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

Third Collection.

Woone Smile Mwore.

O! Meäry, when the zun went down,

Woone night in Spring, wi’ vi’ry rim,

Behind thik nap wi’ woody crown,

An’ left your smilèn feäce so dim;

Your little sister there, inside,

Wi’ bellows on her little knee,

Did blow the vier, a-glearèn wide

Drough window-peänes, that I could zee —

As you did stan’ wi’ me, avore

The house, a-peärten — woone smile mwore.

The chatt’rèn birds, a-risèn high,

An’ zinkèn low, did swiftly vlee

Vrom shrinkèn moss, a-growèn dry,

Upon the leänèn apple tree.

An’ there the dog, a-whippèn wide

His heäiry taïl, an’ comèn near,

Did fondly lay ageän your zide

His coal-black nose an’ russet ear:

To win what I’d a-won avore,

Vrom your gaÿ feäce, his woone smile mwore.

An’ while your mother bustled sprack,

A-gettèn supper out in hall,

An’ cast her sheäde, a-whiv’rèn black

Avore the vier, upon the wall;

Your brother come, wi’ easy peäce,

In drough the slammèn geäte, along

The path, wi’ healthy-bloomèn feäce,

A-whis’lèn shrill his last new zong;

An’ when he come avore the door,

He met vrom you his woone smile mwore.

Now you that wer the daughter there,

Be mother on a husband’s vloor,

An’ mid ye meet wi’ less o’ ceäre

Than what your hearty mother bore;

An’ if abroad I have to rue

The bitter tongue, or wrongvul deed,

Mid I come hwome to sheäre wi’ you

What’s needvul free o’ pinchèn need:

An’ vind that you ha’ still in store,

My evenèn meal, an’ woone smile mwore.

The Echo.

About the tow’r an’ churchyard wall,

Out nearly overright our door,

A tongue ov wind did always call

Whatever we did call avore.

The vaïce did mock our neämes, our cheers,

Our merry laughs, our hands’ loud claps,

An’ mother’s call “Come, come, my dears”

my dears;

Or “Do as I do bid, bad chaps”

bad chaps.

An’ when o’ Zundays on the green,

In frocks an’ cwoats as gaÿ as new,

We walk’d wi’ shoes a-meäde to sheen

So black an’ bright’s a vull-ripe slooe

We then did hear the tongue ov aïr

A-mockèn mother’s vaïce so thin,

“Come, now the bell do goo vor praÿ’r”

vor pray’r;

“’Tis time to goo to church; come in”

come in.

The night when little Anne, that died,

Begun to zickèn, back in Maÿ,

An’ she, at dusk ov evenèn-tide,

Wer out wi’ others at their plaÿ,

Within the churchyard that do keep

Her little bed, the vaïce o’ thin

Dark aïr, mock’d mother’s call “To sleep”

to sleep;

“’Tis bed time now, my love, come in”

come in.

An’ when our Jeäne come out so smart

A-married, an’ we help’d her in

To Henry’s newly-païnted cart,

The while the wheels begun to spin,

An’ her gaÿ nods, vor all she smil’d,

Did sheäke a tear-drop vrom each eye,

The vaïce mock’d mother’s call, “Dear child”

dear child;

“God bless ye evermwore; good bye”

good bye.

Vull a Man.

No, I’m a man, I’m vull a man,

You beät my manhood, if you can.

You’ll be a man if you can teäke

All steätes that household life do meäke.

The love-toss’d child, a-croodlèn loud,

The bwoy a-screamèn wild in plaÿ,

The tall grown youth a-steppèn proud,

The father staïd, the house’s staÿ.

No; I can boast if others can,

I’m vull a man.

A young-cheäk’d mother’s tears mid vall,

When woone a-lost, not half man-tall,

Vrom little hand, a-called vrom plaÿ,

Do leäve noo tool, but drop a taÿ,

An’ die avore he’s father-free

To sheäpe his life by his own plan;

An’ vull an angel he shall be,

But here on e’th not vull a man,

No; I could boast if others can,

I’m vull a man.

I woonce, a child, wer father-fed,

An’ I’ve a vound my childern bread;

My eärm, a sister’s trusty crook,

Is now a faïthvul wife’s own hook;

An’ I’ve a-gone where vo’k did zend,

An’ gone upon my own free mind,

An’ of’en at my own wits’ end.

A-led o’ God while I wer blind.

No; I could boast if others can

I’m vull a man.

An’ still, ov all my tweil ha’ won,

My lovèn maïd an’ merry son,

Though each in turn’s a jaÿ an’ ceäre,

’Ve a-had, an’ still shall have, their sheäre:

An’ then, if God should bless their lives,

Why I mid zend vrom son to son

My life, right on drough men an’ wives,

As long, good now, as time do run.

No; I could boast if others can,

I’m vull a man.

Naighbour Plaÿmeätes.

O jaÿ betide the dear wold mill,

My naïghbour plaÿmeätes’ happy hwome,

Wi’ rollèn wheel, an’ leäpèn foam,

Below the overhangèn hill,

Where, wide an’ slow,

The stream did flow,

An’ flags did grow, an’ lightly vlee

Below the grey-leav’d withy tree,

While clack, clack, clack, vrom hour to hour,

Wi’ whirlèn stwone, an’ streamèn flour,

Did goo the mill by cloty Stour.

An’ there in geämes by evenèn skies,

When Meäry zot her down to rest,

The broach upon her pankèn breast,

Did quickly vall an’ lightly rise,

While swans did zwim

In steätely trim.

An’ swifts did skim the water, bright

Wi’ whirlèn froth, in western light;

An’ clack, clack, clack, that happy hour,

Wi’ whirlèn stwone, an’ streamèn flour,

Did goo the mill by cloty Stour.

Now mortery jeints, in streaks o’ white,

Along the geärdèn wall do show

In Maÿ, an’ cherry boughs do blow,

Wi’ bloomèn tutties, snowy white,

Where rollèn round,

Wi’ rumblèn sound,

The wheel woonce drown’d the vaïce so dear

To me. I faïn would goo to hear

The clack, clack, clack, vor woone short hour,

Wi’ whirlèn stwone, an’ streamèn flour,

Bezide the mill on cloty Stour.

But should I vind a-heavèn now

Her breast wi’ aïr o’ thik dear pleäce?

Or zee dark locks by such a brow,

Or het o’ plaÿ on such a feäce?

No! She’s now staïd,

An’ where she plaÿ’d,

There’s noo such maïd that now ha’ took

The pleäce that she ha’ long vorsook,

Though clack, clack, clack, vrom hour to hour,

Wi’ whirlèn stwone an’ streamèn flour,

Do goo the mill by cloty Stour.

An’ still the pulley rwope do heist

The wheat vrom red-wheeled waggon beds.

An’ ho’ses there wi’ lwoads of grist,

Do stand an’ toss their heavy heads;

But on the vloor,

Or at the door,

Do show noo mwore the kindly feäce

Her father show’d about the pleäce,

As clack, clack, clack, vrom hour to hour,

Wi’ whirlèn stwone, an’ streamèn flour,

Did goo his mill by cloty Stour.

The Lark.

As I, below the mornèn sky,

Wer out a workèn in the lew

O’ black-stemm’d thorns, a-springèn high,

Avore the worold-boundèn blue,

A-reäkèn, under woak tree boughs,

The orts a-left behin’ by cows.

Above the grey-grow’d thistle rings,

An’ deäisy-buds, the lark, in flight,

Did zing a-loft, wi’ flappèn wings,

Tho’ mwore in heärèn than in zight;

The while my bwoys, in plaÿvul me’th,

Did run till they wer out o’ breath.

Then woone, wi’ han’-besheäded eyes,

A-stoppèn still, as he did run,

Look’d up to zee the lark arise

A-zingèn to the high-gone zun;

The while his brother look’d below

Vor what the groun’ mid have to show

Zoo woone did watch above his head

The bird his hands could never teäke;

An’ woone, below, where he did tread,

Vound out the nest within the breäke;

But, aggs be only woonce a-vound,

An’ uncaught larks ageän mid sound.

The Two Churches.

A happy day, a happy year.

A zummer Zunday, dazzlèn clear,

I went athirt vrom Lea to Noke.

To goo to church wi’ Fanny’s vo’k:

The sky o’ blue did only show

A cloud or two, so white as snow,

An’ aïr did swaÿ, wi’ softest strokes,

The eltrot roun’ the dark-bough’d woaks.

O day o’ rest when bells do toll!

O day a-blest to ev’ry soul!

How sweet the zwells o’ Zunday bells.

An’ on the cowslip-knap at Creech,

Below the grove o’ steätely beech,

I heärd two tow’rs a-cheemèn clear,

Vrom woone I went, to woone drew near,

As they did call, by flow’ry ground,

The bright-shod veet vrom housen round,

A-drownèn wi’ their holy call,

The goocoo an’ the water-vall.

Die off, O bells o’ my dear pleäce,

Ring out, O bells avore my feäce,

Vull sweet your zwells, O ding-dong bells.

Ah! then vor things that time did bring

My kinsvo’k, Lea had bells to ring;

An’ then, ageän, vor what bevell

My wife’s, why Noke church had a bell;

But soon wi’ hopevul lives a-bound

In woone, we had woone tower’s sound,

Vor our high jaÿs all vive bells rung

Our losses had woone iron tongue.

Oh! ring all round, an’ never mwoän

So deep an’ slow woone bell alwone,

Vor sweet your swells o’ vive clear bells.

Woak Hill.

When sycamore leaves wer a-spreadèn,

Green-ruddy, in hedges,

Bezide the red doust o’ the ridges,

A-dried at Woak Hill;

I packed up my goods all a-sheenèn

Wi’ long years o’ handlèn,

On dousty red wheels ov a waggon,

To ride at Woak Hill.

The brown thatchen ruf o’ the dwellèn,

I then wer a-leävèn,

Had shelter’d the sleek head o’ Meäry,

My bride at Woak Hill.

But now vor zome years, her light voot-vall

’S a-lost vrom the vloorèn.

Too soon vor my jaÿ an’ my childern,

She died at Woak Hill.

But still I do think that, in soul,

She do hover about us;

To ho vor her motherless childern,

Her pride at Woak Hill.

Zoo — lest she should tell me hereafter

I stole off ’ithout her,

An’ left her, uncall’d at house-riddèn,

To bide at Woak Hill —

I call’d her so fondly, wi’ lippèns

All soundless to others,

An’ took her wi’ aïr-reachèn hand,

To my zide at Woak Hill.

On the road I did look round, a-talkèn

To light at my shoulder,

An’ then led her in at the door-way,

Miles wide vrom Woak Hill.

An’ that’s why vo’k thought, vor a season,

My mind wer a-wandrèn

Wi’ sorrow, when I wer so sorely

A-tried at Woak Hill.

But no; that my Meäry mid never

Behold herzelf slighted,

I wanted to think that I guided

My guide vrom Woak Hill.

The Hedger.

Upon the hedge theäse bank did bear,

Wi’ lwonesome thought untwold in words,

I woonce did work, wi’ noo sound there

But my own strokes, an’ chirpèn birds;

As down the west the zun went wan,

An’ days brought on our Zunday’s rest,

When sounds o’ cheemèn bells did vill

The aïr, an’ hook an’ axe wer stïll.

Along the wold town-path vo’k went,

An’ met unknown, or friend wi’ friend,

The maïd her busy mother zent,

The mother wi’ noo maïd to zend;

An’ in the light the gleäzier’s glass,

As he did pass, wer dazzlèn bright,

Or woone went by wï’ down-cast head,

A wrapp’d in blackness vor the dead.

An’ then the bank, wi’ risèn back,

That’s now a-most a-troddèn down,

Bore thorns wi’ rind o’ sheeny black,

An’ meäple stems o’ ribby brown;

An’ in the lewth o’ theäse tree heads,

Wer primrwose beds a-sprung in blooth,

An’ here a geäte, a-slammèn to,

Did let the slow-wheel’d plough roll drough.

Ov all that then went by, but vew

Be now a-left behine’, to beät

The mornèn flow’rs or evenèn dew,

Or slam the woakèn vive-bar’d geäte;

But woone, my wife, so litty-stepp’d,

That have a-kept my path o’ life,

Wi’ her vew errands on the road,

Where woonce she bore her mother’s lwoad.

In the Spring.

My love is the maïd ov all maïdens,

Though all mid be comely,

Her skin’s lik’ the jessamy blossom

A-spread in the Spring.

Her smile is so sweet as a beäby’s

Young smile on his mother,

Her eyes be as bright as the dew drop

A-shed in the Spring.

O grey-leafy pinks o’ the geärden,

Now bear her sweet blossoms;

Now deck wi’ a rwose-bud, O briar.

Her head in the Spring.

O light-rollèn wind blow me hither,

The väice ov her talkèn,

Or bring vrom her veet the light doust,

She do tread in the Spring.

O zun, meäke the gil’cups all glitter,

In goold all around her;

An’ meäke o’ the deäisys’ white flowers

A bed in the Spring.

O whissle gaÿ birds, up bezide her,

In drong-waÿ, an’ woodlands,

O zing, swingèn lark, now the clouds,

Be a-vled in the Spring.

An’ who, you mid ax, be my praïses

A-meäkèn so much o’,

An’ oh! ’tis the maïd I’m a-hopèn

To wed in the Spring.

The Flood in Spring.

Last night below the elem in the lew

Bright the sky did gleam

On water blue, while aïr did softly blow

On the flowèn stream,

An’ there wer gil’cups’ buds untwold,

An’ deäisies that begun to vwold

Their low-stemm’d blossoms vrom my zight

Ageän the night, an’ evenèn’s cwold.

But, oh! so cwold below the darksome cloud

Soon the night-wind roar’d,

Wi’ raïny storms that zent the zwollèn streams

Over ev’ry vword.

The while the drippèn tow’r did tell

The hour, wi’ storm-be-smother’d bell,

An’ over ev’ry flower’s bud

Roll’d on the flood, ’ithin the dell.

But when the zun arose, an’ lik’ a rwose

Shone the mornèn sky;

An’ roun’ the woak, the wind a-blowèn weak,

Softly whiver’d by.

Though drown’d wer still the deaïsy bed

Below the flood, its feäce instead

O’ flow’ry grown’, below our shoes

Show’d feäirest views o’ skies o’er head.

An’ zoo to try if all our faïth is true

Jaÿ mid end in tears,

An’ hope, woonce feäir, mid saddèn into fear,

Here in e’thly years.

But He that tried our soul do know

To meäke us good amends, an’ show

Instead o’ things a-took awaÿ,

Some higher jaÿ that He’ll bestow.

Comen Hwome.

As clouds did ride wi’ heästy flight.

An’ woods did swäy upon the height,

An’ bleädes o’ grass did sheäke, below

The hedge-row bremble’s swingèn bow,

I come back hwome where winds did zwell,

In whirls along the woody gleädes,

On primrwose beds, in windy sheädes,

To Burnley’s dark-tree’d dell.

There hills do screen the timber’s bough,

The trees do screen the leäze’s brow,

The timber-sheäded leäze do bear

A beäten path that we do wear.

The path do stripe the leäze’s zide,

To willows at the river’s edge.

Where hufflèn winds did sheäke the zedge

An’ sparklèn weäves did glide.

An’ where the river, bend by bend,

Do dräin our meäd, an’ mark its end,

The hangèn leäze do teäke our cows,

An’ trees do sheäde em wi’ their boughs,

An’ I the quicker beät the road,

To zee a-comèn into view,

Still greener vrom the sky-line’s blue,

Wold Burnley our abode.

Grammer A-Crippled.

“The zunny copse ha’ birds to zing,

The leäze ha’ cows to low,

The elem trees ha’ rooks on wing,

The meäds a brook to flow,

But I can walk noo mwore, to pass

The drashel out abrode,

To wear a path in theäse year’s grass

Or tread the wheelworn road,”

Cried Grammer, “then adieu,

O runnèn brooks,

An’ vleèn rooks,

I can’t come out to you.

If ’tis God’s will, why then ’tis well,

That I should bide ’ithin a wall.”

An’ then the childern, wild wi’ fun,

An’ loud wi’ jaÿvul sounds,

Sprung in an’ cried, “We had a run,

A-plaÿèn heäre an’ hounds;

But oh! the cowslips where we stopt

In Maÿcreech, on the knap!”

An’ vrom their little han’s each dropt

Some cowslips in her lap.

Cried Grammer, “Only zee!

I can’t teäke strolls,

An’ little souls

Would bring the vields to me.

Since ’tis God’s will, an’ mus’ be well

That I should bide ’ithin a wall.”

“Oh! there be prison walls to hold

The han’s o’ lawless crimes,

An’ there be walls arear’d vor wold

An’ zick in tryèn times;

But oh! though low mid slant my ruf,

Though hard my lot mid be,

Though dry mid come my daily lwoaf,

Mid mercy leäve me free!”

Cried Grammer, “Or adieu

To jaÿ; O grounds,

An’ bird’s gaÿ sounds

If I mus’ gi’e up you,

Although ’tis well, in God’s good will,

That I should bide ’ithin a wall.”

“Oh! then,” we answer’d, “never fret,

If we shall be a-blest,

We’ll work vull hard drough het an’ wet

To keep your heart at rest:

To woaken chair’s vor you to vill,

For you shall glow the coal,

An’ when the win’ do whissle sh’ill

We’ll screen it vrom your poll.”

Cried Grammer, “God is true.

I can’t but feel

He smote to heal

My wounded heart in you;

An’ zoo ’tis well, if ’tis His will,

That I be here ’ithin a wall.”

The Castle Ruins.

A happy day at Whitsuntide,

As soon’s the zun begun to vall,

We all stroll’d up the steep hill-zide

To Meldon, girt an’ small;

Out where the castle wall stood high

A-mwoldrèn to the zunny sky.

An’ there wi’ Jenny took a stroll

Her youngest sister, Poll, so gaÿ,

Bezide John Hind, ah! merry soul,

An’ mid her wedlock faÿ;

An’ at our zides did play an’ run

My little maïd an’ smaller son.

Above the beäten mwold upsprung

The driven doust, a-spreadën light,

An’ on the new-leav’d thorn, a-hung,

Wer wool a-quiv’rèn white;

An’ corn, a sheenèn bright, did bow,

On slopèn Meldon’s zunny brow.

There, down the rufless wall did glow

The zun upon the grassy vloor,

An’ weakly-wandrèn winds did blow,

Unhinder’d by a door;

An’ smokeless now avore the zun

Did stan’ the ivy-girded tun.

My bwoy did watch the daws’ bright wings

A-flappèn vrom their ivy bow’rs;

My wife did watch my maïd’s light springs,

Out here an’ there vor flow’rs;

And John did zee noo tow’rs, the pleäce

Vor him had only Polly’s feäce.

An’ there, of all that pried about

The walls, I overlook’d em best,

An’ what o’ that? Why, I meäde out

Noo mwore than all the rest:

That there wer woonce the nest of zome

That wer a-gone avore we come.

When woonce above the tun the smoke

Did wreathy blue among the trees,

An’ down below, the livèn vo’k,

Did tweil as brisk as bees;

Or zit wi’ weary knees, the while

The sky wer lightless to their tweil.


John, Jealous at Shroton Feäir.

Jeäne; her Brother; John, her Sweetheart; and Racketèn Joe


I’m thankvul I be out o’ that

Thick crowd, an’ not asquot quite flat.

That ever we should plunge in where the vo’k do drunge

So tight’s the cheese-wring on the veät!

I’ve sca’ce a thing a-left in pleäce.

’Tis all a-tore vrom pin an’ leäce.

My bonnet’s like a wad, a-beät up to a dod,

An’ all my heäir’s about my feäce.


Here, come an’ zit out here a bit,

An’ put yourzelf to rights.


No, Jeäne; no, no! Now you don’t show

The very wo’st o’ plights.


Come, come, there’s little harm adone;

Your hoops be out so roun’s the zun.


An’ there’s your bonnet back in sheäpe.


An’ there’s your pin, and there’s your ceäpe.


An’ there your curls do match, an’ there

’S the vittiest maïd in all the feäir.


Now look, an’ tell us who’s a-spied

Vrom Sturminster, or Manston zide.


There’s rantèn Joe! How he do stalk,

An’ zwang his whip, an’ laugh, an’ talk!


An’ how his head do wag, avore his steppèn lag.

Jist like a pigeon’s in a walk!


Heigh! there, then, Joey, ben’t we proud


He can’t hear you among the crowd.


Why, no, the thunder peals do drown the sound o’ wheels.

His own pipe is a-pitched too loud.

What, you here too?


Yes, Sir, to you.

All o’ me that’s a-left.


A body plump’s a goodish lump

Where reämes ha’ such a heft.


Who lost his crown a-racèn?



Zome silly chap abackèn you.

Well, now, an’ how do vo’k treat Jeäne?


Why not wi’ feärèns.


What d’ye meän,

When I’ve a-brought ye such a bunch

O’ theäse nice ginger-nuts to crunch?

An’ here, John, here! you teäke a vew.


No, keep em all vor Jeäne an’ you!


Well, Jeäne, an’ when d’ye meän to come

An’ call on me, then, up at hwome.

You han’t a-come athirt, since I’d my voot a-hurt,

A-slippèn vrom the tree I clomb.


Well, if so be that you be stout

On voot ageän, you’ll vind me out.


Aye, better chaps woont goo, not many steps vor you,

If you do hawk yourzelf about.


Wull John, come too?


No, thanks to you.

Two’s company, dree’s nwone.


There don’t be stung by his mad tongue,

’Tis nothèn else but fun.


There, what d’ye think o’ my new ceäpe?


Why, think that ’tis an ugly sheäpe.


Then you should buy me, now theäse feäir,

A mwore becomèn woone to wear.


I buy your ceäpe! No; Joe wull screäpe

Up dibs enough to buy your ceäpe.

As things do look, to meäke you fine

Is long Joe’s business mwore than mine.


Lauk, John, the mwore that you do pout

The mwore he’ll glēne.


A yelpèn lout.

Early Plaÿmeäte.

After many long years had a-run,

The while I wer a-gone vrom the pleäce,

I come back to the vields, where the zun

Ov her childhood did show me her feäce.

There her father, years wolder, did stoop.

An’ her brother, wer now a-grow’d staïd,

An’ the apple tree lower did droop.

Out in the orcha’d where we had a-plaÿ’d,

There wer zome things a-seemèn the seäme,

But Meäry’s a-married awaÿ.

There wer two little childern a-zent,

Wi’ a message to me, oh! so feaïr

As the mother that they did zoo ment,

When in childhood she plaÿ’d wi’ me there.

Zoo they twold me that if I would come

Down to Coomb, I should zee a wold friend,

Vor a plaÿmeäte o’ mine wer at hwome,

An’ would staÿ till another week’s end.

At the dear pworchèd door, could I dare

To zee Meäry a-married awaÿ!

On the flower-not, now all a-trod

Stwony hard, the green grass wer a-spread,

An’ the long-slighted woodbine did nod

Vrom the wall, wi’ a loose-hangèn head.

An’ the martin’s clay nest wer a-hung

Up below the brown oves, in the dry,

An’ the rooks had a-rock’d broods o’ young

On the elems below the Maÿ sky;

But the bud on the bed, coulden bide,

Wi’ young Meäry a-married awaÿ.

There the copse-wood, a-grow’d to a height,

Wer a-vell’d, an’ the primrwose in blooth,

Among chips on the ground a-turn’d white,

Wer a-quiv’rèn, all beäre ov his lewth.

The green moss wer a-spread on the thatch,

That I left yollow reed, an’ avore

The small green, there did swing a new hatch,

Vor to let me walk into the door.

Oh! the rook did still rock o’er the rick,

But wi’ Meäry a-married awaÿ.

Picken O’ Scroff.

Oh! the wood wer a-vell’d in the copse,

An’ the moss-bedded primrwose did blow;

An’ vrom tall-stemmèd trees’ leafless tops,

There did lie but slight sheädes down below.

An’ the sky wer a-showèn, in drough

By the tree-stems, the deepest o’ blue,

Wi’ a light that did vall on an’ off

The dry ground, a-strew’d over wi’ scroff.

There the hedge that wer leätely so high,

Wer a-plush’d, an’ along by the zide,

Where the waggon ’d a-haul’d the wood by,

There did reach the deep wheelrouts, a-dried.

An’ the groun’ wi’ the sticks wer bespread,

Zome a-cut off alive, an’ zome dead.

An’ vor burnèn, well wo’th reäkèn off,

By the childern a-pickèn o’ scroff.

In the tree-studded leäze, where the woak

Wer a-spreadèn his head out around,

There the scrags that the wind had a-broke,

Wer a-lyèn about on the ground

Or the childern, wi’ little red hands,

Wer a-tyèn em up in their bands;

Vor noo squier or farmer turn’d off

Little childern a-pickèn o’ scroff.

There wer woone bloomèn child wi’ a cloak

On her shoulders, as green as the ground;

An’ another, as gray as the woak,

Wi’ a bwoy in a brown frock, a-brown’d.

An’ woone got up, in plaÿ, vor to taït,

On a woak-limb, a-growèn out straïght.

But she soon wer a-taïted down off,

By her meätes out a-pickèn o’ scroff.

When they childern do grow to staïd vo’k,

An’ goo out in the worold, all wide

Vrom the copse, an’ the zummerleäze woak,

Where at last all their elders ha’ died,

They wull then vind it touchèn to bring,

To their minds, the sweet springs o’ their spring,

Back avore the new vo’k did turn off

The poor childern a-pickèn o’ scroff.

Good Night.

While down the meäds wound slow,

Water vor green-wheel’d mills,

Over the streams bright bow,

Win’ come vrom dark-back’d hills.

Birds on the win’ shot along down steep

Slopes, wi’ a swift-swung zweep.

Dim weän’d the red streak’d west

Lim’-weary souls “Good rest.”

Up on the plough’d hill brow,

Still wer the zull’s wheel’d beam,

Still wer the red-wheel’d plough,

Free o’ the strong limb’d team,

Still wer the shop that the smith meäde ring,

Dark where the sparks did spring;

Low shot the zun’s last beams.

Lim’-weary souls “Good dreams.”

Where I vrom dark bank-sheädes

Turn’d up the west hill road,

Where all the green grass bleädes

Under the zunlight glow’d.

Startled I met, as the zunbeams play’d

Light, wi’ a zunsmote maïd,

Come vor my day’s last zight,

Zun-brighten’d maïd “Good night.”

Went Hwome.

Upon the slope, the hedge did bound

The yield wi’ blossom-whited zide,

An’ charlock patches, yollow-dyed,

Did reach along the white-soil’d ground,

An’ vo’k, a-comèn up vrom meäd,

Brought gil’cup meal upon the shoe;

Or went on where the road did leäd,

Wi’ smeechy doust from heel to tooe.

As noon did smite, wi’ burnèn light,

The road so white, to Meldonley.

An’ I did tramp the zun-dried ground,

By hedge-climb’d hills, a-spread wi’ flow’rs,

An’ watershootèn dells, an’ tow’rs,

By elem-trees a-hemm’d all round,

To zee a vew wold friends, about

Wold Meldon, where I still ha’ zome,

That bid me speed as I come out,

An’ now ha’ bid me welcome hwome,

As I did goo, while skies wer blue,

Vrom view to view, to Meldonley.

An’ there wer timber’d knaps, that show’d

Cool sheädes, vor rest, on grassy ground,

An’ thatch-brow’d windows, flower-bound,

Where I could wish wer my abode.

I pass’d the maïd avore the spring,

An’ shepherd by the thornèn tree;

An’ heärd the merry dréver zing,

But met noo kith or kin to me,

Till I come down, vrom Meldon’s crown

To rufs o’ brown, at Meldonley.

The Hollow Woak.

The woaken tree, so hollow now,

To souls ov other times wer sound,

An’ reach’d on ev’ry zide a bough

Above their heads, a-gather’d round,

But zome light veet

That here did meet

In friendship sweet, vor rest or jaÿ,

Shall be a-miss’d another Maÿ.

My childern here, in plaÿvul pride

Did zit ’ithin his wooden walls,

Amentèn steätely vo’k inside

O’ castle towers an’ lofty halls.

But now the vloor

An’ mossy door

That woonce they wore would be too small

To teäke em in, so big an’ tall.

Theäse year do show, wi’ snow-white cloud,

An’ deäsies in a sprinkled bed,

An’ green-bough birds a-whislèn loud,

The looks o’ zummer days a-vled;

An’ grass do grow,

An’ men do mow,

An’ all do show the wold times’ feäce

Wi’ new things in the wold things’ pleäce.

Childern’s Childern.

Oh! if my ling’rèn life should run,

Drough years a-reckoned ten by ten,

Below the never-tirèn zun,

Till beäbes ageän be wives an’ men;

An’ stillest deafness should ha’ bound

My ears, at last, vrom ev’ry sound;

Though still my eyes in that sweet light,

Should have the zight o’ sky an’ ground:

Would then my steäte

In time so leäte,

Be jaÿ or païn, be païn or jaÿ?

When Zunday then, a-weänèn dim,

As theäse that now’s a-clwosèn still,

Mid lose the zun’s down-zinkèn rim,

In light behind the vier-bound hill;

An’ when the bells’ last peal’s a-rung,

An’ I mid zee the wold an’ young

A-vlockèn by, but shoulden hear,

However near, a voot or tongue:

Mid zuch a zight,

In that soft light

Be jaÿ or païn, be païn or jaÿ.

If I should zee among em all,

In merry youth, a-glidèn by,

My son’s bwold son, a-grown man-tall,

Or daughter’s daughter, woman-high;

An’ she mid smile wi’ your good feäce,

Or she mid walk your comely peäce,

But seem, although a-chattèn loud,

So dumb’s a cloud, in that bright pleäce:

Would youth so feäir,

A-passèn there,

Be jaÿ or païn, be païn or jaÿ.

’Tis seldom strangth or comeliness

Do leäve us long. The house do show

Men’s sons wi’ mwore, as they ha’ less,

An’ daughters brisk, vor mothers slow.

A dawn do clear the night’s dim sky,

Woone star do zink, an’ woone goo high,

An’ livèn gifts o’ youth do vall,

Vrom girt to small, but never die:

An’ should I view,

What God mid do,

Wi’ jaÿ or païn, wi’ païn or jaÿ?

The Rwose in the Dark.

In zummer, leäte at evenèn tide,

I zot to spend a moonless hour

’Ithin the window, wi’ the zide

A-bound wi’ rwoses out in flow’r,

Bezide the bow’r, vorsook o’ birds,

An’ listen’d to my true-love’s words.

A-risèn to her comely height,

She push’d the swingèn ceäsement round;

And I could hear, beyond my zight,

The win’-blow’d beech-tree softly sound,

On higher ground, a-swayèn slow,

On drough my happy hour below.

An’ tho’ the darkness then did hide

The dewy rwose’s blushèn bloom,

He still did cast sweet aïr inside

To Jeäne, a-chattèn in the room;

An’ though the gloom did hide her feäce,

Her words did bind me to the pleäce.

An’ there, while she, wi’ runnèn tongue,

Did talk unzeen ’ithin the hall,

I thought her like the rwose that flung

His sweetness vrom his darken’d ball,

’Ithout the wall, an’ sweet’s the zight

Ov her bright feäce by mornèn light.


Wull ye come in eärly Spring,

Come at Easter, or in Maÿ?

Or when Whitsuntide mid bring

Longer light to show your waÿ?

Wull ye come, if you be true,

Vor to quicken love anew.

Wull ye call in Spring or Fall?

Come now soon by zun or moon?

Wull ye come?

Come wi’ vaïce to vaïce the while

All their words be sweet to hear;

Come that feäce to feäce mid smile,

While their smiles do seem so dear;

Come within the year to seek

Woone you have sought woonce a week?

Come while flow’rs be on the bow’rs.

And the bird o’ zong’s a-heärd.

Wull ye come?

Ees come to ye, an’ come vor ye, is my word,

I wull come.

Zummer Winds.

Let me work, but mid noo tie

Hold me vrom the oben sky,

When zummer winds, in plaÿsome flight,

Do blow on vields in noon-day light,

Or ruslèn trees, in twilight night.

Sweet’s a stroll,

By flow’ry knowl, or blue-feäcèd pool

That zummer win’s do ruffle cool.

When the moon’s broad light do vill

Plaïns, a-sheenèn down the hill;

A-glitterèn on window glass,

O then, while zummer win’s do pass

The rippled brook, an’ swaÿèn grass,

Sweet’s a walk,

Where we do talk, wi’ feäces bright,

In whispers in the peacevul night.

When the swaÿèn men do mow

Flow’ry grass, wi’ zweepèn blow,

In het a-most enough to dry

The flat-spread clote-leaf that do lie

Upon the stream a-stealèn by,

Sweet’s their rest,

Upon the breast o’ knap or mound

Out where the goocoo’s vaïce do sound.

Where the sleek-heäir’d maïd do zit

Out o’ door to zew or knit,

Below the elem where the spring

’S a-runnèn, an’ the road do bring

The people by to hear her zing,

On the green,

Where she’s a-zeen, an’ she can zee,

O gaÿ is she below the tree.

Come, O zummer wind, an’ bring

Sounds o’ birds as they do zing,

An’ bring the smell o’ bloomèn maÿ,

An’ bring the smell o’ new-mow’d haÿ;

Come fan my feäce as I do straÿ,

Fan the heäir

O’ Jessie feäir; fan her cool,

By the weäves o’ stream or pool.

The Neäme Letters.

When high-flown larks wer on the wing,

A warm-aïr’d holiday in Spring,

We stroll’d, ’ithout a ceäre or frown,

Up roun’ the down at Meldonley;

An’ where the hawthorn-tree did stand

Alwone, but still wi’ mwore at hand,

We zot wi’ sheädes o’ clouds on high

A-flittèn by, at Meldonley.

An’ there, the while the tree did sheäde

Their gigglèn heads, my knife’s keen bleäde

Carved out, in turf avore my knee,

J. L., T. D., at Meldonley.

’Twer Jessie Lee J. L. did meän,

T. D. did stan’ vor Thomas Deäne;

The “L” I scratch’d but slight, vor he

Mid soon be D, at Meldonley.

An’ when the vields o’ wheat did spread

Vrom hedge to hedge in sheets o’ red.

An’ bennets wer a-sheäkèn brown.

Upon the down at Meldonley,

We stroll’d ageän along the hill,

An’ at the hawthorn-tree stood still,

To zee J. L. vor Jessie Lee,

An’ my T. D., at Meldonley.

The grey-poll’d bennet-stems did hem

Each half-hid letter’s zunken rim,

By leädy’s-vingers that did spread

In yollow red, at Meldonley.

An’ heärebells there wi’ light blue bell

Shook soundless on the letter L,

To ment the bells when L vor Lee

Become a D at Meldonley.

Vor Jessie, now my wife, do strive

Wi’ me in life, an’ we do thrive;

Two sleek-heäired meäres do sprackly pull

My waggon vull, at Meldonley;

An’ small-hoof’d sheep, in vleeces white,

Wi’ quickly-pankèn zides, do bite

My thymy grass, a-mark’d vor me

In black, T. D., at Meldonley.

The New House A-Gettèn Wold.

Ah! when our wedded life begun,

Theäse clean-wall’d house of ours wer new;

Wi’ thatch as yollor as the zun

Avore the cloudless sky o’ blue;

The sky o’ blue that then did bound

The blue-hilled worold’s flow’ry ground.

An’ we’ve a-vound it weather-brown’d,

As Spring-tide blossoms oben’d white,

Or Fall did shed, on zunburnt ground,

Red apples from their leafy height:

Their leafy height, that Winter soon

Left leafless to the cool-feäced moon.

An’ raïn-bred moss ha’ staïn’d wi’ green

The smooth-feäced wall’s white-morter’d streaks,

The while our childern zot between

Our seats avore the fleäme’s red peaks:

The fleäme’s red peaks, till axan white

Did quench em vor the long-sleep’d night.

The bloom that woonce did overspread

Your rounded cheäk, as time went by,

A-shrinkèn to a patch o’ red,

Did feäde so soft’s the evenèn sky:

The evenèn sky, my faithful wife,

O’ days as feäir’s our happy life.


In zummer, when the sheädes do creep

Below the Zunday steeple, round

The mossy stwones, that love cut deep

Wi’ neämes that tongues noo mwore do sound,

The leäne do lose the stalkèn team,

An’ dry-rimm’d waggon-wheels be still,

An’ hills do roll their down-shot stream

Below the restèn wheel at mill.

O holy day, when tweil do ceäse,

Sweet day o’ rest an’ greäce an’ peäce!

The eegrass, vor a while unwrung

By hoof or shoe, ’s a sheenèn bright,

An’ clover flowers be a-sprung

On new-mow’d knaps in beds o’ white,

An’ sweet wild rwoses, up among

The hedge-row boughs, do yield their smells.

To aïer that do bear along

The loud-rung peals o’ Zunday bells,

Upon the day o’ days the best,

The day o’ greäce an’ peäce an’ rest.

By brightshod veet, in peäir an’ peäir,

Wi’ comely steps the road’s a-took

To church, an’ work-free han’s do beär

Woone’s walkèn stick or sister’s book;

An’ there the bloomèn niece do come

To zee her aunt, in all her best;

Or married daughter do bring hwome

Her vu’st sweet child upon her breast,

As she do seek the holy pleäce,

The day o’ rest an’ peäce an’ greäce.

The Pillar’d Geäte.

As I come by, zome years agoo,

A-burnt below a sky o’ blue,

’Ithin the pillar’d geäte there zung

A vaïce a-soundèn sweet an’ young,

That meäde me veel awhile to zwim

In weäves o’ jaÿ to hear its hymn;

Vor all the zinger, angel-bright,

Wer then a-hidden vrom my zight,

An’ I wer then too low

To seek a meäte to match my steäte

’Ithin the lofty-pillar’d geäte,

Wi’ stwonèn balls upon the walls:

Oh, no! my heart, no, no.

Another time as I come by

The house, below a dark-blue sky,

The pillar’d geäte wer oben wide,

An’ who should be a-show’d inside,

But she, the comely maïd whose hymn

Woonce meäde my giddy braïn to zwim,

A-zittèn in the sheäde to zew,

A-clad in robes as white as snow.

What then? could I so low

Look out a meäte ov higher steäte

So gaÿ ’ithin a pillar’d geäte,

Wi’ high walls round the smooth-mow’d ground?

Oh, no! my heart, no, no.

Long years stole by, a-glidèn slow,

Wi’ winter cwold an’ zummer glow,

An’ she wer then a widow, clad

In grey; but comely, though so sad;

Her husband, heartless to his bride,

Spent all her store an’ wealth, an’ died,

Though she noo mwore could now rejaïce,

Yet sweet did sound her zongless vaïce.

But had she, in her woe,

The higher steäte she had o’ leäte

’Ithin the lofty pillar’d geäte,

Wi’ stwonèn balls upon the walls?

Oh, no! my heart, no, no.

But while she vell, my Meäker’s greäce

Led me to teäke a higher pleäce,

An’ lighten’d up my mind wi’ lore,

An’ bless’d me wi’ a worldly store;

But still noo winsome feäce or vaïce,

Had ever been my wedded chaïce;

An’ then I thought, why do I mwope

Alwone without a jaÿ or hope?

Would she still think me low?

Or scorn a meäte, in my feäir steäte,

In here ’ithin a pillar’d geäte,

A happy pleäce wi’ her kind feäce?

Oh, no! my hope, no, no.

I don’t stand out ’tis only feäte

Do gi’e to each his wedded meäte;

But eet there’s woone above the rest,

That every soul can like the best.

An’ my wold love’s a-kindled new,

An’ my wold dream’s a-come out true;

But while I had noo soul to sheäre

My good an’ ill, an’ jäy an ceäre,

Should I have bliss below,

In gleämèn pleäte an’ lofty steäte

’Ithin the lofty pillar’d geäte,

Wi’ feäirest flow’rs, an’ ponds an’ tow’rs?

Oh, no! my heart, no, no.

Zummer Stream.

Ah! then the grassy-meäded Maÿ

Did warm the passèn year, an’ gleam

Upon the yellow-grounded stream,

That still by beech-tree sheädes do straÿ.

The light o’ weäves, a-runnèn there,

Did plaÿ on leaves up over head,

An’ vishes sceäly zides did gleäre,

A-dartèn on the shallow bed,

An’ like the stream a-slidèn on,

My zun out-measur’d time’s agone.

There by the path, in grass knee-high,

Wer buttervlees in giddy flight,

All white above the deäisies white,

Or blue below the deep blue sky.

Then glowèn warm wer ev’ry brow,

O’ maïd, or man, in zummer het,

An’ warm did glow the cheäks I met

That time, noo mwore to meet em now.

As brooks, a-slidèn on their bed,

My season-measur’d time’s a-vled.

Vrom yonder window, in the thatch,

Did sound the maïdens’ merry words,

As I did stand, by zingèn birds,

Bezide the elem-sheäded hatch.

’Tis good to come back to the pleäce,

Back to the time, to goo noo mwore;

’Tis good to meet the younger feäce

Amentèn others here avore.

As streams do glide by green mead-grass,

My zummer-brighten’d years do pass.

Linda Deäne.

The bright-tunn’d house, a-risèn proud,

Stood high avore a zummer cloud,

An’ windy sheädes o’ tow’rs did vall

Upon the many-window’d wall;

An’ on the grassy terrace, bright

Wi’ white-bloom’d zummer’s deaïsy beds,

An’ snow-white lilies noddèn heads,

Sweet Linda Deäne did walk in white;

But ah! avore too high a door,

Wer Linda Deäne ov Ellendon.

When sparklèn brooks an’ grassy ground,

By keen-aïr’d Winter’s vrost wer bound,

An’ star-bright snow did streak the forms

O’ beäre-lim’d trees in darksome storms,

Sweet Linda Deäne did lightly glide,

Wi’ snow-white robe an’ rwosy feäce,

Upon the smooth-vloor’d hall, to treäce

The merry dance o’ Chris’mas tide;

But oh! not mine be balls so fine

As Linda Deäne’s at Ellendon.

Sweet Linda Deäne do match the skies

Wi’ sheenèn blue o’ glisnèn eyes,

An’ feaïrest blossoms do but show

Her forehead’s white, an’ feäce’s glow;

But there’s a winsome jaÿ above,

The brightest hues ov e’th an’ skies.

The dearest zight o’ many eyes,

Would be the smile o’ Linda’s love;

But high above my lowly love

Is Linda Deäne ov Ellendon.


Come and Zee Us in the Zummer.

John; William; William’s Bwoy; and William’s Maïd at Feäir.


Zoo here be your childern, a-sheärèn

Your feäir-day, an’ each wi’ a feäirèn.


Aye, well, there’s noo peace ’ithout comèn

To stannèn an’ show, in the zummer.


An’ how is your Jeäne? still as merry

As ever, wi’ cheäks lik’ a cherry?


Still merry, but beauty’s as feädesome

’S the raïn’s glowèn bow in the zummer.


Well now, I do hope we shall vind ye

Come soon, wi’ your childern behind ye,

To Stowe, while o’ bwoth zides o’ hedges,

The zunsheen do glow in the zummer.


Well, aye, when the mowèn is over,

An’ ee-grass do whiten wi’ clover.

A man’s a-tired out, vor much walken,

The while he do mow in the zummer.


I’ll goo, an’ we’ll zet up a wicket,

An’ have a good innèns at cricket;

An’ teäke a good plounce in the water.

Where clote-leaves do grow in the zummer.


I’ll goo, an’ we’ll play “Thread the needle”

Or “Huntèn the slipper,” or wheedle

Young Jemmy to fiddle, an’ reely

So brisk to an’ fro in the zummer.


An’ Jeäne. Mind you don’t come ’ithout her,

My wife is a-thinkèn about her;

At our house she’ll find she’s as welcome

’S the rwose that do blow in the zummer.


At Lindenore upon the steep,

Bezide the trees a-reachèn high,

The while their lower limbs do zweep

The river-stream a-flowèn by;

By grægle bells in beds o’ blue,

Below the tree-stems in the lew,

Calm aïr do vind the rwose-bound door,

Ov Ellen Dare o’ Lindenore.

An’ there noo foam do hiss avore

Swift bwoats, wi’ water-plowèn keels,

An’ there noo broad high-road’s a-wore

By vur-brought trav’lers’ cracklèn wheels;

Noo crowd’s a-passèn to and fro,

Upon the bridge’s high-sprung bow:

An’ vew but I do seek the door

Ov Ellen Dare o’ Lindenore.

Vor there the town, wi’ zun-bright walls,

Do sheen vur off, by hills o’ grey,

An’ town-vo’k ha’ but seldom calls

O’ business there, from day to day:

But Ellen didden leäve her ruf

To be admir’d, an’ that’s enough —

Vor I’ve a-vound ’ithin her door,

Feäir Ellen Dare o’ Lindenore.

Me’th Below the Tree.

O when theäse elems’ crooked boughs,

A’most too thin to sheäde the cows,

Did slowly swing above the grass

As winds o’ Spring did softly pass,

An’ zunlight show’d the shiftèn sheäde,

While youthful me’th wi’ laughter loud,

Did twist his lim’s among the crowd

Down there below; up there above

Wer bright-ey’d me’th below the tree.

Down there the merry vo’k did vill

The stwonèn doorway, now so still;

An’ zome did joke, wi’ ceäsement wide,

Wi’ other vo’k a-stood outside,

Wi’ words that head by head did heed.

Below blue sky an’ blue-smok’d tun,

’Twer jaÿ to zee an’ hear their fun,

But sweeter jaÿ up here above

Wi’ bright-ey’d me’th below the tree.

Now unknown veet do beät the vloor,

An’ unknown han’s do shut the door,

An’ unknown men do ride abrode,

An’ hwome ageän on thik wold road,

Drough geätes all now a-hung anew.

Noo mind but mine ageän can call

Wold feäces back around the wall,

Down there below, or here above,

Wi’ bright-ey’d me’th below the tree.

Aye, pride mid seek the crowded pleäce

To show his head an’ frownèn feäce,

An’ pleasure vlee, wi’ goold in hand,

Vor zights to zee vrom land to land,

Where winds do blow on seas o’ blue:—

Noo wealth wer mine to travel wide

Vor jaÿ, wi’ Pleasure or wi’ Pride:

My happiness wer here above

The feäst, wi’ me’th below the tree.

The wild rwose now do hang in zight,

To mornèn zun an’ evenèn light,

The bird do whissle in the gloom,

Avore the thissle out in bloom,

But here alwone the tree do leän.

The twig that woonce did whiver there

Is now a limb a-wither’d beäre:

Zoo I do miss the sheäde above

My head, an’ me’th below the tree.

Treat Well Your Wife.

No, no, good Meäster Collins cried,

Why you’ve a good wife at your zide;

Zoo do believe the heart is true

That gi’ed up all bezide vor you,

An’ still beheäve as you begun

To seek the love that you’ve a-won

When woonce in dewy June,

In hours o’ hope soft eyes did flash,

Each bright below his sheädy lash,

A-glisnèn to the moon.

Think how her girlhood met noo ceäre

To peäle the bloom her feäce did weär,

An’ how her glossy temple prest

Her pillow down, in still-feäced rest,

While sheädes o’ window bars did vall

In moonlight on the gloomy wall,

In cool-aïr’d nights o’ June;

The while her lids, wi’ bendèn streäks

O’ lashes, met above her cheäks,

A-bloomèn to the moon.

Think how she left her childhood’s pleäce,

An’ only sister’s long-known feäce,

An’ brother’s jokes so much a-miss’d,

An’ mother’s cheäk, the last a-kiss’d;

An’ how she lighted down avore

Her new abode, a husband’s door,

Your weddèn night in June;

Wi’ heart that beät wi’ hope an’ fear,

While on each eye-lash hung a tear,

A-glisnèn to the moon.

Think how her father zot all dum’,

A-thinkèn on her, back at hwome,

The while grey axan gather’d thick,

On dyèn embers, on the brick;

An’ how her mother look’d abrode,

Drough window, down the moon-bright road,

Thik cloudless night o’ June,

Wi’ tears upon her lashes big

As raïn-drops on a slender twig,

A-glisnèn to the moon.

Zoo don’t zit thoughtless at your cup

An’ keep your wife a-wäitèn up,

The while the clock’s a-tickèn slow

The chilly hours o’ vrost an’ snow,

Until the zinkèn candle’s light

Is out avore her drowsy sight,

A-dimm’d wi’ grief too soon;

A-leävèn there alwone to murn

The feädèn cheäk that woonce did burn,

A-bloomèn to the moon.

The Child an’ The Mowers.

O, aye! they had woone child bezide,

An’ a finer your eyes never met,

’Twer a dear little fellow that died

In the zummer that come wi’ such het;

By the mowers, too thoughtless in fun,

He wer then a-zent off vrom our eyes,

Vrom the light ov the dew-dryèn zun —

Aye! vrom days under blue-hollow’d skies.

He went out to the mowers in meäd,

When the zun wer a-rose to his height,

An’ the men wer a-swingèn the sneäd,

Wi’ their eärms in white sleeves, left an’ right;

An’ out there, as they rested at noon,

O! they drench’d en vrom eäle-horns too deep,

Till his thoughts wer a-drown’d in a swoon;

Aye! his life wer a-smother’d in sleep.

Then they laid en there-right on the ground,

On a grass-heap, a-zweltrèn wi’ het,

Wi’ his heäir all a-wetted around

His young feäce, wi’ the big drops o’ zweat;

In his little left palm he’d a-zet,

Wi’ his right hand, his vore-vinger’s tip,

As for zome’hat he woulden vorget —

Aye! zome thought that he woulden let slip.

Then they took en in hwome to his bed,

An’ he rose vrom his pillow noo mwore,

Vor the curls on his sleek little head

To be blown by the wind out o’ door.

Vor he died while the häy russled grey

On the staddle so leätely begun:

Lik’ the mown-grass a-dried by the day —

Aye! the zwath-flow’r’s a-killed by the zun.

The Love Child.

Where the bridge out at Woodley did stride,

Wi’ his wide arches’ cool sheäded bow,

Up above the clear brook that did slide

By the popples, befoam’d white as snow:

As the gilcups did quiver among

The white deäisies, a-spread in a sheet.

There a quick-trippèn maïd come along —

Aye, a girl wi’ her light-steppèn veet.

An’ she cried “I do praÿ, is the road

Out to Lincham on here, by the meäd?”

An’ “oh! ees,” I meäde answer, an’ show’d

Her the way it would turn an’ would leäd:

“Goo along by the beech in the nook,

Where the childern do play in the cool,

To the steppèn stwones over the brook —

Aye, the grey blocks o’ rock at the pool.”

“Then you don’t seem a-born an’ a-bred,”

I spoke up, “at a place here about;”

An’ she answer’d wi’ cheäks up so red

As a pi’ny but leäte a-come out,

“No, I liv’d wi’ my uncle that died

Back in Eäpril, an’ now I’m a-come

Here to Ham, to my mother, to bide —

Aye, to her house to vind a new hwome.”

I’m asheämed that I wanted to know

Any mwore of her childhood or life,

But then, why should so feäir a child grow

Where noo father did bide wi’ his wife;

Then wi’ blushes of zunrisèn morn,

She replied “that it midden be known,

“Oh! they zent me away to be born — 3

Aye, they hid me when zome would be shown.”

Oh! it meäde me a’most teary-ey’d,

An’ I vound I a’most could ha’ groan’d —

What! so winnèn, an’ still cast a-zide —

What! so lovely, an’ not to be own’d;

Oh! a God-gift a-treated wi’ scorn,

Oh! a child that a squier should own;

An’ to zend her away to be born! —

Aye, to hide her where others be shown!

3 Words once spoken to the writer.]

Hawthorn Down.

All up the down’s cool brow

I work’d in noontide’s gleäre,

On where the slow-wheel’d plow

’D a-wore the grass half bare.

An’ gil’cups quiver’d quick,

As aïr did pass,

An’ deäisies huddled thick

Among the grass.

The while my eärms did swing

Wi’ work I had on hand,

The quick-wing’d lark did zing

Above the green-tree’d land,

An’ bwoys below me chafed

The dog vor fun,

An’ he, vor all they laef’d,

Did meäke em run.

The south zide o’ the hill,

My own tun-smoke rose blue —

In North Coomb, near the mill,

My mother’s wer in view —

Where woonce her vier vor all

Ov us did burn,

As I have childern small

Round mine in turn.

An’ zoo I still wull cheer

Her life wi’ my small store,

As she do drop a tear

Bezide her lwonesome door.

The love that I do owe

Her ruf, I’ll paÿ,

An’ then zit down below

My own wi’ jaÿ.

Oben Vields.

Well, you mid keep the town an’ street,

Wi’ grassless stwones to beät your veet,

An’ zunless windows where your brows

Be never cooled by swaÿèn boughs;

An’ let me end, as I begun,

My days in oben aïr an’ zun,

Where zummer win’s a-blowèn sweet,

Wi’ blooth o’ trees as white’s a sheet;

Or swaÿèn boughs, a-bendèn low

Wi’ rip’nèn apples in a row,

An’ we a-risèn rathe do meet

The bright’nèn dawn wi’ dewy veet,

An’ leäve, at night, the vootless groves,

To rest ’ithin our thatchen oves.

An’ here our childern still do bruise

The deäisy buds wi’ tiny shoes,

As we did meet avore em, free

Vrom ceäre, in play below the tree.

An’ there in me’th their lively eyes

Do glissen to the zunny skies,

As aïr do blow, wi’ leäzy peäce

To cool, in sheäde, their burnèn feäce.

Where leaves o’ spreadèn docks do hide

The zawpit’s timber-lwoaded zide,

An’ trees do lie, wi’ scraggy limbs,

Among the deäisy’s crimson rims.

An’ they, so proud, wi’ eärms a-spread

To keep their balance good, do tread

Wi’ ceäreful steps o’ tiny zoles

The narrow zides o’ trees an’ poles.

An’ zoo I’ll leäve vor your light veet

The peävement o’ the zunless street,

While I do end, as I begun,

My days in oben aïr an’ zun.

What John wer a-tellèn his Mis’ess out in the Corn Ground.

Ah! mam! you woonce come here the while

The zun, long years agoo, did shed

His het upon the wheat in hile,

Wi’ yollow hau’m an’ ears o’ red,

Wi’ little shoes too thin vor walks

Upon the scratchèn stubble-stalks;

You hardly reach’d wi’ glossy head,

The vore wheel’s top o’ dousty red.

How time’s a-vled! How years do vlee!

An’ there you went an’ zot inzide

A hile, in aïr a-streamèn cool,

As if ’ithin a room, vull wide

An’ high, you zot to guide an’ rule.

You leäz’d about the stubbly land,

An’ soon vill’d up your small left hand

Wi’ ruddy ears your right hand vound,

An’ traïl’d the stalks along the ground.

How time’s a-gone! How years do goo!

Then in the waggon you did teäke

A ride, an’ as the wheels vell down

Vrom ridge to vurrow, they did sheäke

On your small head your poppy crown,

An’ now your little maïd, a dear,

Your childhood’s very daps, is here,

Zoo let her staÿ, that her young feäce

Mid put a former year in pleäce.

How time do run! How years do roll!


Come here an’ zit a while below

Theäse tower, grey and ivy-bound,

In sheäde, the while the zun do glow

So hot upon the flow’ry ground;

An’ winds in flight,

Do briskly smite

The blossoms bright, upon the gleäde,

But never stir the sleepèn sheäde.

As when you stood upon the brink

O’ yonder brook, wi’ back-zunn’d head,

Your zunny-grounded sheäde did zink

Upon the water’s grav’lly bed,

Where weäves could zweep

Away, or keep,

The gravel heap that they’d a-meäde,

But never wash away the sheäde.

An’ zoo, when you can woonce vulvil

What’s feäir, a-tried by heaven’s light,

Why never fear that evil will

Can meäke a wrong o’ your good right.

The right wull stand,

Vor all man’s hand,

Till streams on zand, an’ wind in gleädes,

Can zweep awaÿ the zuncast sheädes.

Times O’ Year.

Here did swäy the eltrot flow’rs,

When the hours o’ night wer vew,

An’ the zun, wi’ eärly beams

Brighten’d streams, an’ dried the dew,

An’ the goocoo there did greet

Passers by wi’ dousty veet.

There the milkmaïd hung her brow

By the cow, a-sheenèn red;

An’ the dog, wi’ upward looks,

Watch’d the rooks above his head,

An’ the brook, vrom bow to bow,

Here went swift, an’ there wer slow.

Now the cwolder-blowèn blast,

Here do cast vrom elems’ heads

Feäded leaves, a-whirlèn round,

Down to ground, in yollow beds,

Ruslèn under milkers’ shoes,

When the day do dry the dews.

Soon shall grass, a-vrosted bright,

Glisten white instead o’ green,

An’ the wind shall smite the cows,

Where the boughs be now their screen.

Things do change as years do vlee;

What ha’ years in store vor me?


Racketèn Joe.

Racketèn Joe; his Sister; his Cousin Fanny; and the Dog.


Heigh! heigh! here. Who’s about?


Oh! lauk! Here’s Joe, a rantèn lout,

A-meäkèn his wild randy-rout.


Heigh! Fanny! How d’ye do? (slaps her.)


Oh! fie; why all the woo’se vor you

A-slappèn o’ me, black an’ blue,

My back!


A whack! you loose-eärm’d chap,

To gi’e your cousin sich a slap!


I’ll pull the heäir o’n, I do vow;


I’ll pull the ears o’n. There.


Wowh! wow!


A-comèn up the drong,

How he did smack his leather thong,

A-zingèn, as he thought, a zong;


An’ there the pigs did scote

Azide, in fright, wi’ squeakèn droat,

Wi’ geese a pitchèn up a note.

Look there.


His chair!


He thump’d en down,

As if he’d het en into ground.


Heigh! heigh! Look here! the vier is out.


How he do knock the tongs about!


Now theäre’s his whip-nob, plum

Upon the teäble vor a drum;


An’ there’s a dent so big’s your thumb.


My hat’s awore so quaer.


’Tis quaer enough, but not wi’ wear;

But dabs an’ dashes he do bear.


The zow!


What now?


She’s in the plot.

A-routèn up the flower knot.

Ho! Towzer! Here, rout out the zow,

Heigh! here, hie at her. Tiss!


Wowh! wow!


How he do rant and roar,

An’ stump an’ stamp about the vloor,

An’ swing, an’ slap, an’ slam the door!

He don’t put down a thing,

But he do dab, an’ dash, an’ ding

It down, till all the house do ring.


She’s out.


Noo doubt.


Athirt the bank,

Look! how the dog an’ he do pank.


Staÿ out, an’ heed her now an’ then,

To zee she don’t come in ageän.

Zummer an’ Winter.

When I led by zummer streams

The pride o’ Lea, as naïghbours thought her,

While the zun, wi’ evenèn beams,

Did cast our sheädes athirt the water;

Winds a-blowèn,

Streams a-flowèn,

Skies a-glowèn,

Tokens ov my jaÿ zoo fleetèn,

Heighten’d it, that happy meetèn.

Then, when maïd an’ man took pleäces,

Gaÿ in winter’s Chris’mas dances,

Showèn in their merry feäces

Kindly smiles an’ glisnèn glances;

Stars a-winkèn,

Day a-shrinkèn,

Sheädes a-zinkèn,

Brought anew the happy meetèn,

That did meake the night too fleetèn.

To Me.

At night, as drough the meäd I took my waÿ,

In aïr a-sweeten’d by the new-meäde haÿ,

A stream a-vallèn down a rock did sound,

Though out o’ zight wer foam an’ stwone to me.

Behind the knap, above the gloomy copse,

The wind did russle in the trees’ high tops,

Though evenèn darkness, an’ the risèn hill,

Kept all the quiv’rèn leaves unshown to me,

Within the copse, below the zunless sky,

I heärd a nightèngeäle, a-warblèn high

Her lwoansome zong, a-hidden vrom my zight,

An’ showèn nothèn but her mwoan to me.

An’ by a house, where rwoses hung avore

The thatch-brow’d window, an’ the oben door,

I heärd the merry words, an’ hearty laugh

O’ zome feäir maid, as eet unknown to me.

High over head the white-rimm’d clouds went on,

Wi’ woone a-comèn up, vor woone a-gone;

An’ feäir they floated in their sky-back’d flight,

But still they never meäde a sound to me.

An’ there the miller, down the stream did float

Wi’ all his childern, in his white-saïl’d bwoat,

Vur off, beyond the stragglèn cows in meäd,

But zent noo vaïce, athirt the ground, to me.

An’ then a buttervlee, in zultry light,

A-wheelèn on about me, vier-bright,

Did show the gaÿest colors to my eye,

But still did bring noo vaïce around to me.

I met the merry laugher on the down,

Bezide her mother, on the path to town,

An’ oh! her sheäpe wer comely to the zight,

But wordless then wer she a-vound to me.

Zoo, sweet ov unzeen things mid be sound,

An’ feäir to zight mid soundless things be vound,

But I’ve the laugh to hear, an’ feäce to zee,

Vor they be now my own, a-bound to me.

Two an’ Two.

The zun, O Jessie, while his feäce do rise

In vi’ry skies, a-sheddèn out his light

On yollow corn a-weävèn down below

His yollow glow, is gaÿ avore the zight.

By two an’ two,

How goodly things do goo,

A-matchèn woone another to fulvill

The goodness ov their Meäkèr’s will.

How bright the spreadèn water in the lew

Do catch the blue, a-sheenèn vrom the sky;

How true the grass do teäke the dewy bead

That it do need, while dousty roads be dry.

By peäir an’ peäir

Each thing’s a-meäde to sheäre

The good another can bestow,

In wisdom’s work down here below.

The lowest lim’s o’ trees do seldom grow

A-spread too low to gi’e the cows a sheäde;

The aïr’s to bear the bird, the bird’s to rise;

Vor light the eyes, vor eyes the light’s a-meäde.

’Tis gi’e an’ teäke,

An’ woone vor others’ seäke;

In peäirs a-workèn out their ends,

Though men be foes that should be friends.

The Lew O’ The Rick.

At eventide the wind wer loud

By trees an’ tuns above woone’s head,

An’ all the sky wer woone dark cloud,

Vor all it had noo raïn to shed;

An’ as the darkness gather’d thick,

I zot me down below a rick,

Where straws upon the win’ did ride

Wi’ giddy flights, along my zide,

Though unmolestèn me a-restèn,

Where I laÿ ’ithin the lew.

My wife’s bright vier indoors did cast

Its fleäme upon the window peänes

That screen’d her teäble, while the blast

Vled on in music down the leänes;

An’ as I zot in vaïceless thought

Ov other zummer-tides, that brought

The sheenèn grass below the lark,

Or left their ricks a-wearèn dark,

My childern voun’ me, an’ come roun’ me,

Where I lay ’ithin the lew.

The rick that then did keep me lew

Would be a-gone another Fall,

An’ I, in zome years, in a vew,

Mid leäve the childern, big or small;

But He that meäde the wind, an’ meäde

The lewth, an’ zent wi’ het the sheäde,

Can keep my childern, all alwone

O’ under me, an’ though vull grown

Or little lispers, wi’ their whispers,

There a-lyèn in the lew.

The Wind in Woone’s Feäce.

There lovely Jenny past,

While the blast did blow

On over Ashknowle Hill

To the mill below;

A-blinkèn quick, wi’ lashes long,

Above her cheäks o’ red,

Ageän the wind, a-beätèn strong,

Upon her droopèn head.

Oh! let dry win’ blow bleäk,

On her cheäk so heäle,

But let noo raïn-shot chill

Meäke her ill an’ peäle;

Vor healthy is the breath the blast

Upon the hill do yield,

An’ healthy is the light a cast

Vrom lofty sky to vield.

An’ mid noo sorrow-pang

Ever hang a tear

Upon the dark lash-heäir

Ov my feäirest dear;

An’ mid noo unkind deed o’ mine

Spweil what my love mid gaïn,

Nor meäke my merry Jenny pine

At last wi’ dim-ey’d païn.


Green mwold on zummer bars do show

That they’ve a-dripp’d in Winter wet;

The hoof-worn ring o’ groun’ below

The tree, do tell o’ storms or het;

The trees in rank along a ledge

Do show where woonce did bloom a hedge;

An’ where the vurrow-marks do stripe

The down, the wheat woonce rustled ripe.

Each mark ov things a-gone vrom view —

To eyezight’s woone, to soulzight two.

The grass ageän the mwoldrèn door

’S a tóken sad o’ vo’k a-gone,

An’ where the house, bwoth wall an’ vloor,

’S a-lost, the well mid linger on.

What tokens, then, could Meäry gi’e

Thät she’d a-liv’d, an’ liv’d vor me,

But things a-done vor thought an’ view?

Good things that nwone ageän can do,

An’ every work her love ha’ wrought,

To eyezight’s woone, but two to thought.


The rick ov our last zummer’s haulèn

Now vrom grey’s a-feäded dark,

An’ off the barken raïl’s a-vallèn,

Day by day, the rottèn bark. —

But short’s the time our works do stand,

So feäir’s we put em out ov hand,

Vor time a-passèn, wet an’ dry,

Do spweïl em wi’ his changèn sky,

The while wi’ strivèn hope, we men,

Though a-ruèn time’s undoèn,

Still do tweil an’ tweil ageän.

In wall-zide sheädes, by leafy bowers,

Underneath the swayèn tree,

O’ leäte, as round the bloomèn flowers,

Lowly humm’d the giddy bee,

My childern’s small left voot did smite

Their tiny speäde, the while the right

Did trample on a deäisy head,

Bezïde the flower’s dousty bed,

An’ though their work wer idle then,

They a-smilèn, an’ a-tweilèn,

Still did work an’ work ageän.

Now their little limbs be stronger,

Deeper now their vaïce do sound;

An’ their little veet be longer,

An’ do tread on other ground;

An’ rust is on the little bleädes

Ov all the broken-hafted speädes,

An’ flow’rs that wer my hope an’ pride

Ha’ long agoo a-bloom’d an’ died,

But still as I did leäbor then

Vor love ov all them childern small,

Zoo now I’ll tweil an’ tweil ageän.

When the smokeless tun’s a-growèn

Cwold as dew below the stars,

An’ when the vier noo mwore’s a-glowèn

Red between the window bars,

We then do lay our weary heads

In peace upon their nightly beds,

An’ gi’e woone sock, wi’ heavèn breast,

An’ then breathe soft the breath o’ rest,

Till day do call the sons o’ men

Vrom night-sleep’s blackness, vull o’ sprackness,

Out abroad to tweil ageän.

Where the vaïce o’ the winds is mildest,

In the plaïn, their stroke is keen;

Where their dreatnèn vaïce is wildest,

In the grove, the grove’s our screen.

An’ where the worold in their strife

Do dreatèn mwost our tweilsome life,

Why there Almighty ceäre mid cast

A better screen ageän the blast.

Zoo I woon’t live in fear o’ men,

But, man-neglected, God-directed,

Still wull tweil an’ tweil ageän.


In stillness we ha’ words to hear,

An’ sheäpes to zee in darkest night,

An’ tongues a-lost can haïl us near,

An’ souls a-gone can smile in zight;

When Fancy now do wander back

To years a-spent, an’ bring to mind

Zome happy tide a-left behind

In’ weästèn life’s slow-beatèn track.

When feädèn leaves do drip wi’ raïn,

Our thoughts can ramble in the dry;

When Winter win’ do zweep the plaïn

We still can have a zunny sky.

Vor though our limbs be winter-wrung,

We still can zee, wi’ Fancy’s eyes,

The brightest looks ov e’th an’ skies,

That we did know when we wer young.

In païn our thoughts can pass to eäse,

In work our souls can be at plaÿ,

An’ leäve behind the chilly leäse

Vor warm-aïr’d meäds o’ new mow’d haÿ.

When we do vlee in Fancy’s flight

Vrom daily ills avore our feäce,

An’ linger in zome happy pleäce

Ov mè’th an’ smiles, an’ warmth an’ light.

The Broken Heart.

News o’ grief had overteäken

Dark-ey’d Fanny, now vorseäken;

There she zot, wi’ breast a-heavèn,

While vrom zide to zide, wi’ grievèn,

Vell her head, wi’ tears a-creepèn

Down her cheäks, in bitter weepèn.

There wer still the ribbon-bow

She tied avore her hour ov woe,

An’ there wer still the han’s that tied it

Hangèn white,

Or wringèn tight,

In ceäre that drown’d all ceäre bezide it.

When a man, wi’ heartless slightèn,

Mid become a maïden’s blightèn,

He mid ceärlessly vorseäke her,

But must answer to her Meäker;

He mid slight, wi’ selfish blindness,

All her deeds o’ lovèn-kindness,

God wull waïgh em wi’ the slightèn

That mid be her love’s requitèn;

He do look on each deceiver,

He do know

What weight o’ woe

Do breäk the heart ov ev’ry griever.

Evenèn Light.

The while I took my bit o’ rest,

Below my house’s eastern sheäde,

The things that stood in vield an’ gleäde

Wer bright in zunsheen vrom the west.

There bright wer east-ward mound an’ wall,

An’ bright wer trees, arisèn tall,

An’ bright did break ’ithin the brook,

Down rocks, the watervall.

There deep ’ithin my pworches bow

Did hang my heavy woaken door,

An’ in beyond en, on the vloor,

The evenèn dusk did gather slow;

But bright did gleäre the twinklèn spwokes

O’ runnèn carriage wheels, as vo’ks

Out east did ride along the road,

Bezide the low-bough’d woaks,

An’ I’d a-lost the zun vrom view,

Until ageän his feäce mid rise,

A-sheenèn vrom the eastern skies

To brighten up the rwose-borne dew;

But still his lingrèn light did gi’e

My heart a touchèn jaÿ, to zee

His beams a-shed, wi’ stratchèn sheäde,

On east-ward wall an’ tree.

When jaÿ, a-zent me vrom above,

Vrom my sad heart is now agone,

An’ others be a-walkèn on,

Amid the light ov Heavèn’s love,

Oh! then vor lovèn-kindness seäke,

Mid I rejäice that zome do teäke

My hopes a-gone, until ageän

My happy dawn do breäk.

Vields by Watervalls.

When our downcast looks be smileless,

Under others’ wrongs an’ slightèns,

When our daily deeds be guileless,

An’ do meet unkind requitèns,

You can meäke us zome amends

Vor wrongs o’ foes, an’ slights o’ friends; —

O flow’ry-gleäded, timber-sheäded

Vields by flowèn watervalls!

Here be softest aïrs a-blowèn

Drough the boughs, wi’ zingèn drushes,

Up above the streams, a-flowèn

Under willows, on by rushes.

Here below the bright-zunn’d sky

The dew-bespangled flow’rs do dry,

In woody-zided, stream-divided

Vields by flowèn watervalls.

Waters, wi’ their giddy rollèns;

Breezes wi’ their plaÿsome wooèns;

Here do heal, in soft consolèns,

Hearts a-wrung wi’ man’s wrong doèns.

Day do come to us as gaÿ

As to a king ov widest swaÿ,

In deäisy-whitèn’d, gil’cup-brightèn’d

Vields by flowèn watervalls.

Zome feäir buds mid outlive blightèns,

Zome sweet hopes mid outlive sorrow.

After days of wrongs an’ slightèns

There mid break a happy morrow.

We mid have noo e’thly love;

But God’s love-tokens vrom above

Here mid meet us, here mid greet us,

In the vields by watervalls.

The Wheel Routs.

’Tis true I brought noo fortune hwome

Wi’ Jenny, vor her honey-moon,

But still a goodish hansel come

Behind her perty soon,

Vor stick, an’ dish, an’ spoon, all vell

To Jeäne, vrom Aunt o’ Camwy dell.

Zoo all the lot o’ stuff a-tied

Upon the plow, a tidy tod,

On gravel-crunchèn wheels did ride,

Wi’ ho’ses, iron-shod,

That, as their heads did nod, my whip

Did guide along wi’ lightsome flip.

An’ there it rod ’ithin the rwope,

Astraïn’d athirt, an’ straïn’d along,

Down Thornhay’s evenèn-lighted slope

An’ up the beech-tree drong;

Where wheels a-bound so strong, cut out

On either zide a deep-zunk rout.

An’ when at Fall the trees wer brown,

Above the bennet-bearèn land,

When beech-leaves slowly whiver’d down.

By evenèn winds a-fann’d;

The routs wer each a band o’ red,

A-vill’d by drifted beech-leaves dead.

An’ when, in Winter’s leafless light,

The keener eastern wind did blow.

An’ scatter down, avore my zight,

A chilly cwoat o’ snow;

The routs ageän did show vull bright,

In two long streaks o’ glitt’rèn white.

But when, upon our weddèn night,

The cart’s light wheels, a-rollèn round,

Brought Jenny hwome, they run too light

To mark the yieldèn ground;

Or welcome would be vound a peäir

O’ green-vill’d routs a-runnèn there.

Zoo let me never bring ’ithin

My dwellèn what’s a-won by wrong,

An’ can’t come in ’ithout a sin;

Vor only zee how long

The waggon marks in drong, did show

Wï’ leaves, wi’ grass, wi’ groun’ wi’ snow.

Nanny’s New Abode.

Now day by day, at lofty height,

O zummer noons, the burnèn zun

’Ve a-show’d avore our eastward zight,

The sky-blue zide ov Hameldon,

An’ shone ageän, on new-mow’d ground,

Wi’ haÿ a-piled up grey in pook,

An’ down on leäzes, bennet-brown’d,

An’ wheat a-vell avore the hook;

Till, under elems tall,

The leaves do lie on leänèn lands,

In leäter light o’ Fall.

An’ last year, we did zee the red

O’ dawn vrom Ash-knap’s thatchen oves,

An’ walk on crumpled leaves a-laid

In grassy rook-trees’ timber’d groves,

Now, here, the cooler days do shrink

To vewer hours o’ zunny sky,

While zedge, a-weävèn by the brink

O’ shallow brooks, do slowly die.

An’ on the timber tall,

The boughs, half beäre, do bend above

The bulgèn banks in Fall.

There, we’d a spring o’ water near,

Here, water’s deep in wink-draïn’d wells,

The church ’tis true, is nigh out here,

Too nigh wi’ vive loud-boomèn bells.

There, naïghbours wer vull wide a-spread,

But vo’k be here too clwose a-stow’d.

Vor childern now do stun woone’s head,

Wi’ naïsy plaÿ bezide the road,

Where big so well as small,

The little lad, an’ lump’rèn lout,

Do leäp an’ laugh theäse Fall.

Leaves A-Vallèn.

There the ash-tree leaves do vall

In the wind a-blowèn cwolder,

An’ my childern, tall or small,

Since last Fall be woone year wolder.

Woone year wolder, woone year dearer,

Till when they do leave my he’th,

I shall be noo mwore a hearer

O’ their vaïces or their me’th.

There dead ash leaves be a-toss’d

In the wind, a-blowèn stronger,

An’ our life-time, since we lost

Souls we lov’d, is woone year longer.

Woone year longer, woone year wider,

Vrom the friends that death ha’ took,

As the hours do teäke the rider

Vrom the hand that last he shook.

No. If he do ride at night

Vrom the zide the zun went under,

Woone hour vrom his western light

Needen meäke woone hour asunder;

Woone hour onward, woone hour nigher

To the hopeful eastern skies,

Where his mornèn rim o’ vier

Soon ageän shall meet his eyes.

Leaves be now a-scatter’d round

In the wind, a-blowèn bleaker,

An’ if we do walk the ground

Wi’ our life-strangth woone year weaker.

Woone year weaker, woone year nigher

To the pleäce where we shall vind

Woone that’s deathless vor the dier,

Voremost they that dropp’d behind.


O Lizzie is so mild o’ mind,

Vor ever kind, an’ ever true;

A-smilèn, while her lids do rise

To show her eyes as bright as dew.

An’ comely do she look at night,

A-dancèn in her skirt o’ white,

An’ blushèn wi’ a rwose o’ red

Bezide her glossy head.

Feäir is the rwose o’ blushèn hue,

Behung wi’ dew, in mornèn’s hour,

Feäir is the rwose, so sweet below

The noontide glow, bezide the bow’r.

Vull feäir, an’ eet I’d rather zee

The rwose a-gather’d off the tree,

An’ bloomèn still with blossom red,

By Lizzie’s glossy head.

Mid peace droughout her e’thly day,

Betide her way, to happy rest,

An’ mid she, all her weanèn life,

Or maïd or wife, be loved and blest.

Though I mid never zing anew

To neäme the maïd so feäir an’ true,

A-blushèn, wi’ a rwose o’ red,

Bezide her glossy head.

Blessens A-Left.

Lik’ souls a-toss’d at sea I bore

Sad strokes o’ trial, shock by shock,

An’ now, lik’ souls a-cast ashore

To rest upon the beäten rock,

I still do seem to hear the sound

O’ weäves that drove me vrom my track,

An’ zee my strugglèn hopes a-drown’d,

An’ all my jaÿs a-floated back.

By storms a-toss’d, I’ll gi’e God praïse,

Wi’ much a-lost I still ha’ jaÿs.

My peace is rest, my faïth is hope,

An’ freedom’s my unbounded scope.

Vor faïth mid blunt the sting o’ fear,

An’ peace the pangs ov ills a-vound,

An’ freedom vlee vrom evils near,

Wi’ wings to vwold on other ground,

Wi’ much a-lost, my loss is small,

Vor though ov e’thly goods bereft,

A thousand times well worth em all

Be they good blessèns now a-left.

What e’th do own, to e’th mid vall,

But what’s my own my own I’ll call,

My faïth, an’ peäce, the gifts o’ greäce,

An’ freedom still to shift my pleäce.

When I’ve a-had a tree to screen

My meal-rest vrom the high zunn’d-sky,

Or ivy-holdèn wall between

My head an’ win’s a-rustlèn by,

I had noo call vor han’s to bring

Their seäv’ry daïnties at my nod,

But stoop’d a-drinkèn vrom the spring,

An’ took my meal, wi’ thanks to God,

Wi’ faïth to keep me free o’ dread,

An’ peäce to sleep wi’ steadvast head,

An’ freedom’s hands, an’ veet unbound

To woone man’s work, or woone seäme ground.

Fall Time.

The gather’d clouds, a-hangèn low,

Do meäke the woody ridge look dim;

An’ raïn-vill’d streams do brisker flow,

Arisèn higher to their brim.

In the tree, vrom lim’ to lim’,

Leaves do drop

Vrom the top, all slowly down,

Yollow, to the gloomy groun’.

The rick’s a-tipp’d an’ weather-brown’d,

An’ thatch’d wi’ zedge a-dried an’ dead;

An’ orcha’d apples, red half round,

Have all a-happer’d down, a-shed

Underneath the trees’ wide head.

Ladders long,

Rong by rong, to clim’ the tall

Trees, be hung upon the wall.

The crumpled leaves be now a-shed

In mornèn winds a-blowèn keen;

When they wer green the moss wer dead,

Now they be dead the moss is green.

Low the evenèn zun do sheen

By the boughs,

Where the cows do swing their taïls

Over the merry milkers’ païls.


Now the yollow zun, a-runnèn

Daily round a smaller bow,

Still wi’ cloudless sky’s a-zunnèn

All the sheenèn land below.

Vewer blossoms now do blow,

But the fruit’s a-showèn

Reds an’ blues, an’ purple hues,

By the leaves a-glowèn.

Now the childern be a-pryèn

Roun’ the berried bremble-bow,

Zome a-laughèn, woone a-cryèn

Vor the slent her frock do show.

Bwoys be out a-pullèn low

Slooe-boughs, or a-runnèn

Where, on zides of hazzle-wrides,

Nuts do hang a-zunnèn.

Where do reach roun’ wheat-ricks yollow

Oves o’ thatch, in long-drawn ring,

There, by stubbly hump an’ hollow,

Russet-dappled dogs do spring.

Soon my apple-trees wull fling

Bloomèn balls below em,

That shall hide, on ev’ry zide

Ground where we do drow em.

The Zilver-Weed.

The zilver-weed upon the green,

Out where my sons an’ daughters play’d,

Had never time to bloom between

The litty steps o’ bwoy an’ maïd.

But rwose-trees down along the wall,

That then wer all the maïden’s ceäre,

An’ all a-trimm’d an’ traïn’d, did bear

Their bloomèn buds vrom Spring to Fall.

But now the zilver leaves do show

To zummer day their goolden crown,

Wi’ noo swift shoe-zoles’ litty blow,

In merry plaÿ to beät em down.

An’ where vor years zome busy hand

Did traïn the rwoses wide an’ high;

Now woone by woone the trees do die,

An’ vew of all the row do stand.

The Widow’s House.

I went hwome in the dead o’ the night,

When the vields wer all empty o’ vo’k,

An’ the tuns at their cool-winded height

Wer all dark, an’ all cwold ’ithout smoke;

An’ the heads o’ the trees that I pass’d

Wer a-swayèn wi’ low-ruslèn sound,

An’ the doust wer a-whirl’d wi’ the blast,

Aye, a smeech wi’ the wind on the ground.

Then I come by the young widow’s hatch,

Down below the wold elem’s tall head,

But noo vinger did lift up the latch,

Vor the vo’k wer so still as the dead;

But inside, to a tree a-meäde vast,

Wer the childern’s light swing, a-hung low,

An’ a-rock’d by the brisk-blowèn blast,

Aye, a-swung by the win’ to an’ fro.

Vor the childern, wi’ pillow-borne head,

Had vorgotten their swing on the lawn,

An’ their father, asleep wi’ the dead,

Had vorgotten his work at the dawn;

An’ their mother, a vew stilly hours,

Had vorgotten where he sleept so sound,

Where the wind wer a-sheäkèn the flow’rs,

Aye, the blast the feäir buds on the ground.

Oh! the moon, wi’ his peäle lighted skies,

Have his sorrowless sleepers below.

But by day to the zun they must rise

To their true lives o’ tweil an’ ov ho.

Then the childern wull rise to their fun,

An’ their mother mwore sorrow to veel,

While the aïr is a-warm’d by the zun,

Aye, the win’ by the day’s vi’ry wheel.

The Child’s Greäve.

Avore the time when zuns went down

On zummer’s green a-turn’d to brown,

When sheädes o’ swaÿèn wheat-eärs vell

Upon the scarlet pimpernel;

The while you still mid goo, an’ vind

’Ithin the geärden’s mossy wall,

Sweet blossoms, low or risèn tall,

To meäke a tutty to your mind,

In churchyard heav’d, wi’ grassy breast,

The greäve-mound ov a beäby’s rest.

An’ when a high day broke, to call

A throng ’ithin the churchyard wall,

The mother brought, wi’ thoughtvul mind,

The feäirest buds her eyes could vind,

To trim the little greäve, an’ show

To other souls her love an’ loss,

An’ meäde a Seävior’s little cross

O’ brightest flow’rs that then did blow,

A-droppèn tears a-sheenèn bright,

Among the dew, in mornèn light

An’ woone sweet bud her han’ did pleäce

Up where did droop the Seävior’s feäce;

An’ two she zet a-bloomèn bright,

Where reach’d His hands o’ left an’ right;

Two mwore feäir blossoms, crimson dyed,

Did mark the pleäces ov his veet,

An’ woone did lie, a-smellèn sweet,

Up where the spear did wound the zide

Ov Him that is the life ov all

Greäve sleepers, whether big or small.

The mother that in faïth could zee

The Seävior on the high cross tree

Mid be a-vound a-grievèn sore,

But not to grieve vor evermwore,

Vor He shall show her faïthvul mind,

His chaïce is all that she should choose,

An’ love that here do grieve to lose,

Shall be, above, a jaÿ to vind,

Wi’ Him that evermwore shall keep

The souls that He do lay asleep.

Went Vrom Hwome.

The stream-be-wander’d dell did spread

Vrom height to woody height,

An’ meäds did lie, a grassy bed,

Vor elem-sheädèn light.

The milkmaïd by her white-horn’d cow,

Wi’ païl so white as snow,

Did zing below the elem bough

A-swaÿèn to an’ fro.

An’ there the evenèn’s low-shot light

Did smite the high tree-tops,

An’ rabbits vrom the grass, in fright,

Did leäp ’ithin the copse.

An’ there the shepherd wi’ his crook.

An’ dog bezide his knee,

Went whisslèn by, in aïr that shook

The ivy on the tree.

An’ on the hill, ahead, wer bars

A-showèn dark on high,

Avore, as eet, the evenèn stars

Did twinkle in the sky,

An’ then the last sweet evenèn-tide

That my long sheäde vell there,

I went down Brindon’s thymy zide,

To my last sleep at Ware.

The Fancy Feäir at Maïden Newton.

The Frome, wi’ ever-water’d brink,

Do run where shelvèn hills do zink

Wi’ housen all a-cluster’d roun’

The parish tow’rs below the down.

An’ now, vor woonce, at leäst, ov all

The pleäcen where the stream do vall,

There’s woone that zome today mid vind,

Wi’ things a-suited to their mind.

An’ that’s out where the Fancy Feäir

Is on at Maïden Newton.

An’ vo’k, a-smarten’d up, wull hop

Out here, as ev’ry traïn do stop,

Vrom up the line, a longish ride,

An’ down along the river-zide.

An’ zome do beät, wi’ heels an’ tooes,

The leänes an’ paths, in nimble shoes,

An’ bring, bezides, a biggish knot,

Ov all their childern that can trot,

A-vlockèn where the Fancy Feäir

Is here at Maïden Newton.

If you should goo, today, avore

A Chilfrome house or Downfrome door,

Or Frampton’s park-zide row, or look

Drough quiet Wraxall’s slopy nook,

Or elbow-streeted Catt’stock, down

By Castlehill’s cwold-winded crown,

An’ zee if vo’k be all at hwome,

You’d vind em out — they be a-come

Out hither, where the Fancy Feäir

Is on at Maïden Newton.

Come, young men, come, an’ here you’ll vind

A gift to please a maïden’s mind;

Come, husbands, here be gifts to please

Your wives, an’ meäke em smile vor days;

Come, so’s, an’ buy at Fancy Feäir

A keepseäke vor your friends elsewhere;

You can’t but stop an’ spend a cwein

Wi’ leädies that ha’ goods so fine;

An’ all to meake, vor childern’s seäke,

The School at Maïden Newton.

Things Do Come Round.

Above the leafless hazzle-wride

The wind-drove raïn did quickly vall,

An’ on the meäple’s ribby zide

Did hang the raïn-drops quiv’rèn ball;

Out where the brook o’ foamy yollow

Roll’d along the meäd’s deep hollow,

An’ noo birds wer out to beät,

Wi’ flappèn wings, the vleèn wet

O’ zunless clouds on flow’rless ground.

How time do bring the seasons round!

The moss, a-beät vrom trees, did lie

Upon the ground in ashen droves,

An’ western wind did huffle high,

Above the sheds’ quick-drippèn oves.

An’ where the ruslèn straw did sound

So dry, a-shelter’d in the lew,

I staïed alwone, an’ weather-bound,

An’ thought on times, long years agoo,

Wi’ water-floods on flow’rless ground.

How time do bring the seasons round!

We then, in childhood plaÿ, did seem

In work o’ men to teäke a peärt,

A-drevèn on our wild bwoy team,

Or lwoadèn o’ the tiny cart.

Or, on our little refters, spread

The zedgen ruf above our head,

But coulden tell, as now we can,

Where each would goo to tweil a man.

O jaÿs a-lost, an’ jaÿs a-vound,

How Providence do bring things round!

Where woonce along the sky o’ blue

The zun went roun’ his longsome bow,

An’ brighten’d, to my soul, the view

About our little farm below.

There I did plaÿ the merry geäme,

Wi’ childern ev’ry holitide,

But coulden tell the vaïce or neäme

That time would vind to be my bride.

O hwome a-left, O wife a-vound,

How Providence do bring things round!

An’ when I took my manhood’s pleäce,

A husband to a wife’s true vow,

I never thought by neäme or feäce

O’ childern that be round me now.

An’ now they all do grow vrom small,

Drough life’s feäir sheäpes to big an’ tall,

I still be blind to God’s good plan,

To pleäce em out as wife, or man.

O thread o’ love by God unwound,

How He in time do bring things round;

Zummer Thoughts in Winter Time.

Well, aye, last evenèn, as I shook

My locks ov haÿ by Leecombe brook.

The yollow zun did weakly glance

Upon the winter meäd askance,

A-castèn out my narrow sheäde

Athirt the brook, an’ on the meäd.

The while ageän my lwonesome ears

Did russle weatherbeäten spears,

Below the withy’s leafless head

That overhung the river’s bed;

I there did think o’ days that dried

The new-mow’d grass o’ zummer-tide,

When white-sleev’d mowers’ whetted bleädes

Rung sh’ill along the green-bough’d gleädes,

An’ maïdens gaÿ, wi’ plaÿsome chaps,

A-zot wi’ dinners in their laps,

Did talk wi’ merry words that rung

Around the ring, vrom tongue to tongue;

An’ welcome, when the leaves ha’ died,

Be zummer thoughts in winter-tide.

I’M Out O’ Door.

I’m out, when, in the Winter’s blast,

The zun, a-runnèn lowly round,

Do mark the sheädes the hedge do cast

At noon, in hoarvrost, on the ground,

I’m out when snow’s a-lyèn white

In keen-aïr’d vields that I do pass,

An’ moonbeams, vrom above, do smite

On ice an’ sleeper’s window-glass.

I’m out o’ door,

When win’ do zweep,

By hangèn steep,

Or hollow deep,

At Lindenore.

O welcome is the lewth a-vound

By rustlèn copse, or ivied bank,

Or by the haÿ-rick, weather-brown’d

By barken-grass, a-springèn rank;

Or where the waggon, vrom the team

A-freed, is well a-housed vrom wet,

An’ on the dousty cart-house beam

Do hang the cobweb’s white-lin’d net.

While storms do roar,

An’ win’ do zweep,

By hangèn steep,

Or hollow deep,

At Lindenore.

An’ when a good day’s work’s a-done

An’ I do rest, the while a squall

Do rumble in the hollow tun,

An’ ivy-stems do whip the wall.

Then in the house do sound about

My ears, dear vaïces vull or thin,

A praÿèn vor the souls vur out

At sea, an’ cry wi’ bibb’rèn chin —

Oh! shut the door.

What soul can sleep,

Upon the deep,

When storms do zweep

At Lindenore.

Grief an’ Gladness.

“Can all be still, when win’s do blow?

Look down the grove an’ zee

The boughs a-swingèn on the tree,

An’ beäten weäves below.

Zee how the tweilèn vo’k do bend

Upon their windward track,

Wi’ ev’ry string, an’ garment’s end,

A-flutt’rèn at their back.”

I cried, wi’ sorrow sore a-tried,

An’ hung, wi’ Jenny at my zide,

My head upon my breast.

Wi’ strokes o’ grief so hard to bear,

’Tis hard vor souls to rest.

Can all be dull, when zuns do glow?

Oh! no; look down the grove,

Where zides o’ trees be bright above;

An’ weäves do sheen below;

An’ neäked stems o’ wood in hedge

Do gleäm in streäks o’ light,

An’ rocks do gleäre upon the ledge

O’ yonder zunny height,

“No, Jeäne, wi’ trials now withdrawn,

Lik’ darkness at a happy dawn.”

I cried, “Noo mwore despair;

Wi’ our lost peace ageän a-vound,

’Tis wrong to harbour ceäre.”


When wind wer keen,

Where ivy-green

Did clwosely wind

Roun’ woak-tree rind,

An’ ice shone bright,

An’ meäds wer white, wi’ thin-spread snow

Then on the pond, a-spreadèn wide,

We bwoys did zweep along the slide,

A-strikèn on in merry row.

There ruddÿ-feäced,

In busy heäste,

We all did wag

A spankèn lag,

To win good speed,

When we, straïght-knee’d, wi’ foreright tooes,

Should shoot along the slipp’ry track,

Wi’ grindèn sound, a-gettèn slack,

The slower went our clumpèn shoes.

Vor zome slow chap,

Did teäke mishap,

As he did veel

His hinder heel

A-het a thump,

Wi’ zome big lump, o’ voot an’ shoe.

Down vell the voremost wi’ a squall,

An’ down the next went wi’ a sprawl,

An’ down went all the laughèn crew.

As to an’ fro,

In merry row,

We all went round

On ice, on ground

The maïdens nigh

A-stannèn shy, did zee us slide,

An’ in their eäprons small, did vwold

Their little hands, a-got red-cwold,

Or slide on ice o’ two veet wide.

By leafless copse,

An’ beäre tree-tops,

An’ zun’s low beams,

An’ ice-boun’ streams,

An’ vrost-boun’ mill,

A-stannèn still. Come wind, blow on,

An’ gi’e the bwoys, this Chris’mas tide,

The glitt’rèn ice to meäke a slide,

As we had our slide, years agone.


As I do zew, wi’ nimble hand,

In here avore the window’s light,

How still do all the housegear stand

Around my lwonesome zight.

How still do all the housegear stand

Since Willie now ’ve a-left the land.

The rwose-tree’s window-sheädèn bow

Do hang in leaf, an’ win’-blow’d flow’rs,

Avore my lwonesome eyes do show

Theäse bright November hours.

Avore my lwonesome eyes do show

Wi’ nwone but I to zee em blow.

The sheädes o’ leafy buds, avore

The peänes, do sheäke upon the glass,

An’ stir in light upon the vloor,

Where now vew veet do pass,

An’ stir in light upon the vloor,

Where there’s a-stirrèn nothèn mwore.

This win’ mid dreve upon the maïn,

My brother’s ship, a-plowèn foam,

But not bring mother, cwold, nor raïn,

At her now happy hwome.

But not bring mother, cwold, nor raïn,

Where she is out o’ pain.

Zoo now that I’m a-mwopèn dumb,

A-keepèn father’s house, do you

Come of’en wi’ your work vrom hwome,

Vor company. Now do.

Come of’en wi’ your work vrom hwome,

Up here a-while. Do come.

A Snowy Night.

’Twer at night, an’ a keen win’ did blow

Vrom the east under peäle-twinklèn stars,

All a-zweepèn along the white snow;

On the groun’, on the trees, on the bars,

Vrom the hedge where the win’ russled drough,

There a light-russlèn snow-doust did vall;

An’ noo pleäce wer a-vound that wer lew,

But the shed, or the ivy-hung wall.

Then I knock’d at the wold passage door

Wi’ the win’-driven snow on my locks;

Till, a-comèn along the cwold vloor,

There my Jenny soon answer’d my knocks.

Then the wind, by the door a-swung wide,

Flung some snow in her clear-bloomèn feäce,

An’ she blink’d wi’ her head all a-zide,

An’ a-chucklèn, went back to her pleäce.

An’ in there, as we zot roun’ the brands,

Though the talkers wer maïnly the men,

Bloomèn Jeäne, wi’ her work in her hands,

Did put in a good word now an’ then.

An’ when I took my leave, though so bleäk

Wer the weather, she went to the door,

Wi’ a smile, an’ a blush on the cheäk

That the snow had a-smitten avore.

The Year-Clock.

We zot bezide the leäfy wall,

Upon the bench at evenfall,

While aunt led off our minds vrom ceäre

Wi’ veäiry teäles, I can’t tell where:

An’ vound us woone among her stock

O’ feäbles, o’ the girt Year-clock.

His feäce wer blue’s the zummer skies,

An’ wide’s the zight o’ lookèn eyes,

For hands, a zun wi’ glowèn feäce,

An’ peäler moon wi’ swifter peäce,

Did wheel by stars o’ twinklèn light,

By bright-wall’d day, an’ dark-treed night;

An’ down upon the high-sky’d land,

A-reachèn wide, on either hand,

Wer hill an’ dell wi’ win’-swaÿ’d trees,

An’ lights a-zweepèn over seas,

An’ gleamèn cliffs, an’ bright-wall’d tow’rs,

Wi’ sheädes a-markèn on the hours;

An’ as the feäce, a-rollèn round,

Brought comely sheäpes along the ground.

The Spring did come in winsome steäte

Below a glowèn raïnbow geäte;

An’ fan wi’ aïr a-blowèn weak,

Her glossy heäir, an’ rwosy cheäk,

As she did shed vrom oben hand,

The leäpèn zeed on vurrow’d land;

The while the rook, wi’ heästy flight,

A-floatèn in the glowèn light,

Did bear avore her glossy breast

A stick to build her lofty nest,

An’ strong-limb’d Tweil, wi’ steady hands,

Did guide along the vallow lands

The heavy zull, wi’ bright-sheär’d beam,

Avore the weäry oxen team,

Wi’ Spring a-gone there come behind

Sweet Zummer, jaÿ ov ev’ry mind,

Wi’ feäce a-beamèn to beguile

Our weäry souls ov ev’ry tweil.

While birds did warble in the dell

In softest aïr o’ sweetest smell;

An’ she, so winsome-feäir did vwold

Her comely limbs in green an’ goold,

An’ wear a rwosy wreath, wi’ studs

O’ berries green, an’ new-born buds,

A-fring’d in colours vier-bright,

Wi’ sheäpes o’ buttervlees in flight.

When Zummer went, the next ov all

Did come the sheäpe o’ brown-feäc’d Fall,

A-smilèn in a comely gown

O’ green, a-shot wi’ yellow-brown,

A-border’d wi’ a goolden stripe

O’ fringe, a-meäde o’ corn-ears ripe,

An’ up ageän her comely zide,

Upon her rounded eärm, did ride

A perty basket, all a-twin’d

O’ slender stems wi’ leaves an’ rind,

A-vill’d wi’ fruit the trees did shed,

All ripe, in purple, goold, an’ red;

An’ busy Leäbor there did come

A-zingèn zongs ov harvest hwome,

An’ red-ear’d dogs did briskly run

Roun’ cheervul Leisure wi’ his gun,

Or stan’ an’ mark, wi’ stedvast zight,

The speckled pa’tridge rise in flight.

An’ next ageän to mild-feäc’d Fall

Did come peäle Winter, last ov all,

A-bendèn down, in thoughtvul mood,

Her head ’ithin a snow-white hood

A-deck’d wi’ icy-jewels, bright

An’ cwold as twinklèn stars o’ night;

An’ there wer weary Leäbor, slack

O’ veet to keep her vrozen track,

A-lookèn off, wi’ wistful eyes,

To reefs o’ smoke, that there did rise

A-meltèn to the peäle-feäc’d zun,

Above the houses’ lofty tun.

An’ there the girt Year-clock did goo

By day an’ night, vor ever true,

Wi’ mighty wheels a-rollèn round

’Ithout a beät, ’ithout a sound.

Not Goo Hwome to-Night.

No, no, why you’ve noo wife at hwome

Abidèn up till you do come,

Zoo leäve your hat upon the pin,

Vor I’m your waïter. Here’s your inn,

Wi’ chair to rest, an’ bed to roost;

You have but little work to do

This vrosty time at hwome in mill,

Your vrozen wheel’s a-stannèn still,

The sleepèn ice woont grind vor you.

No, no, you woont goo hwome to-night,

Good Robin White, o’ Craglin mill.

As I come by, today, where stood

Wi’ neäked trees, the purple wood,

The scarlet hunter’s ho’ses veet

Tore up the sheäkèn ground, wind-fleet,

Wi’ reachèn heads, an’ pankèn hides;

The while the flat-wing’d rooks in vlock.

Did zwim a-sheenèn at their height;

But your good river, since last night,

Wer all a-vroze so still’s a rock.

No, no, you woont goo hwome to-night,

Good Robin White, o’ Craglin mill.

Zee how the hufflèn win’ do blow,

A-whirlèn down the giddy snow:

Zee how the sky’s a-weärèn dim,

Behind the elem’s neäked lim’.

That there do leän above the leäne:

Zoo teäke your pleäce bezide the dogs,

An’ sip a drop o’ hwome-brew’d eäle,

An’ zing your zong or tell your teäle,

While I do baït the vier wi’ logs.

No, no, you woont goo hwome to-night,

Good Robin White, o’ Craglin mill.

Your meäre’s in steäble wi’ her hocks

In straw above her vetterlocks,

A-reachèn up her meäney neck,

An’ pullèn down good hay vrom reck,

A-meäkèn slight o’ snow an’ sleet;

She don’t want you upon her back,

To vall upon the slippery stwones

On Hollyhül, an’ break your bwones,

Or miss, in snow, her hidden track.

No, no, you woont goo hwome to-night,

Good Robin White, o’ Craglin mill.

Here, Jenny, come pull out your key

An’ hansel, wi’ zome tidy tea,

The zilver pot that we do owe

To your prize butter at the show,

An’ put zome bread upon the bwoard.

Ah! he do smile; now that ’ull do,

He’ll stay. Here, Polly, bring a light,

We’ll have a happy hour to-night,

I’m thankvul we be in the lew.

No, no, he woont goo hwome to-night,

Not Robin White, o’ Craglin mill.

The Humstrum.

Why woonce, at Chris’mas-tide, avore

The wold year wer a-reckon’d out,

The humstrums here did come about,

A-soundèn up at ev’ry door.

But now a bow do never screäpe

A humstrum, any where all round,

An’ zome can’t tell a humstrum’s sheäpe,

An’ never heärd his jinglèn sound.

As ing-an-ing did ring the string,

As ang-an-ang the wires did clang.

The strings a-tighten’d lik’ to crack

Athirt the canister’s tin zide,

Did reach, a glitt’rèn, zide by zide,

Above the humstrum’s hollow back.

An’ there the bwoy, wi’ bended stick,

A-strung wi’ heäir, to meäke a bow,

Did dreve his elbow, light’nèn quick,

Athirt the strings from high to low.

As ing-an-ing did ring the string,

As ang-an-ang the wires did clang.

The mother there did stan’ an’ hush

Her child, to hear the jinglèn sound,

The merry maïd, a-scrubbèn round

Her white-steäv’d païl, did stop her brush.

The mis’ess there, vor wold time’s seäke,

Had gifts to gi’e, and smiles to show,

An’ meäster, too, did stan’ an’ sheäke

His two broad zides, a-chucklèn low,

While ing-an-ing did ring the string,

While ang-an-ang the wires did clang.

The plaÿers’ pockets wer a-strout,

Wi’ wold brown pence, a-rottlèn in,

Their zwangèn bags did soon begin,

Wi’ brocks an’ scraps, to plim well out.

The childern all did run an’ poke

Their heads vrom hatch or door, an’ shout

A-runnèn back to wolder vo’k.

Why, here! the humstrums be about!

As ing-an-ing did ring the string,

As ang-an-ang the wires did clang.

Shaftesbury Feäir.

When hillborne Paladore did show

So bright to me down miles below.

As woonce the zun, a-rollèn west,

Did brighten up his hill’s high breast.

Wi’ walls a-lookèn dazzlèn white,

Or yollow, on the grey-topp’d height

Of Paladore, as peäle day wore

Awaÿ so feäir.

Oh! how I wish’d that I wer there.

The pleäce wer too vur off to spy

The livèn vo’k a-passèn by;

The vo’k too vur vor aïr to bring

The words that they did speak or zing.

All dum’ to me wer each abode,

An’ empty wer the down-hill road

Vrom Paladore, as peäle day wore

Awaÿ so feäir;

But how I wish’d that I wer there.

But when I clomb the lofty ground

Where livèn veet an’ tongues did sound,

At feäir, bezide your bloomèn feäce,

The pertiest in all the pleäce,

As you did look, wi’ eyes as blue

As yonder southern hills in view,

Vrom Paladore — O Polly dear,

Wi’ you up there,

How merry then wer I at feäir.

Since vu’st I trod thik steep hill-zide

My grievèn soul ’v a-been a-tried

Wi’ païn, an’ loss o’ worldly geär,

An’ souls a-gone I wanted near;

But you be here to goo up still,

An’ look to Blackmwore vrom the hill

O’ Paladore. Zoo, Polly dear,

We’ll goo up there,

An’ spend an hour or two at feäir.

The wold brown meäre’s a-brought vrom grass,

An’ rubb’d an’ cwomb’d so bright as glass;

An’ now we’ll hitch her in, an’ start

To feäir upon the new green cart,

An’ teäke our little Poll between

Our zides, as proud’s a little queen,

To Paladore. Aye, Poll a dear,

Vor now ’tis feäir,

An’ she’s a longèn to goo there.

While Paladore, on watch, do straïn

Her eyes to Blackmwore’s blue-hill’d pläin,

While Duncliffe is the traveller’s mark,

Or cloty Stour’s a-rollèn dark;

Or while our bells do call, vor greäce,

The vo’k avore their Seävior’s feäce,

Mid Paladore, an’ Poll a dear,

Vor ever know

O’ peäce an’ plenty down below.

The Beäten Path.

The beäten path where vo’k do meet

A-comèn on vrom vur an’ near;

How many errands had the veet

That wore en out along so clear!

Where eegrass bleädes be green in meäd,

Where bennets up the leäze be brown,

An’ where the timber bridge do leäd

Athirt the cloty brook to town,

Along the path by mile an’ mile,

Athirt the yield, an’ brook, an’ stile,

There runnèn childern’s hearty laugh

Do come an’ vlee along — win’ swift:

The wold man’s glossy-knobbèd staff

Do help his veet so hard to lift;

The maïd do bear her basket by,

A-hangèn at her breäthèn zide;

An’ ceäreless young men, straïght an’ spry,

Do whissle hwome at eventide,

Along the path, a-reachèn by

Below tall trees an’ oben sky.

There woone do goo to jaÿ a-head;

Another’s jaÿ’s behind his back.

There woone his vu’st long mile do tread,

An’ woone the last ov all his track.

An’ woone mid end a hopevul road,

Wi’ hopeless grief a-teäkèn on,

As he that leätely vrom abroad

Come hwome to seek his love a-gone,

Noo mwore to tread, wi’ comely eäse,

The beäten path athirt the leäze.

In tweilsome hardships, year by year,

He drough the worold wander’d wide,

Still bent, in mind, both vur an’ near

To come an’ meäke his love his bride.

An’ passèn here drough evenèn dew

He heästen’d, happy, to her door,

But vound the wold vo’k only two,

Wi’ noo mwore vootsteps on the vloor,

To walk ageän below the skies,

Where beäten paths do vall an’ rise;

Vor she wer gone vrom e’thly eyes

To be a-kept in darksome sleep,

Until the good ageän do rise

A-jaÿ to souls they left to weep.

The rwose wer doust that bound her brow;

The moth did eat her Zunday ceäpe;

Her frock wer out o’ fashion now;

Her shoes wer dried up out o’ sheäpe —

The shoes that woonce did glitter black

Along the leäzes beäten track.

Ruth A-Ridèn.

Ov all the roads that ever bridge

Did bear athirt a river’s feäce,

Or ho’ses up an’ down the ridge

Did wear to doust at ev’ry peäce,

I’ll teäke the Stalton leäne to tread,

By banks wi’ primrwose-beds bespread,

An’ steätely elems over head,

Where Ruth do come a-ridèn.

An’ I would rise when vields be grey

Wi’ mornèn dew, avore ’tis dry,

An’ beät the doust droughout the day

To bluest hills ov all the sky;

If there, avore the dusk o’ night,

The evenèn zun, a-sheenèn bright,

Would pay my leäbors wi’ the zight

O’ Ruth — o’ Ruth a-ridèn.

Her healthy feäce is rwosy feäir,

She’s comely in her gaït an’ lim’,

An’ sweet’s the smile her feäce do wear,

Below her cap’s well-rounded brim;

An’ while her skirt’s a-spreädèn wide,

In vwolds upon the ho’se’s zide,

He’ll toss his head, an’ snort wi’ pride,

To trot wi’ Ruth a-ridèn.

An’ as her ho’se’s rottlèn peäce

Do slacken till his veet do beät

A slower trot, an’ till her feäce

Do bloom avore the tollman’s geäte;

Oh! he’d be glad to oben wide

His high-back’d geäte, an’ stand azide,

A-givèn up his toll wi’ pride,

Vor zight o’ Ruth a-ridèn.

An’ oh! that Ruth could be my bride,

An’ I had ho’ses at my will,

That I mid teäke her by my zide,

A-ridèn over dell an’ hill;

I’d zet wi’ pride her litty tooe

’Ithin a stirrup, sheenèn new,

An’ leäve all other jaÿs to goo

Along wi’ Ruth a-ridèn.

If maïdens that be weäk an’ peäle

A-mwopèn in the house’s sheäde,

Would wish to be so blithe and heäle

As you did zee young Ruth a-meäde;

Then, though the zummer zun mid glow,

Or though the Winter win’ mid blow,

They’d leäp upon the saddle’s bow,

An’ goo, lik’ Ruth, a-ridèn.

While evenèn light do sof’ly gild

The moss upon the elem’s bark,

Avore the zingèn bird’s a-still’d,

Or woods be dim, or day is dark,

Wi’ quiv’rèn grass avore his breast,

In cowslip beds, do lie at rest,

The ho’se that now do goo the best

Wi’ rwosy Ruth a-ridèn.

Beauty Undecked.

The grass mid sheen when wat’ry beäds

O’ dew do glitter on the meäds,

An’ thorns be bright when quiv’rèn studs

O’ raïn do hang upon their buds —

As jewels be a-meäde by art

To zet the plaïnest vo’k off smart.

But sheäkèn ivy on its tree,

An’ low-bough’d laurel at our knee,

Be bright all daÿ, without the gleäre,

O’ drops that duller leäves mid weär —

As Jeäne is feäir to look upon

In plaïnest gear that she can don.

My Love is Good.

My love is good, my love is feäir,

She’s comely to behold, O,

In ev’rything that she do wear,

Altho’ ’tis new or wold, O.

My heart do leäp to see her walk,

So straïght do step her veet, O,

My tongue is dum’ to hear her talk,

Her vaïce do sound so sweet, O.

The flow’ry groun’ wi’ floor o’ green

Do bear but vew, so good an’ true.

When she do zit, then she do seem

The feäirest to my zight, O,

Till she do stan’ an’ I do deem,

She’s feäirest at her height, O.

An’ she do seem ’ithin a room

The feäirest on a floor, O,

Till I ageän do zee her bloom

Still feäirer out o’ door, O.

Where flow’ry groun’ wi’ floor o’ green

Do bear but vew, so good an’ true.

An’ when the deäisies be a-press’d

Below her vootsteps waïght, O,

Do seem as if she look’d the best

Ov all in walkèn gaït, O.

Till I do zee her zit upright

Behind the ho’ses neck, O,

A-holdèn wi’ the raïn so tight

His tossèn head in check, O,

Where flow’ry groun’ wi’ floor o’ green

Do bear but vew, so good an’ true.

I wish I had my own free land

To keep a ho’se to ride, O,

I wish I had a ho’se in hand

To ride en at her zide, O.

Vor if I wer as high in rank

As any duke or lord, O,

Or had the goold the richest bank

Can shovel from his horde, O,

I’d love her still, if even then

She wer a leäser in a glen.

Heedless O’ My Love.

Oh! I vu’st know’d o’ my true love,

As the bright moon up above,

Though her brightness wer my pleasure,

She wer heedless o’ my love.

Tho’ ’twer all gaÿ to my eyes,

Where her feäir feäce did arise,

She noo mwore thought upon my thoughts,

Than the high moon in the skies.

Oh! I vu’st heärd her a-zingèn,

As a sweet bird on a tree,

Though her zingèn wer my pleasure,

’Twer noo zong she zung to me.

Though her sweet vaïce that wer nigh,

Meäde my wild heart to beat high,

She noo mwore thought upon my thoughts,

Than the birds would passers by.

Oh! I vu’st know’d her a-weepèn,

As a raïn-dimm’d mornèn sky,

Though her teär-draps dimm’d her blushes,

They wer noo draps I could dry.

Ev’ry bright tear that did roll,

Wer a keen païn to my soul,

But noo heärt’s pang she did then veel,

Wer vor my words to console.

But the wold times be a-vanish’d,

An’ my true love is my bride.

An’ her kind heart have a-meäde her.

As an angel at my zide;

I’ve her best smiles that mid plaÿ,

I’ve her me’th when she is gaÿ,

When her tear-draps be a-rollèn,

I can now wipe em awaÿ.

The Do’set Militia.

Hurrah! my lads, vor Do’set men!

A-muster’d here in red ageän;

All welcome to your ranks, a-spread

Up zide to zide, to stand, or wheel,

An’ welcome to your files, to head

The steady march wi’ tooe to heel;

Welcome to marches slow or quick!

Welcome to gath’rèns thin or thick;

God speed the Colonel on the hill,4

An’ Mrs Bingham,5 off o’ drill.

When you’ve a-handled well your lock,

An’ flung about your rifle stock

Vrom han’ to shoulder, up an’ down;

When you’ve a-lwoaded an’ a-vired,

Till you do come back into town,

Wi’ all your loppèn limbs a-tired,

An you be dry an’ burnèn hot,

Why here’s your tea an’ coffee pot

At Mister Greenèn’s penny till,

Wi’ Mrs Bingham off o’ drill.

Last year John Hinley’s mother cried,

“Why my bwoy John is quite my pride!

Vor he’ve a-been so good to-year,

An’ han’t a-mell’d wi’ any squabbles,

An’ han’t a-drown’d his wits in beer,

An’ han’t a-been in any hobbles.

I never thought he’d turn out bad,

He always wer so good a lad;

But now I’m sure he’s better still,

Drough Mrs Bingham, off o’ drill.”

Jeäne Hart, that’s Joey Duntley’s chaïce,

Do praise en up wi’ her sweet vaïce,

Vor he’s so strait’s a hollyhock

(Vew hollyhocks be up so tall),

An’ he do come so true’s the clock

To Mrs Bingham’s coffee-stall;

An’ Jeäne do write, an’ brag o’ Joe

To teäke the young recruits in tow,

An’ try, vor all their good, to bring em,

A-come from drill, to Mrs Bingham.

God speed the Colonel, toppèn high,

An’ officers wi’ sworded thigh,

An’ all the sargeants that do bawl

All day enough to split their droats,

An’ all the corporals, and all

The band a-plaÿèn up their notes,

An’ all the men vrom vur an’ near

We’ll gi’e em all a hearty cheer.

An’ then another cheerèn still

Vor Mrs Bingham, off o’ drill.

4 Poundbury, Dorchester, the drill ground.]

5 The colonel’s wife, who opened a room with a coffee-stall, and entertainments for the men off drill.]

A Do’set Sale.

With a Mistake.

(Thomas and Mr Auctioneer.)

T. Well here, then, Mister auctioneer,

Be theäse the virs, I bought, out here?

A. The firs, the fir-poles, you bought? Who?

’Twas furze, not firs, I sold to you.

T. I bid vor virs, and not vor vuzzen,

Vor vir-poles, as I thought, two dozen.

A. Two dozen faggots, and I took

Your bidding for them. Here’s the book.

T. I wont have what I diddèn buy.

I don’t want vuzzen, now. Not I.

Why firs an’ furze do sound the seäme.

Why don’t ye gi’e a thing his neäme?

Aye, firs and furze! Why, who can tell

Which ’tis that you do meän to zell?

No, no, be kind enough to call

Em virs, and vuzzen, then, that’s all.

Don’t Ceäre.

At the feäst, I do mind very well, all the vo’ks

Wer a-took in a happerèn storm,

But we chaps took the maïdens, an’ kept em wi’ clokes

Under shelter, all dry an’ all warm;

An’ to my lot vell Jeäne, that’s my bride,

That did titter, a-hung at my zide;

Zaid her aunt, “Why the vo’k ’ull talk finely o’ you,”

An’, cried she, “I don’t ceäre if they do.”

When the time o’ the feäst wer ageän a-come round,

An’ the vo’k wer a-gather’d woonce mwore,

Why she guess’d if she went there, she’d soon be a-vound

An’ a-took seäfely hwome to her door.

Zaid her mother, “’Tis sure to be wet.”

Zaid her cousin, “’T’ull raïn by zunzet.”

Zaid her aunt, “Why the clouds there do look black an’ blue,”

An’ zaid she, “I don’t ceäre if they do.”

An’ at last, when she own’d I mid meäke her my bride,

Vor to help me, an’ sheäre all my lot,

An’ wi’ faïthvulness keep all her life at my zide,

Though my waÿ mid be happy or not.

Zaid her naïghbours, “Why wedlock’s a clog,

An’ a wife’s a-tied up lik’ a dog.”

Zaid her aunt, “You’ll vind trials enough vor to rue,”

An’, zaid she, “I don’t ceäre if I do.”

* * * * *

Now she’s married, an’ still in the midst ov her tweils

She’s as happy’s the daylight is long,

She do goo out abroad wi’ her feäce vull o’ smiles,

An’ do work in the house wi’ a zong.

An’, zays woone, “She don’t grieve, you can tell.”

Zays another, “Why, don’t she look well!”

Zays her aunt, “Why the young vo’k do envy you two,”

An’, zays she, “I don’t ceäre if they do.”

Now vor me I can zing in my business abrode,

Though the storm do beät down on my poll,

There’s a wife-brighten’d vier at the end o’ my road,

An’ her love vor the jaÿ o’ my soul.

Out o’ door I wi’ rogues mid be tried:

Out o’ door be brow-beäten wi’ pride;

Men mid scowl out o’ door, if my wife is but true —

Let em scowl, “I don’t ceäre if they do.”


By time’s a-brought the mornèn light,

By time the light do weäne;

By time’s a-brought the young man’s might,

By time his might do weäne;

The Winter snow do whitèn grass,

The zummer flow’rs do brightèn grass,

Vor zome things we do lose wi’ païn,

We’ve mwore that mid be jaÿ to gaïn,

An’ my dear life do seem the seäme

While at my zide

There still do bide

Your welcome feäce an’ hwomely neäme.

Wï’ ev’ry day that woonce come on

I had to choose a jaÿ,

Wi’ many that be since a-gone

I had to lose a jaÿ.

Drough longsome years a-wanderèn,

Drough lwonesome rest a-ponderèn,

Woone peaceful daytime wer a-bro’t

To heal the heart another smote;

But my dear life do seem the seäme

While I can hear,

A-soundèn near,

Your answ’rèn vaïce an’ long-call’d neäme.

An’ oh! that hope, when life do dawn,

Should rise to light our waÿ,

An’ then, wi’ weänèn het withdrawn,

Should soon benight our waÿ.

Whatever mid beval me still,

Wherever chance mid call me still,

Though leäte my evenèn tweil mid cease,

An’ though my night mid lose its peace,

My life will seem to me the seäme

While you do sheäre

My daily ceäre,

An’ answer to your long-call’d neäme.


Good Meäster Collins heärd woone day

A man a-talkèn, that did zay

It woulden answer to be kind,

He thought, to vo’k o’ grov’lèn mind,

Vor they would only teäke it wrong,

That you be weak an’ they be strong.

“No,” cried the goodman, “never mind,

Let vo’k be thankless — you be kind;

Don’t do your good for e’thly ends

At man’s own call vor man’s amends.

Though souls befriended should remaïn

As thankless as the sea vor raïn,

On them the good’s a-lost ’tis true,

But never can be lost to you.

Look on the cool-feäced moon at night

Wi’ light-vull ring, at utmost height,

A-castèn down, in gleamèn strokes,

His beams upon the dim-bough’d woaks,

To show the cliff a-risèn steep,

To show the stream a-vallèn deep,

To show where windèn roads do leäd,

An’ prickly thorns do ward the meäd.

While sheädes o’ boughs do flutter dark

Upon the woak-trees’ moon-bright bark.

There in the lewth, below the hill,

The nightèngeäle, wi’ ringèn bill,

Do zing among the soft-aïr’d groves,

While up below the house’s oves

The maïd, a-lookèn vrom her room

Drough window, in her youthvul bloom,

Do listen, wi’ white ears among

Her glossy heäirlocks, to the zong.

If, then, the while the moon do lïght

The lwonesome zinger o’ the night,

His cwold-beam’d light do seem to show

The prowlèn owls the mouse below.

What then? Because an evil will,

Ov his sweet good, mid meäke zome ill,

Shall all his feäce be kept behind

The dark-brow’d hills to leäve us blind?”


When weakness now do strive wi’ might

In struggles ov an e’thly trial,

Might mid overcome the right,

An’ truth be turn’d by might’s denial;

Withstanders we ha’ mwost to feär,

If selfishness do wring us here,

Be souls a-holdèn in their hand,

The might an’ riches o’ the land.

But when the wicked, now so strong,

Shall stan’ vor judgment, peäle as ashes,

By the souls that rued their wrong,

Wi’ tears a-hangèn on their lashes —

Then wïthstanders they shall deäre

The leäst ov all to meet wi’ there,

Mid be the helpless souls that now

Below their wrongvul might mid bow.

Sweet childern o’ the dead, bereft

Ov all their goods by guile an’ forgèn;

Souls o’ driven sleäves that left

Their weäry limbs a-mark’d by scourgèn;

They that God ha’ call’d to die

Vor truth ageän the worold’s lie,

An’ they that groan’d an’ cried in vaïn,

A-bound by foes’ unrighteous chaïn.

The maïd that selfish craft led on

To sin, an’ left wi’ hope a-blighted;

Starvèn workmen, thin an’ wan,

Wi’ hopeless leäbour ill requited;

Souls a-wrong’d, an’ call’d to vill

Wi’ dread, the men that us’d em ill.

When might shall yield to right as pliant

As a dwarf avore a giant.

When there, at last, the good shall glow

In starbright bodies lik’ their Seäviour,

Vor all their flesh noo mwore mid show,

The marks o’ man’s unkind beheäviour:

Wi’ speechless tongue, an’ burnèn cheak,

The strong shall bow avore the weäk,

An’ vind that helplessness, wi’ right,

Is strong beyond all e’thly might.

Daniel Dwithen, the Wise Chap.

Dan Dwithen wer the chap to show

His naïghbours mwore than they did know,

Vor he could zee, wi’ half a thought,

What zome could hardly be a-taught;

An’ he had never any doubt

Whatever ’twer, but he did know’t,

An’ had a-reach’d the bottom o’t,

Or soon could meäke it out.

Wi’ narrow feäce, an’ nose so thin

That light a’most shone drough the skin,

As he did talk, wi’ his red peäir

O’ lips, an’ his vull eyes did steäre,

What nippy looks friend Daniel wore,

An’ how he smiled as he did bring

Such reasons vor to clear a thing,

As dather’d vo’k the mwore!

When woonce there come along the road

At night, zome show-vo’k, wi’ a lwoad

Ov half the wild outlandïsh things

That crawl’d, or went wi’ veet, or wings;

Their elephant, to stratch his knees,

Walk’d up the road-zide turf, an’ left

His tracks a-zunk wi’ all his heft

As big’s a vinny cheese.

An’ zoo next mornèn zome vo’k vound

The girt round tracks upon the ground,

An’ view’d em all wi’ stedvast eyes,

An’ wi’ their vingers spann’d their size,

An’ took their depth below the brink:

An’ whether they mid be the tracks

O’ things wi’ witches on their backs,

Or what, they coulden think.

At last friend Dan come up, an’ brought

His wit to help their dizzy thought,

An’ lookèn on an’ off the ea’th,

He cried, a-drawèn a vull breath,

Why, I do know; what, can’t ye zee ’t?

I’ll bet a shillèn ’twer a deer

Broke out o’ park, an’ sprung on here,

Wi’ quoits upon his veet.

Turnèn Things Off.

Upzides wi’ Polly! no, he’d vind

That Poll would soon leäve him behind.

To turn things off! oh! she’s too quick

To be a-caught by ev’ry trick.

Woone day our Jimmy stole down steäirs

On merry Polly unaweäres,

The while her nimble tongue did run

A-tellèn, all alive wi’ fun,

To sister Anne, how Simon Heäre

Did hanker after her at feäir.

“He left,” cried Polly, “cousin Jeäne,

An’ kept wi’ us all down the leäne,

An’ which way ever we did leäd

He vollow’d over hill an’ meäd;

An’ wi’ his head o’ shaggy heäir,

An’ sleek brown cwoat that he do weäre,

An’ collar that did reach so high

’S his two red ears, or perty nigh,

He swung his täil, wi’ steps o’ pride,

Back right an’ left, vrom zide to zide,

A-walkèn on, wi’ heavy strides

A half behind, an’ half upzides.”

“Who’s that?” cried Jimmy, all agog;

An’ thought he had her now han’-pat,

“That’s Simon Heäre,” but no, “Who’s that?”

Cried she at woonce, “Why Uncle’s dog,

Wi’ what have you a-been misled

I wonder. Tell me what I zaid.”

Woone evenèn as she zot bezide

The wall the ranglèn vine do hide,

A-prattlèn on, as she did zend

Her needle, at her vinger’s end.

On drough the work she had in hand,

Zome bran-new thing that she’d a-plann’d,

Jim overheärd her talk ageän

O’ Robin Hine, ov Ivy Leäne,

“Oh! no, what he!” she cried in scorn,

“I wouldèn gie a penny vor’n;

The best ov him’s outzide in view;

His cwoat is gaÿ enough, ’tis true,

But then the wold vo’k didden bring

En up to know a single thing,

An’ as vor zingèn — what do seem

His zingèn’s nothèn but a scream.”

“So ho!” cried Jim, “Who’s that, then, Meäry,

That you be now a-talkèn o’?”

He thought to catch her then, but, no,

Cried Polly, “Oh! why Jeäne’s caneäry,

Wi’ what have you a-been misled,

I wonder. Tell me what I zaid.”

The Giants in Treädes.

Gramfer’s Feäble.

(How the steam engine come about.)

Vier, Aïr, E’th, Water, wer a-meäde

Good workers, each o’m in his treäde,

An’ Aïr an’ Water, wer a-match

Vor woone another in a mill;

The giant Water at a hatch,

An’ Aïr on the windmill hill.

Zoo then, when Water had a-meäde

Zome money, Äir begrudg’d his treäde,

An’ come by, unaweäres woone night,

An’ vound en at his own mill-head,

An’ cast upon en, iron-tight,

An icy cwoat so stiff as lead.

An’ there he wer so good as dead

Vor grindèn any corn vor bread.

Then Water cried to Vier, “Alack!

Look, here be I, so stiff’s a log,

Thik fellor Aïr do keep me back

Vrom grindèn. I can’t wag a cog.

If I, dear Vier, did ever souse

Your nimble body on a house,

When you wer on your merry pranks

Wi’ thatch or refters, beams or planks,

Vorgi’e me, do, in pity’s neäme,

Vor ’twerden I that wer to bleäme,

I never wagg’d, though I be’nt cringèn,

Till men did dreve me wi’ their engine.

Do zet me free vrom theäse cwold jacket,

Vor I myzelf shall never crack it.”

“Well come,” cried Vier, “My vo’k ha’ meäde

An engine that ’ull work your treäde.

If E’th is only in the mood,

While I do work, to gi’e me food,

I’ll help ye, an’ I’ll meäke your skill

A match vor Mister Aïr’s wold mill.”

“What food,” cried E’th, “’ull suit your bwoard?”

“Oh! trust me, I ben’t over nice,”

Cried Vier, “an’ I can eat a slice

Ov any thing you can avword.”

“I’ve lots,” cried E’th, “ov coal an’ wood.”

“Ah! that’s the stuff,” cried Vier, “that’s good.”

Zoo Vier at woonce to Water cried,

“Here, Water, here, you get inside

O’ theäse girt bwoiler. Then I’ll show

How I can help ye down below,

An’ when my work shall woonce begin

You’ll be a thousand times so strong,

An’ be a thousand times so long

An’ big as when you vu’st got in.

An’ I wull meäke, as sure as death,

Thik fellor Aïr to vind me breath,

An’ you shall grind, an’ pull, an’ dreve,

An’ zaw, an’ drash, an’ pump, an’ heave,

An’ get vrom Aïr, in time, I’ll lay

A pound, the drevèn ships at sea.”

An’ zoo ’tis good to zee that might

Wull help a man a-wrong’d, to right.

The Little Worold.

My hwome wer on the timber’d ground

O’ Duncombe, wi’ the hills a-bound:

Where vew from other peärts did come,

An’ vew did travel vur from hwome,

An’ small the worold I did know;

But then, what had it to bestow

But Fanny Deäne so good an’ feäir?

’Twer wide enough if she wer there.

In our deep hollow where the zun

Did eärly leäve the smoky tun,

An’ all the meäds a-growèn dim,

Below the hill wi’ zunny rim;

Oh! small the land the hills did bound,

But there did walk upon the ground

Young Fanny Deäne so good an’ feäir:

’Twer wide enough if she wer there.

O’ leäte upon the misty plaïn

I staÿ’d vor shelter vrom the raïn,

Where sharp-leav’d ashès’ heads did twist

In hufflèn wind, an’ driftèn mist,

An’ small the worold I could zee;

But then it had below the tree

My Fanny Deäne so good an’ feäir:

’Twer wide enough if she wer there.

An’ I’ve a house wi’ thatchen ridge,

Below the elems by the bridge:

Wi’ small-peän’d windows, that do look

Upon a knap, an’ ramblèn brook;

An’ small’s my house, my ruf is low,

But then who mid it have to show

But Fanny Deäne so good an’ feäir?

’Tis fine enough if peace is there.

Bad News.

I do mind when there broke bitter tidèns,

Woone day, on their ears,

An’ their souls wer a-smote wi’ a stroke

As the lightnèn do vall on the woak,

An’ the things that wer bright all around em

Seem’d dim drough their tears.

Then unheeded wer things in their vingers,

Their grief wer their all.

All unheeded wer zongs o’ the birds,

All unheeded the child’s perty words,

All unheeded the kitten a-rollèn

The white-threaded ball.

Oh! vor their minds the daylight around em

Had nothèn to show.

Though it brighten’d their tears as they vell,

An’ did sheen on their lips that did tell,

In their vaïces all thrillèn an’ mwoansome,

O’ nothèn but woe.

But they vound that, by Heavenly mercy,

The news werden true;

An’ they shook, wi’ low laughter, as quick

As a drum when his blows do vall thick,

An’ wer eärnest in words o’ thanksgivèn,

Vor mercies anew.

The Turnstile.

Ah! sad wer we as we did peäce

The wold church road, wi’ downcast feäce,

The while the bells, that mwoan’d so deep

Above our child a-left asleep,

Wer now a-zingèn all alive

Wi’ tother bells to meäke the vive.

But up at woone pleäce we come by,

’Twer hard to keep woone’s two eyes dry:

On Steän-cliff road, ’ithin the drong,

Up where, as vo’k do pass along,

The turnèn stile, a-païnted white,

Do sheen by day an’ show by night.

Vor always there, as we did goo

To church, thik stile did let us drough,

Wi’ spreadèn eärms that wheel’d to guide

Us each in turn to tother zide.

An’ vu’st ov all the traïn he took

My wife, wi’ winsome gaït an’ look;

An’ then zent on my little maïd,

A-skippèn onward, overjaÿ’d

To reach ageän the pleäce o’ pride,

Her comely mother’s left han’ zide.

An’ then, a-wheelèn roun’, he took

On me, ’ithin his third white nook.

An’ in the fourth, a-sheäkèn wild,

He zent us on our giddy child.

But eesterday he guided slow

My downcast Jenny, vull o’ woe,

An’ then my little maïd in black,

A-walkèn softly on her track;

An’ after he’d a-turn’d ageän,

To let me goo along the leäne,

He had noo little bwoy to vill

His last white eärms, an’ they stood still.

The Better Vor Zeèn O’ You.

’Twer good what Meäster Collins spoke

O’ spite to two poor spitevul vo’k,

When woone twold tother o’ the two

“I be never the better vor zeèn o’ you.”

If soul to soul, as Christians should,

Would always try to do zome good,

“How vew,” he cried, “would zee our feäce

A-brighten’d up wi’ smiles o’ greäce,

An’ tell us, or could tell us true,

I be never the better vor zeèn o’ you.”

A man mus’ be in evil ceäse

To live ’ithin a land o’ greäce,

Wi’ nothèn that a soul can read

O’ goodness in his word or deed;

To still a breast a-heav’d wi’ sighs,

Or dry the tears o’ weepèn eyes;

To staÿ a vist that spite ha’ wrung,

Or cool the het ov anger’s tongue:

Or bless, or help, or gi’e, or lend;

Or to the friendless stand a friend,

An’ zoo that all could tell en true,

“I be never the better vor zeèn o’ you.”

Oh! no, mid all o’s try to spend

Our passèn time to zome good end,

An’ zoo vrom day to day teäke heed,

By mind, an’ han’, by word or deed;

To lessen evil, and increase

The growth o’ righteousness an’ peäce,

A-speakèn words o’ lovèn-kindness,

Openèn the eyes o’ blindness;

Helpèn helpless striver’s weakness,

Cheerèn hopeless grievers’ meekness,

Meäkèn friends at every meetèn,

Veel the happier vor their greetèn;

Zoo that vew could tell us true,

“I be never the better vor zeèn o’ you.”

No, let us even try to win

Zome little good vrom sons o’ sin,

An’ let their evils warn us back

Vrom teäkèn on their hopeless track,

Where we mid zee so clear’s the zun

That harm a-done is harm a-won,

An’ we mid cry an’ tell em true,

“I be even the better vor zeèn o’ you.”


Good Meäster Collins! aye, how mild he spoke

Woone day o’ Mercy to zome cruel vo’k.

“No, no. Have Mercy on a helpless head,

An’ don’t be cruel to a zoul,” he zaid.

“When Babylon’s king woonce cast ’ithin

The viery furnace, in his spite,

The vetter’d souls whose only sin

Wer praÿer to the God o’ might,

He vound a fourth, ’ithout a neäme,

A-walkèn wi’ em in the fleäme.

An’ zoo, whenever we mid hurt,

Vrom spite, or vrom disdaïn,

A brother’s soul, or meäke en smert

Wi’ keen an’ needless païn,

Another that we midden know

Is always wi’ en in his woe.

Vor you do know our Lord ha’ cried,

“By faïth my bretheren do bide

In me the livèn vine,

As branches in a livèn tree;

Whatever you’ve a-done to mine

Is all a-done to me.

Oh! when the new-born child, the e’th’s new guest,

Do lie an’ heave his little breast,

In pillow’d sleep, wi’ sweetest breath

O’ sinless days drough rwosy lips a-drawn;

Then, if a han’ can smite en in his dawn

O’ life to darksome death,

Oh! where can Pity ever vwold

Her wings o’ swiftness vrom their holy flight,

To leäve a heart o’ flesh an’ blood so cwold

At such a touchèn zight?

An’ zoo mid meek-soul’d Pity still

Be zent to check our evil will,

An’ keep the helpless soul from woe,

An’ hold the hardened heart vrom sin.

Vor they that can but mercy show

Shall all their Father’s mercy win.”

John Bloom in Lon’on.

(All true.)

John Bloom he wer a jolly soul,

A grinder o’ the best o’ meal,

Bezide a river that did roll,

Vrom week to week, to push his wheel.

His flour wer all a-meäde o’ wheat;

An’ fit for bread that vo’k mid eat;

Vor he would starve avore he’d cheat.

“’Tis pure,” woone woman cried;

“Aye, sure,” woone mwore replied;

“You’ll vind it nice. Buy woonce, buy twice,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

Athirt the chest he wer so wide

As two or dree ov me or you.

An’ wider still vrom zide to zide,

An’ I do think still thicker drough.

Vall down, he coulden, he did lie

When he wer up on-zide so high

As up on-end or perty nigh.

“Meäke room,” woone naïghbour cried;

“’Tis Bloom,” woone mwore replied;

“Good morn t’ye all, bwoth girt an’ small,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

Noo stings o’ conscience ever broke

His rest, a-twitèn o’n wi’ wrong,

Zoo he did sleep till mornèn broke,

An’ birds did call en wi’ their zong.

But he did love a harmless joke,

An’ love his evenèn whiff o’ smoke,

A-zittèn in his cheäir o’ woak.

“Your cup,” his daughter cried;

“Vill’d up,” his wife replied;

“Aye, aye; a drap avore my nap,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

When Lon’on vok did meäke a show

O’ their girt glassen house woone year,

An’ people went, bwoth high an’ low,

To zee the zight, vrom vur an’ near,

“O well,” cried Bloom, “why I’ve a right

So well’s the rest to zee the zight;

I’ll goo, an’ teäke the raïl outright.”

“Your feäre,” the booker cried;

“There, there,” good Bloom replied;

“Why this June het do meäke woone zweat,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller,

Then up the guard did whissle sh’ill,

An’ then the engine pank’d a-blast,

An’ rottled on so loud’s a mill,

Avore the traïn, vrom slow to vast.

An’ oh! at last how they did spank

By cuttèn deep, an’ high-cast bank

The while their iron ho’se did pank.

“Do whizzy,” woone o’m cried;

“I’m dizzy,” woone replied;

“Aye, here’s the road to hawl a lwoad,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

In Lon’on John zent out to call

A tidy trap, that he mid ride

To zee the glassen house, an’ all

The lot o’ things a-stow’d inside.

“Here, Boots, come here,” cried he, “I’ll dab

A sixpence in your han’ to nab

Down street a tidy little cab.”

“A feäre,” the boots then cried;

“I’m there,” the man replied.

“The glassen pleäce, your quickest peäce,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

The steps went down wi’ rottlèn slap,

The zwingèn door went open wide:

Wide? no; vor when the worthy chap

Stepp’d up to teäke his pleäce inside,

Breast-foremost, he wer twice too wide

Vor thik there door. An’ then he tried

To edge in woone an’ tother zide.

“’Twont do,” the drever cried;

“Can’t goo,” good Bloom replied;

“That you should bring theäse vooty thing!”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

“Come,” cried the drever. “Pay your feäre

You’ll teäke up all my time, good man.”

“Well,” answer’d Bloom, “to meäke that square,

You teäke up me, then, if you can.”

“I come at call,” the man did nod.

“What then?” cried Bloom, “I han’t a-rod,

An’ can’t in thik there hodmadod.”

“Girt lump,” the drever cried;

“Small stump,” good Bloom replied;

“A little mite, to meäke so light,

O’ jolly Bloom the miller.”

“You’d best be off now perty quick,”

Cried Bloom. “an’ vind a lighter lwoad,

Or else I’ll vetch my voot, an’ kick

The vooty thing athirt the road.”

“Who is the man?” they cried, “meäke room,”

“A halfstarv’d Do’set man,” cried Bloom;

“You be?” another cried;

“Hee! Hee!” woone mwore replied.

“Aye, shrunk so thin, to bwone an’ skin,”

Cried worthy Bloom the miller.

A Lot O’ Maïdens a-Runnèn the Vields.6

“Come on. Be sprack, a-laggèn back.”

“Oh! be there any cows to hook?”

“Lauk she’s afraïd, a silly maïd,”

Cows? No, the cows be down by brook.

“O here then, oh! here is a lot.”

“A lot o’ what? what is it? what?”

“Why blackberries, as thick

As ever they can stick.”

“I’ve dewberries, oh! twice

As good as they; so nice.”

“Look here. Theäse boughs be all but blue

Wi’ snags.”

“Oh! gi’e me down a vew.”

“Come here, oh! do but look.”

“What’s that? what is it now?”

“Why nuts a-slippèn shell.”

“Hee! hee! pull down the bough.”

“I wish I had a crook.”

“There zome o’m be a-vell.”

(One sings)

“I wish I was on Bimport Hill

I would zit down and cry my vill.”

“Hee! hee! there’s Jenny zomewhere nigh,

A-zingèn that she’d like to cry.”

(Jenny sings)

“I would zit down and cry my vill

Until my tears would dreve a mill.”

“Oh! here’s an ugly crawlèn thing,

A sneäke.” “A slooworm; he wont sting.”

“Hee! hee! how she did squal an’ hop,

A-spinnèn roun’ so quick’s a top.”

“Look here, oh! quick, be quick.”

“What is it? what then? where?”

“A rabbit.” “No, a heäre.”

“Ooh! ooh! the thorns do prick,”

“How he did scote along the ground

As if he wer avore a hound.”

“Now mind the thistles.” “Hee, hee, hee,

Why they be knapweeds.”

“No.” “They be.”

“I’ve zome’hat in my shoe.”

“Zit down, an’ sheäke it out.”

“Oh! emmets, oh! ooh, ooh,

A-crawlèn all about.”

“What bird is that, O harken, hush.

How sweetly he do zing.”

“A nightingeäle.” “La! no, a drush.”

“Oh! here’s a funny thing.”

“Oh! how the bull do hook,

An’ bleäre, an’ fling the dirt.”

“Oh! wont he come athirt?”

“No, he’s beyond the brook.”

“O lauk! a hornet rose

Up clwose avore my nose.”

“Oh! what wer that so white

Rush’d out o’ thik tree’s top?”

“An owl.” “How I did hop,

How I do sheäke wi’ fright.”

“A musheroom.” “O lau!

A twoadstool! Pwoison! Augh.”

“What’s that, a mouse?”

“O no,

Teäke ceäre, why ’tis a shrow.”

“Be sure don’t let en come

An’ run athirt your shoe

He’ll meäke your voot so numb

That you wont veel a tooe.”7

“Oh! what wer that so loud

A-rumblèn?” “Why a clap

O’ thunder. Here’s a cloud

O’ raïn. I veel a drap.”

“A thunderstorm. Do raïn.

Run hwome wi’ might an’ main.”

“Hee! hee! oh! there’s a drop

A-trïckled down my back. Hee! hee!”

“My head’s as wet’s a mop.”

“Oh! thunder,” “there’s a crack. Oh! Oh!”

“Oh! I’ve a-got the stitch, Oh!”

“Oh! I’ve a-lost my shoe, Oh!”

“There’s Fanny into ditch, Oh!”

“I’m wet all drough an’ drough, Oh!”

6 The idea, though but little of the substance, of this poem, will be found in a little Italian poem called Caccia, written by Franco Sacchetti.]

7 The folklore is, that if a shrew-mouse run over a person’s foot, it will lame him.]


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52