’t talk noo mwore, vor you’ve a-zaid enough.

If I’d a-lik’d another mwore than you,

I’m sure I shoulden come to meet ye zoo;

Vor I’ve a-twold to father many a storry,

An’ took o’ mother many a scwoldèn vor ye.

[weeping.]

But ’twull be over now, vor you shan’t zee me

Out wi’ ye noo mwore, to pick a quarrel wi’ me.

JOHN.

Well, Fanny, I woon’t zay noo mwore, my dear.

Let’s meäke it up. Come, wipe off thik there tear.

Let’s goo an’ zit o’ top o’ theäse here stile,

An’ rest, an’ look about a little while.

FANNY.

Now goo away, you crabbed jealous chap!

You shan’t kiss me — you shan’t! I’ll gi’ ye a slap.

JOHN.

Then you look smilèn; don’t you pout an’ toss

Your head so much, an’ look so very cross.

FANNY.

Now, John! don’t squeeze me roun’ the middle zoo.

I woon’t stop here noo longer, if you do.

Why, John! be quiet, wull ye? Fie upon it!

Now zee how you’ve a-wrumpl’d up my bonnet!

Mother’ill zee it after I’m at hwome,

An’ gi’e a guess directly how it come.

JOHN.

Then don’t you zay that I be jealous, Fanny.

FANNY.

I wull: vor you be jealous, Mister Jahnny.

There’s zomebody a-comèn down the groun’

Towards the stile. Who is it? Come, get down

I must run hwome, upon my word then, now;

If I do staÿ, they’ll kick up sich a row.

Good night. I can’t staÿ now.

JOHN.

Then good night, Fanny!

Come out a-bit tomorrow evenèn, can ye?

Summer.

Evenèn, an’ Maidens Out at Door.

Now the sheädes o’ the elems do stratch mwore an’ mwore,

Vrom the low-zinkèn zun in the west o’ the sky;

An’ the maïdens do stand out in clusters avore

The doors, vor to chatty an’ zee vo’k goo by.

An’ their cwombs be a-zet in their bunches o’ heäir,

An’ their currels do hang roun’ their necks lily-white,

An’ their cheäks they be rwosy, their shoulders be beäre,

Their looks they be merry, their limbs they be light.

An’ the times have a-been — but they cant be noo mwore —

When I had my jaÿ under evenèn’s dim sky,

When my Fanny did stan’ out wi’ others avore

Her door, vor to chatty an’ zee vo’k goo by.

An’ up there, in the green, is her own honey-zuck,

That her brother traïn’d up roun’ her window; an’ there

Is the rwose an’ the jessamy, where she did pluck

A flow’r vor her bosom or bud vor her heäir.

An’ zoo smile, happy maïdens! vor every feäce,

As the zummers do come, an’ the years do roll by,

Will soon sadden, or goo vur away vrom the pleäce,

Or else, lik’ my Fanny, will wither an’ die.

But when you be a-lost vrom the parish, zome mwore

Will come on in your pleäzen to bloom an’ to die;

An’ the zummer will always have maïdens avore

Their doors, vor to chatty an’ zee vo’k goo by.

Vor daughters ha’ mornèn when mothers ha’ night,

An’ there’s beauty alive when the feäirest is dead;

As when woone sparklèn weäve do zink down vrom the light,

Another do come up an’ catch it instead.

Zoo smile on, happy maïdens! but I shall noo mwore

Zee the maïd I do miss under evenèn’s dim sky;

An’ my heart is a-touch’d to zee you out avore

The doors, vor to chatty an’ zee vo’k goo by.

The Shepherd O’ The Farm.

Oh! I be shepherd o’ the farm,

Wi’ tinklèn bells an’ sheep-dog’s bark,

An’ wi’ my crook a-thirt my eärm,

Here I do rove below the lark.

An’ I do bide all day among

The bleäten sheep, an’ pitch their vwold;

An’ when the evenèn sheädes be long,

Do zee em all a-penn’d an’ twold.

An’ I do zee the friskèn lam’s,

Wi’ swingèn taïls an’ woolly lags,

A-playèn roun’ their veedèn dams

An’ pullèn o’ their milky bags.

An’ I bezide a hawthorn tree,

Do’ zit upon the zunny down,

While sheädes o’ zummer clouds do vlee

Wi’ silent flight along the groun’.

An’ there, among the many cries

O’ sheep an’ lambs, my dog do pass

A zultry hour, wi’ blinkèn eyes,

An’ nose a-stratch’d upon the grass;

But, in a twinklèn, at my word,

He’s all awake, an’ up, an’ gone

Out roun’ the sheep lik’ any bird,

To do what he’s a-zent upon.

An’ I do goo to washèn pool,

A-sousèn over head an’ ears,

The shaggy sheep, to cleän their wool

An’ meäke em ready vor the sheärs.

An’ when the shearèn time do come,

Then we do work vrom dawn till dark;

Where zome do shear the sheep, and zome

Do mark their zides wi’ meästers mark.

An’ when the shearèn’s all a-done,

Then we do eat, an’ drink, an’ zing,

In meäster’s kitchen till the tun

Wi’ merry sounds do sheäke an’ ring.

Oh! I be shepherd o’ the farm,

Wi’ tinklèn bells an’ sheep dog’s bark,

An’ wi’ my crook a-thirt my eärm,

Here I do rove below the lark.

Vields in the Light.

Woone’s heart mid leäp wi’ thoughts o’ jaÿ

In comèn manhood light an’ gaÿ

When we do teäke the worold on

Vrom our vore-elders dead an’ gone;

But days so feäir in hope’s bright eyes

Do often come wi’ zunless skies:

Woone’s fancy can but be out-done,

Where trees do swaÿ an’ brooks do run,

By risèn moon or zettèn zun.

Vor when at evenèn I do look

All down theäse hangèn on the brook,

Wi’ weäves a-leäpèn clear an’ bright,

Where boughs do swaÿ in yollow light;

Noo hills nor hollows, woods nor streams,

A-voun’ by daÿ or zeed in dreams,

Can ever seem so fit to be

Good angel’s hwomes, though they do gi’e

But païn an’ tweil to such as we.

An’ when by moonlight darksome sheädes

Do lie in grass wi’ dewy bleädes,

An’ worold-hushèn night do keep

The proud an’ angry vast asleep,

When I can think, as I do rove,

Ov only souls that I do love;

Then who can dream a dream to show,

Or who can think o’ moons to drow,

A sweeter light to rove below?

Whitsuntide an’ Club Walken.

Ees, last Whit–Monday, I an’ Meäry

Got up betimes to mind the deäiry;

An’ gi’ed the milkèn païls a scrub,

An’ dress’d, an’ went to zee the club.

Vor up at public-house, by ten

O’clock the pleäce wer vull o’ men,

A-dress’d to goo to church, an’ dine,

An’ walk about the pleäce in line.

Zoo off they started, two an’ two,

Wi’ païnted poles an’ knots o’ blue,

An’ girt silk flags — I wish my box

’D a-got em all in ceäpes an’ frocks —

A-weävèn wide an’ flappèn loud

In plaÿsome winds above the crowd;

While fifes did squeak an’ drums did rumble,

An’ deep beäzzoons did grunt an’ grumble,

An’ all the vo’k in gath’rèn crowds

Kick’d up the doust in smeechy clouds,

That slowly rose an’ spread abrode

In streamèn aïr above the road.

An’ then at church there wer sich lots

O’ hats a-hangèn up wi’ knots,

An’ poles a-stood so thick as iver,

The rushes stood beside a river.

An’ Mr Goodman gi’ed em warnèn

To spend their evenèn lik’ their mornèn;

An’ not to praÿ wi’ mornèn tongues,

An’ then to zwear wi’ evenèn lungs:

Nor vu’st sheäke hands, to let the wrist

Lift up at last a bruisèn vist:

Vor clubs were all a-meän’d vor friends,

He twold em, an’ vor better ends

Than twitèn vo’k an’ pickèn quarrels,

An’ tipplèn cups an’ emptèn barrels —

Vor meäkèn woone man do another

In need the kindness ov a brother.

An’ after church they went to dine

’Ithin the long-wall’d room behine

The public-house, where you remember,

We had our dance back last December.

An’ there they meäde sich stunnèn clatters

Wi’ knives an’ forks, an’ pleätes an’ platters;

An’ waïters ran, an’ beer did pass

Vrom tap to jug, vrom jug to glass:

An’ when they took away the dishes,

They drink’d good healths, an’ wish’d good wishes,

To all the girt vo’k o’ the land,

An’ all good things vo’k took in hand;

An’ woone cried hip, hip, hip! an’ hollow’d,

An’ tothers all struck in, an’ vollow’d;

An’ grabb’d their drink wi’ eager clutches,

An’ swigg’d it wi’ sich hearty glutches,

As vo’k, stark mad wi’ pweison stuff,

That thought theirzelves not mad enough.

An’ after that they went all out

In rank ageän, an’ walk’d about,

An’ gi’ed zome parish vo’k a call;

An’, then went down to Narley Hall

An’ had zome beer, an’ danc’d between

The elem trees upon the green.

An’ down along the road they done

All sorts o’ mad-cap things vor fun;

An’ danc’d, a-pokèn out their poles,

An’ pushèn bwoys down into holes:

An’ Sammy Stubbs come out o’ rank,

An’ kiss’d me up ageän the bank,

A saucy chap; I ha’nt vor’gied en

Not yet — in short, I han’t a-zeed en.

Zoo in the dusk ov evenèn, zome

Went back to drink, an’ zome went hwome.

Woodley.

Sweet Woodley! oh! how fresh an’ gaÿ

Thy leänes an’ vields be now in Maÿ,

The while the broad-leav’d clotes do zwim

In brooks wi’ gil’cups at the brim;

An’ yollow cowslip-beds do grow

By thorns in blooth so white as snow;

An’ win’ do come vrom copse wi’ smells

O’ grægles wi’ their hangèn bells!

Though time do dreve me on, my mind

Do turn in love to thee behind,

The seäme’s a bulrush that’s a-shook

By wind a-blowèn up the brook:

The curlèn stream would dreve en down,

But plaÿsome aïr do turn en roun’,

An’ meäke en seem to bend wi’ love

To zunny hollows up above.

Thy tower still do overlook

The woody knaps an’ windèn brook,

An’ leäne’s wi’ here an’ there a hatch,

An’ house wi’ elem-sheäded thatch,

An’ vields where chaps do vur outdo

The Zunday sky, wi’ cwoats o’ blue;

An’ maïdens’ frocks do vur surpass

The whitest deäsies in the grass.

What peals today from thy wold tow’r

Do strike upon the zummer flow’r,

As all the club, wi’ dousty lags,

Do walk wi’ poles an’ flappèn flags,

An’ wind, to music, roun’ between

A zwarm o’ vo’k upon the green!

Though time do dreve me on, my mind

Do turn wi’ love to thee behind.

The Brook That Ran by Gramfer’s.

When snow-white clouds wer thin an’ vew

Avore the zummer sky o’ blue,

An’ I’d noo ho but how to vind

Zome plaÿ to entertaïn my mind;

Along the water, as did wind

Wi’ zedgy shoal an’ hollow crook,

How I did ramble by the brook

That ran all down vrom gramfer’s.

A-holdèn out my line beyond

The clote-leaves, wi’ my withy wand,

How I did watch, wi’ eager look,

My zwimmèn cork, a-zunk or shook

By minnows nibblèn at my hook,

A-thinkèn I should catch a breäce

O’ perch, or at the leäst some deäce,

A-zwimmèn down vrom gramfer’s.

Then ten good deäries wer a-ved

Along that water’s windèn bed,

An’ in the lewth o’ hills an’ wood

A half a score farm-housen stood:

But now — count all o’m how you would,

So many less do hold the land —

You’d vind but vive that still do stand,

A-comèn down vrom gramfer’s.

There, in the midst ov all his land,

The squier’s ten-tunn’d house did stand,

Where he did meäke the water clim’

A bank, an’ sparkle under dim

Bridge arches, villèn to the brim

His pon’, an’ leäpèn, white as snow,

Vrom rocks a-glitt’rèn in a bow,

An’ runnèn down to gramfer’s.

An’ now woone wing is all you’d vind

O’ thik girt house a-left behind;

An’ only woone wold stwonen tun

’S a-stannèn to the raïn an’ zun —

An’ all’s undone that he’d a-done;

The brook ha’ now noo call to staÿ

To vill his pon’ or clim’ his baÿ,

A-runnèn down to gramfer’s.

When woonce, in heavy raïn, the road

At Grenley bridge wer overflow’d,

Poor Sophy White, the pleäces pride,

A-gwaïn vrom market, went to ride

Her pony droo to tother zide;

But vound the strëam so deep an’ strong,

That took her off the road along

The hollow down to gramfer’s.

’Twer dark, an’ she went on too vast

To catch hold any thing she pass’d;

Noo bough hung over to her hand,

An’ she could reach noo stwone nor land,

Where woonce her little voot could stand;

Noo ears wer out to hear her cries,

Nor wer she woonce a-zeen by eyes,

Till took up dead at gramfer’s.

Sleep Did Come Wi’ The Dew.

O when our zun’s a-zinkèn low,

How soft’s the light his feäce do drow

Upon the backward road our mind

Do turn an’ zee a-left behind;

When we, in childhood’s days did vind

Our jaÿ among the gil’cup flow’rs,

All drough the zummer’s zunny hours;

An’ sleep did come wi’ the dew.

An’ afterwards, when we did zweat

A tweilèn in the zummer het,

An’ when our daily work wer done

Did meet to have our evenèn fun:

Till up above the zettèn zun

The sky wer blushèn in the west,

An’ we laid down in peace to rest,

An’ sleep did come wi’ the dew.

Ah! zome do turn — but tidden right —

The night to day, an’ day to night;

But we do zee the vu’st red streak

O’ mornèn, when the day do break;

Zoo we don’t grow up peäle an’ weak,

But we do work wi’ health an’ strength,

Vrom mornèn drough the whole day’s length,

An’ sleep do come wi’ the dew.

An’ when, at last, our e’thly light

Is jist a-drawèn in to night,

We mid be sure that God above,

If we be true when he do prove

Our stedvast faïth an’ thankvul love,

Wull do vor us what mid be best,

An’ teäke us into endless rest,

As sleep do come wi’ the dew.

Sweet Music in the Wind.

When evenèn is a-drawèn in,

I’ll steal vrom others’ naïsy din;

An’ where the whirlèn brook do roll

Below the walnut-tree, I’ll stroll

An’ think o’ thee wi’ all my soul,

Dear Jenny; while the sound o’ bells

Do vlee along wi’ mwoansome zwells,

Sweet music in the wind!

I’ll think how in the rushy leäze

O’ zunny evenèns jis’ lik’ theäse,

In happy times I us’d to zee

Thy comely sheäpe about the tree,

Wi’ païl a-held avore thy knee;

An’ lissen’d to thy merry zong

That at a distance come along,

Sweet music in the wind!

An’ when wi’ me you walk’d about

O’ Zundays, after church wer out.

Wi’ hangèn eärm an’ modest look;

Or zittèn in some woody nook

We lissen’d to the leaves that shook

Upon the poplars straïght an’ tall,

Or rottle o’ the watervall,

Sweet music in the wind!

An’ when the plaÿvul aïr do vlee,

O’ moonlight nights, vrom tree to tree,

Or whirl upon the sheäkèn grass,

Or rottle at my window glass:

Do seem — as I do hear it pass —

As if thy vaïce did come to tell

Me where thy happy soul do dwell,

Sweet music in the wind!

Uncle an’ Aunt.

How happy uncle us’d to be

O’ zummer time, when aunt an’ he

O’ Zunday evenèns, eärm in eärm,

Did walk about their tiny farm,

While birds did zing an’ gnats did zwarm,

Drough grass a’most above their knees,

An’ roun’ by hedges an’ by trees

Wi’ leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.

His hat wer broad, his cwoat wer brown,

Wi’ two long flaps a-hangèn down;

An’ vrom his knee went down a blue

Knit stockèn to his buckled shoe;

An’ aunt did pull her gown-taïl drough

Her pocket-hole, to keep en neat,

As she mid walk, or teäke a seat

By leafy boughs a-zwaÿèn.

An’ vu’st they’d goo to zee their lots

O’ pot-eärbs in the geärden plots;

An’ he, i’-may-be, by the hatch,

Would zee aunt’s vowls upon a patch

O’ zeeds, an’ vow if he could catch

Em wi’ his gun, they shoudden vlee

Noo mwore into their roostèn tree,

Wi’ leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.

An’ then vrom geärden they did pass

Drough orcha’d out to zee the grass,

An’ if the apple-blooth, so white,

Mid be at all a-touch’d wi’ blight;

An’ uncle, happy at the zight,

Did guess what cider there mid be

In all the orcha’d, tree wi’ tree,

Wi’ tutties all a-swaÿèn.

An’ then they stump’d along vrom there

A-vield, to zee the cows an’ meäre;

An’ she, when uncle come in zight,

Look’d up, an’ prick’d her ears upright,

An’ whicker’d out wi’ all her might;

An’ he, a-chucklèn, went to zee

The cows below the sheädy tree,

Wi’ leafy boughs a-swaÿen.

An’ last ov all, they went to know

How vast the grass in meäd did grow

An’ then aunt zaid ’twer time to goo

In hwome — a-holdèn up her shoe,

To show how wet he wer wi’ dew.

An’ zoo they toddled hwome to rest,

Lik’ doves a-vleèn to their nest

In leafy boughs a-swaÿen.

Haven Woones Fortune A-Twold.

In leäne the gipsies, as we went

A-milkèn, had a-pitch’d their tent,

Between the gravel-pit an’ clump

O’ trees, upon the little hump:

An’ while upon the grassy groun’

Their smokèn vire did crack an’ bleäze,

Their shaggy-cwoated hoss did greäze

Among the bushes vurder down.

An’ zoo, when we brought back our païls,

The woman met us at the raïls,

An’ zaid she’d tell us, if we’d show

Our han’s, what we should like to know.

Zoo Poll zaid she’d a mind to try

Her skill a bit, if I would vu’st;

Though, to be sure, she didden trust

To gipsies any mwore than I.

Well; I agreed, an’ off all dree

O’s went behind an elem tree,

An’ after she’d a-zeed ’ithin

My han’ the wrinkles o’ the skin,

She twold me — an’ she must a-know’d

That Dicky met me in the leäne —

That I’d a-walk’d, an’ should ageän,

Wi’ zomebody along thik road.

An’ then she twold me to bewar

O’ what the letter M stood vor.

An’ as I walk’d, o’ Monday night,

Drough Meäd wi’ Dicky overright

The Mill, the Miller, at the stile,

Did stan’ an’ watch us teäke our stroll,

An’ then, a blabbèn dousty-poll!

Twold Mother o’t. Well wo’th his while!

An’ Poll too wer a-bid bewar

O’ what the letter F stood vor;

An’ then, because she took, at Feäir,

A bosom-pin o’ Jimmy Heäre,

Young Franky beät en black an’ blue.

’Tis F vor Feäir; an’ ’twer about

A Fearèn Frank an’ Jimmy foüght,

Zoo I do think she twold us true.

In short, she twold us all about

What had a-vell, or would vall out;

An’ whether we should spend our lives

As maïdens, or as wedded wives;

But when we went to bundle on,

The gipsies’ dog were at the raïls

A-lappèn milk vrom ouer païls —

A pretty deäl o’ Poll’s wer gone.

Jeane’s Wedden Day in Mornen.

At last Jeäne come down stairs, a-drest

Wi’ weddèn knots upon her breast,

A-blushèn, while a tear did lie

Upon her burnèn cheäk half dry;

An’ then her Robert, drawèn nigh

Wi’ tothers, took her han’ wi’ pride,

To meäke her at the church his bride,

Her weddèn day in mornèn.

Wi’ litty voot an’ beätèn heart

She stepp’d up in the new light cart,

An’ took her bridemaïd up to ride

Along wi’ Robert at her zide:

An’ uncle’s meäre look’d roun’ wi’ pride

To zee that, if the cart wer vull,

’Twer Jenny that he had to pull,

Her weddèn day in mornèn.

An’ aunt an’ uncle stood stock-still,

An’ watch’d em trottèn down the hill;

An’ when they turn’d off out o’ groun’

Down into leäne, two tears run down

Aunt’s feäce; an’ uncle, turnèn roun’,

Sigh’d woonce, an’ stump’d off wi’ his stick,

Because did touch en to the quick

To peärt wi’ Jeäne thik mornèn.

“Now Jeäne’s agone,” Tom mutter’d, “we

Shall mwope lik’ owls ’ithin a tree;

Vor she did zet us all agog

Vor fun, avore the burnèn log.”

An’ as he zot an’ talk’d, the dog

Put up his nose athirt his thighs,

But coulden meäke en turn his eyes,

Jeäne’s weddèn day in mornèn.

An’ then the naïghbours round us, all

By woones an’ twos begun to call,

To meet the young vo’k, when the meäre

Mid bring em back a married peäir:

An’ all o’m zaid, to Robert’s sheäre,

There had a-vell the feärest feäce,

An’ kindest heart in all the pleäce,

Jeäne’s weddèn day in mornèn.

Rivers Don’t Gi’e Out.

The brook I left below the rank

Ov alders that do sheäde his bank,

A-runnèn down to dreve the mill

Below the knap, ’s a runnèn still;

The creepèn days an’ weeks do vill

Up years, an’ meäke wold things o’ new,

An’ vok’ do come, an’ live, an’ goo,

But rivers don’t gi’e out, John.

The leaves that in the spring do shoot

Zo green, in fall be under voot;

Maÿ flow’rs do grow vor June to burn,

An’ milk-white blooth o’ trees do kern,

An’ ripen on, an’ vall in turn;

The miller’s moss-green wheel mid rot,

An’ he mid die an’ be vorgot,

But rivers don’t gi’e out, John.

A vew short years do bring an’ rear

A maïd — as Jeäne wer — young an’ feäir,

An’ vewer zummer-ribbons, tied

In Zunday knots, do feäde bezide

Her cheäk avore her bloom ha’ died:

Her youth won’t staÿ — her rwosy look

’S a feädèn flow’r, but time’s a brook

To run an’ not gi’e out, John.

An’ yet, while things do come an’ goo,

God’s love is steadvast, John, an’ true;

If winter vrost do chill the ground,

’Tis but to bring the zummer round,

All’s well a-lost where He’s a-vound,

Vor if ’tis right, vor Christes seäke

He’ll gi’e us mwore than he do teäke —

His goodness don’t gi’e out, John.

Meaken up a Miff.

Vorgi’e me, Jenny, do! an’ rise

Thy hangèn head an’ teary eyes,

An’ speak, vor I’ve a-took in lies,

An’ I’ve a-done thee wrong;

But I wer twold — an’ thought ’twer true —

That Sammy down at Coome an’ you

Wer at the feäir, a-walkèn drough

The pleäce the whole day long.

An’ tender thoughts did melt my heart,

An’ zwells o’ viry pride did dart

Lik’ lightnèn drough my blood; a-peärt

Ov your love I should scorn,

An’ zoo I vow’d, however sweet

Your looks mid be when we did meet,

I’d trample ye down under veet,

Or let ye goo forlorn.

But still thy neäme would always be

The sweetest, an’ my eyes would zee

Among all maïdens nwone lik’ thee

Vor ever any mwore;

Zoo by the walks that we’ve a-took

By flow’ry hedge an’ zedgy brook,

Dear Jenny, dry your eyes, an’ look

As you’ve a-look’d avore.

Look up, an’ let the evenèn light

But sparkle in thy eyes so bright,

As they be open to the light

O’ zunzet in the west;

An’ let’s stroll here vor half an hour,

Where hangèn boughs do meäke a bow’r

Above theäse bank, wi’ eltrot flow’r

An’ robinhoods a-drest.

Hay-Meaken.

’Tis merry ov a zummer’s day,

Where vo’k be out a-meäkèn haÿ;

Where men an’ women, in a string,

Do ted or turn the grass, an’ zing,

Wi’ cheemèn vaïces, merry zongs,

A-tossèn o’ their sheenèn prongs

Wi’ eärms a-zwangèn left an’ right,

In colour’d gowns an’ shirtsleeves white;

Or, wider spread, a reäkèn round

The rwosy hedges o’ the ground,

Where Sam do zee the speckled sneäke,

An’ try to kill en wi’ his reäke;

An’ Poll do jump about an’ squall,

To zee the twistèn slooworm crawl.

’Tis merry where a gaÿ-tongued lot

Ov haÿ-meäkers be all a-squot,

On lightly-russlèn haÿ, a-spread

Below an elem’s lofty head,

To rest their weary limbs an’ munch

Their bit o’ dinner, or their nunch;

Where teethy reäkes do lie all round

By picks a-stuck up into ground.

An’ wi’ their vittles in their laps,

An’ in their hornen cups their draps

O’ cider sweet, or frothy eäle,

Their tongues do run wi’ joke an’ teäle.

An’ when the zun, so low an’ red,

Do sheen above the leafy head

O’ zome broad tree, a-rizèn high

Avore the vi’ry western sky,

’Tis merry where all han’s do goo

Athirt the groun’, by two an’ two,

A-reäkèn, over humps an’ hollors,

The russlèn grass up into rollers.

An’ woone do row it into line,

An’ woone do clwose it up behine;

An’ after them the little bwoys

Do stride an’ fling their eärms all woys,

Wi’ busy picks, an’ proud young looks

A-meäkèn up their tiny pooks.

An’ zoo ’tis merry out among

The vo’k in haÿ-vield all day long.

Hay-Carren.

’Tis merry ov a zummer’s day,

When vo’k be out a-haulèn haÿ,

Where boughs, a-spread upon the ground,

Do meäke the staddle big an’ round;

An’ grass do stand in pook, or lie

In long-back’d weäles or parsels, dry.

There I do vind it stir my heart

To hear the frothèn hosses snort,

A-haulèn on, wi’ sleek heäir’d hides,

The red-wheel’d waggon’s deep-blue zides.

Aye; let me have woone cup o’ drink,

An’ hear the linky harness clink,

An’ then my blood do run so warm,

An’ put sich strangth ’ithin my eärm,

That I do long to toss a pick,

A-pitchèn or a-meäkèn rick.

The bwoy is at the hosse’s head,

An’ up upon the waggon bed

The lwoaders, strong o’ eärm do stan’,

At head, an’ back at taïl, a man,

Wi’ skill to build the lwoad upright

An’ bind the vwolded corners tight;

An’ at each zide ō’m, sprack an’ strong,

A pitcher wi’ his long-stem’d prong,

Avore the best two women now

A-call’d to reäky after plough.

When I do pitchy, ’tis my pride

Vor Jenny Hine to reäke my zide,

An’ zee her fling her reäke, an’ reach

So vur, an’ teäke in sich a streech;

An’ I don’t shatter haÿ, an’ meäke

Mwore work than needs vor Jenny’s reäke.

I’d sooner zee the weäles’ high rows

Lik’ hedges up above my nose,

Than have light work myzelf, an’ vind

Poor Jeäne a-beät an’ left behind;

Vor she would sooner drop down dead.

Than let the pitchers get a-head.

’Tis merry at the rick to zee

How picks do wag, an’ haÿ do vlee.

While woone’s unlwoadèn, woone do teäke

The pitches in; an’ zome do meäke

The lofty rick upright an’ roun’,

An’ tread en hard, an’ reäke en down,

An’ tip en, when the zun do zet,

To shoot a sudden vall o’ wet.

An’ zoo ’tis merry any day

Where vo’k be out a-carrèn hay.

Eclogue.

The Best Man in the Vield.

Sam and Bob.

SAM.

That’s slowish work, Bob. What’st a-been about?

Thy pookèn don’t goo on not over sprack.

Why I’ve a-pook’d my weäle, lo’k zee, clear out,

An’ here I be ageän a-turnèn back.

BOB.

I’ll work wi’ thee then, Sammy, any day,

At any work dost like to teäke me at,

Vor any money thou dost like to lay.

Now, Mister Sammy, what dost think o’ that?

My weäle is nearly twice so big as thine,

Or else, I warnt, I shouldden be behin’.

SAM.

Ah! hang thee, Bob! don’t tell sich whoppèn lies.

My weäle’s the biggest, if do come to size.

’Tis jist the seäme whatever bist about;

Why, when dost goo a-teddèn grass, you sloth,

Another hand’s a-fwo’c’d to teäke thy zwath,

An’ ted a half way back to help thee out;

An’ then a-reäkèn rollers, bist so slack,

Dost keep the very bwoys an’ women back.

An’ if dost think that thou canst challenge I

At any thing — then, Bob, we’ll teäke a pick a-piece,

An’ woonce theäse zummer, goo an’ try

To meäke a rick a-piece.

A rick o’ thine wull look a little funny,

When thou’st a-done en, I’ll bet any money.

BOB.

You noggerhead! last year thou meäd’st a rick,

An’ then we had to trig en wi’ a stick.

An’ what did John that tipp’d en zay? Why zaid

He stood a-top o’en all the while in dread,

A-thinkèn that avore he should a-done en

He’d tumble over slap wi’ him upon en.

SAM.

You yoppèn dog! I warnt I meäde my rick

So well’s thou meäd’st thy lwoad o’ haÿ last week.

They hadden got a hundred yards to haul en,

An’ then they vound ’twer best to have en boun’,

Vor if they hadden, ’twould a-tumbl’d down;

An’ after that I zeed en all but vallèn,

An’ trigg’d en up wi’ woone o’m’s pitchèn pick,

To zee if I could meäke en ride to rick;

An’ when they had the dumpy heap unboun’,

He vell to pieces flat upon the groun’.

BOB.

Do shut thy lyèn chops! What dosten mind

Thy pitchèn to me out in Gully-plot,

A-meäkèn o’ me waït (wast zoo behind)

A half an hour vor ev’ry pitch I got?

An’ how didst groun’ thy pick? an’ how didst quirk

To get en up on end? Why hadst hard work

To rise a pitch that wer about so big

’S a goodish crow’s nest, or a wold man’s wig!

Why bist so weak, dost know, as any roller:

Zome o’ the women vo’k will beät thee hollor.

SAM.

You snub-nos’d flopperchops! I pitch’d so quick,

That thou dost know thou hadst a hardish job

To teäke in all the pitches off my pick;

An’ dissèn zee me groun’ en, nother, Bob.

An’ thou bist stronger, thou dost think, than I?

Girt bandy-lags! I jist should like to try.

We’ll goo, if thou dost like, an’ jist zee which

Can heave the mwost, or car the biggest nitch.

BOB.

There, Sam, do meäke me zick to hear thy braggèn!

Why bissen strong enough to car a flagon.

SAM.

You grinnèn fool! why I’d zet thee a-blowèn,

If thou wast wi’ me vor a day a-mowèn.

I’d wear my cwoat, an’ thou midst pull thy rags off,

An’ then in half a zwath I’d mow thy lags off.

BOB.

Thee mow wi’ me! Why coossen keep up wi’ me:

Why bissèn fit to goo a-vield to skimmy,

Or mow down docks an’ thistles! Why I’ll bet

A shillèn, Samel, that thou cassen whet.

SAM.

Now don’t thee zay much mwore than what’st a-zaid,

Or else I’ll knock thee down, heels over head.

BOB.

Thou knock me down, indeed! Why cassen gi’e

A blow half hard enough to kill a bee.

SAM.

Well, thou shalt veel upon thy chops and snout.

BOB.

Come on, then, Samel; jist let’s have woone bout.

Where We Did Keep Our Flagon.

When we in mornèn had a-drow’d

The grass or russlèn haÿ abrode,

The lit’some maïdens an’ the chaps,

Wi’ bits o’ nunchèns in their laps,

Did all zit down upon the knaps

Up there, in under hedge, below

The highest elem o’ the row,

Where we did keep our flagon.

There we could zee green vields at hand,

Avore a hunderd on beyand,

An’ rows o’ trees in hedges roun’

Green meäds, an’ zummerleäzes brown,

An’ thorns upon the zunny down,

While aïer, vrom the rockèn zedge

In brook, did come along the hedge,

Where we did keep our flagon.

There laughèn chaps did try in plaÿ

To bury maïdens up in haÿ,

As gigglèn maïdens tried to roll

The chaps down into zome deep hole,

Or sting wi’ nettles woone o’m’s poll;

While John did hele out each his drap

O’ eäle or cider, in his lap

Where he did keep the flagon.

Woone day there spun a whirlwind by

Where Jenny’s clothes wer out to dry;

An’ off vled frocks, a’most a-catch’d

By smock-frocks wi’ their sleeves outstratch’d,

An’ caps a-frill’d an’ eäperns patch’d;

An’ she a-steärèn in a fright,

Wer glad enough to zee em light

Where we did keep our flagon.

An’ when white clover wer a-sprung

Among the eegrass, green an’ young,

An’ elder-flowers wer a-spread

Among the rwosen white an’ red,

An’ honeyzucks wi’ hangèn head —

O’ Zunday evenèns we did zit

To look all roun’ the grounds a bit,

Where we’d a-kept our flagon.

Week’s End in Zummer, in the Wold Vo’k’s Time.

His aunt an’ uncle — ah! the kind

Wold souls be often in my mind:

A better couple never stood

In shoes, an’ vew be voun’ so good.

She cheer’d the work-vo’k in theïr tweils

Wi’ timely bits an’ draps, an’ smiles;

An’ he païd all o’m at week’s end,

Their money down to goo an’ spend.

In zummer, when week’s end come roun’

The haÿ-meäkers did come vrom groun’,

An’ all zit down, wi’ weary bwones,

Within the yard a-peäved wi’ stwones,

Along avore the peäles, between

The yard a-steän’d an’ open green.

There women zot wi’ bare-neck’d chaps,

An’ maïdens wi’ their sleeves an’ flaps

To screen vrom het their eärms an’ polls.

An’ men wi’ beards so black as coals:

Girt stocky Jim, an’ lanky John,

An’ poor wold Betty dead an’ gone;

An’ cleän-grown Tom so spry an’ strong,

An’ Liz the best to pitch a zong,

That now ha’ nearly half a score

O’ childern zwarmèn at her door;

An’ whindlen Ann, that cried wi’ fear

To hear the thunder when ’twer near —

A zickly maïd, so peäle’s the moon,

That voun’ her zun goo down at noon;

An’ blushèn Jeäne so shy an’ meek,

That seldom let us hear her speak,

That wer a-coorted an’ undone

By Farmer Woodley’s woldest son;

An’ after she’d a-been vorzook,

Wer voun’ a-drown’d in Longmeäd brook.

An’ zoo, when he’d a-been all roun’,

An’ païd em all their wages down,

She us’d to bring vor all, by teäle

A cup o’ cider or ov eäle,

An’ then a tutty meäde o’ lots

O’ blossoms vrom her flower-nots,

To wear in bands an’ button-holes

At church, an’ in their evenèn strolls.

The pea that rangled to the oves,

An’ columbines an’ pinks an’ cloves,

Sweet rwosen vrom the prickly tree,

An’ jilliflow’rs, an’ jessamy;

An’ short-liv’d pinies, that do shed

Their leaves upon a eärly bed.

She didden put in honeyzuck:

She’d nwone, she zaïd, that she could pluck

Avore wild honeyzucks, a-vound

In ev’ry hedge ov ev’ry ground.

Zoo maïd an’ woman, bwoy an’ man,

Went off, while zunzet aïr did fan

Their merry zunburnt feäzen; zome

Down leäne, an’ zome drough parrocks hwome.

Ah! who can tell, that ha’nt a-vound,

The sweets o’ week’s-end comèn round!

When Zadurday do bring woone’s mind

Sweet thoughts o’ Zunday clwose behind;

The day that’s all our own to spend

Wi’ God an’ wi’ an e’thly friend.

The worold’s girt vo’k, wi’ the best

O’ worldly goods mid be a-blest;

But Zunday is the poor man’s peärt,

To seäve his soul an’ cheer his heart.

The Mead A-Mow’d.

When sheädes do vall into ev’ry hollow,

An’ reach vrom trees half athirt the groun’;

An’ banks an’ walls be a-lookèn yollow,

That be a-turn’d to the zun gwaïn down;

Drough haÿ in cock, O,

We all do vlock, O,

Along our road vrom the meäd a-mow’d.

An’ when the last swaÿèn lwoad’s a-started

Up hill so slow to the lofty rick,

Then we so weary but merry-hearted,

Do shoulder each ō’s a reäke an’ pick,

Wi’ empty flagon,

Behind the waggon,

To teäke our road vrom the meäd a-mow’d.

When church is out, an’ we all so slowly

About the knap be a-spreadèn wide,

How gaÿ the paths be where we do strolly

Along the leäne an’ the hedge’s zide;

But nwone’s a voun’, O,

Up hill or down, O,

So gaÿ’s the road drough the meäd a-mow’d.

An’ when the visher do come, a-drowèn

His flutt’ren line over bleädy zedge,

Drough groun’s wi’ red thissle-heads a-blowèn,

An’ watchèn o’t by the water’s edge;

Then he do love, O,

The best to rove, O,

Along his road drough the meäd a-mow’d.

The Sky A-Clearen.

The drevèn scud that overcast

The zummer sky is all a-past,

An’ softer aïr, a-blowèn drough

The quiv’rèn boughs, do sheäke the vew

Last raïn drops off the leaves lik’ dew;

An’ peäviers, now a-gettèn dry,

Do steam below the zunny sky

That’s now so vast a-cleärèn.

The sheädes that wer a-lost below

The stormy cloud, ageän do show

Their mockèn sheäpes below the light;

An’ house-walls be a-lookèn white,

An’ vo’k do stir woonce mwore in zight,

An’ busy birds upon the wing

Do whiver roun’ the boughs an’ zing,

To zee the sky a-clearèn.

Below the hill’s an ash; below

The ash, white elder-flow’rs do blow:

Below the elder is a bed

O’ robinhoods o’ blushèn red;

An’ there, wi’ nunches all a-spread,

The haÿ-meäkers, wi’ each a cup

O’ drink, do smile to zee hold up

The raïn, an’ sky a-cleärèn.

’Mid blushèn maïdens, wi’ their zong,

Still draw their white-stemm’d reäkes among

The long-back’d weäles an’ new-meäde pooks,

By brown-stemm’d trees an’ cloty brooks;

But have noo call to spweil their looks

By work, that God could never meäke

Their weaker han’s to underteäke,

Though skies mid be a-cleärèn.

’Tis wrong vor women’s han’s to clips

The zull an’ reap-hook, speädes an’ whips;

An’ men abroad, should leäve, by right,

Woone faïthful heart at hwome to light

Their bit o’ vier up at night,

An’ hang upon the hedge to dry

Their snow-white linen, when the sky

In winter is a-cleärèn.

The Evenèn Star O’ Zummer.

When vu’st along theäse road vrom mill,

I zeed ye hwome all up the hill,

The poplar tree, so straïght an’ tall,

Did rustle by the watervall;

An’ in the leäze the cows wer all

A-lyèn down to teäke their rest

An’ slowly zunk towárd the west

The evenèn star o’ zummer.

In parrock there the haÿ did lie

In weäle below the elems, dry;

An’ up in hwome-groun’ Jim, that know’d

We all should come along thik road,

D a-tied the grass in knots that drow’d

Poor Poll, a-watchèn in the West

Woone brighter star than all the rest —

The evenèn star o’ zummer.

The stars that still do zet an’ rise,

Did sheen in our forefather’s eyes;

They glitter’d to the vu’st men’s zight,

The last will have em in their night;

But who can vind em half so bright

As I thought thik peäle star above

My smilèn Jeäne, my zweet vu’st love,

The evenèn star o’ zummer.

How sweet’s the mornèn fresh an’ new,

Wi’ sparklèn brooks an’ glitt’rèn dew;

How sweet’s the noon wi’ sheädes a-drow’d

Upon the groun’ but leätely mow’d,

An’ bloomèn flowers all abrode;

But sweeter still, as I do clim’,

Theäse woody hill in evenèn dim

’S the evenèn star o’ zummer.

The Clote.

(Water-lily.)

O zummer clote! when the brook’s a-glidèn

So slow an’ smooth down his zedgy bed,

Upon thy broad leaves so seäfe a-ridèn

The water’s top wi’ thy yollow head,

By alder’s heads, O,

An’ bulrush beds, O.

Thou then dost float, goolden zummer clote!

The grey-bough’d withy’s a-leänèn lowly

Above the water thy leaves do hide;

The bendèn bulrush, a-swaÿèn slowly,

Do skirt in zummer thy river’s zide;

An’ perch in shoals, O,

Do vill the holes, O,

Where thou dost float, goolden zummer clote!

Oh! when thy brook-drinkèn flow’r’s a-blowèn,

The burnèn zummer’s a-zettèn in;

The time o’ greenness, the time o’ mowèn,

When in the haÿ-vield, wi’ zunburnt skin,

The vo’k do drink, O,

Upon the brink, O,

Where thou dost float, goolden zummer clote!

Wi’ eärms a-spreadèn, an’ cheäks a-blowèn,

How proud wer I when I vu’st could zwim

Athirt the pleäce where thou bist a-growèn,

Wi’ thy long more vrom the bottom dim;

While cows, knee-high, O,

In brook, wer nigh, O,

Where thou dost float, goolden zummer clote!

Ov all the brooks drough the meäds a-windèn,

Ov all the meäds by a river’s brim,

There’s nwone so feäir o’ my own heart’s vindèn,

As where the maïdens do zee thee swim,

An’ stan’ to teäke, O,

Wi’ long-stemm’d reäke, O,

Thy flow’r afloat, goolden zummer clote!

I Got Two Vields.

I got two vields, an’ I don’t ceäre

What squire mid have a bigger sheäre.

My little zummer-leäze do stratch

All down the hangèn, to a patch

O’ meäd between a hedge an’ rank

Ov elems, an’ a river bank.

Where yollow clotes, in spreadèn beds

O’ floatèn leaves, do lift their heads

By bendèn bulrushes an’ zedge

A-swaÿèn at the water’s edge,

Below the withy that do spread

Athirt the brook his grey-leav’d head.

An’ eltrot flowers, milky white,

Do catch the slantèn evenèn light;

An’ in the meäple boughs, along

The hedge, do ring the blackbird’s zong;

Or in the day, a-vleèn drough

The leafy trees, the whoa’se gookoo

Do zing to mowers that do zet

Their zives on end, an’ stan’ to whet.

From my wold house among the trees

A leäne do goo along the leäze

O’ yollow gravel, down between

Two mossy banks vor ever green.

An’ trees, a-hangèn overhead,

Do hide a trinklèn gully-bed,

A-cover’d by a bridge vor hoss

Or man a-voot to come across.

Zoo wi’ my hwomestead, I don’t ceäre

What squire mid have a bigger sheäre!

Polly Be-En Upzides Wi’ Tom.

Ah! yesterday, d’ye know, I voun’

Tom Dumpy’s cwoat an’ smock-frock, down

Below the pollard out in groun’;

An’ zoo I slyly stole

An’ took the smock-frock up, an’ tack’d

The sleeves an’ collar up, an’ pack’d

Zome nice sharp stwones, all fresh a-crack’d

’Ithin each pocket-hole.

An’ in the evenèn, when he shut

Off work, an’ come an’ donn’d his cwoat,

Their edges gi’ed en sich a cut,

How we did stan’ an’ laugh!

An’ when the smock-frock I’d a-zow’d

Kept back his head an’ hands, he drow’d

Hizzelf about, an’ teäv’d, an’ blow’d,

Lik’ any up-tied calf.

Then in a veag away he flung

His frock, an’ after me he sprung,

An’ mutter’d out sich dreats, an’ wrung

His vist up sich a size!

But I, a-runnèn, turn’d an’ drow’d

Some doust, a-pick’d up vrom the road,

Back at en wi’ the wind, that blow’d

It right into his eyes.

An’ he did blink, an’ vow he’d catch

Me zomehow yet, an’ be my match.

But I wer nearly down to hatch

Avore he got vur on;

An’ up in chammer, nearly dead

Wi’ runnèn, lik’ a cat I vled,

An’ out o’ window put my head

To zee if he wer gone.

An’ there he wer, a-prowlèn roun’

Upon the green; an’ I look’d down

An’ told en that I hoped he voun’

He mussen think to peck

Upon a body zoo, nor whip

The meäre to drow me off, nor tip

Me out o’ cart ageän, nor slip

Cut hoss-heäir down my neck.

Be’mi’ster.

Sweet Be’mi’ster, that bist a-bound

By green an’ woody hills all round,

Wi’ hedges, reachèn up between

A thousan’ vields o’ zummer green,

Where elems’ lofty heads do drow

Their sheädes vor haÿ-meakers below,

An’ wild hedge-flow’rs do charm the souls

O’ maïdens in their evenèn strolls.

When I o’ Zunday nights wi’ Jeäne

Do saunter drough a vield or leäne,

Where elder-blossoms be a-spread

Above the eltrot’s milk-white head,

An’ flow’rs o’ blackberries do blow

Upon the brembles, white as snow,

To be outdone avore my zight

By Jeän’s gaÿ frock o’ dazzlèn white;

Oh! then there’s nothèn that’s ’ithout

Thy hills that I do ho about —

Noo bigger pleäce, noo gaÿer town,

Beyond thy sweet bells’ dyèn soun’,

As they do ring, or strike the hour,

At evenèn vrom thy wold red tow’r.

No: shelter still my head, an’ keep

My bwones when I do vall asleep.

Thatchen O’ The Rick.

As I wer out in meäd last week,

A-thatchèn o’ my little rick,

There green young ee-grass, ankle-high,

Did sheen below the cloudless sky;

An’ over hedge in tother groun’,

Among the bennets dry an’ brown,

My dun wold meäre, wi’ neck a-freed

Vrom Zummer work, did snort an’ veed;

An’ in the sheäde o’ leafy boughs,

My vew wold ragged-cwoated cows

Did rub their zides upon the raïls,

Or switch em wi’ their heäiry taïls.

An’ as the mornèn zun rose high

Above my mossy roof clwose by,

The blue smoke curreled up between

The lofty trees o’ feädèn green:

A zight that’s touchèn when do show

A busy wife is down below,

A-workèn hard to cheer woone’s tweil

Wi’ her best feäre, an’ better smile.

Mid women still in wedlock’s yoke

Zend up, wi’ love, their own blue smoke,

An’ husbands vind their bwoards a-spread

By faïthvul hands when I be dead,

An’ noo good men in ouer land

Think lightly o’ the weddèn band.

True happiness do bide alwone

Wi’ them that ha’ their own he’th-stwone

To gather wi’ their childern roun’,

A-smilèn at the worold’s frown.

My bwoys, that brought me thatch an’ spars,

Wer down a-taïtèn on the bars,

Or zot a-cuttèn wi’ a knife,

Dry eltrot-roots to meäke a fife;

Or drevèn woone another round

The rick upon the grassy ground.

An’, as the aïer vrom the west

Did fan my burnèn feäce an’ breast,

An’ hoppèn birds, wi’ twitt’rèn beaks,

Did show their sheenèn spots an’ streaks,

Then, wi’ my heart a-vill’d wi’ love

An’ thankvulness to God above,

I didden think ov anything

That I begrudg’d o’ lord or king;

Vor I ha’ round me, vur or near,

The mwost to love an’ nwone to fear,

An’ zoo can walk in any pleäce,

An’ look the best man in the feäce.

What good do come to eächèn heads,

O’ lièn down in silken beds?

Or what’s a coach, if woone do pine

To zee woone’s naïghbour’s twice so fine?

Contentment is a constant feäst,

He’s richest that do want the leäst.

Bees A-Zwarmen.

Avore we went a-milkèn, vive

Or six o’s here wer all alive

A-teäkèn bees that zwarm’d vrom hive;

An’ we’d sich work to catch

The hummèn rogues, they led us sich

A dance all over hedge an’ ditch;

An’ then at last where should they pitch,

But up in uncle’s thatch?

Dick rung a sheep-bell in his han’;

Liz beät a cannister, an’ Nan

Did bang the little fryèn-pan

Wi’ thick an’ thumpèn blows;

An’ Tom went on, a-carrèn roun’

A bee-pot up upon his crown,

Wi’ all his edge a-reachèn down

Avore his eyes an’ nose.

An’ woone girt bee, wi’ spitevul hum,

Stung Dicky’s lip, an’ meäde it come

All up amost so big’s a plum;

An’ zome, a-vleèn on,

Got all roun’ Liz, an’ meäde her hop

An’ scream, a-twirlèn lik’ a top,

An’ spring away right backward, flop

Down into barken pon’:

An’ Nan’ gi’ed Tom a roguish twitch

Upon a bank, an’ meäde en pitch

Right down, head-voremost, into ditch —

Tom coulden zee a wink.

An’ when the zwarm wer seäfe an’ sound

In mother’s bit o’ bee-pot ground,

She meäde us up a treat all round

O’ sillibub to drink.

Readen ov a Head-Stwone.

As I wer readèn ov a stwone

In Grenley church-yard all alwone,

A little maïd ran up, wi’ pride

To zee me there, an’ push’d a-zide

A bunch o’ bennets that did hide

A verse her father, as she zaïd,

Put up above her mother’s head,

To tell how much he loved her:

The verse wer short, but very good,

I stood an’ larn’d en where I stood:—

“Mid God, dear Meäry, gi’e me greäce

To vind, lik’ thee, a better pleäce,

Where I woonce mwore mid zee thy feäce;

An’ bring thy childern up to know

His word, that they mid come an’ show

Thy soul how much I lov’d thee.”

“Where’s father, then,” I zaid, “my chile?”

“Dead too,” she answer’d wi’ a smile;

“An’ I an’ brother Jim do bide

At Betty White’s, o’ tother zide

O’ road.” “Mid He, my chile,” I cried,

“That’s father to the fatherless,

Become thy father now, an’ bless,

An’ keep, an’ leäd, an’ love thee.”

Though she’ve a-lost, I thought, so much,

Still He don’t let the thoughts o’t touch

Her litsome heart by day or night;

An’ zoo, if we could teäke it right,

Do show He’ll meäke his burdens light

To weaker souls, an’ that his smile

Is sweet upon a harmless chile,

When they be dead that lov’d it.

Zummer Evenèn Dance.

Come out to the parrock, come out to the tree,

The maïdens an’ chaps be a-waïtèn vor thee;

There’s Jim wi’ his fiddle to plaÿ us some reels,

Come out along wi’ us, an’ fling up thy heels.

Come, all the long grass is a-mow’d an’ a-carr’d,

An’ the turf is so smooth as a bwoard an’ so hard;

There’s a bank to zit down, when y’ave danced a reel drough,

An’ a tree over head vor to keep off the dew.

There be rwoses an’ honeyzucks hangèn among

The bushes, to put in thy weäst; an’ the zong

O’ the nightingeäle’s heärd in the hedges all roun’;

An’ I’ll get thee a glow-worm to stick in thy gown.

There’s Meäry so modest, an’ Jenny so smart,

An’ Mag that do love a good rompse to her heart;

There’s Joe at the mill that do zing funny zongs,

An’ short-lagged Dick, too, a-waggèn his prongs.

Zoo come to the parrock, come out to the tree,

The maïdens an’ chaps be a-waïtèn vor thee;

There’s Jim wi’ his fiddle to plaÿ us some reels —

Come out along wi’ us, an’ fling up thy heels.

Eclogue.

The Veairies.

Simon an’ Samel.

SIMON.

There’s what the vo’k do call a veäiry ring

Out there, lo’k zee. Why, ’tis an oddish thing.

SAMEL.

Ah! zoo do seem. I wunder how do come!

What is it that do meäke it, I do wonder?

SIMON.

Be hang’d if I can tell, I’m sure! But zome

Do zay do come by lightnèn when do thunder;

An’ zome do say sich rings as thík ring there is,

Do grow in dancèn-tracks o’ little veäiries,

That in the nights o’ zummer or o’ spring

Do come by moonlight, when noo other veet

Do tread the dewy grass, but their’s, an’ meet

An’ dance away together in a ring.

SAMEL.

An’ who d’ye think do work the fiddlestick?

A little veäiry too, or else wold Nick!

SIMON.

Why, they do zay, that at the veäiries’ ball,

There’s nar a fiddle that’s a-heär’d at all;

But they do plaÿ upon a little pipe

A-meäde o’ kexes or o’ straws, dead ripe,

A-stuck in row (zome short an’ longer zome)

Wi’ slime o’ snaïls, or bits o’ plum-tree gum,

An’ meäke sich music that to hear it sound,

You’d stick so still’s a pollard to the ground.

SAMEL.

What do em dance? ’Tis plaïn by theäse green wheels,

They don’t frisk in an’ out in dree-hand reels;

Vor else, instead o’ theäse here girt round O,

The’d cut us out a figure aïght (8), d’ye know.

SIMON.

Oh! they ha’ jigs to fit their little veet.

They woulden dance, you know, at their fine ball,

The dree an’ vow’r han’ reels that we do sprawl

An’ kick about in, when we men do meet.

SAMEL.

An’ zoo have zome vo’k, in their midnight rambles,

A-catch’d the veäiries, then, in theäsem gambols.

SIMON.

Why, yes; but they be off lik’ any shot,

So soon’s a man’s a-comèn near the spot

SAMEL.

But in the day-time where do veäiries hide?

Where be their hwomes, then? where do veäiries bide?

SIMON.

Oh! they do get awaÿ down under ground,

In hollow pleäzen where they can’t be vound.

But still my gramfer, many years agoo,

(He liv’d at Grenley-farm, an milk’d a deäiry),

If what the wolder vo’k do tell is true,

Woone mornèn eärly vound a veäiry.

SAMEL.

An’ did he stop, then, wi’ the good wold bwoy?

Or did he soon contrive to slip awoy?

SIMON.

Why, when the vo’k were all asleep, a-bed,

The veäiries us’d to come, as ’tis a-zaid,

Avore the vire wer cwold, an’ dance an hour

Or two at dead o’ night upon the vloor;

Var they, by only utterèn a word

Or charm, can come down chimney lik’ a bird;

Or draw their bodies out so long an’ narrow,

That they can vlee drough keyholes lik’ an arrow.

An’ zoo woone midnight, when the moon did drow

His light drough window, roun’ the vloor below,

An’ crickets roun’ the bricken he’th did zing,

They come an’ danced about the hall in ring;

An’ tapp’d, drough little holes noo eyes could spy,

A kag o’ poor aunt’s meäd a-stannèn by.

An’ woone o’m drink’d so much, he coulden mind

The word he wer to zay to meäke en small;

He got a-dather’d zoo, that after all

Out tothers went an’ left en back behind.

An’ after he’d a-beät about his head,

Ageän the keyhole till he wer half dead,

He laid down all along upon the vloor

Till gramfer, comen down, unlocked the door:

An’ then he zeed en (’twer enough to frighten èn)

Bolt out o’ door, an’ down the road lik’ lightenèn.

Fall.

Corn A-Turnen Yollow.

The windless copse ha’ sheädy boughs,

Wi’ blackbirds’ evenèn whistles;

The hills ha’ sheep upon their brows,

The zummerleäze ha’ thistles:

The meäds be gaÿ in grassy Maÿ,

But, oh! vrom hill to hollow,

Let me look down upon a groun’

O’ corn a-turnèn yollow.

An’ pease do grow in tangled beds,

An’ beäns be sweet to snuff, O;

The teäper woats do bend their heads,

The barley’s beard is rough, O.

The turnip green is fresh between

The corn in hill or hollow,

But I’d look down upon a groun’

O’ wheat a-turnèn yollow.

’Tis merry when the brawny men

Do come to reap it down, O,

Where glossy red the poppy head

’S among the stalks so brown, O.

’Tis merry while the wheat’s in hile,

Or when, by hill or hollow,

The leäzers thick do stoop to pick

The ears so ripe an’ yollow.

A-Haulen O’ The Corn.

Ah! yesterday, you know, we carr’d

The piece o’ corn in Zidelèn Plot,

An’ work’d about it pretty hard,

An’ vound the weather pretty hot.

’Twer all a-tied an’ zet upright

In tidy hile o’ Monday night;

Zoo yesterday in afternoon

We zet, in eärnest, ev’ry woone

A-haulèn o’ the corn.

The hosses, wi’ the het an’ lwoad,

Did froth, an’ zwang vrom zide to zide,

A-gwaïn along the dousty road,

An’ seem’d as if they would a-died.

An’ wi’ my collar all undone,

An’ neck a-burnèn wi’ the zun,

I got, wi’ work, an’ doust, an’ het,

So dry at last, I coulden spet,

A-haulèn o’ the corn.

At uncle’s orcha’d, gwaïn along,

I begged some apples, vor to quench

My drith, o’ Poll that wer among

The trees: but she, a saucy wench,

Toss’d over hedge some crabs vor fun.

I squaïl’d her, though, an’ meäde her run;

An’ zoo she gie’d me, vor a treat,

A lot o’ stubberds vor to eat.

A-haulèn o’ the corn.

An’ up at rick, Jeäne took the flagon,

An’ gi’ed us out zome eäle; an’ then

I carr’d her out upon the waggon,

Wi’ bread an’ cheese to gi’e the men.

An’ there, vor fun, we dress’d her head

Wi’ noddèn poppies bright an’ red,

As we wer catchèn vrom our laps,

Below a woak, our bits an’ draps,

A-haulèn o’ the corn.

Harvest Hwome.

The vu’st peärt. The Supper.

Since we wer striplèns naïghbour John,

The good wold merry times be gone:

But we do like to think upon

What we’ve a-zeed an’ done.

When I wer up a hardish lad,

At harvest hwome the work-vo’k had

Sich suppers, they wer jumpèn mad

Wi’ feästèn an’ wi’ fun.

At uncle’s, I do mind, woone year,

I zeed a vill o’ hearty cheer;

Fat beef an’ puddèn, eäle an’ beer,

Vor ev’ry workman’s crop

An’ after they’d a-gie’d God thanks,

They all zot down, in two long ranks,

Along a teäble-bwoard o’ planks,

Wi’ uncle at the top.

An’ there, in platters, big and brown,

Wer red fat beäcon, an’ a roun’

O’ beef wi’ gravy that would drown

A little rwoastèn pig;

Wi’ beäns an’ teäties vull a zack,

An’ cabbage that would meäke a stack,

An’ puddèns brown, a-speckled black

Wi’ figs, so big’s my wig.

An’ uncle, wi’ his elbows out,

Did carve, an’ meäke the gravy spout;

An’ aunt did gi’e the mugs about

A-frothèn to the brim.

Pleätes werden then ov e’then ware,

They ate off pewter, that would bear

A knock; or wooden trenchers, square,

Wi’ zalt-holes at the rim.

An’ zoo they munch’d their hearty cheer,

An’ dipp’d their beards in frothy-beer,

An’ laugh’d, an’ jok’d — they couldden hear

What woone another zaid.

An’ all o’m drink’d, wi’ woone accword,

The wold vo’k’s health: an’ beät the bwoard,

An’ swung their eärms about, an’ roar’d,

Enough to crack woone’s head.

Harvest Hwome.

Second Peärt. What they did after Supper.

Zoo after supper wer a-done,

They clear’d the teäbles, an’ begun

To have a little bit o’ fun,

As long as they mid stop.

The wold woones took their pipes to smoke,

An’ tell their teäles, an’ laugh an’ joke,

A-lookèn at the younger vo’k,

That got up vor a hop.

Woone screäp’d away, wi’ merry grin,

A fiddle stuck below his chin;

An’ woone o’m took the rollèn pin,

An’ beät the fryèn pan.

An’ tothers, dancèn to the soun’,

Went in an’ out, an’ droo an’ roun’,

An’ kick’d, an’ beät the tuèn down,

A-laughèn, maïd an’ man.

An’ then a maïd, all up tip-tooe,

Vell down; an’ woone o’m wi’ his shoe

Slit down her pocket-hole in two,

Vrom top a-most to bottom.

An’ when they had a-danc’d enough,

They got a-plaÿèn blindman’s buff,

An’ sard the maïdens pretty rough,

When woonce they had a-got em.

An’ zome did drink, an’ laugh, an’ roar,

An’ lots o’ teäles they had in store,

O’ things that happen’d years avore

To them, or vo’k they know’d.

An’ zome did joke, an’ zome did zing,

An’ meäke the girt wold kitchen ring;

Till uncle’s cock, wi’ flappèn wing,

Stratch’d out his neck an’ crow’d.

A Zong Ov Harvest Hwome.

The ground is clear. There’s nar a ear

O’ stannèn corn a-left out now,

Vor win’ to blow or raïn to drow;

’Tis all up seäfe in barn or mow.

Here’s health to them that plough’d an’ zow’d;

Here’s health to them that reap’d an’ mow’d,

An’ them that had to pitch an’ lwoad,

Or tip the rick at Harvest Hwome.

The happy zight — the merry night,

The men’s delight — the Harvest Hwome.

An’ mid noo harm o’ vire or storm

Beval the farmer or his corn;

An’ ev’ry zack o’ zeed gi’e back

A hunderd-vwold so much in barn.

An’ mid his Meäker bless his store,

His wife an’ all that she’ve a-bore,

An’ keep all evil out o’ door,

Vrom Harvest Hwome to Harvest Hwome.

The happy zight — the merry night,

The men’s delight — the Harvest Hwome.

Mid nothèn ill betide the mill,

As day by day the miller’s wheel

Do dreve his clacks, an’ heist his zacks,

An’ vill his bins wi’ show’rèn meal:

Mid’s water never overflow

His dousty mill, nor zink too low,

Vrom now till wheat ageän do grow,

An’ we’ve another Harvest Hwome.

The happy zight — the merry night,

The men’s delight — the Harvest Hwome.

Drough cisterns wet an’ malt-kil’s het,

Mid barley paÿ the malter’s païns;

An’ mid noo hurt bevall the wort,

A-bweilèn vrom the brewer’s graïns.

Mid all his beer keep out o’ harm

Vrom bu’sted hoop or thunder storm,

That we mid have a mug to warm

Our merry hearts nex’ Harvest Hwome.

The happy zight — the merry night,

The men’s delight — the Harvest Hwome.

Mid luck an’ jaÿ the beäker paÿ,

As he do hear his vier roar,

Or nimbly catch his hot white batch,

A-reekèn vrom the oven door.

An’ mid it never be too high

Vor our vew zixpences to buy,

When we do hear our childern cry

Vor bread, avore nex’ Harvest Hwome.

The happy zight — the merry night,

The men’s delight — the Harvest Hwome.

Wi’ jaÿ o’ heart mid shooters start

The whirrèn pa’tridges in vlocks;

While shots do vlee drough bush an’ tree,

An’ dogs do stan’ so still as stocks.

An’ let em ramble round the farms

Wi’ guns ’ithin their bended eärms,

In goolden zunsheen free o’ storms,

Rejaïcèn vor the Harvest Hwome.

The happy zight — the merry night,

The men’s delight — the Harvest Hwome.

Poll’s Jack-Daw.

Ah! Jimmy vow’d he’d have the law

Ov ouer cousin Poll’s Jack-daw,

That had by day his withy jaïl

A-hangèn up upon a naïl,

Ageän the elem tree, avore

The house, jist over-right the door,

An’ twitted vo’k a-passèn by

A-most so plaïn as you or I;

Vor hardly any day did pass

’Ithout Tom’s teachèn o’m zome sa’ce;

Till by-an’-by he call’d em all

‘Soft-polls’ an’ ‘gawkeys,’ girt an’ small.

An’ zoo, as Jim went down along

The leäne a-whisslèn ov a zong,

The saucy Daw cried out by rote

“Girt Soft-poll!” lik’ to split his droat.

Jim stopp’d an’ grabbled up a clot,

An’ zent en at en lik’ a shot;

An’ down went Daw an’ cage avore

The clot, up thump ageän the door.

Zoo out run Poll an’ Tom, to zee

What all the meänèn o’t mid be;

“Now who did that?” zaid Poll. “Who whurr’d

Theäse clot?” “Girt Soft-poll!” cried the bird.

An’ when Tom catch’d a glimpse o’ Jim,

A-lookèn all so red an’ slim,

An’ slinkèn on, he vled, red hot,

Down leäne to catch en, lik’ a shot;

But Jim, that thought he’d better trust

To lags than vistes, tried em vu’st.

An’ Poll, that zeed Tom woulden catch

En, stood a-smilèn at the hatch.

An’ zoo he vollow’d en for two

Or dree stwones’ drows, an’ let en goo.

The Ivy.

Upon theäse knap I’d sooner be

The ivy that do climb the tree,

Than bloom the gaÿest rwose a-tied

An’ trimm’d upon the house’s zide.

The rwose mid be the maïdens’ pride,

But still the ivy’s wild an’ free;

An’ what is all that life can gi’e,

’Ithout a free light heart, John?

The creepèn sheäde mid steal too soon

Upon the rwose in afternoon;

But here the zun do drow his het

Vrom when do rise till when do zet,

To dry the leaves the raïn do wet.

An’ evenèn aïr do bring along

The merry deäiry-maïden’s zong,

The zong of free light hearts, John.

Oh! why do vo’k so often chaïn

Their pinèn minds vor love o’ gaïn,

An’ gi’e their innocence to rise

A little in the worold’s eyes?

If pride could lift us to the skies,

What man do value God do slight,

An’ all is nothèn in his zight

’Ithout an honest heart, John.

An ugly feäce can’t bribe the brooks

To show it back young han’some looks,

Nor crooked vo’k intice the light

To cast their zummer sheädes upright:

Noo goold can blind our Meäker’s zight.

An’ what’s the odds what cloth do hide

The bosom that do hold inside

A free an’ honest heart, John?

The Welshnut Tree.

When in the evenèn the zun’s a-zinkèn,

A drowèn sheädes vrom the yollow west,

An’ mother, weary, ’s a-zot a thinkèn,

Wi’ vwolded eärms by the vire at rest,

Then we do zwarm, O,

Wi’ such a charm, O,

So vull o’ glee by the welshnut tree.

A-leävèn father indoors, a-leinèn’

In his girt chair in his easy shoes,

Or in the settle so high behine en,

While down bezide en the dog do snooze,

Our tongues do run, O,

Enough to stun, O,

Your head wi’ glee by the welshnut tree.

There we do plaÿ ‘thread the woman’s needle.’

An’ slap the maïdens a-dartèn drough:

Or try who’ll ax em the hardest riddle,

Or soonest tell woone a-put us, true;

Or zit an’ ring, O,

The bells, ding, ding, O,

Upon our knee by the welshnut tree.

An’ zome do goo out, an’ hide in orcha’t,

An’ tothers, slily a-stealèn by,

Where there’s a dark cunnèn pleäce, do sarch it,

Till they do zee em an’ cry, “I spy,”

An’ thik a-vound, O,

Do gi’e a bound, O,

To get off free to the welshnut tree.

Poll went woone night, that we midden vind her,

Inzide a woak wi’ a hollow moot,

An’ drough a hole near the groun’ behind her,

I pok’d a stick in, an’ catch’d her voot;

An’ out she scream’d, O,

An’ jump’d, an’ seem’d, O,

A-móst to vlee to the welshnut tree.

An’ when, at last, at the drashel, mother

Do call us, smilèn, indoor to rest,

Then we do cluster by woone another,

To zee hwome them we do love the best:

An’ then do sound, O,

“Good night,” all round, O,

To end our glee by the welshnut tree.

Jenny Out Vrom Hwome.

O wild-reävèn west winds; as you do roar on,

The elems do rock an’ the poplars do ply,

An’ weäve do dreve weäve in the dark-water’d pon’ —

Oh! where do ye rise vrom, an’ where do ye die?

O wild-reävèn winds I do wish I could vlee

Wi’ you, lik’ a bird o’ the clouds, up above

The ridge o’ the hill an’ the top o’ the tree,

To where I do long vor, an’ vo’k I do love.

Or else that in under theäse rock I could hear,

In the soft-zwellèn sounds you do leäve in your road,

Zome words you mid bring me, vrom tongues that be dear,

Vrom friends that do love me, all scatter’d abrode.

O wild-reävèn winds! if you ever do roar

By the house an’ the elems vrom where I’m a-come,

Breathe up at the window, or call at the door,

An’ tell you’ve a-voun’ me a-thinkèn o’ hwome.

Grenley Water.

The sheädeless darkness o’ the night

Can never blind my mem’ry’s zight;

An’ in the storm, my fancy’s eyes

Can look upon their own blue skies.

The laggèn moon mid faïl to rise,

But when the daylight’s blue an’ green

Be gone, my fancy’s zun do sheen

At hwome at Grenley Water.

As when the work-vo’k us’d to ride

In waggon, by the hedge’s zide,

Drough evenèn sheädes that trees cast down

Vrom lofty stems athirt the groun’;

An’ in at house the mug went roun’,

While ev’ry merry man praïs’d up

The pretty maïd that vill’d his cup,

The maïd o’ Grenley Water.

There I do seem ageän to ride

The hosses to the water-zide,

An’ zee the visher fling his hook

Below the withies by the brook;

Or Fanny, wi’ her blushèn look,

Car on her païl, or come to dip

Wi’ ceäreful step, her pitcher’s lip

Down into Grenley Water.

If I’d a farm wi’ vower ploughs,

An’ vor my deäiry fifty cows;

If Grenley Water winded down

Drough two good miles o’ my own groun’;

If half ov Ashknowle Hill wer brown

Wi’ my own corn — noo growèn pride

Should ever meäke me cast azide

The maïd o’ Grenley Water.

The Veairy Veet That I Do Meet.

When dewy fall’s red leaves do vlee

Along the grass below the tree,

Or lie in yollow beds a-shook

Upon the shallow-water’d brook,

Or drove ’ithin a sheädy nook;

Then softly, in the evenèn, down

The knap do steal along the groun’

The veäiry veet that I do meet

Below the row o’ beech trees.

’Tis jist avore the candle-light

Do redden windows up at night,

An’ peäler stars do light the vogs

A-risèn vrom the brooks an’ bogs,

An’ when in barkens yoppèn dogs

Do bark at vo’k a-comèn near,

Or growl a-lis’enèn to hear

The veäiry veet that I do meet

Below the row o’ beech trees.

Dree times a-year do bless the road

O’ womanhood a-gwaïn abrode:

When vu’st her litty veet do tread

The eärly Maÿ’s white deäisy bed:

When leaves be all a-scattered dead;

An’ when the winter’s vrozen grass

Do glissen in the zun lik’ glass

Vor veäiry veet that I do meet

Below the row o’ beech trees.

Mornèn.

When vu’st the breakèn day is red,

An’ grass is dewy wet,

An’ roun’ the blackberry’s a-spread

The spider’s gliss’nèn net,

Then I do dreve the cows across

The brook that’s in a vog,

While they do trot, an’ bleäre, an’ toss

Their heads to hook the dog;

Vor the cock do gi’e me warnèn,

An’ light or dark,

So brisk’s a lark,

I’m up at break o’ mornèn.

Avore the maïden’s sleep’s a-broke

By window-strikèn zun,

Avore the busy wife’s vu’st smoke

Do curl above the tun,

My day’s begun. An’ when the zun

’S a-zinkèn in the west,

The work the mornèn brought’s a-done,

An’ I do goo to rest,

Till the cock do gi’e me warnèn;

An’ light or dark,

So brisk’s a lark,

I’m up ageän nex’ mornèn.

We can’t keep back the daily zun,

The wind is never still,

An’ never ha’ the streams a-done

A-runnèn down at hill.

Zoo they that ha’ their work to do,

Should do’t so soon’s they can;

Vor time an’ tide will come an’ goo,

An’ never waït vor man,

As the cock do gi’e me warnèn;

When, light or dark,

So brisk’s a lark,

I’m up so rathe in mornèn.

We’ve leäzes where the aïr do blow,

An’ meäds wi’ deäiry cows,

An’ copse wi’ lewth an’ sheäde below

The overhangèn boughs.

An’ when the zun, noo time can tire,

’S a-quench’d below the west,

Then we’ve, avore the bleäzèn vire,

A settle vor to rest —

To be up ageän nex’ mornèn

So brisk’s a lark,

When, light or dark,

The cock do gi’e us warnèn.

Out A-Nuttèn.

Last week, when we’d a haul’d the crops,

We went a-nuttèn out in copse,

Wi’ nuttèn-bags to bring hwome vull,

An’ beaky nuttèn-crooks to pull

The bushes down; an’ all o’s wore

Wold clothes that wer in rags avore,

An’ look’d, as we did skip an’ zing,

Lik’ merry gipsies in a string,

A-gwaïn a-nuttèn.

Zoo drough the stubble, over rudge

An’ vurrow, we begun to trudge;

An’ Sal an’ Nan agreed to pick

Along wi’ me, an’ Poll wi’ Dick;

An’ they went where the wold wood, high

An’ thick, did meet an’ hide the sky;

But we thought we mid vind zome good

Ripe nuts among the shorter wood,

The best vor nuttèn.

We voun’ zome bushes that did feäce

The downcast zunlight’s highest pleäce,

Where clusters hung so ripe an’ brown,

That some slipp’d shell an’ vell to groun’.

But Sal wi’ me zoo hitch’d her lag

In brembles, that she coulden wag;

While Poll kept clwose to Dick, an’ stole

The nuts vrom’s hinder pocket-hole,

While he did nutty.

An’ Nanny thought she zaw a sneäke,

An’ jump’d off into zome girt breäke,

An’ tore the bag where she’d a-put

Her sheäre, an’ shatter’d ev’ry nut.

An’ out in vield we all zot roun’

A white-stemm’d woak upon the groun’,

Where yollor evenèn light did strik’

Drough yollow leaves, that still wer thick

In time o’ nuttèn,

An’ twold ov all the luck we had

Among the bushes, good an’ bad!

Till all the maïdens left the bwoys,

An’ skipp’d about the leäze all woys

Vor musherooms, to car back zome,

A treat vor father in at hwome.

Zoo off we trudg’d wi’ clothes in slents

An’ libbets, jis’ lik’ Jack-o’-lents,

Vrom copse a-nuttèn.

Teaken in Apples.

We took the apples in last week,

An’ got, by night, zome eächèn backs

A-stoopèn down all day to pick

So many up in mawns an’ zacks.

An’ there wer Liz so proud an’ prim,

An’ dumpy Nan, an’ Poll so sly;

An’ dapper Tom, an’ loppèn Jim,

An’ little Dick, an’ Fan, an’ I.

An’ there the lwoaded tree bent low,

Behung wi’ apples green an’ red;

An’ springèn grass could hardly grow,

Drough windvalls down below his head.

An’ when the maïdens come in roun’

The heavy boughs to vill their laps,

We slily shook the apples down

Lik’ haïl, an’ gi’ed their backs some raps.

An’ zome big apple, Jimmy flung

To squaïl me, gi’ed me sich a crack;

But very shortly his ear rung,

Wi’ woone I zent to paÿ en back.

An’ after we’d a-had our squaïls,

Poor Tom, a-jumpèn in a bag,

Wer pinch’d by all the maïden’s naïls,

An’ rolled down into hwome-groun’ quag.

An’ then they carr’d our Fan all roun’,

’Ithin a mawn, till zome girt stump

Upset en over on the groun’,

An’ drow’d her out along-straïght, plump.

An’ in the cider-house we zot

Upon the windlass Poll an’ Nan,

An’ spun ’em roun’ till they wer got

So giddy that they coulden stan’.

Meaple Leaves Be Yollow.

Come, let’s stroll down so vur’s the poun’,

Avore the sparklèn zun is down:

The zummer’s gone, an’ days so feäir

As theäse be now a-gettèn reäre.

The night, wi’ mwore than daylight’s sheäre

O’ wat’ry sky, do wet wi’ dew

The ee-grass up above woone’s shoe,

An’ meäple leaves be yollow.

The last hot doust, above the road,

An’ vu’st dead leaves ha’ been a-blow’d

By plaÿsome win’s where spring did spread

The blossoms that the zummer shed;

An’ near blue sloos an’ conkers red

The evenèn zun, a zettèn soon,

Do leäve a-quiv’rèn to the moon,

The meäple leaves so yollow.

Zoo come along, an’ let’s injaÿ

The last fine weather while do staÿ;

While thou canst hang, wi’ ribbons slack,

Thy bonnet down upon thy back,

Avore the winter, cwold an’ black,

Do kill thy flowers, an’ avore

Thy bird-cage is a-took in door,

Though meäple leaves be yollow.

Night A-Zetten in.

When leäzers wi’ their laps o’ corn

Noo longer be a-stoopèn,

An’ in the stubble, all vorlorn,

Noo poppies be a-droopèn;

When theäse young harvest-moon do weäne,

That now’ve his horns so thin, O,

We’ll leäve off walkèn in the leäne,

While night’s a zettèn in, O.

When zummer doust is all a-laid

Below our litty shoes, O;

When all the raïn-chill’d flow’rs be dead,

That now do drink the dews, O;

When beauty’s neck, that’s now a-show’d,

’S a-muffled to the chin, O;

We’ll leäve off walkèn in the road,

When night’s a-zettèn in, O.

But now, while barley by the road

Do hang upon the bough, O,

A-pull’d by branches off the lwoad

A-ridèn hwome to mow, O;

While spiders roun’ the flower-stalks

Ha’ cobwebs yet to spin, O,

We’ll cool ourzelves in out-door walks,

When night’s a-zettèn in, O.

While down at vword the brook so small,

That leätely wer so high, O,

Wi’ little tinklèn sounds do vall

In roun’ the stwones half dry, O;

While twilight ha’ sich aïr in store,

To cool our zunburnt skin, O,

We’ll have a ramble out o’ door,

When night’s a-zettèn in, O.

The Weather-Beaten Tree.

The woaken tree, a-beät at night

By stormy winds wi’ all their spite,

Mid toss his lim’s, an’ ply, an’ mwoan,

Wi’ unknown struggles all alwone;

An’ when the day do show his head,

A-stripp’d by winds at last a-laid,

How vew mid think that didden zee,

How night-time had a-tried thik tree.

An’ happy vo’k do seldom know

How hard our unknown storms do blow,

The while our heads do slowly bend

Below the trials God do zend,

Like shiv’rèn bennets, beäre to all

The drevèn winds o’ dark’nèn fall.

An’ zoo in tryèn hardships we

Be lik’ the weather beäten tree.

But He will never meäke our sheäre

O’ sorrow mwore than we can bear,

But meäke us zee, if ’tis His will,

That He can bring us good vrom ill;

As after winter He do bring,

In His good time, the zunny spring,

An’ leaves, an’ young vo’k vull o’ glee

A-dancèn roun’ the woaken tree.

True love’s the ivy that do twine

Unwith’rèn roun’ his mossy rine,

When winter’s zickly zun do sheen

Upon its leaves o’ glossy green,

So patiently a-holdèn vast

Till storms an’ cwold be all a-past,

An’ only livèn vor to be

A-meäted to the woaken tree.

Shrodon Feäir.

The vu’st Peärt.

An’ zoo’s the day wer warm an’ bright,

An’ nar a cloud wer up in zight,

We wheedled father vor the meäre

An’ cart, to goo to Shrodon feäir.

An’ Poll an’ Nan run off up stairs,

To shift their things, as wild as heäres;

An’ pull’d out, each o’m vrom her box,

Their snow-white leäce an’ newest frocks,

An’ put their bonnets on, a-lined

Wi’ blue, an’ sashes tied behind;

An’ turn’d avore the glass their feäce

An’ back, to zee their things in pleäce;

While Dick an’ I did brush our hats

An’ cwoats, an’ cleän ourzelves lik’ cats.

At woone or two o’clock, we vound

Ourzelves at Shrodon seäfe an’ sound,

A-struttèn in among the rows

O’ tilted stannèns an’ o’ shows,

An’ girt long booths wi’ little bars

Chock-vull o’ barrels, mugs, an’ jars,

An’ meat a-cookèn out avore

The vier at the upper door;

Where zellers bwold to buyers shy

Did hollow round us, “What d’ye buy?”

An’ scores o’ merry tongues did speak

At woonce, an’ childern’s pipes did squeak,

An’ horns did blow, an’ drums did rumble,

An’ bawlèn merrymen did tumble;

An’ woone did all but want an edge

To peärt the crowd wi’, lik’ a wedge.

We zaw the dancers in a show

Dance up an’ down, an’ to an’ fro,

Upon a rwope, wi’ chalky zoles,

So light as magpies up on poles;

An’ tumblers, wi’ their streaks an’ spots,

That all but tied theirzelves in knots.

An’ then a conjurer burn’d off

Poll’s han’kerchief so black’s a snoff,

An’ het en, wi’ a single blow,

Right back ageän so white as snow.

An’ after that, he fried a fat

Girt ceäke inzide o’ my new hat;

An’ yet, vor all he did en brown,

He didden even zweal the crown.

Shrodon Feär.

The rest o’t.

An’ after that we met wi’ zome

O’ Mans’on vo’k, but jist a-come,

An’ had a raffle vor a treat

All roun’, o’ gingerbread to eat;

An’ Tom meäde leäst, wi’ all his sheäkes,

An’ païd the money vor the ceäkes,

But wer so lwoth to put it down

As if a penny wer a poun’.

Then up come zidelèn Sammy Heäre,

That’s fond o’ Poll, an’ she can’t bear,

A-holdèn out his girt scram vist,

An’ ax’d her, wi’ a grin an’ twist,

To have zome nuts; an’ she, to hide

Her laughèn, turn’d her head azide,

An’ answer’d that she’d rather not,

But Nancy mid. An’ Nan, so hot

As vier, zaid ’twer quite enough

Vor Poll to answer vor herzuf:

She had a tongue, she zaid, an’ wit

Enough to use en, when ’twer fit.

An’ in the dusk, a-ridèn round

Drough Okford, who d’ye think we vound

But Sam ageän, a-gwäin vrom feäir

Astride his broken-winded meäre.

An’ zoo, a-hettèn her, he tried

To keep up clwose by ouer zide:

But when we come to Haÿward-brudge,

Our Poll gi’ed Dick a meänèn nudge,

An’ wi’ a little twitch our meäre

Flung out her lags so lights a heäre,

An’ left poor Sammy’s skin an’ bwones

Behind, a-kickèn o’ the stwones.

Martin’s Tide.

Come, bring a log o’ cleft wood, Jack,

An’ fling en on ageän the back,

An’ zee the outside door is vast —

The win’ do blow a cwoldish blast.

Come, so’s! come, pull your chairs in roun’

Avore the vire; an’ let’s zit down,

An’ keep up Martin’s-tide, vor I

Shall keep it up till I do die.

’Twer Martinmas, and ouer feäir,

When Jeäne an’ I, a happy peäir,

Vu’st walk’d, a-keepèn up the tide,

Among the stan’ens, zide by zide;

An’ thik day twel’month, never faïlèn,

She gi’ed me at the chancel raïlèn

A heart — though I do sound her praise —

As true as ever beät in staÿs.

How vast the time do goo! Do seem

But yesterday — ’tis lik’ a dream!

Ah, sō’s! ’tis now zome years agoo

You vu’st knew me, an’ I knew you;

An’ we’ve a-had zome bits o’ fun,

By winter vire an’ zummer zun.

Aye; we’ve a-prowl’d an’ rigg’d about

Lik’ cats, in harm’s way mwore than out,

An’ busy wi’ the tricks we plaÿ’d

In fun, to outwit chap or maïd.

An’ out avore the bleäzèn he’th,

Our naïsy tongues, in winter me’th,

’V a-shook the warmèn-pan, a-hung

Bezide us, till his cover rung.

There, ’twer but tother day thik chap,

Our Robert, wer a child in lap;

An’ Poll’s two little lags hung down

Vrom thik wold chair a span vrom groun’,

An’ now the saucy wench do stride

About wi’ steps o’ dree veet wide.

How time do goo! A life do seem

As ’twer a year; ’tis lik’ a dream!

Guy Faux’s Night.

Guy Faux’s night, dost know, we chaps,

A-putten on our woldest traps,

Went up the highest o’ the knaps,

An’ meäde up such a vier!

An’ thou an’ Tom wer all we miss’d,

Vor if a sarpent had a-hiss’d

Among the rest in thy sprack vist,

Our fun ’d a-been the higher.

We chaps at hwome, an’ Will our cousin,

Took up a half a lwoad o’ vuzzen;

An’ burn’d a barrel wi’ a dozen

O’ faggots, till above en

The fleämes, arisèn up so high

’S the tun, did snap, an’ roar, an’ ply,

Lik’ vier in an’ oven.

An’ zome wi’ hissèn squibs did run,

To paÿ off zome what they’d a-done,

An’ let em off so loud’s a gun

Ageän their smokèn polls;

An’ zome did stir their nimble pags

Wi’ crackers in between their lags,

While zome did burn their cwoats to rags,

Or wes’cots out in holes.

An’ zome o’m’s heads lost half their locks,

An’ zome o’m got their white smock-frocks

Jist fit to vill the tinder-box,

Wi’ half the backs o’m off;

An’ Dick, that all o’m vell upon,

Vound woone flap ov his cwoat-taïl gone,

An’ tother jist a-hangèn on,

A-zweal’d so black’s a snoff.

Eclogue.

The Common A-Took in.

Thomas an’ John.

THOMAS.

Good morn t’ye, John. How b’ye? how b’ye?

Zoo you be gwaïn to market, I do zee.

Why, you be quite a-lwoaded wi’ your geese.

JOHN.

Ees, Thomas, ees.

Why, I’m a-gettèn rid ov ev’ry goose

An’ goslèn I’ve a-got: an’ what is woose,

I fear that I must zell my little cow.

THOMAS.

How zoo, then, John? Why, what’s the matter now?

What, can’t ye get along? B’ye run a-ground?

An’ can’t paÿ twenty shillèns vor a pound?

What can’t ye put a lwoaf on shelf?

JOHN.

Ees, now;

But I do fear I shan’t ’ithout my cow.

No; they do mëan to teäke the moor in, I do hear,

An’ ’twill be soon begun upon;

Zoo I must zell my bit o’ stock to-year,

Because they woon’t have any groun’ to run upon.

THOMAS.

Why, what d’ye tell o’? I be very zorry

To hear what they be gwaïn about;

But yet I s’pose there’ll be a ’lotment vor ye,

When they do come to mark it out.

JOHN.

No; not vor me, I fear. An’ if there should,

Why ’twoulden be so handy as ’tis now;

Vor ’tis the common that do do me good,

The run for my vew geese, or vor my cow.

THOMAS.

Ees, that’s the job; why ’tis a handy thing

To have a bit o’ common, I do know,

To put a little cow upon in Spring,

The while woone’s bit ov orcha’d grass do grow.

JOHN.

Aye, that’s the thing, you zee. Now I do mow

My bit o’ grass, an’ meäke a little rick;

An’ in the zummer, while do grow,

My cow do run in common vor to pick

A bleäde or two o’ grass, if she can vind em,

Vor tother cattle don’t leäve much behind em.

Zoo in the evenèn, we do put a lock

O’ nice fresh grass avore the wicket;

An’ she do come at vive or zix o’clock,

As constant as the zun, to pick it.

An’ then, bezides the cow, why we do let

Our geese run out among the emmet hills;

An’ then when we do pluck em, we do get

Vor zeäle zome veathers an’ zome quills;

An’ in the winter we do fat em well,

An’ car em to the market vor to zell

To gentlevo’ks, vor we don’t oft avvword

To put a goose a-top ov ouer bwoard;

But we do get our feäst — vor we be eäble

To clap the giblets up a-top o’ teäble.

THOMAS.

An’ I don’t know o’ many better things,

Than geese’s heads and gizzards, lags an’ wings.

JOHN.

An’ then, when I ha’ nothèn else to do,

Why I can teäke my hook an’ gloves, an’ goo

To cut a lot o’ vuzz and briars

Vor hetèn ovens, or vor lightèn viers.

An’ when the childern be too young to eärn

A penny, they can g’out in zunny weather,

An’ run about, an’ get together

A bag o’ cow-dung vor to burn.

THOMAS.

’Tis handy to live near a common;

But I’ve a-zeed, an’ I’ve a-zaid,

That if a poor man got a bit o’ bread,

They’ll try to teäke it vrom en.

But I wer twold back tother day,

That they be got into a way

O’ lettèn bits o’ groun’ out to the poor.

JOHN.

Well, I do hope ’tis true, I’m sure;

An’ I do hope that they will do it here,

Or I must goo to workhouse, I do fear.

Eclogue.

Two Farms in Woone.

Robert an’ Thomas.

ROBERT.

You’ll lose your meäster soon, then, I do vind;

He’s gwaïn to leäve his farm, as I do larn,

At Miëlmas; an’ I be zorry vor’n.

What, is he then a little bit behind?

THOMAS.

O no! at Miëlmas his time is up,

An’ thik there sly wold fellow, Farmer Tup,

A-fearèn that he’d get a bit o’ bread,

’V a-been an’ took his farm here over’s head.

ROBERT.

How come the Squire to treat your meäster zoo?

THOMAS.

Why, he an’ meäster had a word or two.

ROBERT.

Is Farmer Tup a-gwaïn to leäve his farm?

He han’t a-got noo young woones vor to zwarm.

Poor over-reachèn man! why to be sure

He don’t want all the farms in parish, do er?

THOMAS.

Why ees, all ever he can come across,

Last year, you know, he got away the eäcre

Or two o’ ground a-rented by the beäker,

An’ what the butcher had to keep his hoss;

An’ vo’k do beänhan’ now, that meäster’s lot

Will be a-drowd along wi’ what he got.

ROBERT.

That’s it. In theäse here pleäce there used to be

Eight farms avore they wer a-drowd together,

An’ eight farm-housen. Now how many be there?

Why after this, you know there’ll be but dree.

THOMAS.

An’ now they don’t imploy so many men

Upon the land as work’d upon it then,

Vor all they midden crop it worse, nor stock it.

The lan’lord, to be sure, is into pocket;

Vor half the housen beën down, ’tis clear,

Don’t cost so much to keep em up, a-near.

But then the jobs o’ work in wood an’ morter

Do come I ’spose, you know, a little shorter;

An’ many that wer little farmers then,

Be now a-come all down to leäb’rèn men;

An’ many leäb’rèn men, wi’ empty hands,

Do live lik’ drones upon the worker’s lands.

ROBERT.

Aye, if a young chap, woonce, had any wit

To try an’ scrape together zome vew pound,

To buy some cows an’ teäke a bit o’ ground,

He mid become a farmer, bit by bit.

But, hang it! now the farms be all so big,

An’ bits o’ groun’ so skeä’ce, woone got no scope;

If woone could seäve a poun’, woone couldden hope

To keep noo live stock but a little pig.

THOMAS.

Why here wer vourteen men, zome years agoo,

A-kept a-drashèn half the winter drough;

An’ now, woone’s drashels be’n’t a bit o’ good.

They got machines to drashy wi’, plague teäke em!

An’ he that vu’st vound out the way to meäke em,

I’d drash his busy zides vor’n if I could!

Avore they took away our work, they ought

To meäke us up the bread our leäbour bought.

ROBERT.

They hadden need meäke poor men’s leäbour less,

Vor work a’ready is uncommon skeä’ce.

THOMAS.

Ah! Robert! times be badish vor the poor;

An’ worse will come, I be a-fear’d, if Moore

In theäse year’s almanick do tell us right.

ROBERT.

Why then we sartainly must starve. Good night!

Winter

The Vrost.

Come, run up hwome wi’ us to night,

Athirt the vield a-vroze so white,

Where vrosty sheädes do lie below

The winter ricks a-tipp’d wi’ snow,

An’ lively birds, wi’ waggèn taïls,

Do hop upon the icy raïls,

An’ rime do whiten all the tops

O’ bush an’ tree in hedge an’ copse,

In wind’s a-cuttèn keen.

Come, maïdens, come: the groun’s a-vroze

Too hard to-night to spweil your clothes.

You got noo pools to waddle drough,

Nor clay a-pullèn off your shoe:

An’ we can trig ye at the zide,

To keep ye up if you do slide:

Zoo while there’s neither wet nor mud,

’S the time to run an’ warm your blood,

In winds a-cuttèn keen.

Vor young men’s hearts an’ maïden’s eyes

Don’t vreeze below the cwoldest skies,

While they in twice so keen a blast

Can wag their brisk lim’s twice so vast!

Though vier-light, a-flick’rèn red

Drough vrosty window-peänes, do spread

Vrom wall to wall, vrom he’th to door,

Vor us to goo an’ zit avore,

Vrom winds a-cuttèn keen.

A Bit O’ Fun.

We thought you woulden leäve us quite

So soon as what you did last night;

Our fun jist got up to a height

As you about got hwome.

The friskèn chaps did skip about,

An’ cou’se the maïdens in an’ out,

A-meäkèn such a randy-rout,

You coulden hear a drum.

An’ Tom, a-springèn after Bet

Blind-vwolded, whizz’d along, an’ het

Poor Grammer’s zide, an’ overzet

Her chair, at blind-man’s buff;

An’ she, poor soul, as she did vall,

Did show her snags o’ teeth an’ squall,

An’ what, she zaid, wer wo’se than all,

She shatter’d all her snuff.

An’ Bet, a-hoppèn back vor fear

O’ Tom, struck uncle zomewhere near,

An’ meäde his han’ spill all his beer

Right down her poll an’ back;

An’ Joe, in middle o’ the din,

Slipt out a bit, an’ soon come in

Wi’ all below his dapper chin

A-jumpèn in a zack.

An’ in a twinklèn tother chaps

Jist hung en to a crook wi’ straps,

An’ meäde en bear the maïdens’ slaps,

An’ prickens wi’ a pin.

An’ Jim, a-catchèn Poll, poor chap,

In back-house in the dark, vell slap

Athirt a tub o’ barm — a trap

She set to catch en in.

An’ then we zot down out o’ breath,

An’ meäde a circle roun’ the he’th,

A-keepèn up our harmless me’th,

Till supper wer a-come.

An’ after we’d a-had zome prog,

All tother chaps begun to jog,

Wi’ sticks to lick a thief or dog,

To zee the maïdens hwome.

Fannys Be’th-Day.

How merry, wi’ the cider cup,

We kept poor Fanny’s be’th-day up!

An’ how our busy tongues did run

An’ hands did wag, a-meäkèn fun!

What plaÿsome anticks zome ō’s done!

An’ how, a-reelèn roun’ an’ roun’,

We beät the merry tuèn down,

While music wer a-soundèn!

The maïdens’ eyes o’ black an’ blue

Did glisten lik’ the mornèn dew;

An’ while the cider-mug did stand

A-hissèn by the bleäzèn brand,

An’ uncle’s pipe wer in his hand,

How little he or we did think

How peäle the zettèn stars did blink

While music wer a-soundèn.

An’ Fanny’s last young teen begun,

Poor maïd, wi’ thik day’s risèn zun,

An’ we all wish’d her many mwore

Long years wi’ happiness in store;

An’ as she went an’ stood avore

The vier, by her father’s zide,

Her mother dropp’d a tear o’ pride

While music wer a-soundèn.

An’ then we did all kinds o’ tricks

Wi’ han’kerchiefs, an’ strings, an’ sticks:

An’ woone did try to overmatch

Another wi’ zome cunnèn catch,

While tothers slyly tried to hatch

Zome geäme; but yet, by chap an’ maïd.

The dancèn wer the mwost injaÿ’d,

While music wer a-soundèn.

The briskest chap ov all the lot

Wer Tom, that danc’d hizzelf so hot,

He doff’d his cwoat an’ jump’d about,

Wi’ girt new shirt-sleeves all a-strout,

Among the maïdens screamèn out,

A-thinkèn, wi’ his strides an’ stamps,

He’d squot their veet wi’ his girt clamps,

While music wer a-soundèn.

Then up jump’d uncle vrom his chair,

An’ pull’d out aunt to meäke a peäir;

An’ off he zet upon his tooe,

So light’s the best that beät a shoe,

Wi’ aunt a-crièn “Let me goo:”

While all ov us did laugh so loud,

We drown’d the tuèn o’ the croud,

While music wer a-soundèn.

A-comèn out o’ passage, Nan,

Wi’ pipes an’ cider in her han’,

An’ watchèn uncle up so sprack,

Vorgot her veet, an’ vell down smack

Athirt the house-dog’s shaggy back,

That wer in passage vor a snooze,

Beyond the reach o’ dancers’ shoes,

While music wer a-soundèn.

What Dick an’ I Did.

Last week the Browns ax’d nearly all

The naïghbours to a randy,

An’ left us out o’t, girt an’ small,

Vor all we liv’d so handy;

An’ zoo I zaid to Dick, “We’ll trudge,

When they be in their fun, min;

An’ car up zome’hat to the rudge,

An’ jis’ stop up the tun, min.”

Zoo, wi’ the ladder vrom the rick,

We stole towards the house,

An’ crope in roun’ behind en, lik’

A cat upon a mouse.

Then, lookèn roun’, Dick whisper’d “How

Is theäse job to be done, min:

Why we do want a faggot now,

Vor stoppèn up the tun, min.”

“Stan’ still,” I answer’d; “I’ll teäke ceäre

O’ that: why dussen zee

The little grindèn stwone out there,

Below the apple-tree?

Put up the ladder; in a crack

Shalt zee that I wull run, min,

An’ teäke en up upon my back,

An’ soon stop up the tun, min.”

Zoo up I clomb upon the thatch,

An’ clapp’d en on; an’ slided

Right down ageän, an’ run drough hatch,

Behind the hedge, an’ hided.

The vier that wer clear avore,

Begun to spweil their fun, min;

The smoke all roll’d toward the door,

Vor I’d a-stopp’d the tun, min.

The maïdens cough’d or stopp’d their breath,

The men did hauk an’ spet;

The wold vo’k bundled out from he’th

Wi’ eyes a-runnèn wet.

“’T’ool choke us all,” the wold man cried,

“Whatever’s to be done, min?

Why zome’hat is a-vell inside

O’ chimney drough the tun, min.”

Then out they scamper’d all, vull run,

An’ out cried Tom, “I think

The grindèn-stwone is up on tun,

Vor I can zee the wink.

This is some kindness that the vo’k

At Woodley have a-done, min;

I wish I had em here, I’d poke

Their numskulls down the tun, min.”

Then off he zet, an’ come so quick

’S a lamplighter, an’ brote

The little ladder in vrom rick,

To clear the chimney’s droat.

While I, a-chucklèn at the joke,

A-slided down, to run, min,

To hidelock, had a-left the vo’k

As bad as na’r a tun, min.

Grammer’s Shoes.

I do seem to zee Grammer as she did use

Vor to show us, at Chris’mas, her weddèn shoes,

An’ her flat spreadèn bonnet so big an’ roun’

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 stockèns o’ gramfer’s a-knit wì’ clocks,

An’ a token she kept under lock an’ key —

A small lock ov his heäir 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 weddèn shoes.

She could tell us such teäles about heavy snows,

An’ o’ raïns 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’ peärties 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 heär em zing

The wold carols she heärd many years a-gone,

While she warm’d em zome cider avore the bron’;

An’ she’d look an’ smile

At our dancèn, 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 meäke twoast an’ eäle upon Chris’mas eves;

But she’s now, drough greäce,

In a better pleäce,

Though we’ll never vorget her, poor soul, nor lose

Gramfer’s token ov heäir, nor her weddèn shoes.

Zunsheen in the Winter.

The winter clouds, that long did hide

The zun, be all a-blown azide,

An’ in the light, noo longer dim,

Do sheen the ivy that do clim’

The tower’s zide an’ elem’s stim;

An’ holmen bushes, in between

The leafless thorns, be bright an’ green

To zunsheen o’ the winter.

The trees, that yesterday did twist

In wind’s a-drevèn raïn an’ mist,

Do now drow sheädes out, long an’ still;

But roarèn watervals do vill

Their whirlèn pools below the hill,

Where, wi’ her païl upon the stile,

A-gwaïn a-milkèn Jeäne do smile

To zunsheen o’ the winter.

The birds do sheäke, wi’ plaÿsome skips,

The raïn-drops off the bushes’ tips,

A-chirripèn wi’ merry sound;

While over all the grassy ground

The wind’s a-whirlèn round an’ round

So softly, that the day do seem

Mwore lik’ a zummer in a dream,

Than zunsheen in the winter.

The wold vo’k now do meet abrode,

An’ tell o’ winter’s they’ve a-know’d;

When snow wer long above the groun’,

Or floods broke all the bridges down,

Or wind unheal’d a half the town —

The teäles o’ wold times long a-gone,

But ever dear to think upon,

The zunsheen o’ their winter.

Vor now to them noo brook can run,

Noo hill can feäce the winter zun,

Noo leaves can vall, noo flow’rs can feäde,

Noo snow can hide the grasses bleäde,

Noo vrost can whiten in the sheäde,

Noo day can come, but what do bring

To mind ageän their early spring,

That’s now a-turn’d to winter.

The Weepen Leady.

When, leäte o’ nights, above the green

By thik wold house, the moon do sheen,

A leädy there, a-hangèn low

Her head, ’s a-walkèn to an’ fro

In robes so white’s the driven snow,

Wi’ woone eärm down, while woone do rest

All lily-white athirt the breast

O’ thik poor weepèn leädy.

The whirlèn wind an’ whis’lèn squall

Do sheäke the ivy by the wall,

An’ meäke the plyèn tree-tops rock,

But never ruffle her white frock;

An’ slammèn door an’ rattlèn lock,

That in thik empty house do sound,

Do never seem to meäke look round

Thik ever downcast leädy.

A leädy, as the teäle do goo,

That woonce liv’d there, an’ lov’d too true,

Wer by a young man cast azide.

A mother sad, but not a bride;

An’ then her father, in his pride

An’ anger, offer’d woone o’ two

Vull bitter things to undergoo

To thik poor weepèn leädy:

That she herzelf should leäve his door,

To darken it ageän noo mwore;

Or that her little plaÿsome chile,

A-zent away a thousand mile,

Should never meet her eyes to smile

An’ plaÿ ageän; till she, in sheäme,

Should die an’ leäve a tarnish’d neäme,

A sad vorseäken leädy.

“Let me be lost,” she cried, “the while

I do but know vor my poor chile;”

An’ left the hwome ov all her pride,

To wander drough the worold wide,

Wi’ grief that vew but she ha’ tried:

An’ lik’ a flow’r a blow ha’ broke,

She wither’d wi’ the deadly stroke,

An’ died a weepèn leädy.

An’ she do keep a-comèn on

To zee her father dead an’ gone,

As if her soul could have noo rest

Avore her teäry cheäk’s a-prest

By his vorgivèn kiss. Zoo blest

Be they that can but live in love,

An’ vind a pleäce o’ rest above

Unlik’ the weepèn leädy.

The Happy Days When I Wer Young.

In happy days when I wer young,

An’ had noo ho, an’ laugh’d an’ zung,

The maïd wer merry by her cow,

An’ men wer merry wi’ the plough;

But never talk’d, at hwome or out

O’ doors, o’ what’s a-talk’d about

By many now — that to despise

The laws o’ God an’ man is wise.

Wi’ daïly health, an’ daïly bread,

An’ thatch above their shelter’d head,

They velt noo fear, an’ had noo spite,

To keep their eyes awake at night;

But slept in peace wi’ God on high

An’ man below, an’ fit to die.

O’ grassy meäd an’ woody nook,

An’ waters o’ the windèn brook,

That sprung below the vu’st dark sky

That raïn’d, to run till seas be dry;

An’ hills a-stannèn on while all

The works o’ man do rise an’ vall;

An’ trees the toddlèn child do vind

At vu’st, an’ leäve at last behind;

I wish that you could now unvwold

The peace an’ jäy o’ times o’ wold;

An’ tell, when death do still my tongue,

O’ happy days when I wer young.

Vrom where wer all this venom brought,

To kill our hope an’ taïnt our thought?

Clear brook! thy water coulden bring

Such venom vrom thy rocky spring;

Nor could it come in zummer blights,

Or reävèn storms o’ winter nights,

Or in the cloud an’ viry stroke

O’ thunder that do split the woak.

O valley dear! I wish that I

’D a-liv’d in former times, to die

Wi’ all the happy souls that trod

Thy turf in peäce, an’ died to God;

Or gone wi’ them that laugh’d an’ zung

In happy days when I wer young!

In the Stillness O’ The Night.

Ov all the housen o’ the pleäce,

There’s woone where I do like to call

By day or night the best ov all,

To zee my Fanny’s smilèn feäce;

An’ there the steätely trees do grow,

A-rockèn as the win’ do blow,

While she do sweetly sleep below,

In the stillness o’ the night.

An’ there, at evenèn, I do goo

A-hoppèn over geätes an’ bars,

By twinklèn light o’ winter stars,

When snow do clumper to my shoe;

An’ zometimes we do slyly catch

A chat an hour upon the stratch,

An’ peärt wi’ whispers at the hatch

In the stillness o’ the night.

An’ zometimes she do goo to zome

Young naïghbours’ housen down the pleäce,

An’ I do get a clue to treäce

Her out, an’ goo to zee her hwome;

An’ I do wish a vield a mile,

As she do sweetly chat an’ smile

Along the drove, or at the stile,

In the stillness o’ the night.

The Settle an’ The Girt Wood Vire.

Ah! naïghbour John, since I an’ you

Wer youngsters, ev’ry thing is new.

My father’s vires wer all o’ logs

O’ cleft-wood, down upon the dogs

Below our clavy, high, an’ brode

Enough to teäke a cart an’ lwoad,

Where big an’ little all zot down

At bwoth zides, an’ bevore, all roun’.

An’ when I zot among em, I

Could zee all up ageän the sky

Drough chimney, where our vo’k did hitch

The zalt-box an’ the beäconvlitch,

An’ watch the smoke on out o’ vier,

All up an’ out o’ tun, an’ higher.

An’ there wer beäcon up on rack,

An’ pleätes an’ dishes on the tack;

An’ roun’ the walls wer heärbs a-stowed

In peäpern bags, an’ blathers blowed.

An’ just above the clavy-bwoard

Wer father’s spurs, an’ gun, an’ sword;

An’ there wer then, our girtest pride,

The settle by the vier zide.

Ah! gi’e me, if I wer a squier,

The settle an’ the girt wood vier.

But they’ve a-wall’d up now wi’ bricks

The vier pleäce vor dogs an’ sticks,

An’ only left a little hole

To teäke a little greäte o’ coal,

So small that only twos or drees

Can jist push in an’ warm their knees.

An’ then the carpets they do use,

Bēn’t fit to tread wi’ ouer shoes;

An’ chairs an’ couches be so neat,

You mussen teäke em vor a seat:

They be so fine, that vo’k mus’ pleäce

All over em an’ outer ceäse,

An’ then the cover, when ’tis on,

Is still too fine to loll upon.

Ah! gi’e me, if I wer a squier,

The settle an’ the girt wood vier.

Carpets, indeed! You coulden hurt

The stwone-vloor wi’ a little dirt;

Vor what wer brought in doors by men,

The women soon mopp’d out ageän.

Zoo we did come vrom muck an’ mire,

An’ walk in straïght avore the vier;

But now, a man’s a-kept at door

At work a pirty while, avore

He’s screäp’d an’ rubb’d, an’ cleän and fit

To goo in where his wife do zit.

An’ then if he should have a whiff

In there, ’twould only breed a miff:

He cānt smoke there, vor smoke woon’t goo

’Ithin the footy little flue.

Ah! gi’e me, if I wer a squier,

The settle an’ the girt wood vier.

The Carter.

O, I be a carter, wi’ my whip

A-smackèn loud, as by my zide,

Up over hill, an’ down the dip,

The heavy lwoad do slowly ride.

An’ I do haul in all the crops,

An’ I do bring in vuzz vrom down;

An’ I do goo vor wood to copse,

An’ car the corn an’ straw to town.

An’ I do goo vor lime, an’ bring

Hwome cider wi’ my sleek-heäir’d team,

An’ smack my limber whip an’ zing,

While all their bells do gaïly cheeme.

An’ I do always know the pleäce

To gi’e the hosses breath, or drug;

An’ ev’ry hoss do know my feäce,

An’ mind my ‘mether ho! an’ whug!

An’ merry haÿ-meäkers do ride

Vrom vield in zummer wi’ their prongs,

In my blue waggon, zide by zide

Upon the reäves, a-zingèn zongs.

An’ when the vrost do catch the stream,

An’ oves wi’ icicles be hung,

My pantèn hosses’ breath do steam

In white-grass’d vields, a-haulèn dung.

An’ mine’s the waggon fit vor lwoads,

An’ mine be lwoads to cut a rout;

An’ mine’s a team, in routy rwoads,

To pull a lwoaded waggon out.

A zull is nothèn when do come

Behind their lags; an’ they do teäke

A roller as they would a drum,

An’ harrow as they would a reäke.

O! I be a carter, wi’ my whip

A-smackèn loud, as by my zide,

Up over hill, an’ down the dip,

The heavy lwoad do slowly ride.

Chris’mas Invitation.

Come down tomorrow night; an’ mind,

Don’t leäve thy fiddle-bag behind;

We’ll sheäke a lag, an’ drink a cup

O’ eäle, to keep wold Chris’mas up.

An’ let thy sister teäke thy eärm,

The walk won’t do her any harm;

There’s noo dirt now to spweil her frock,

The ground’s a-vroze so hard’s a rock.

You won’t meet any stranger’s feäce,

But only naïghbours o’ the pleäce,

An’ Stowe, an’ Combe; an’ two or dree

Vrom uncle’s up at Rookery.

An’ thou wu’lt vind a rwosy feäce,

An’ peäir ov eyes so black as sloos,

The prettiest woones in all the pleäce —

I’m sure I needen tell thee whose.

We got a back-bran’, dree girt logs

So much as dree ov us can car;

We’ll put em up athirt the dogs,

An’ meäke a vier to the bar.

An’ ev’ry woone shall tell his teäle,

An’ ev’ry woone shall zing his zong,

An’ ev’ry woone wull drink his eäle

To love an’ frien’ship all night long.

We’ll snap the tongs, we’ll have a ball,

We’ll sheäke the house, we’ll lift the ruf,

We’ll romp an’ meäke the maïdens squall,

A catchèn o’m at blind-man’s buff.

Zoo come tomorrow night; an’ mind,

Don’t leäve thy fiddle-bag behind;

We’ll sheäke a lag, an’ drink a cup

O’ eäle, to keep wold Chris’mas up.

Keepen Up O’ Chris’mas.

An’ zoo you didden come athirt,

To have zome fun last night: how wer’t?

Vor we’d a-work’d wi’ all our might

To scour the iron things up bright,

An’ brush’d an’ scrubb’d the house all drough;

An’ brought in vor a brand, a plock

O’ wood so big’s an uppèn-stock,

An’ hung a bough o’ misseltoo,

An’ ax’d a merry friend or two,

To keepèn up o’ Chris’mas.

An’ there wer wold an’ young; an’ Bill,

Soon after dark, stalk’d up vrom mill.

An’ when he wer a-comèn near,

He whissled loud vor me to hear;

Then roun’ my head my frock I roll’d,

An’ stood in orcha’d like a post,

To meäke en think I wer a ghost.

But he wer up to’t, an’ did scwold

To vind me stannèn in the cwold,

A keepèn up o’ Chris’mas.

We plaÿ’d at forfeits, an’ we spun

The trencher roun’, an’ meäde such fun!

An’ had a geäme o’ dree-ceärd loo,

An’ then begun to hunt the shoe.

An’ all the wold vo’k zittèn near,

A-chattèn roun’ the vier pleäce,

Did smile in woone another’s feäce.

An’ sheäke right hands wi’ hearty cheer,

An’ let their left hands spill their beer,

A keepèn up o’ Chris’mas.

Zitten Out the Wold Year.

Why, raïn or sheen, or blow or snow,

I zaid, if I could stand so’s,

I’d come, vor all a friend or foe,

To sheäke ye by the hand, so’s;

An’ spend, wi’ kinsvo’k near an’ dear,

A happy evenèn, woonce a year,

A-zot wi’ me’th

Avore the he’th

To zee the new year in, so’s.

There’s Jim an’ Tom, a-grown the size

O’ men, girt lusty chaps, so’s,

An’ Fanny wi’ her sloo-black eyes,

Her mother’s very dap’s, so’s;

An’ little Bill, so brown’s a nut,

An’ Poll a gigglèn little slut,

I hope will shoot

Another voot

The year that’s comèn in, so’s.

An’ there, upon his mother’s knee,

So peärt do look about, so’s,

The little woone ov all, to zee

His vu’st wold year goo out, so’s

An’ zoo mid God bless all o’s still,

Gwaïn up or down along the hill,

To meet in glee

Ageän to zee

A happy new year in, so’s.

The wold clock’s han’ do softly steal

Up roun’ the year’s last hour, so’s;

Zoo let the han’-bells ring a peal,

Lik’ them a-hung in tow’r, so’s.

Here, here be two vor Tom, an’ two

Vor Fanny, an’ a peäir vor you;

We’ll meäke em swing,

An’ meäke em ring,

The merry new year in, so’s.

Tom, mind your time there; you be wrong.

Come, let your bells all sound, so’s:

A little clwoser, Poll; ding, dong!

There, now ’tis right all round, so’s.

The clock’s a-strikèn twelve, d’ye hear?

Ting, ting, ding, dong! Farewell, wold year!

’Tis gone, ’tis gone! —

Goo on, goo on,

An’ ring the new woone in, so’s!

Woak Wer Good Enough Woonce.

Ees: now mahogany’s the goo,

An’ good wold English woak won’t do.

I wish vo’k always mid avvword

Hot meals upon a woakèn bwoard,

As good as thik that took my cup

An’ trencher all my growèn up.

Ah! I do mind en in the hall,

A-reachèn all along the wall,

Wi’ us at father’s end, while tother

Did teäke the maïdens wi’ their mother;

An’ while the risèn steam did spread

In curlèn clouds up over head,

Our mouths did wag, an’ tongues did run,

To meäke the maïdens laugh o’ fun.

A woaken bedstead, black an’ bright,

Did teäke my weary bwones at night,

Where I could stratch an’ roll about

Wi’ little fear o’ vallèn out;

An’ up above my head a peäir

Ov ugly heads a-carv’d did steäre,

An’ grin avore a bright vull moon

A’most enough to frighten woone.

An’ then we had, vor cwoats an’ frocks,

Woak cwoffers wi’ their rusty locks

An’ neämes in naïls, a-left behind

By kinsvo’k dead an’ out o’ mind;

Zoo we did get on well enough

Wi’ things a-meäde ov English stuff.

But then, you know, a woaken stick

Wer cheap, vor woaken trees wer thick.

When poor wold Gramfer Green wer young,

He zaid a squirrel mid a-sprung

Along the dell, vrom tree to tree,

Vrom Woodcomb all the way to Lea;

An’ woak wer all vo’k did avvword,

Avore his time, vor bed or bwoard.

Lullaby.

The rook’s nest do rock on the tree-top

Where vew foes can stand;

The martin’s is high, an’ is deep

In the steep cliff o’ zand.

But thou, love, a-sleepèn where vootsteps

Mid come to thy bed,

Hast father an’ mother to watch thee

An’ shelter thy head.

Lullaby, Lilybrow. Lie asleep;

Blest be thy rest.

An’ zome birds do keep under ruffèn

Their young vrom the storm,

An’ zome wi’ nest-hoodèns o’ moss

And o’ wool, do lie warm.

An’ we wull look well to the houseruf

That o’er thee mid leäk,

An’ the blast that mid beät on thy winder

Shall not smite thy cheäk.

Lullaby, Lilibrow. Lie asleep;

Blest be thy rest.

Meary-Ann’s Child.

Meary–Ann wer alwone wi’ her beäby in eärms,

In her house wi’ the trees over head,

Vor her husban’ wer out in the night an’ the storms,

In his business a-tweilèn vor bread;

An’ she, as the wind in the elems did roar,

Did grievy vor Robert all night out o’ door.

An’ her kinsvo’k an’ naï’bours did zay ov her chile,

(Under the high elem tree),

That a prettier never did babble or smile

Up o’ top ov a proud mother’s knee;

An’ his mother did toss en, an’ kiss en, an’ call

En her darlèn, an’ life, an’ her hope, an’ her all.

But she vound in the evenèn the chile werden well,

(Under the dark elem tree),

An’ she thought she could gi’e all the worold to tell,

Vor a truth what his aïlèn mid be;

An’ she thought o’en last in her praÿers at night,

An’ she look’d at en last as she put out the light.

An’ she vound en grow wo’se in the dead o’ the night,

(Under the dark elem tree),

An’ she press’d en ageän her warm bosom so tight,

An’ she rock’d en so sorrowfully;

An’ there laid a-nestlèn the poor little bwoy,

Till his struggles grew weak, an’ his cries died awoy.

An’ the moon wer a-sheenèn down into the pleäce,

(Under the dark elem tree),

An’ his mother could zee that his lips an’ his feäce

Wer so white as cleän axen could be;

An’ her tongue wer a-tied an’ her still heart did zwell,

Till her senses come back wi’ the vu’st tear that vell.

Never mwore can she veel his warm feäce in her breast,

(Under the green elem tree),

Vor his eyes be a-shut, an’ his hands be at rest,

An’ he’s now vrom his païn a-zet free;

Vor his soul, we do know, is to heaven a-vled,

Where noo païn is a-known, an’ noo tears be a-shed.

Eclogue.

Father Come Hwome.

John, Wife, an’ Child.

CHILD.

O mother, mother! be the teäties done?

Here’s father now a-comèn down the track,

Hes got his nitch o’ wood upon his back,

An’ such a speäker in en! I’ll be bound,

He’s long enough to reach vrom ground

Up to the top ov ouer tun;

’Tis jist the very thing vor Jack an’ I

To goo a-colepecksèn wi’ by an’ by.

WIFE.

The teäties must be ready pretty nigh;

Do teäke woone up upon the fork’ an’ try.

The ceäke upon the vier, too, ’s a-burnèn,

I be afeärd: do run an’ zee, an’ turn en.

JOHN.

Well, mother! here I be woonce mwore, at hwome.

WIFE.

Ah! I be very glad you be a-come.

You be a-tired an’ cwold enough, I s’pose;

Zit down an’ rest your bwones, an’ warm your nose.

JOHN.

Why I be nippy: what is there to eat?

WIFE.

Your supper’s nearly ready. I’ve a got

Some teäties here a-doèn in the pot;

I wish wi’ all my heart I had some meat.

I got a little ceäke too, here, a-beäken o’n

Upon the vier. ’Tis done by this time though.

He’s nice an’ moist; vor when I wer a-meäken o’n

I stuck some bits ov apple in the dough.

CHILD.

Well, father; what d’ye think? The pig got out

This mornèn; an’ avore we zeed or heärd en,

He run about, an’ got out into geärden,

An’ routed up the groun’ zoo wi’ his snout!

JOHN.

Now only think o’ that! You must contrive

To keep en in, or else he’ll never thrive.

CHILD.

An’ father, what d’ye think? I voun’ today

The nest where thik wold hen ov our’s do lay:

’Twer out in orcha’d hedge, an’ had vive aggs.

WIFE.

Lo’k there: how wet you got your veet an’ lags!

How did ye get in such a pickle, Jahn?

JOHN.

I broke my hoss, an’ been a-fwo’ced to stan’

All’s day in mud an’ water vor to dig,

An’ meäde myzelf so wetshod as a pig.

CHILD.

Father, teäke off your shoes, then come, and I

Will bring your wold woones vor ye, nice an’ dry.

WIFE.

An’ have ye got much hedgèn mwore to do?

JOHN.

Enough to last vor dree weeks mwore or zoo.

WIFE.

An’ when y’ave done the job you be about,

D’ye think you’ll have another vound ye out?

JOHN.

O ees, there’ll be some mwore: vor after that,

I got a job o’ trenchèn to goo at;

An’ then zome trees to shroud, an’ wood to vell —

Zoo I do hope to rub on pretty well

Till zummer time; an’ then I be to cut

The wood an’ do the trenchèn by the tut.

CHILD.

An’ nex’ week, father, I’m a-gwaïn to goo

A-pickèn stwones, d’ye know, vor Farmer True.

WIFE.

An’ little Jack, you know, ’s a-gwaïn to eärn

A penny too, a-keepèn birds off corn.

JOHN.

O brave! What wages do ’e meän to gi’e?

WIFE.

She dreppence vor a day, an’ twopence he.

JOHN.

Well, Polly; thou must work a little spracker

When thou bist out, or else thou wu’ten pick

A dungpot lwoad o’ stwones up very quick.

CHILD.

Oh! yes I shall. But Jack do want a clacker:

An’ father, wull ye teäke an’ cut

A stick or two to meäke his hut.

JOHN.

You wench! why you be always up a-baggèn.

I be too tired now to-night, I’m sure,

To zet a-doèn any mwore:

Zoo I shall goo up out o’ the way o’ the waggon.

Eclogue.

A Ghost.

Jem an’ Dick.

JEM.

This is a darkish evenèn; b’ye a-feärd

O’ zights? Theäse leäne’s a-haunted, I’ve a heärd.

DICK.

No, I be’nt much a-feär’d. If vo’k don’t strive

To over-reach me while they be alive,

I don’t much think the dead wull ha’ the will

To come back here to do me any ill.

An’ I’ve a-been about all night, d’ye know,

Vrom candle-lightèn till the cock did crow;

But never met wi’ nothèn bad enough

To be much wo’se than what I be myzuf;

Though I, lik’ others, have a-heärd vo’k zay

The girt house is a-haunted, night an’ day.

JEM.

Aye; I do mind woone winter ’twer a-zaid

The farmer’s vo’k could hardly sleep a-bed,

They heärd at night such scuffèns an’ such jumpèns,

Such ugly naïses an’ such rottlèn thumpèns.

DICK.

Aye, I do mind I heärd his son, young Sammy,

Tell how the chairs did dance an’ doors did slammy;

He stood to it — though zome vo’k woulden heed en —

He didden only hear the ghost, but zeed en;

An’, hang me! if I han’t a’most a-shook,

To hear en tell what ugly sheäpes it took.

Did zometimes come vull six veet high, or higher,

In white, he zaid, wi’ eyes lik’ coals o’ vier;

An’ zometimes, wi’ a feäce so peäle as milk,

A smileless leädy, all a-deck’d in silk.

His heäir, he zaid, did use to stand upright,

So stiff’s a bunch o’ rushes, wi’ his fright.

JEM.

An’ then you know that zome’hat is a-zeed

Down there in leäne, an’ over in the meäd,

A-comèn zometimes lik’ a slinkèn hound,

Or rollèn lik’ a vleece along the ground.

An’ woonce, when gramfer wi’ his wold grey meäre

Wer ridèn down the leäne vrom Shroton feäir,

It roll’d so big’s a pack ov wool across

The road just under en, an’ leäm’d his hoss.

DICK.

Aye; did ye ever hear — vo’k zaid ’twer true —

O’ what bevell Jack Hine zome years agoo?

Woone vrosty night, d’ye know, at Chris’mas tide,

Jack, an’ another chap or two bezide,

’D a-been out, zomewhere up at tother end

O’ parish, to a naïghbour’s house to spend

A merry hour, an’ mid a-took a cup

Or two o’ eäle a-keepèn Chris’mas up;

Zoo I do lot ’twer leäte avore the peärty

’D a-burnt their bron out; I do lot, avore

They thought o’ turnèn out o’ door

’Twer mornèn, vor their friendship then wer hearty.

Well; clwose ageän the vootpath that do leäd

Vrom higher parish over withy-meäd,

There’s still a hollow, you do know: they tried there,

In former times, to meäke a cattle-pit,

But gie’d it up, because they coulden get

The water any time to bide there.

Zoo when the merry fellows got

Just overright theäse lwonesome spot,

Jack zeed a girt big house-dog wi’ a collar,

A-stannèn down in thik there hollor.

Lo’k there, he zaïd, there’s zome girt dog a-prowlèn:

I’ll just goo down an’ gi’e’n a goodish lick

Or two wi’ theäse here groun’-ash stick,

An’ zend the shaggy rascal hwome a-howlèn.

Zoo there he run, an’ gi’ed en a good whack

Wi’ his girt ashen stick a-thirt his back;

An’, all at woonce, his stick split right all down

In vower pieces; an’ the pieces vled

Out ov his hand all up above his head,

An’ pitch’d in vower corners o’ the groun’.

An’ then he velt his han’ get all so num’,

He coulden veel a vinger or a thum’;

An’ after that his eärm begun to zwell,

An’ in the night a-bed he vound

The skin o’t peelèn off all round.

’Twer near a month avore he got it well.

JEM.

That wer vor hettèn ō’n. He should a let en

Alwone d’ye zee: ’twer wicked vor to het en.

Sundry Pieces.

A Zong.

O Jenny, don’t sobby! vor I shall be true;

Noo might under heaven shall peärt me vrom you.

My heart will be cwold, Jenny, when I do slight

The zwell o’ thy bosom, thy eyes’ sparklèn light.

My kinsvo’k would faïn zee me teäke vor my meäte

A maïd that ha’ wealth, but a maïd I should heäte;

But I’d sooner leäbour wi’ thee vor my bride,

Than live lik’ a squier wi’ any bezide.

Vor all busy kinsvo’k, my love will be still

A-zet upon thee lik’ the vir in the hill;

An’ though they mid worry, an’ dreaten, an’ mock,

My head’s in the storm, but my root’s in the rock.

Zoo, Jenny, don’t sobby! vor I shall be true;

Noo might under heaven shall peärt me vrom you.

My heart will be cwold, Jenny, when I do slight

The zwell o’ thy bosom, thy eyes’ sparklèn light.

The Maid Vor My Bride.

Ah! don’t tell o’ maïdens! the woone vor my bride

Is little lik’ too many maïdens bezide —

Not brantèn, nor spitevul, nor wild; she’ve a mind

To think o’ what’s right, an’ a heart to be kind.

She’s straïght an’ she’s slender, but not over tall,

Wi’ lim’s that be lightsome, but not over small;

The goodness o’ heaven do breathe in her feäce,

An’ a queen, to be steätely, must walk wi’ her peäce.

Her frocks be a-meäde all becomèn an’ plaïn,

An’ cleän as a blossom undimm’d by a staïn;

Her bonnet ha’ got but two ribbons, a-tied

Up under her chin, or let down at the zide.

When she do speak to woone, she don’t steäre an’ grin;

There’s sense in her looks, vrom her eyes to her chin,

An’ her words be so kind, an’ her speech is so meek,

As her eyes do look down a-beginnèn to speak.

Her skin is so white as a lily, an’ each

Ov her cheäks is so downy an’ red as a peach;

She’s pretty a-zittèn; but oh! how my love

Do watch her to madness when woonce she do move.

An’ when she do walk hwome vrom church drough the groun’,

Wi’ woone eärm in mine, an’ wi’ woone a-hung down,

I do think, an’ do veel mwore o’ sheäme than o’ pride,

That do meäke me look ugly to walk by her zide.

Zoo don’t talk o’ maïden’s! the woone vor my bride

Is but little lik’ too many maïdens bezide —

Not brantèn, nor spitevul, nor wild; she’ve a mind

To think o’ what’s right, an’ a heart to be kind.

The Hwomestead.

If I had all the land my zight

Can overlook vrom Chalwell hill,

Vrom Sherborn left to Blanvord right,

Why I could be but happy still.

An’ I be happy wi’ my spot

O’ freehold ground an’ mossy cot,

An’ shoulden get a better lot

If I had all my will.

My orcha’d’s wide, my trees be young;

An’ they do bear such heavy crops,

Their boughs, lik’ onion-rwopes a-hung,

Be all a-trigg’d to year, wi’ props.

I got some geärden groun’ to dig,

A parrock, an’ a cow an’ pig;

I got zome cider vor to swig,

An’ eäle o’ malt an’ hops.

I’m landlord o’ my little farm,

I’m king ’ithin my little pleäce;

I don’t break laws, an’ don’t do harm,

An’ bent a-feär’d o’ noo man’s feäce.

When I’m a-cover’d wi’ my thatch,

Noo man do deäre to lift my latch;

Where honest han’s do shut the hatch,

There fear do leäve the pleäce.

My lofty elem trees do screen

My brown-ruf’d house, an’ here below,

My geese do strut athirt the green,

An’ hiss an’ flap their wings o’ snow;

As I do walk along a rank

Ov apple trees, or by a bank,

Or zit upon a bar or plank,

To see how things do grow.

The Farmer’s Woldest Dā’ter.

No, no! I ben’t a-runnèn down

The pretty maïden’s o’ the town,

Nor wishèn o’m noo harm;

But she that I would marry vu’st,

To sheäre my good luck or my crust,

’S a-bred up at a farm.

In town, a maïd do zee mwore life,

An’ I don’t under-reäte her;

But ten to woone the sprackest wife

’S a farmer’s woldest dā’ter.

Vor she do veed, wi’ tender ceäre,

The little woones, an’ peärt their heäir,

An’ keep em neat an’ pirty;

An’ keep the saucy little chaps

O’ bwoys in trim wi’ dreats an’ slaps,

When they be wild an’ dirty.

Zoo if you’d have a bus’lèn wife,

An’ childern well look’d after,

The maïd to help ye all drough life

’S a farmer’s woldest dā’ter.

An’ she can iorn up an’ vwold

A book o’ clothes wï’ young or wold,

An’ zalt an’ roll the butter;

An’ meäke brown bread, an’ elder wine,

An’ zalt down meat in pans o’ brine,

An’ do what you can put her.

Zoo if you’ve wherewi’, an’ would vind

A wife wo’th lookèn ā’ter,

Goo an’ get a farmer in the mind

To gi’e ye his woldest dā’ter.

Her heart’s so innocent an’ kind,

She idden thoughtless, but do mind

Her mother an’ her duty;

An’ livèn blushes, that do spread

Upon her healthy feäce o’ red,

Do heighten all her beauty;

So quick’s a bird, so neat’s a cat,

So cheerful in her neätur,

The best o’ maïdens to come at

’S a farmer’s woldest dā’ter.

Uncle Out O’ Debt an’ Out O’ Danger.

Ees; uncle had thik small hwomestead,

The leäzes an’ the bits o’ mead,

Besides the orcha’d in his prime,

An’ copse-wood vor the winter time.

His wold black meäre, that draw’d his cart,

An’ he, wer seldom long apeärt;

Vor he work’d hard an’ païd his woy,

An’ zung so litsom as a bwoy,

As he toss’d an’ work’d,

An’ blow’d an’ quirk’d,

“I’m out o’ debt an’ out o’ danger,

An’ I can feäce a friend or stranger;

I’ve a vist vor friends, an’ I’ll vind a peäir

Vor the vu’st that do meddle wi’ me or my meäre.”

His meäre’s long vlexy vetlocks grow’d

Down roun’ her hoofs so black an’ brode;

Her head hung low, her taïl reach’d down

A-bobbèn nearly to the groun’.

The cwoat that uncle mwostly wore

Wer long behind an’ straïght avore,

An’ in his shoes he had girt buckles,

An’ breeches button’d round his huckles;

An’ he zung wi’ pride,

By’s wold meäre’s zide,

“I’m out o’ debt an’ out o’ danger,

An’ I can feäce a friend or stranger;

I’ve a vist vor friends, an’ I’ll vind a peäir

Vor the vu’st that do meddle wi’ me or my meare.”

An’ he would work — an’ lwoad, an’ shoot,

An’ spur his heaps o’ dung or zoot;

Or car out haÿ, to sar his vew

Milch cows in corners dry an’ lew;

Or dreve a zyve, or work a pick,

To pitch or meäke his little rick;

Or thatch en up wi’ straw or zedge,

Or stop a shard, or gap, in hedge;

An’ he work’d an’ flung

His eärms, an’ zung

“I’m out o’ debt an’ out o’ danger,

An’ I can feäce a friend or stranger;

I’ve a vist vor friends, an’ I’ll vind a peäir

Vor the vu’st that do meddle wi’ me or my meare.”

An’ when his meäre an’ he’d a-done

Their work, an’ tired ev’ry bwone,

He zot avore the vire, to spend

His evenèn wi’ his wife or friend;

An’ wi’ his lags out-stratch’d vor rest,

An’ woone hand in his wes’coat breast,

While burnèn sticks did hiss an’ crack,

An’ fleämes did bleäzy up the back,

There he zung so proud

In a bakky cloud,

“I’m out o’ debt an’ out o’ danger,

An’ I can feäce a friend or stranger;

I’ve a vist vor friends, an’ I’ll vind a peäir

Vor the vu’st that do meddle wi’ me or my meare.”

From market how he used to ride,

Wi’ pot’s a-bumpèn by his zide

Wi’ things a-bought — but not vor trust,

Vor what he had he païd vor vu’st;

An’ when he trotted up the yard,

The calves did bleäry to be sar’d,

An’ pigs did scoat all drough the muck,

An’ geese did hiss, an’ hens did cluck;

An’ he zung aloud,

So pleased an’ proud,

“I’m out o’ debt an’ out o’ danger,

An’ I can feäce a friend or stranger;

I’ve a vist vor friends, an’ I’ll vind a peäir

Vor the vu’st that do meddle wi’ me or my meare.”

When he wer joggèn hwome woone night

Vrom market, after candle-light,

(He mid a-took a drop o’ beer,

Or midden, vor he had noo fear,)

Zome ugly, long-lagg’d, herrèn ribs,

Jump’d out an’ ax’d en vor his dibs;

But he soon gi’ed en such a mawlèn,

That there he left en down a-sprawlèn,

While he jogg’d along

Wi’ his own wold zong,

“I’m out o’ debt an’ out o’ danger,

An’ I can feäce a friend or stranger;

I’ve a vist vor friends, an’ I’ll vind a peäir

Vor the vu’st that do meddle wi’ me or my meare.”

The Church an’ Happy Zunday.

Ah! ev’ry day mid bring a while

O’ eäse vrom all woone’s ceäre an’ tweil,

The welcome evenèn, when ’tis sweet

Vor tired friends wi’ weary veet,

But litsome hearts o’ love, to meet;

An’ yet while weekly times do roll,

The best vor body an’ vor soul

’S the church an’ happy Zunday.

Vor then our loosen’d souls do rise

Wi’ holy thoughts beyond the skies,

As we do think o’ Him that shed

His blood vor us, an’ still do spread

His love upon the live an’ dead;

An’ how He gi’ed a time an’ pleäce

To gather us, an’ gi’e us greäce —

The church an’ happy Zunday.

There, under leänen mossy stwones,

Do lie, vorgot, our fathers’ bwones,

That trod this groun’ vor years agoo,

When things that now be wold wer new;

An’ comely maïdens, mild an’ true,

That meäde their sweet-hearts happy brides,

An’ come to kneel down at their zides

At church o’ happy Zundays.

’Tis good to zee woone’s naïghbours come

Out drough the churchyard, vlockèn hwome,

As woone do nod, an’ woone do smile,

An’ woone do toss another’s chile;

An’ zome be sheäken han’s, the while

Poll’s uncle, chuckèn her below

Her chin, do tell her she do grow,

At church o’ happy Zundays.

Zoo while our blood do run in vaïns

O’ livèn souls in theäsum plaïns,

Mid happy housen smoky round

The church an’ holy bit o’ ground;

An’ while their weddèn bells do sound,

Oh! mid em have the meäns o’ greäce,

The holy day an’ holy pleäce,

The church an’ happy Zunday.

The Wold Waggon.

The girt wold waggon uncle had,

When I wer up a hardish lad,

Did stand, a-screen’d vrom het an’ wet,

In zummer at the barken geäte,

Below the elems’ spreädèn boughs,

A-rubb’d by all the pigs an’ cows.

An’ I’ve a-clom his head an’ zides,

A-riggèn up or jumpèn down

A-plaÿèn, or in happy rides

Along the leäne or drough the groun’,

An’ many souls be in their greäves,

That rod’ together on his reäves;

An’ he, an’ all the hosses too,

’V a-ben a-done vor years agoo.

Upon his head an’ taïl wer pinks,

A-païnted all in tangled links;

His two long zides wer blue — his bed

Bent slightly upward at the head;

His reäves rose upward in a bow

Above the slow hind-wheels below.

Vour hosses wer a-kept to pull

The girt wold waggon when ’twer vull;

The black meäre Smiler, strong enough

To pull a house down by herzuf,

So big, as took my widest strides

To straddle halfway down her zides;

An’ champèn Vi’let, sprack an’ light,

That foam’d an’ pull’d wi’ all her might:

An’ Whitevoot, leäzy in the treäce,

Wi’ cunnèn looks an’ show-white feäce;

Bezides a baÿ woone, short-taïl Jack,

That wer a treäce-hoss or a hack.

How many lwoads o’ vuzz, to scald

The milk, thik waggon have a-haul’d!

An’ wood vrom copse, an’ poles vor raïls.

An’ bayèns wi’ their bushy taïls;

An’ loose-ear’d barley, hangèn down

Outzide the wheels a’móst to groun’,

An’ lwoads o’ haÿ so sweet an’ dry,

A-builded straïght, an’ long, an’ high;

An’ haÿ-meäkers, a-zittèn roun’

The reäves, a-ridèn hwome vrom groun’,

When Jim gi’ed Jenny’s lips a-smack,

An’ jealous Dicky whipp’d his back,

An’ maïdens scream’d to veel the thumps

A-gi’ed by trenches an’ by humps.

But he, an’ all his hosses too,

’V a-ben a-done vor years agoo.

The Drèven O’ the Common.2

In the common by our hwome

There wer freely-open room,

Vor our litty veet to roam

By the vuzzen out in bloom.

That wi’ prickles kept our lags

Vrom the skylark’s nest ov aggs;

While the peewit wheel’d around

Wi’ his cry up over head,

Or he sped, though a-limpèn, o’er the ground.

There we heärd the whickr’èn meäre

Wi’ her vaïce a-quiv’rèn high;

Where the cow did loudly bleäre

By the donkey’s vallèn cry.

While a-stoopèn man did zwing

His bright hook at vuzz or ling

Free o’ fear, wi’ wellglov’d hands,

O’ the prickly vuzz he vell’d,

Then sweet-smell’d as it died in faggot bands.

When the haÿward drove the stock

In a herd to zome oone pleäce,

Thither vo’k begun to vlock,

Each to own his beästes feäce.

While the geese, bezide the stream,

Zent vrom gapèn bills a scream,

An’ the cattle then avound,

Without right o’ greäzen there,

Went to bleäre braÿ or whicker in the pound.

2 The Driving of the Common was by the Hayward who, whenever he thought fit, would drive all the cattle into a corner and impound all heads belonging to owners without a right of commonage for them, so that they had to ransom them by a fine.]

The Common A-Took in.

Oh! no, Poll, no! Since they’ve a-took

The common in, our lew wold nook

Don’t seem a-bit as used to look

When we had runnèn room;

Girt banks do shut up ev’ry drong,

An’ stratch wi’ thorny backs along

Where we did use to run among

The vuzzen an’ the broom.

Ees; while the ragged colts did crop

The nibbled grass, I used to hop

The emmet-buts, vrom top to top,

So proud o’ my spry jumps:

Wi’ thee behind or at my zide,

A-skippèn on so light an’ wide

’S thy little frock would let thee stride,

Among the vuzzy humps.

Ah while the lark up over head

Did twitter, I did search the red

Thick bunch o’ broom, or yollow bed

O’ vuzzen vor a nest;

An’ thou di’st hunt about, to meet

Wi’ strawberries so red an’ sweet,

Or clogs or shoes off hosses veet,

Or wild thyme vor thy breast;

Or when the cows did run about

A-stung, in zummer, by the stout,

Or when they plaÿ’d, or when they foüght,

Di’st stand a-lookèn on:

An’ where white geese, wi’ long red bills,

Did veed among the emmet-hills,

There we did goo to vind their quills

Alongzide o’ the pon’.

What fun there wer among us, when

The haÿward come, wi’ all his men,

To drève the common, an’ to pen

Strange cattle in the pound;

The cows did bleäre, the men did shout

An’ toss their eärms an’ sticks about,

An’ vo’ks, to own their stock, come out

Vrom all the housen round.

A Wold Friend.

Oh! when the friends we us’d to know,

’V a-been a-lost vor years; an’ when

Zome happy day do come, to show

Their feäzen to our eyes ageän,

Do meäke us look behind, John,

Do bring wold times to mind, John,

Do meäke hearts veel, if they be steel,

All warm, an’ soft, an’ kind, John.

When we do lose, still gaÿ an’ young,

A vaïce that us’d to call woone’s neäme,

An’ after years ageän his tongue

Do sound upon our ears the seäme,

Do kindle love anew, John,

Do wet woone’s eyes wi’ dew, John,

As we do sheäke, vor friendship’s seäke,

His vist an’ vind en true, John.

What tender thoughts do touch woone’s soul,

When we do zee a meäd or hill

Where we did work, or plaÿ, or stroll,

An’ talk wi’ vaïces that be still;

’Tis touchèn vor to treäce, John,

Wold times drough ev’ry pleäce, John;

But that can’t touch woone’s heart so much,

As zome wold long-lost feäce, John.

The Rwose That Deck’d Her Breast.

Poor Jenny wer her Robert’s bride

Two happy years, an’ then he died;

An’ zoo the wold vo’k meäde her come,

Vorseäken, to her maïden hwome.

But Jenny’s merry tongue wer dum’;

An’ round her comely neck she wore

A murnèn kerchif, where avore

The rwose did deck her breast.

She walk’d alwone, wi’ eye-balls wet,

To zee the flow’rs that she’d a-zet;

The lilies, white’s her maïden frocks,

The spike, to put ’ithin her box,

Wi’ columbines an’ hollyhocks;

The jilliflow’r an’ noddèn pink,

An’ rwose that touch’d her soul to think

Ov woone that deck’d her breast.

Vor at her weddèn, just avore

Her maïden hand had yet a-wore

A wife’s goold ring, wi’ hangèn head

She walk’d along thik flower-bed,

Where stocks did grow, a-staïned wi’ red,

An’ meärygoolds did skirt the walk,

An’ gather’d vrom the rwose’s stalk

A bud to deck her breast.

An’ then her cheäk, wi’ youthvul blood

Wer bloomèn as the rwoses bud;

But now, as she wi’ grief do pine,

’Tis peäle’s the milk-white jessamine.

But Robert have a-left behine

A little beäby wi’ his feäce,

To smile, an’ nessle in the pleäce

Where the rwose did deck her breast.

Nanny’s Cow.

Ov all the cows, among the rest

Wer woone that Nanny lik’d the best;

An’ after milkèn us’d to stan’

A-veedèn o’ her, vrom her han’,

Wi’ grass or haÿ; an’ she know’d Ann,

An’ in the evenèn she did come

The vu’st, a-beätèn üp roun’ hwome

Vor Ann to come an’ milk her.

Her back wer hollor as a bow,

Her lags wer short, her body low;

Her head wer small, her horns turn’d in

Avore Her feäce so sharp’s a pin:

Her eyes wer vull, her ears wer thin,

An’ she wer red vrom head to taïl,

An’ didden start nor kick the païl,

When Nanny zot to milk her.

But losses zoon begun to vall

On Nanny’s fàther, that wi’ all

His tweil he voun’, wi’ breakèn heart,

That he mus’ leäve his ground, an’ peärt

Wi’ all his beäst an’ hoss an’ cart;

An’, what did touch en mwost, to zell

The red cow Nanny lik’d so well,

An’ lik’d vor her to milk her.

Zalt tears did run vrom Nanny’s eyes,

To hear her restless father’s sighs.

But as vor me, she mid be sure

I wont vorzeäke her now she’s poor,

Vor I do love her mwore an’ mwore;

An’ if I can but get a cow

An’ parrock, I’ll vulvil my vow,

An’ she shall come an’ milk her.

The Shep’erd Bwoy.

When the warm zummer breeze do blow over the hill,

An’ the vlock’s a-spread over the ground;

When the vaïce o’ the busy wold sheep dog is still,

An’ the sheep-bells do tinkle all round;

Where noo tree vor a sheäde but the thorn is a-vound,

There, a zingèn a zong,

Or a-whislèn among

The sheep, the young shep’erd do bide all day long.

When the storm do come up wi’ a thundery cloud

That do shut out the zunlight, an’ high

Over head the wild thunder do rumble so loud,

An’ the lightnèn do flash vrom the sky,

Where noo shelter’s a-vound but his hut, that is nigh,

There out ov all harm,

In the dry an’ the warm,

The poor little shep’erd do smile at the storm.

When the cwold winter win’ do blow over the hill,

An’ the hore-vrost do whiten the grass,

An’ the breath o’ the no’th is so cwold, as to chill

The warm blood ov woone’s heart as do pass;

When the ice o’ the pond is so slipp’ry as glass,

There, a-zingèn a zong,

Or a-whislèn among

The sheep, the poor shep’erd do bide all day long.

When the shearèn’s a-come, an’ the shearers do pull

In the sheep, hangèn back a-gwaïn in,

Wi’ their roun’ zides a-heavèn in under their wool,

To come out all a-clipp’d to the skin;

When the feästèn, an’ zingèn, an fun do begin,

Vor to help em, an’ sheäre

All their me’th an’ good feäre,

The poor little shep’erd is sure to be there.

Hope A-Left Behind.

Don’t try to win a maïden’s heart,

To leäve her in her love — ’tis wrong:

’Tis bitter to her soul to peärt

Wi’ woone that is her sweetheart long.

A maïd’s vu’st love is always strong;

An’ if do faïl, she’ll linger on,

Wi’ all her best o’ pleasure gone,

An’ hope a-left behind her.

Thy poor lost Jenny wer a-grow’d

So kind an’ thoughtvul vor her years,

When she did meet wi’ vo’k a-know’d

The best, her love did speak in tears.

She walk’d wi’ thee, an’ had noo fears

O’ thy unkindness, till she zeed

Herzelf a-cast off lik’ a weed,

An’ hope a-left behind her.

Thy slight turn’d peäle her cherry lip;

Her sorrow, not a-zeed by eyes,

Wer lik’ the mildew, that do nip

A bud by darksome midnight skies.

The day mid come, the zun mid rise,

But there’s noo hope o’ day nor zun;

The storm ha’ blow’d, the harm’s a-done,

An’ hope’s a-left behind her.

The time will come when thou wouldst gi’e

The worold vor to have her smile,

Or meet her by the parrock tree,

Or catch her jumpèn off the stile;

Thy life’s avore thee vor a while,

But thou wilt turn thy mind in time,

An’ zee the deèd as ’tis — a crime,

An’ hope a-left behind thee.

Zoo never win a maïden’s heart,

But her’s that is to be thy bride,

An’ plaÿ drough life a manly peärt,

An’ if she’s true when time ha’ tried

Her mind, then teäke her by thy zide.

True love will meäke thy hardships light,

True love will meäke the worold bright,

When hope’s a-left behind thee.

A Good Father.

No; mind thy father. When his tongue

Is keen, he’s still thy friend, John,

Vor wolder vo’k should warn the young

How wickedness will end, John;

An’ he do know a wicked youth

Would be thy manhood’s beäne,

An’ zoo would bring thee back ageän

’Ithin the ways o’ truth.

An’ mind en still when in the end

His leäbour’s all a-done, John,

An’ let en vind a steadvast friend

In thee his thoughtvul son, John;

Vor he did win what thou didst lack

Avore couldst work or stand,

An’ zoo, when time do num’ his hand,

Then pay his leäbour back.

An’ when his bwones be in the dust,

Then honour still his neäme, John;

An’ as his godly soul wer just,

Let thine be voun’ the seäme, John.

Be true, as he wer true, to men,

An’ love the laws o’ God;

Still tread the road that he’ve a-trod,

An’ live wi’ him ageän.

The Beam in Grenley Church.

In church at Grenley woone mid zee

A beam vrom wall to wall; a tree

That’s longer than the church is wide,

An’ zoo woone end o’n’s drough outside —

Not cut off short, but bound all round

Wi’ lead, to keep en seäfe an’ sound.

Back when the builders vu’st begun

The church — as still the teäle do run —

A man work’d wi’ em; no man knew

Who ’twer, nor whither he did goo.

He wer as harmless as a chile,

An’ work’d ’ithout a frown or smile,

Till any woaths or strife did rise

To overcast his sparklèn eyes:

An’ then he’d call their minds vrom strife,

To think upon another life.

He wer so strong, that all alwone

He lifted beams an’ blocks o’ stwone,

That others, with the girtest païns,

Could hardly wag wi’ bars an’ chaïns;

An’ yet he never used to staÿ

O’ Zaturdays, to teäke his paÿ.

Woone day the men wer out o’ heart,

To have a beam a-cut too short;

An’ in the evenèn, when they shut

Off work, they left en where ’twer put;

An’ while dumb night went softly by

Towárds the vi’ry western sky,

A-lullèn birds, an’ shuttèn up

The deäisy an’ the butter cup,

They went to lay their heavy heads

An’ weary bwones upon their beds.

An’ when the dewy mornèn broke,

An’ show’d the worold, fresh awoke,

Their godly work ageän, they vound

The beam they left upon the ground

A-put in pleäce, where still do bide,

An’ long enough to reach outzide.

But he unknown to tother men

Wer never there at work ageän:

Zoo whether he mid be a man

Or angel, wi’ a helpèn han’,

Or whether all o’t wer a dream,

They didden deäre to cut the beam.

The Vaïces That Be Gone.

When evenèn sheädes o’ trees do hide

A body by the hedge’s zide,

An’ twitt’rèn birds, wi’ plaÿsome flight,

Do vlee to roost at comèn night,

Then I do saunter out o’ zight

In orcha’d, where the pleäce woonce rung

Wi’ laughs a-laugh’d an’ zongs a-zung

By vaïces that be gone.

There’s still the tree that bore our swing,

An’ others where the birds did zing;

But long-leav’d docks do overgrow

The groun’ we trampled heäre below,

Wi’ merry skippèns to an’ fro

Bezide the banks, where Jim did zit

A-plaÿèn o’ the clarinit

To vaïces that be gone.

How mother, when we us’d to stun

Her head wi’ all our naïsy fun,

Did wish us all a-gone vrom hwome:

An’ now that zome be dead, an’ zome

A-gone, an’ all the pleäce is dum’,

How she do wish, wi’ useless tears,

To have ageän about her ears

The vaïces that be gone.

Vor all the maïdens an’ the bwoys

But I, be marri’d off all woys,

Or dead an’ gone; but I do bide

At hwome, alwone, at mother’s zide,

An’ often, at the evenèn-tide,

I still do saunter out, wi’ tears,

Down drough the orcha’d, where my ears

Do miss the vaïces gone.

Poll.

When out below the trees, that drow’d

Their scraggy lim’s athirt the road,

While evenèn zuns, a’móst a-zet,

Gi’ed goolden light, but little het,

The merry chaps an’ maïdens met,

An’ look’d to zomebody to neäme

Their bit o’ fun, a dance or geäme,

’Twer Poll they cluster’d round.

An’ after they’d a-had enough

O’ snappèn tongs, or blind-man’s buff,

O’ winter nights, an’ went an’ stood

Avore the vire o’ bleäzen wood,

Though there wer maïdens kind an’ good,

Though there wer maïdens feäir an’ tall,

’Twer Poll that wer the queen o’m all,

An’ Poll they cluster’d round.

An’ when the childern used to catch

A glimpse o’ Poll avore the hatch,

The little things did run to meet

Their friend wi’ skippèn tott’rèn veet

An’ thought noo other kiss so sweet

As hers; an’ nwone could vind em out

Such geämes to meäke em jump an’ shout,

As Poll they cluster’d round.

An’ now, since she’ve a-left em, all

The pleäce do miss her, girt an’ small.

In vaïn vor them the zun do sheen

Upon the lwonesome rwoad an’ green;

Their zwing do hang vorgot between

The leänen trees, vor they’ve a-lost

The best o’ maïdens, to their cost,

The maïd they cluster’d round.

Looks A-Know’d Avore.

While zome, a-gwaïn from pleäce to pleäce,

Do daily meet wi’ zome new feäce,

When my day’s work is at an end,

Let me zit down at hwome, an’ spend

A happy hour wi’ zome wold friend,

An’ by my own vire-zide rejaïce

In zome wold naïghbour’s welcome vaïce,

An’ looks I know’d avore, John.

Why is it, friends that we’ve a-met

By zuns that now ha’ long a-zet,

Or winter vires that bleäzed for wold

An’ young vo’k, now vor ever cwold,

Be met wi’ jaÿ that can’t be twold?

Why, ’tis because they friends have all

Our youthvul spring ha’ left our fall —

The looks we know’d avore, John.

’Tis lively at a feäir, among

The chattèn, laughèn, shiften drong,

When wold an’ young, an’ high an’ low,

Do streamy round, an’ to an’ fro;

But what new feäce that we don’t know,

Can ever meäke woone’s warm heart dance

Among ten thousan’, lik’ a glance

O’ looks we know’d avore, John.

How of’en have the wind a-shook

The leaves off into yonder brook,

Since vu’st we two, in youthvul strolls,

Did ramble roun’ them bubblèn shoals!

An’ oh! that zome o’ them young souls,

That we, in jaÿ, did plaÿ wi’ then

Could come back now, an’ bring ageän

The looks we know’d avore, John.

So soon’s the barley’s dead an’ down,

The clover-leaf do rise vrom groun’,

An’ wolder feäzen do but goo

To be a-vollow’d still by new;

But souls that be a-tried an’ true

Shall meet ageän beyond the skies,

An’ bring to woone another’s eyes

The looks they know’d avore, John.

The Music O’ The Dead.

When music, in a heart that’s true,

Do kindle up wold loves anew,

An’ dim wet eyes, in feäirest lights,

Do zee but inward fancy’s zights;

When creepèn years, wi’ with’rèn blights,

’V a-took off them that wer so dear,

How touchèn ’tis if we do hear

The tuèns o’ the dead, John.

When I, a-stannèn in the lew

O’ trees a storm’s a-beätèn drough,

Do zee the slantèn mist a-drove

By spitevul winds along the grove,

An’ hear their hollow sounds above

My shelter’d head, do seem, as I

Do think o’ zunny days gone by.

Lik’ music vor the dead, John.

Last night, as I wer gwaïn along

The brook, I heärd the milk-maïd’s zong

A-ringèn out so clear an’ shrill

Along the meäds an’ roun’ the hill.

I catch’d the tuèn, an’ stood still

To hear ’t; ’twer woone that Jeäne did zing

A-vield a-milkèn in the spring —

Sweet music o’ the dead, John.

Don’t tell o’ zongs that be a-zung

By young chaps now, wi’ sheämeless tongue:

Zing me wold ditties, that would start

The maïden’s tears, or stir my heart

To teäke in life a manly peärt —

The wold vo’k’s zongs that twold a teäle,

An’ vollow’d round their mugs o’ eäle,

The music o’ the dead, John.

The Pleäce a Teäle’s a-Twold O’.

Why tidden vields an’ runnèn brooks,

Nor trees in Spring or fall;

An’ tidden woody slopes an’ nooks,

Do touch us mwost ov all;

An’ tidden ivy that do cling

By housen big an’ wold, O,

But this is, after all, the thing —

The pleäce a teäle’s a-twold o’.

At Burn, where mother’s young friends know’d

The vu’st her maïden neäme,

The zunny knaps, the narrow road

An’ green, be still the seäme;

The squier’s house, an’ ev’ry ground

That now his son ha’ zwold, O,

An’ ev’ry wood he hunted round

’S a pleäce a teäle’s a-twold o’.

The maïd a-lov’d to our heart’s core,

The dearest of our kin,

Do meäke us like the very door

Where they went out an’ in.

’Tis zome’hat touchèn that bevel

Poor flesh an’ blood o’ wold, O,

Do meäke us like to zee so well

The pleäce a teäle’s a-twold o’.

When blushèn Jenny vu’st did come

To zee our Poll o’ nights,

An’ had to goo back leätish hwome,

Where vo’k did zee the zights,

A-chattèn loud below the sky

So dark, an’ winds so cwold, O,

How proud wer I to zee her by

The pleäce the teäle’s a-twold o’.

Zoo whether ’tis the humpy ground

That wer a battle viel’,

Or mossy house, all ivy-bound,

An’ vallèn down piece-meal;

Or if ’tis but a scraggy tree,

Where beauty smil’d o’ wold, O,

How dearly I do like to zee

The pleäce a teäle’s a-twold o’.

Aunt’s Tantrums.

Why ees, aunt Anne’s a little staïd,

But kind an’ merry, poor wold maïd!

If we don’t cut her heart wi’ slights,

She’ll zit an’ put our things to rights,

Upon a hard day’s work, o’ nights;

But zet her up, she’s jis’ lik’ vier,

An’ woe betide the woone that’s nigh ’er.

When she is in her tantrums.

She’ll toss her head, a-steppèn out

Such strides, an’ fling the païls about;

An’ slam the doors as she do goo,

An’ kick the cat out wi’ her shoe,

Enough to het her off in two.

The bwoys do bundle out o’ house,

A-lassen they should get a towse,

When aunt is in her tantrums.

She whurr’d, woone day, the wooden bowl

In such a veag at my poor poll;

It brush’d the heäir above my crown,

An’ whizz’d on down upon the groun’,

An’ knock’d the bantam cock right down,

But up he sprung, a-teäkèn flight

Wi’ tothers, cluckèn in a fright,

Vrom aunt in such a tantrum!

But Dick stole in, an’ reach’d en down

The biggest blather to be voun’,

An’ crope an’ put en out o’ zight

Avore the vire, an’ plimm’d en tight

An crack’d en wi’ the slice thereright

She scream’d, an’ bundled out o’ house,

An’ got so quiet as a mouse —

It frighten’d off her tantrum.

The Stwonèn Pworch.

A new house! Ees, indeed! a small

Straïght, upstart thing, that, after all,

Do teäke in only half the groun’

The wold woone did avore ’twer down;

Wi’ little windows straïght an’ flat,

Not big enough to zun a-cat,

An’ dealèn door a-meäde so thin,

A puff o’ wind would blow en in,

Where woone do vind a thing to knock

So small’s the hammer ov a clock,

That wull but meäke a little click

About so loud’s a clock do tick!

Gi’e me the wold house, wi’ the wide

An’ lofty-lo’ted rooms inside;

An’ wi’ the stwonèn pworch avore

The naïl-bestudded woaken door,

That had a knocker very little

Less to handle than a bittle,

That het a blow that vled so loud

Drough house as thunder drough a cloud.

An’ meäde the dog behind the door

Growl out so deep’s a bull do roar.

In all the house, o’ young an’ wold,

There werden woone but could a-twold

When he’d noo wish to seek abrode

Mwore jaÿ than thik wold pworch bestow’d!

For there, when yollow evenèn shed

His light ageän the elem’s head,

An’ gnots did whiver in the zun,

An’ uncle’s work wer all a-done,

His whiffs o’ meltèn smoke did roll

Above his bendèn pipe’s white bowl,

While he did chat, or, zittèn dumb,

Injaÿ his thoughts as they did come.

An’ Jimmy, wi’ his crowd below

His chin, did dreve his nimble bow

In tuèns vor to meäke us spring

A-reelèn, or in zongs to zing,

An’ there, between the dark an’ light,

Zot Poll by Willy’s zide at night

A-whisp’rèn, while her eyes did zwim

In jaÿ avore the twilight dim;

An’ when (to know if she wer near)

Aunt call’d, did cry, “Ees, mother; here.”

No, no; I woulden gi’e thee thanks

Vor fine white walls an’ vloors o’ planks,

Nor doors a-päinted up so fine.

If I’d a wold grey house o’ mine,

Gi’e me vor all it should be small,

A stwonèn pworch instead ō’t all.

Farmer’s Sons.

Ov all the chaps a-burnt so brown

By zunny hills an’ hollors,

Ov all the whindlèn chaps in town

Wi’ backs so weak as rollers,

There’s narn that’s half so light o’ heart,

(I’ll bet, if thou’t zay “done,” min,)

An’ narn that’s half so strong an’ smart,

’S a merry farmer’s son, min.

He’ll fling a stwone so true’s a shot,

He’ll jump so light’s a cat;

He’ll heave a waïght up that would squot

A weakly fellow flat.

He wont gi’e up when things don’t faÿ,

But turn em into fun, min;

An’ what’s hard work to zome, is plaÿ

Avore a farmer’s son, min.

His bwony eärm an’ knuckly vist

(’Tis best to meäke a friend o’t)

Would het a fellow, that’s a-miss’d,

Half backward wi’ the wind o’t.

Wi’ such a chap at hand, a maïd

Would never goo a nun, min;

She’d have noo call to be afraïd

Bezide a farmer’s son, min.

He’ll turn a vurrow, drough his langth,

So straïght as eyes can look,

Or pitch all day, wi’ half his strangth,

At ev’ry pitch a pook;

An’ then goo vower mile, or vive,

To vind his friends in fun, min,

Vor maïden’s be but dead alive

’Ithout a farmer’s son, min.

Zoo jaÿ be in his heart so light,

An’ manly feäce so brown;

An’ health goo wi’ en hwome at night,

Vrom meäd, or wood, or down.

O’ rich an’ poor, o’ high an’ low,

When all’s a-said an’ done, min,

The smartest chap that I do know,

’S a workèn farmer’s son, min.

Jeäne.

We now mid hope vor better cheer,

My smilèn wife o’ twice vive year.

Let others frown, if thou bist near

Wi’ hope upon thy brow, Jeäne;

Vor I vu’st lov’d thee when thy light

Young sheäpe vu’st grew to woman’s height;

I loved thee near, an’ out o’ zight,

An’ I do love thee now, Jeäne.

An’ we’ve a-trod the sheenèn bleäde

Ov eegrass in the zummer sheäde,

An’ when the leäves begun to feäde

Wi’ zummer in the weäne, Jeäne;

An’ we’ve a-wander’d drough the groun’

O’ swayèn wheat a-turnèn brown,

An’ we’ve a-stroll’d together roun’

The brook an’ drough the leäne, Jeane.

An’ nwone but I can ever tell

Ov all thy tears that have a-vell

When trials meäde thy bosom zwell,

An’ nwone but thou o’ mine, Jeäne;

An’ now my heart, that heav’d wi’ pride

Back then to have thee at my zide,

Do love thee mwore as years do slide,

An’ leäve them times behine, Jeäne.

The Dree Woaks.

By the brow o’ thik hangèn I spent all my youth,

In the house that did peep out between

The dree woaks, that in winter avworded their lewth,

An’ in zummer their sheäde to the green;

An’ there, as in zummer we play’d at our geämes,

We ēach own’d a tree,

Vor we wer but dree,

An’ zoo the dree woaks wer a-call’d by our neämes.

An’ two did grow scraggy out over the road,

An’ they wer call’d Jimmy’s an’ mine;

An’ tother wer Jeännet’s, much kindlier grow’d,

Wi’ a knotless an’ white ribbèd rine.

An’ there, o’ fine nights avore gwäin in to rest,

We did dance, vull o’ life,

To the sound o’ the fife,

Or plaÿ at some geäme that poor Jeännet lik’d best.

Zoo happy wer we by the woaks o’ the green,

Till we lost sister Jeännet, our pride;

Vor when she wer come to her last blushèn teen,

She suddenly zicken’d an’ died.

An’ avore the green leaves in the fall wer gone by,

The lightnèn struck dead

Her woaken tree’s head,

An’ left en a-stripp’d to the wintery sky.

But woone ov his eäcorns, a-zet in the Fall,

Come up the Spring after, below

The trees at her head-stwone ’ithin the church-wall,

An’ mother, to see how did grow,

Shed a tear; an’ when father an’ she wer bwoth dead,

There they wer laid deep,

Wi’ their Jeännet, to sleep,

Wi’ her at his zide, an’ her tree at her head.

An’ vo’k do still call the wold house the dree woaks,

Vor thik is a-reckon’d that’s down,

As mother, a-neämèn her childern to vo’ks,

Meäde dree when but two wer a-voun’;

An’ zaid that hereafter she knew she should zee

Why God, that’s above,

Vound fit in his love

To strike wi’ his han’ the poor maïd an’ her tree.

The Hwomestead A-Vell Into Hand.

The house where I wer born an’ bred,

Did own his woaken door, John,

When vu’st he shelter’d father’s head,

An’ gramfer’s long avore, John.

An’ many a ramblèn happy chile,

An’ chap so strong an’ bwold,

An’ bloomèn maïd wi’ plaÿsome smile,

Did call their hwome o’ wold

Thik ruf so warm,

A kept vrom harm

By elem trees that broke the storm.

An’ in the orcha’d out behind,

The apple-trees in row, John,

Did swaÿ wi’ moss about their rind

Their heads a-noddèn low, John.

An’ there, bezide zome groun’ vor corn,

Two strips did skirt the road;

In woone the cow did toss her horn,

While tother wer a-mow’d,

In June, below

The lofty row

Ov trees that in the hedge did grow.

A-workèn in our little patch

O’ parrock, rathe or leäte, John,

We little ho’d how vur mid stratch

The squier’s wide esteäte, John.

Our hearts, so honest an’ so true,

Had little vor to fear;

Vor we could pay up all their due

An’ gi’e a friend good cheer

At hwome, below

The lofty row

O’ trees a-swaÿèn to an’ fro.

An’ there in het, an’ there in wet,

We tweil’d wi’ busy hands, John;

Vor ev’ry stroke o’ work we het,

Did better our own lands, John.

But after me, ov all my kin,

Not woone can hold em on;

Vor we can’t get a life put in

Vor mine, when I’m a-gone

Vrom thik wold brown

Thatch ruf, a-boun’

By elem trees a-growèn roun’.

Ov eight good hwomes, where, I can mind

Vo’k liv’d upon their land, John,

But dree be now a-left behind;

The rest ha’ vell in hand, John,

An’ all the happy souls they ved

Be scatter’d vur an’ wide.

An’ zome o’m be a-wantèn bread,

Zome, better off, ha’ died,

Noo mwore to ho,

Vor homes below

The trees a-swaÿen to an’ fro.

An’ I could leäd ye now all round

The parish, if I would, John,

An’ show ye still the very ground

Where vive good housen stood, John

In broken orcha’ds near the spot,

A vew wold trees do stand;

But dew do vall where vo’k woonce zot

About the burnèn brand

In housen warm,

A-kept vrom harm

By elems that did break the storm.

The Guide Post.

Why thik wold post so long kept out,

Upon the knap, his eärms astrout,

A-zendèn on the weary veet

By where the dree cross roads do meet;

An’ I’ve a-come so much thik woy,

Wi’ happy heart, a man or bwoy,

That I’d a-meäde, at last, a’móst

A friend o’ thik wold guidèn post.

An’ there, wi’ woone white eärm he show’d,

Down over bridge, the Leyton road;

Wi’ woone, the leäne a-leädèn roun’

By Bradlinch Hill, an’ on to town;

An’ wi’ the last, the way to turn

Drough common down to Rushiburn —

The road I lik’d to goo the mwost

Ov all upon the guidèn post.

The Leyton road ha’ lofty ranks

Ov elem trees upon his banks;

The woone athirt the hill do show

Us miles o’ hedgy meäds below;

An’ he to Rushiburn is wide

Wi’ strips o’ green along his zide,

An’ ouer brown-ruf’d house a-móst

In zight o’ thik wold guidèn post.

An’ when the haÿ-meäkers did zwarm

O’ zummer evenèns out vrom farm.

The merry maïdens an’ the chaps,

A-peärtèn there wi’ jokes an’ slaps,

Did goo, zome woone way off, an’ zome

Another, all a-zingèn hwome;

Vor vew o’m had to goo, at mwost,

A mile beyond the guidèn post.

Poor Nanny Brown, woone darkish night,

When he’d a-been a-païnted white,

Wer frighten’d, near the gravel pits,

So dead’s a hammer into fits,

A-thinkèn ’twer the ghost she know’d

Did come an’ haunt the Leyton road;

Though, after all, poor Nanny’s ghost

Turn’d out to be the guidèn post.

Gwain to Feäir.

To morrow stir so brisk’s you can,

An’ get your work up under han’;

Vor I an’ Jim, an’ Poll’s young man,

Shall goo to feäir; an’ zoo,

If you wull let us gi’e ye a eärm

Along the road, or in the zwarm

O’ vo’k, we’ll keep ye out o’ harm,

An’ gi’e ye a feäirèn too.

We won’t stay leäte there, I’ll be boun’;

We’ll bring our sheädes off out o’ town

A mile, avore the zun is down,

If he’s a sheenèn clear.

Zoo when your work is all a-done,

Your mother can’t but let ye run

An’ zee a little o’ the fun,

There’s nothèn there to fear.

Jeäne O’ Grenley Mill.

When in happy times we met,

Then by look an’ deed I show’d,

How my love wer all a-zet

In the smiles that she bestow’d.

She mid have, o’ left an’ right,

Maïdens feäirest to the zight;

I’d a-chose among em still,

Pretty Jeäne o’ Grenley Mill.

She wer feäirer, by her cows

In her work-day frock a-drest,

Than the rest wi’ scornvul brows

All a-flantèn in their best.

Gaÿ did seem, at feäst or feäir,

Zights that I had her to sheäre;

Gaÿ would be my own heart still,

But vor Jeäne o’ Grenley Mill.

Jeäne — a-checkèn ov her love —

Leän’d to woone that, as she guess’d,

Stood in worldly wealth above

Me she know’d she lik’d the best.

He wer wild, an’ soon run drough

All that he’d a-come into,

Heartlessly a-treatèn ill

Pretty Jeäne o’ Grenley Mill.

Oh! poor Jenny! thou’st a tore

Hopèn love vrom my poor heart,

Losèn vrom thy own small store,

All the better, sweeter peärt.

Hearts a-slighted must vorseäke

Slighters, though a-doom’d to break;

I must scorn, but love thee still,

Pretty Jeäne o’ Grenley Mill.

Oh! if ever thy soft eyes

Could ha’ turn’d vrom outward show,

To a lover born to rise

When a higher woone wer low;

If thy love, when zoo a-tried,

Could ha’ stood ageän thy pride,

How should I ha’ lov’d thee still,

Pretty Jeäne o’ Grenley Mill.

The Bells Ov Alderburnham.

While now upon the win’ do zwell

The church-bells’ evenèn peal, O,

Along the bottom, who can tell

How touch’d my heart do veel, O.

To hear ageän, as woonce they rung

In holidays when I wer young,

Wi’ merry sound

A-ringèn round,

The bells ov Alderburnham.

Vor when they rung their gaÿest peals

O’ zome sweet day o’ rest, O,

We all did ramble drough the viels,

A-dress’d in all our best, O;

An’ at the bridge or roarèn weir,

Or in the wood, or in the gleäre

Ov open ground,

Did hear ring round

The bells ov Alderburnham.

They bells, that now do ring above

The young brides at church-door, O,

Woonce rung to bless their mother’s love,

When they were brides avore, O.

An’ sons in tow’r do still ring on

The merry peals o’ fathers gone,

Noo mwore to sound,

Or hear ring round,

The bells ov Alderburnham.

Ov happy peäirs, how soon be zome

A-wedded an’ a-peärted!

Vor woone ov jaÿ, what peals mid come

To zome o’s broken-hearted!

The stronger mid the sooner die,

The gaÿer mid the sooner sigh;

An’ who do know

What grief’s below

The bells ov Alderburnham!

But still ’tis happiness to know

That there’s a God above us;

An’ he, by day an’ night, do ho

Vor all ov us, an’ love us,

An’ call us to His house, to heal

Our hearts, by his own Zunday peal

Ov bells a-rung

Vor wold an’ young,

The bells ov Alderburnham.

The Girt Wold House O’ Mossy Stwone.

The girt wold house o’ mossy stwone,

Up there upon the knap alwone,

Had woonce a bleäzèn kitchèn-vier,

That cook’d vor poor-vo’k an’ a squier.

The very last ov all the reäce

That liv’d the squier o’ the pleäce,

Died off when father wer a-born,

An’ now his kin be all vorlorn

Vor ever — vor he left noo son

To teäke the house o’ mossy stwone.

An’ zoo he vell to other hands,

An’ gramfer took en wi’ the lands:

An’ there when he, poor man, wer dead,

My father shelter’d my young head.

An’ if I wer a squier, I

Should like to spend my life, an’ die

In thik wold house o’ mossy stwone,

Up there upon the knap alwone.

Don’t talk ov housen all o’ brick,

Wi’ rockèn walls nine inches thick,

A-trigg’d together zide by zide

In streets, wi’ fronts a straddle wide,

Wi’ yards a-sprinkled wi’ a mop,

Too little vor a vrog to hop;

But let me live an’ die where I

Can zee the ground, an’ trees, an’ sky.

The girt wold house o’ mossy stwone

Had wings vor either sheäde or zun:

Woone where the zun did glitter drough,

When vu’st he struck the mornèn dew;

Woone feäced the evenèn sky, an’ woone

Push’d out a pworch to zweaty noon:

Zoo woone stood out to break the storm,

An’ meäde another lew an’ warm.

An’ there the timber’d copse rose high,

Where birds did build an’ heäres did lie,

An’ beds o’ grægles in the lew,

Did deck in Maÿ the ground wi’ blue.

An’ there wer hills an’ slopèn grounds,

That they did ride about wi’ hounds;

An’ drough the meäd did creep the brook

Wi’ bushy bank an’ rushy nook,

Where perch did lie in sheädy holes

Below the alder trees, an’ shoals

O’ gudgeon darted by, to hide

Theirzelves in hollows by the zide.

An’ there by leänes a-windèn deep,

Wer mossy banks a-risèn steep;

An’ stwonèn steps, so smooth an’ wide,

To stiles an’ vootpaths at the zide.

An’ there, so big’s a little ground,

The geärden wer a-wall’d all round:

An’ up upon the wall wer bars

A-sheäped all out in wheels an’ stars,

Vor vo’k to walk, an’ look out drough

Vrom trees o’ green to hills o’ blue.

An’ there wer walks o’ peävement, broad

Enough to meäke a carriage-road,

Where steätely leädies woonce did use

To walk wi’ hoops an’ high-heel shoes,

When yonder hollow woak wer sound,

Avore the walls wer ivy-bound,

Avore the elems met above

The road between em, where they drove

Their coach all up or down the road

A-comèn hwome or gwaïn abroad.

The zummer aïr o’ theäse green hill

’V a-heav’d in bosoms now all still,

An’ all their hopes an’ all their tears

Be unknown things ov other years.

But if, in heaven, souls be free

To come back here; or there can be

An e’thly pleäce to meäke em come

To zee it vrom a better hwome —

Then what’s a-twold us mid be right,

That still, at dead o’ tongueless night,

Their gauzy sheäpes do come an’ glide

By vootways o’ their youthvul pride.

An’ while the trees do stan’ that grow’d

Vor them, or walls or steps they know’d

Do bide in pleäce, they’ll always come

To look upon their e’thly hwome.

Zoo I would always let alwone

The girt wold house o’ mossy stwone:

I woulden pull a wing o’n down,

To meäke ther speechless sheädes to frown;

Vor when our souls, mid woonce become

Lik’ their’s, all bodiless an’ dumb,

How good to think that we mid vind

Zome thought vrom them we left behind,

An’ that zome love mid still unite

The hearts o’ blood wi’ souls o’ light.

Zoo, if ’twer mine, I’d let alwone

The girt wold house o’ mossy stwone.

A Witch.

There’s thik wold hag, Moll Brown, look zee, jus’ past!

I wish the ugly sly wold witch

Would tumble over into ditch;

I woulden pull her out not very vast.

No, no. I don’t think she’s a bit belied,

No, she’s a witch, aye, Molly’s evil-eyed.

Vor I do know o’ many a-withrèn blight

A-cast on vo’k by Molly’s mutter’d spite;

She did, woone time, a dreadvul deäl o’ harm

To Farmer Gruff’s vo’k, down at Lower Farm.

Vor there, woone day, they happened to offend her,

An’ not a little to their sorrow,

Because they woulden gi’e or lend her

Zome’hat she come to bag or borrow;

An’ zoo, they soon began to vind

That she’d agone an’ left behind

Her evil wish that had such pow’r,

That she did meäke their milk an’ eäle turn zour,

An’ addle all the aggs their vowls did lay;

They coulden vetch the butter in the churn,

An’ all the cheese begun to turn

All back ageän to curds an’ whey;

The little pigs, a-runnèn wi’ the zow,

Did zicken, zomehow, noobody know’d how,

An’ vall, an’ turn their snouts towárd the sky.

An’ only gi’e woone little grunt, and die;

An’ all the little ducks an’ chickèn

Wer death-struck out in yard a-pickèn

Their bits o’ food, an’ vell upon their head,

An’ flapp’d their little wings an’ drapp’d down dead.

They coulden fat the calves, they woulden thrive;

They coulden seäve their lambs alive;

Their sheep wer all a-coath’d, or gi’ed noo wool;

The hosses vell away to skin an’ bwones,

An’ got so weak they coulden pull

A half a peck o’ stwones:

The dog got dead-alive an’ drowsy,

The cat vell zick an’ woulden mousy;

An’ every time the vo’k went up to bed,

They wer a-hag-rod till they wer half dead.

They us’d to keep her out o’ house, ’tis true,

A-naïlèn up at door a hosses shoe;

An’ I’ve a-heärd the farmer’s wife did try

To dawk a needle or a pin

In drough her wold hard wither’d skin,

An’ draw her blood, a-comèn by:

But she could never vetch a drap,

For pins would ply an’ needless snap

Ageän her skin; an’ that, in coo’se,

Did meäke the hag bewitch em woo’se.

Eclogue.

The Times.

John an’ Tom.

JOHN.

Well, Tom, how be’st? Zoo thou’st a-got thy neäme

Among the leaguers, then, as I’ve a heärd.

TOM.

Aye, John, I have, John; an’ I ben’t afeärd

To own it. Why, who woulden do the seäme?

We shant goo on lik’ this long, I can tell ye.

Bread is so high an’ wages be so low,

That, after workèn lik’ a hoss, you know,

A man can’t eärn enough to vill his belly.

JOHN.

Ah! well! Now there, d’ye know, if I wer sure

That theäsem men would gi’e me work to do

All drough the year, an’ always pay me mwore

Than I’m a-eärnèn now, I’d jein em too.

If I wer sure they’d bring down things so cheap,

That what mid buy a pound o’ mutton now

Would buy the hinder quarters, or the sheep,

Or what wull buy a pig would buy a cow:

In short, if they could meäke a shillèn goo

In market just so vur as two,

Why then, d’ye know, I’d be their man;

But, hang it! I don’t think they can.

TOM.

Why ees they can, though you don’t know’t,

An’ theäsem men can meäke it clear.

Why vu’st they’d zend up members ev’ry year

To Parli’ment, an’ ev’ry man would vote;

Vor if a fellow midden be a squier,

He mid be just so fit to vote, an’ goo

To meäke the laws at Lon’on, too,

As many that do hold their noses higher.

Why shoulden fellows meäke good laws an’ speeches

A-dressed in fusti’n cwoats an’ cord’roy breeches?

Or why should hooks an’ shovels, zives an’ axes,

Keep any man vrom votèn o’ the taxes?

An’ when the poor’ve a-got a sheäre

In meäkèn laws, they’ll teäke good ceäre

To meäke some good woones vor the poor.

Do stan’ by reason, John; because

The men that be to meäke the laws,

Will meäke em vor theirzelves, you mid be sure.

JOHN.

Ees, that they wull. The men that you mid trust

To help you, Tom, would help their own zelves vu’st.

TOM.

Aye, aye. But we would have a better plan

O’ votèn, than the woone we got. A man,

As things be now, d’ye know, can’t goo an’ vote

Ageän another man, but he must know’t.

We’ll have a box an’ balls, vor votèn men

To pop their hands ’ithin, d’ye know; an’ then,

If woone don’t happen vor to lik’ a man,

He’ll drop a little black ball vrom his han’,

An’ zend en hwome ageän. He woon’t be led

To choose a man to teäke away his bread.

JOHN.

But if a man you midden like to ’front,

Should chance to call upon ye, Tom, zome day,

An’ ax ye vor your vote, what could ye zay?

Why if you woulden answer, or should grunt

Or bark, he’d know you’d meän “I won’t.”

To promise woone a vote an’ not to gi’e’t,

Is but to be a liar an’ a cheat.

An’ then, bezides, when he did count the balls,

An’ vind white promises a-turn’d half black;

Why then he’d think the voters all a pack

O’ rogues together — ev’ry woone o’m false.

An’ if he had the power, very soon

Perhaps he’d vall upon em, ev’ry woone.

The times be pinchèn me, so well as you,

But I can’t tell what ever they can do.

TOM.

Why meäke the farmers gi’e their leäbourèn men

Mwore wages — half or twice so much ageän

As what they got.

JOHN.

But, Thomas, you can’t meäke

A man pay mwore away than he can teäke.

If you do meäke en gi’e, to till a vield,

So much ageän as what the groun’ do yield,

He’ll shut out farmèn — or he’ll be a goose —

An’ goo an’ put his money out to use.

Wages be low because the hands be plenty;

They mid be higher if the hands wer skenty.

Leäbour, the seäme’s the produce o’ the yield,

Do zell at market price — jist what ’till yield.

Thou wouldsten gi’e a zixpence, I do guess,

Vor zix fresh aggs, if zix did zell for less.

If theäsem vo’k could come an’ meäke mwore lands,

If they could teäke wold England in their hands

An’ stratch it out jist twice so big ageän,

They’d be a-doèn some’hat vor us then.

TOM.

But if they wer a-zent to Parli’ment

To meäke the laws, dost know, as I’ve a-zaid,

They’d knock the corn-laws on the head;

An’ then the landlards must let down their rent,

An’ we should very soon have cheaper bread:

Farmers would gi’e less money vor their lands.

JOHN.

Aye, zoo they mid, an’ prices mid be low’r

Vor what their land would yield; an’ zoo their hands

Would be jist where they wer avore.

An’ if theäse men wer all to hold together,

They coulden meäke new laws to change the weather!

They ben’t so mighty as to think o’ frightenèn

The vrost an’ raïn, the thunder an’ the lightenèn!

An’ as vor me, I don’t know what to think

O’ them there fine, big-talkèn, cunnèn,

Strange men, a-comèn down vrom Lon’on.

Why they don’t stint theirzelves, but eat an’ drink

The best at public-house where they do staÿ;

They don’t work gratis, they do get their paÿ.

They woulden pinch theirzelves to do us good,

Nor gi’e their money vor to buy us food.

D’ye think, if we should meet em in the street

Zome day in Lon’on, they would stand a treat?

TOM.

They be a-païd, because they be a-zent

By corn-law vo’k that be the poor man’s friends,

To tell us all how we mid gaïn our ends,

A-zendèn peäpers up to Parli’ment.

JOHN.

Ah! teäke ceäre how dost trust em. Dost thou know

The funny feäble o’ the pig an’ crow?

Woone time a crow begun to strut an’ hop

About some groun’ that men’d a-been a-drillèn

Wi’ barley or some wheat, in hopes o’ villèn

Wi’ good fresh corn his empty crop.

But lik’ a thief, he didden like the païns

O’ workèn hard to get en a vew graïns;

Zoo while the sleeky rogue wer there a-huntèn,

Wi’ little luck, vor corns that mid be vound

A-peckèn vor, he heärd a pig a-gruntèn

Just tother zide o’ hedge, in tother ground.

“Ah!” thought the cunnèn rogue, an’ gi’ed a hop,

“Ah! that’s the way vor me to vill my crop;

Aye, that’s the plan, if nothèn don’t defeät it.

If I can get thik pig to bring his snout

In here a bit an’ turn the barley out,

Why, hang it! I shall only have to eat it.”

Wi’ that he vled up straïght upon a woak,

An’ bowèn, lik’ a man at hustèns, spoke:

“My friend,” zaid he, “that’s poorish livèn vor ye

In thik there leäze. Why I be very zorry

To zee how they hard-hearted vo’k do sarve ye.

You can’t live there. Why! do they meän to starve ye?”

“Ees,” zaid the pig, a-gruntèn, “ees;

What wi’ the hosses an’ the geese,

There’s only docks an’ thissles here to chaw.

Instead o’ livèn well on good warm straw,

I got to grub out here, where I can’t pick

Enough to meäke me half an ounce o’ flick.”

“Well,” zaid the crow, “d’ye know, if you’ll stan’ that,

You mussen think, my friend, o’ gettèn fat.

D’ye want some better keep? Vor if you do,

Why, as a friend, I be a-come to tell ye,

That if you’ll come an’ jus’ get drough

Theäse gap up here, why you mid vill your belly.

Why, they’ve a-been a-drillèn corn, d’ye know,

In theäse here piece o’ groun’ below;

An’ if you’ll just put in your snout,

An’ run en up along a drill,

Why, hang it! you mid grub it out,

An’ eat, an’ eat your vill.

Their idden any fear that vo’k mid come,

Vor all the men be jist a-gone in hwome.”

The pig, believèn ev’ry single word

That wer a-twold en by the cunnèn bird

Wer only vor his good, an’ that ’twer true,

Just gi’ed a grunt, an’ bundled drough,

An’ het his nose, wi’ all his might an’ maïn,

Right up a drill, a-routèn up the graïn;

An’ as the cunnèn crow did gi’e a caw

A-praisèn ō’n, oh! he did veel so proud!

An’ work’d, an’ blow’d, an’ toss’d, an’ ploughed

The while the cunnèn crow did vill his maw.

An’ after workèn till his bwones

Did eäche, he soon begun to veel

That he should never get a meal,

Unless he dined on dirt an’ stwones.

“Well,” zaid the crow, “why don’t ye eat?”

“Eat what, I wonder!” zaid the heäiry plougher.

A-brislèn up an’ lookèn rather zour;

“I don’t think dirt an’ flints be any treat.”

“Well,” zaid the crow, “why you be blind.

What! don’t ye zee how thick the corn do lie

Among the dirt? An’ don’t ye zee how I

Do pick up all that you do leäve behind?

I’m zorry that your bill should be so snubby.”

“No,” zaid the pig, “methinks that I do zee

My bill will do uncommon well vor thee,

Vor thine wull peck, an’ mine wull grubby.”

An’ just wi’ this a-zaid by mister Flick

To mister Crow, wold John the farmer’s man

Come up, a-zwingèn in his han’

A good long knotty stick,

An’ laid it on, wi’ all his might,

The poor pig’s vlitches, left an’ right;

While mister Crow, that talk’d so fine

O’ friendship, left the pig behine,

An’ vled away upon a distant tree,

Vor pigs can only grub, but crows can vlee.

TOM.

Aye, thik there teäle mid do vor childern’s books:

But you wull vind it hardish for ye

To frighten me, John, wi’ a storry

O’ silly pigs an’ cunnèn rooks.

If we be grubbèn pigs, why then, I s’pose,

The farmers an’ the girt woones be the crows.

JOHN.

’Tis very odd there idden any friend

To poor-vo’k hereabout, but men mus’ come

To do us good away from tother end

Ov England! Han’t we any frien’s near hwome?

I mus’ zay, Thomas, that ’tis rather odd

That strangers should become so very civil —

That ouer vo’k be childern o’ the Devil,

An’ other vo’k be all the vo’k o’ God!

If we’ve a-got a friend at all,

Why who can tell — I’m sure thou cassen —

But that the squier, or the pa’son,

Mid be our friend, Tom, after all?

The times be hard, ’tis true! an’ they that got

His blessèns, shoulden let theirzelves vorget

How ’tis where the vo’k do never zet

A bit o’ meat within their rusty pot.

The man a-zittèn in his easy chair

To flesh, an’ vowl, an’ vish, should try to speäre

The poor theäse times, a little vrom his store;

An’ if he don’t, why sin is at his door.

TOM.

Ah! we won’t look to that; we’ll have our right —

If not by feäir meäns, then we wull by might.

We’ll meäke times better vor us; we’ll be free

Ov other vo’k an’ others’ charity.

JOHN.

Ah! I do think you mid as well be quiet;

You’ll meäke things wo’se, i’-ma’-be, by a riot.

You’ll get into a mess, Tom, I’m afeärd;

You’ll goo vor wool, an’ then come hwome a-sheär’d.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/barnes/william/rural/book1.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:39