In all the house, o' young an' wold, There werden woone but could a-twold When he'd noo wish to seek abrode Mwore jay than thik wold pworch bestow'd! For there, when yollow evenen shed His light ageaen the elem's head, An' gnots did whiver in the zun, An' uncle's work wer all a-done, His whiffs o' melten smoke did roll Above his benden pipe's white bowl, While he did chat, or, zitten dumb, Injay his thoughts as they did come.
An' Jimmy, wi' his crowd below His chin, did dreve his nimble bow In tuens vor to meaeke us spring A-reelen, or in zongs to zing, An' there, between the dark an' light, Zot Poll by Willy's zide at night A-whisp'ren, while her eyes did zwim In jay avore the twilight dim; An' when (to know if she wer near) Aunt call'd, did cry, "Ees, mother; here."
No, no; I woulden gi'e thee thanks Vor fine white walls an' vloors o' planks, Nor doors a-paeinted up so fine. If I'd a wold grey house o' mine, Gi'e me vor all it should be small, A stwonen pworch instead ō't all.
Ov all the chaps a-burnt so brown By zunny hills an' hollors, Ov all the whindlen chaps in town Wi' backs so weak as rollers, There's narn that's half so light o' heart, (I'll bet, if thou't zay "done," min,) An' narn that's half so strong an' smart, 'S a merry farmer's son, min.
He'll fling a stwone so true's a shot, He'll jump so light's a cat; He'll heave a waight up that would squot A weakly fellow flat. He wont gi'e up when things don't fay, But turn em into fun, min; An' what's hard work to zome, is play Avore a farmer's son, min.
His bwony eaerm an' knuckly vist ('Tis best to meaeke a friend o't) Would het a fellow, that's a-miss'd, Half backward wi' the wind o't. Wi' such a chap at hand, a maid Would never goo a nun, min; She'd have noo call to be afraid Bezide a farmer's son, min.
He'll turn a vurrow, drough his langth, So straight as eyes can look, Or pitch all day, wi' half his strangth, At ev'ry pitch a pook; An' then goo vower mile, or vive, To vind his friends in fun, min, Vor maiden's be but dead alive 'Ithout a farmer's son, min.
Zoo jay be in his heart so light, An' manly feaece so brown; An' health goo wi' en hwome at night, Vrom meaed, or wood, or down. O' rich an' poor, o' high an' low, When all's a-said an' done, min, The smartest chap that I do know, 'S a worken farmer's son, min.
We now mid hope vor better cheer, My smilen wife o' twice vive year. Let others frown, if thou bist near Wi' hope upon thy brow, Jeaene; Vor I vu'st lov'd thee when thy light Young sheaepe vu'st grew to woman's height; I loved thee near, an' out o' zight, An' I do love thee now, Jeaene.
An' we've a-trod the sheenen bleaede Ov eegrass in the zummer sheaede, An' when the leaeves begun to feaede Wi' zummer in the weaene, Jeaene; An' we've a-wander'd drough the groun' O' swayen wheat a-turnen brown, An' we've a-stroll'd together roun' The brook an' drough the leaene, Jeane.
An' nwone but I can ever tell Ov all thy tears that have a-vell When trials meaede thy bosom zwell, An' nwone but thou o' mine, Jeaene; An' now my heart, that heav'd wi' pride Back then to have thee at my zide, Do love thee mwore as years do slide, An' leaeve them times behine, Jeaene.
THE DREE WOAKS.
By the brow o' thik hangen I spent all my youth, In the house that did peep out between The dree woaks, that in winter avworded their lewth, An' in zummer their sheaede to the green; An' there, as in zummer we play'd at our geaemes, We ēach own'd a tree, Vor we wer but dree, An' zoo the dree woaks wer a-call'd by our neaemes.
An' two did grow scraggy out over the road, An' they wer call'd Jimmy's an' mine; An' tother wer Jeaennet's, much kindlier grow'd, Wi' a knotless an' white ribbed rine. An' there, o' fine nights avore gwaein in to rest, We did dance, vull o' life, To the sound o' the fife, Or play at some geaeme that poor Jeaennet lik'd best.
Zoo happy wer we by the woaks o' the green, Till we lost sister Jeaennet, our pride; Vor when she wer come to her last blushen teen, She suddenly zicken'd an' died. An' avore the green leaves in the fall wer gone by, The lightnen struck dead Her woaken tree's head, An' left en a-stripp'd to the wintery sky.
But woone ov his eaecorns, a-zet in the Fall, Come up the Spring after, below The trees at her head-stwone 'ithin the church-wall, An' mother, to see how did grow, Shed a tear; an' when father an' she wer bwoth dead, There they wer laid deep, Wi' their Jeaennet, to sleep, Wi' her at his zide, an' her tree at her head.
An' vo'k do still call the wold house the dree woaks, Vor thik is a-reckon'd that's down, As mother, a-neaemen her childern to vo'ks, Meaede dree when but two wer a-voun'; An' zaid that hereafter she knew she should zee Why God, that's above, Vound fit in his love To strike wi' his han' the poor maid an' her tree.
THE HWOMESTEAD A-VELL INTO HAND.
The house where I wer born an' bred, Did own his woaken door, John, When vu'st he shelter'd father's head, An' gramfer's long avore, John. An' many a ramblen happy chile, An' chap so strong an' bwold, An' bloomen maid wi' playsome smile, Did call their hwome o' wold Thik ruf so warm, A kept vrom harm By elem trees that broke the storm.
An' in the orcha'd out behind, The apple-trees in row, John, Did sway wi' moss about their rind Their heads a-nodden low, John. An' there, bezide zome groun' vor corn, Two strips did skirt the road; In woone the cow did toss her horn, While tother wer a-mow'd, In June, below The lofty row Ov trees that in the hedge did grow.
A-worken in our little patch O' parrock, rathe or leaete, John, We little ho'd how vur mid stratch The squier's wide esteaete, John. Our hearts, so honest an' so true, Had little vor to fear; Vor we could pay up all their due An' gi'e a friend good cheer At hwome, below The lofty row O' trees a-swayen to an' fro.
An' there in het, an' there in wet, We tweil'd wi' busy hands, John; Vor ev'ry stroke o' work we het, Did better our own lands, John. But after me, ov all my kin, Not woone can hold em on; Vor we can't get a life put in Vor mine, when I'm a-gone Vrom thik wold brown Thatch ruf, a-boun' By elem trees a-growen roun'.
Ov eight good hwomes, where, I can mind Vo'k liv'd upon their land, John, But dree be now a-left behind; The rest ha' vell in hand, John, An' all the happy souls they ved Be scatter'd vur an' wide. An' zome o'm be a-wanten bread, Zome, better off, ha' died, Noo mwore to ho, Vor homes below The trees a-swayen to an' fro.
An' I could leaed ye now all round The parish, if I would, John, An' show ye still the very ground Where vive good housen stood, John In broken orcha'ds near the spot, A vew wold trees do stand; But dew do vall where vo'k woonce zot About the burnen brand In housen warm, A-kept vrom harm By elems that did break the storm.
THE GUIDE POST.
Why thik wold post so long kept out, Upon the knap, his eaerms astrout, A-zenden on the weary veet By where the dree cross roads do meet; An' I've a-come so much thik woy, Wi' happy heart, a man or bwoy, That I'd a-meaede, at last, a'most A friend o' thik wold guiden post.
An' there, wi' woone white eaerm he show'd, Down over bridge, the Leyton road; Wi' woone, the leaene a-leaeden roun' By Bradlinch Hill, an' on to town; An' wi' the last, the way to turn Drough common down to Rushiburn,— The road I lik'd to goo the mwost Ov all upon the guiden post.
The Leyton road ha' lofty ranks Ov elem trees upon his banks; The woone athirt the hill do show Us miles o' hedgy meaeds below; An' he to Rushiburn is wide Wi' strips o' green along his zide, An' ouer brown-ruf'd house a-most In zight o' thik wold guiden post.
An' when the hay-meaekers did zwarm O' zummer evenens out vrom farm. The merry maidens an' the chaps, A-peaerten there wi' jokes an' slaps, Did goo, zome woone way off, an' zome Another, all a-zingen hwome; Vor vew o'm had to goo, at mwost, A mile beyond the guiden post.
Poor Nanny Brown, woone darkish night, When he'd a-been a-painted white, Wer frighten'd, near the gravel pits, So dead's a hammer into fits, A-thinken 'twer the ghost she know'd Did come an' haunt the Leyton road; Though, after all, poor Nanny's ghost Turn'd out to be the guiden post.
GWAIN TO FEAeIR.
To morrow stir so brisk's you can, An' get your work up under han'; Vor I an' Jim, an' Poll's young man, Shall goo to feaeir; an' zoo, If you wull let us gi'e ye a eaerm Along the road, or in the zwarm O' vo'k, we'll keep ye out o' harm, An' gi'e ye a feaeiren too.
We won't stay leaete there, I'll be boun'; We'll bring our sheaedes off out o' town A mile, avore the zun is down, If he's a sheenen clear. Zoo when your work is all a-done, Your mother can't but let ye run An' zee a little o' the fun, There's nothen there to fear.
JEAeNE O' GRENLEY MILL.
When in happy times we met, Then by look an' deed I show'd, How my love wer all a-zet In the smiles that she bestow'd. She mid have, o' left an' right, Maidens feaeirest to the zight; I'd a-chose among em still, Pretty Jeaene o' Grenley Mill.
She wer feaeirer, by her cows In her work-day frock a-drest, Than the rest wi' scornvul brows All a-flanten in their best. Gay did seem, at feaest or feaeir, Zights that I had her to sheaere; Gay would be my own heart still, But vor Jeaene o' Grenley Mill.
Jeaene—a-checken ov her love— Leaen'd to woone that, as she guess'd, Stood in worldly wealth above Me she know'd she lik'd the best. He wer wild, an' soon run drough All that he'd a-come into, Heartlessly a-treaten ill Pretty Jeaene o' Grenley Mill.
Oh! poor Jenny! thou'st a tore Hopen love vrom my poor heart, Losen vrom thy own small store, All the better, sweeter peaert. Hearts a-slighted must vorseaeke Slighters, though a-doom'd to break; I must scorn, but love thee still, Pretty Jeaene o' Grenley Mill.
Oh! if ever thy soft eyes Could ha' turn'd vrom outward show, To a lover born to rise When a higher woone wer low; If thy love, when zoo a-tried, Could ha' stood ageaen thy pride, How should I ha' lov'd thee still, Pretty Jeaene o' Grenley Mill.
THE BELLS OV ALDERBURNHAM.
While now upon the win' do zwell The church-bells' evenen peal, O, Along the bottom, who can tell How touch'd my heart do veel, O. To hear ageaen, as woonce they rung In holidays when I wer young, Wi' merry sound A-ringen round, The bells ov Alderburnham.
Vor when they rung their gayest peals O' zome sweet day o' rest, O, We all did ramble drough the viels, A-dress'd in all our best, O; An' at the bridge or roaren weir, Or in the wood, or in the gleaere Ov open ground, Did hear ring round The bells ov Alderburnham.
They bells, that now do ring above The young brides at church-door, O, Woonce rung to bless their mother's love, When they were brides avore, O. An' sons in tow'r do still ring on The merry peals o' fathers gone, Noo mwore to sound, Or hear ring round, The bells ov Alderburnham.
Ov happy peaeirs, how soon be zome A-wedded an' a-peaerted! Vor woone ov jay, what peals mid come To zome o's broken-hearted! The stronger mid the sooner die, The gayer mid the sooner sigh; An' who do know What grief's below The bells ov Alderburnham!
But still 'tis happiness to know That there's a God above us; An' he, by day an' night, do ho Vor all ov us, an' love us, An' call us to His house, to heal Our hearts, by his own Zunday peal Ov bells a-rung Vor wold an' young, The bells ov Alderburnham.
THE GIRT WOLD HOUSE O' MOSSY STWONE.
The girt wold house o' mossy stwone, Up there upon the knap alwone, Had woonce a bleaezen kitchen-vier, That cook'd vor poor-vo'k an' a squier. The very last ov all the reaece That liv'd the squier o' the pleaece, Died off when father wer a-born, An' now his kin be all vorlorn Vor ever,—vor he left noo son To teaeke the house o' mossy stwone. An' zoo he vell to other hands, An' gramfer took en wi' the lands: An' there when he, poor man, wer dead, My father shelter'd my young head. An' if I wer a squier, I Should like to spend my life, an' die In thik wold house o' mossy stwone, Up there upon the knap alwone.
Don't talk ov housen all o' brick, Wi' rocken walls nine inches thick, A-trigg'd together zide by zide In streets, wi' fronts a straddle wide, Wi' yards a-sprinkled wi' a mop, Too little vor a vrog to hop; But let me live an' die where I Can zee the ground, an' trees, an' sky. The girt wold house o' mossy stwone Had wings vor either sheaede or zun: Woone where the zun did glitter drough, When vu'st he struck the mornen dew; Woone feaeced the evenen sky, an' woone Push'd out a pworch to zweaty noon: Zoo woone stood out to break the storm, An' meaede another lew an' warm. An' there the timber'd copse rose high, Where birds did build an' heaeres did lie, An' beds o' graegles in the lew, Did deck in May the ground wi' blue. An' there wer hills an' slopen grounds, That they did ride about wi' hounds; An' drough the meaed did creep the brook Wi' bushy bank an' rushy nook, Where perch did lie in sheaedy holes Below the alder trees, an' shoals O' gudgeon darted by, to hide Theirzelves in hollows by the zide. An' there by leaenes a-winden deep, Wer mossy banks a-risen steep; An' stwonen steps, so smooth an' wide, To stiles an' vootpaths at the zide. An' there, so big's a little ground, The geaerden wer a-wall'd all round: An' up upon the wall wer bars A-sheaeped all out in wheels an' stars, Vor vo'k to walk, an' look out drough Vrom trees o' green to hills o' blue. An' there wer walks o' peaevement, broad Enough to meaeke a carriage-road, Where steaetely leaedies woonce did use To walk wi' hoops an' high-heel shoes, When yonder hollow woak wer sound, Avore the walls wer ivy-bound, Avore the elems met above The road between em, where they drove Their coach all up or down the road A-comen hwome or gwain abroad. The zummer air o' theaese green hill 'V a-heav'd in bosoms now all still, An' all their hopes an' all their tears Be unknown things ov other years. But if, in heaven, souls be free To come back here; or there can be An e'thly pleaece to meaeke em come To zee it vrom a better hwome,— Then what's a-twold us mid be right, That still, at dead o' tongueless night, Their gauzy sheaepes do come an' glide By vootways o' their youthvul pride.
An' while the trees do stan' that grow'd Vor them, or walls or steps they know'd Do bide in pleaece, they'll always come To look upon their e'thly hwome. Zoo I would always let alwone The girt wold house o' mossy stwone: I woulden pull a wing o'n down, To meaeke ther speechless sheaedes to frown; Vor when our souls, mid woonce become Lik' their's, all bodiless an' dumb, How good to think that we mid vind Zome thought vrom them we left behind, An' that zome love mid still unite The hearts o' blood wi' souls o' light. Zoo, if 'twer mine, I'd let alwone The girt wold house o' mossy stwone.
There's thik wold hag, Moll Brown, look zee, jus' past! I wish the ugly sly wold witch Would tumble over into ditch; I woulden pull her out not very vast. No, no. I don't think she's a bit belied, No, she's a witch, aye, Molly's evil-eyed. Vor I do know o' many a-withren blight A-cast on vo'k by Molly's mutter'd spite; She did, woone time, a dreadvul deael o' harm To Farmer Gruff's vo'k, down at Lower Farm. Vor there, woone day, they happened to offend her, An' not a little to their sorrow, Because they woulden gi'e or lend her Zome'hat she come to bag or borrow; An' zoo, they soon began to vind That she'd agone an' left behind Her evil wish that had such pow'r, That she did meaeke their milk an' eaele turn zour, An' addle all the aggs their vowls did lay; They coulden vetch the butter in the churn, An' all the cheese begun to turn All back ageaen to curds an' whey; The little pigs, a-runnen wi' the zow, Did zicken, zomehow, noobody know'd how, An' vall, an' turn their snouts toward the sky. An' only gi'e woone little grunt, and die; An' all the little ducks an' chicken Wer death-struck out in yard a-picken Their bits o' food, an' vell upon their head, An' flapp'd their little wings an' drapp'd down dead. They coulden fat the calves, they woulden thrive; They coulden seaeve their lambs alive; Their sheep wer all a-coath'd, or gi'ed noo wool; The hosses vell away to skin an' bwones, An' got so weak they coulden pull A half a peck o' stwones: The dog got dead-alive an' drowsy, The cat vell zick an' woulden mousy; An' every time the vo'k went up to bed, They wer a-hag-rod till they wer half dead. They us'd to keep her out o' house, 'tis true, A-nailen up at door a hosses shoe; An' I've a-heaerd the farmer's wife did try To dawk a needle or a pin In drough her wold hard wither'd skin, An' draw her blood, a-comen by: But she could never vetch a drap, For pins would ply an' needless snap Ageaen her skin; an' that, in coo'se, Did meaeke the hag bewitch em woo'se.
John an' Tom.
Well, Tom, how be'st? Zoo thou'st a-got thy neaeme Among the leaguers, then, as I've a heaerd.
Aye, John, I have, John; an' I ben't afeaerd To own it. Why, who woulden do the seaeme? We shant goo on lik' this long, I can tell ye. Bread is so high an' wages be so low, That, after worken lik' a hoss, you know, A man can't eaern enough to vill his belly.
Ah! well! Now there, d'ye know, if I wer sure That theaesem men would gi'e me work to do All drough the year, an' always pay me mwore Than I'm a-eaernen now, I'd jein em too. If I wer sure they'd bring down things so cheap, That what mid buy a pound o' mutton now Would buy the hinder quarters, or the sheep, Or what wull buy a pig would buy a cow: In short, if they could meaeke a shillen goo In market just so vur as two, Why then, d'ye know, I'd be their man; But, hang it! I don't think they can.
Why ees they can, though you don't know't, An' theaesem men can meaeke it clear. Why vu'st they'd zend up members ev'ry year To Parli'ment, an' ev'ry man would vote; Vor if a fellow midden be a squier, He mid be just so fit to vote, an' goo To meaeke the laws at Lon'on, too, As many that do hold their noses higher. Why shoulden fellows meaeke good laws an' speeches A-dressed in fusti'n cwoats an' cord'roy breeches? Or why should hooks an' shovels, zives an' axes, Keep any man vrom voten o' the taxes? An' when the poor've a-got a sheaere In meaeken laws, they'll teaeke good ceaere To meaeke some good woones vor the poor. Do stan' by reason, John; because The men that be to meaeke the laws, Will meaeke em vor theirzelves, you mid be sure.
Ees, that they wull. The men that you mid trust To help you, Tom, would help their own zelves vu'st.
Aye, aye. But we would have a better plan O' voten, than the woone we got. A man, As things be now, d'ye know, can't goo an' vote Ageaen another man, but he must know't. We'll have a box an' balls, vor voten men To pop their hands 'ithin, d'ye know; an' then, If woone don't happen vor to lik' a man, He'll drop a little black ball vrom his han', An' zend en hwome ageaen. He woon't be led To choose a man to teaeke away his bread.
But if a man you midden like to 'front, Should chance to call upon ye, Tom, zome day, An' ax ye vor your vote, what could ye zay? Why if you woulden answer, or should grunt Or bark, he'd know you'd meaen "I won't." To promise woone a vote an' not to gi'e't, Is but to be a liar an' a cheat. An' then, bezides, when he did count the balls, An' vind white promises a-turn'd half black; Why then he'd think the voters all a pack O' rogues together,—ev'ry woone o'm false. An' if he had the power, very soon Perhaps he'd vall upon em, ev'ry woone. The times be pinchen me, so well as you, But I can't tell what ever they can do.
Why meaeke the farmers gi'e their leaebouren men Mwore wages,—half or twice so much ageaen As what they got.
But, Thomas, you can't meaeke A man pay mwore away than he can teaeke. If you do meaeke en gi'e, to till a vield, So much ageaen as what the groun' do yield, He'll shut out farmen—or he'll be a goose— An' goo an' put his money out to use. Wages be low because the hands be plenty; They mid be higher if the hands wer skenty. Leaebour, the seaeme's the produce o' the yield, Do zell at market price—jist what 'till yield. Thou wouldsten gi'e a zixpence, I do guess, Vor zix fresh aggs, if zix did zell for less. If theaesem vo'k could come an' meaeke mwore lands, If they could teaeke wold England in their hands An' stratch it out jist twice so big ageaen, They'd be a-doen some'hat vor us then.
But if they wer a-zent to Parli'ment To meaeke the laws, dost know, as I've a-zaid, They'd knock the corn-laws on the head; An' then the landlards must let down their rent, An' we should very soon have cheaper bread: Farmers would gi'e less money vor their lands.
Aye, zoo they mid, an' prices mid be low'r Vor what their land would yield; an' zoo their hands Would be jist where they wer avore. An' if theaese men wer all to hold together, They coulden meaeke new laws to change the weather! They ben't so mighty as to think o' frightenen The vrost an' rain, the thunder an' the lightenen! An' as vor me, I don't know what to think O' them there fine, big-talken, cunnen, Strange men, a-comen down vrom Lon'on. Why they don't stint theirzelves, but eat an' drink The best at public-house where they do stay; They don't work gratis, they do get their pay. They woulden pinch theirzelves to do us good, Nor gi'e their money vor to buy us food. D'ye think, if we should meet em in the street Zome day in Lon'on, they would stand a treat?
They be a-paid, because they be a-zent By corn-law vo'k that be the poor man's friends, To tell us all how we mid gain our ends, A-zenden peaepers up to Parli'ment.
Ah! teaeke ceaere how dost trust em. Dost thou know The funny feaeble o' the pig an' crow? Woone time a crow begun to strut an' hop About some groun' that men'd a-been a-drillen Wi' barley or some wheat, in hopes o' villen Wi' good fresh corn his empty crop. But lik' a thief, he didden like the pains O' worken hard to get en a vew grains; Zoo while the sleeky rogue wer there a-hunten, Wi' little luck, vor corns that mid be vound A-pecken vor, he heaerd a pig a-grunten Just tother zide o' hedge, in tother ground. "Ah!" thought the cunnen rogue, an' gi'ed a hop, "Ah! that's the way vor me to vill my crop; Aye, that's the plan, if nothen don't defeaet it. If I can get thik pig to bring his snout In here a bit an' turn the barley out, Why, hang it! I shall only have to eat it." Wi' that he vled up straight upon a woak, An' bowen, lik' a man at hustens, spoke: "My friend," zaid he, "that's poorish liven vor ye In thik there leaeze. Why I be very zorry To zee how they hard-hearted vo'k do sarve ye. You can't live there. Why! do they meaen to starve ye?" "Ees," zaid the pig, a-grunten, "ees; What wi' the hosses an' the geese, There's only docks an' thissles here to chaw. Instead o' liven well on good warm straw, I got to grub out here, where I can't pick Enough to meaeke me half an ounce o' flick." "Well," zaid the crow, "d'ye know, if you'll stan' that, You mussen think, my friend, o' getten fat. D'ye want some better keep? Vor if you do, Why, as a friend, I be a-come to tell ye, That if you'll come an' jus' get drough Theaese gap up here, why you mid vill your belly. Why, they've a-been a-drillen corn, d'ye know, In theaese here piece o' groun' below; An' if you'll just put in your snout, An' run en up along a drill, Why, hang it! you mid grub it out, An' eat, an' eat your vill. Their idden any fear that vo'k mid come, Vor all the men be jist a-gone in hwome." The pig, believen ev'ry single word That wer a-twold en by the cunnen bird Wer only vor his good, an' that 'twer true, Just gi'ed a grunt, an' bundled drough, An' het his nose, wi' all his might an' main, Right up a drill, a-routen up the grain; An' as the cunnen crow did gi'e a caw A-praisen ō'n, oh! he did veel so proud! An' work'd, an' blow'd, an' toss'd, an' ploughed The while the cunnen crow did vill his maw. An' after worken till his bwones Did eaeche, he soon begun to veel That he should never get a meal, Unless he dined on dirt an' stwones. "Well," zaid the crow, "why don't ye eat?" "Eat what, I wonder!" zaid the heaeiry plougher. A-brislen up an' looken rather zour; "I don't think dirt an' flints be any treat." "Well," zaid the crow, "why you be blind. What! don't ye zee how thick the corn do lie Among the dirt? An' don't ye zee how I Do pick up all that you do leaeve behind? I'm zorry that your bill should be so snubby." "No," zaid the pig, "methinks that I do zee My bill will do uncommon well vor thee, Vor thine wull peck, an' mine wull grubby." An' just wi' this a-zaid by mister Flick To mister Crow, wold John the farmer's man Come up, a-zwingen in his han' A good long knotty stick, An' laid it on, wi' all his might, The poor pig's vlitches, left an' right; While mister Crow, that talk'd so fine O' friendship, left the pig behine, An' vled away upon a distant tree, Vor pigs can only grub, but crows can vlee.
Aye, thik there teaele mid do vor childern's books: But you wull vind it hardish for ye To frighten me, John, wi' a storry O' silly pigs an' cunnen rooks. If we be grubben pigs, why then, I s'pose, The farmers an' the girt woones be the crows.
'Tis very odd there idden any friend To poor-vo'k hereabout, but men mus' come To do us good away from tother end Ov England! Han't we any frien's near hwome? I mus' zay, Thomas, that 'tis rather odd That strangers should become so very civil,— That ouer vo'k be childern o' the Devil, An' other vo'k be all the vo'k o' God! If we've a-got a friend at all, Why who can tell—I'm sure thou cassen— But that the squier, or the pa'son, Mid be our friend, Tom, after all? The times be hard, 'tis true! an' they that got His blessens, shoulden let theirzelves vorget How 'tis where the vo'k do never zet A bit o' meat within their rusty pot. The man a-zitten in his easy chair To flesh, an' vowl, an' vish, should try to speaere The poor theaese times, a little vrom his store; An' if he don't, why sin is at his door.
Ah! we won't look to that; we'll have our right,— If not by feaeir meaens, then we wull by might. We'll meaeke times better vor us; we'll be free Ov other vo'k an' others' charity.
Ah! I do think you mid as well be quiet; You'll meaeke things wo'se, i'-ma'-be, by a riot. You'll get into a mess, Tom, I'm afeaerd; You'll goo vor wool, an' then come hwome a-sheaer'd.
POEMS OF RURAL LIFE.
The primrwose in the sheaede do blow, The cowslip in the zun, The thyme upon the down do grow, The clote where streams do run; An' where do pretty maidens grow An' blow, but where the tow'r Do rise among the bricken tuns, In Blackmwore by the Stour.
If you could zee their comely gait, An' pretty feaeces' smiles, A-trippen on so light o' waight, An' steppen off the stiles; A-gwain to church, as bells do swing An' ring 'ithin the tow'r, You'd own the pretty maidens' pleaece Is Blackmwore by the Stour.
If you vrom Wimborne took your road, To Stower or Paladore, An' all the farmers' housen show'd Their daughters at the door; You'd cry to bachelors at hwome— "Here, come: 'ithin an hour You'll vind ten maidens to your mind, In Blackmwore by the Stour."
An' if you look'd 'ithin their door, To zee em in their pleaece, A-doen housework up avore Their smilen mother's feaece; You'd cry—"Why, if a man would wive An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r, Then let en look en out a wife In Blackmwore by the Stour."
As I upon my road did pass A school-house back in May, There out upon the beaeten grass Wer maidens at their play; An' as the pretty souls did tweil An' smile, I cried, "The flow'r O' beauty, then, is still in bud In Blackmwore by the Stour."
MY ORCHA'D IN LINDEN LEA.
'Ithin the woodlands, flow'ry gleaeded, By the woak tree's mossy moot, The sheenen grass-bleaedes, timber-sheaeded, Now do quiver under voot; An' birds do whissle over head, An' water's bubblen in its bed, An' there vor me the apple tree Do leaen down low in Linden Lea.
When leaves that leaetely wer a-springen Now do feaede 'ithin the copse, An' painted birds do hush their zingen Up upon the timber's tops; An' brown-leav'd fruit's a-turnen red, In cloudless zunsheen, over head, Wi' fruit vor me, the apple tree Do leaen down low in Linden Lea.
Let other vo'k meaeke money vaster In the air o' dark-room'd towns, I don't dread a peevish meaester; Though noo man do heed my frowns, I be free to goo abrode, Or teaeke ageaen my hwomeward road To where, vor me, the apple tree Do leaen down low in Linden Lea.
At peace day, who but we should goo To Caundle vor an' hour or two: As gay a day as ever broke Above the heads o' Caundle vo'k, Vor peace, a-come vor all, did come To them wi' two new friends at hwome. Zoo while we kept, wi' nimble peaece, The wold dun tow'r avore our feaece, The air, at last, begun to come Wi' drubbens ov a beaeten drum; An' then we heaerd the horns' loud droats Play off a tuen's upper notes; An' then ageaen a-risen cheaerm Vrom tongues o' people in a zwarm: An' zoo, at last, we stood among The merry feaeces o' the drong. An' there, wi' garlands all a-tied In wreaths an' bows on every zide, An' color'd flags, a fluttren high An' bright avore the sheenen sky, The very guide-post wer a-drest Wi' posies on his eaerms an' breast. At last, the vo'k zwarm'd in by scores An' hundreds droo the high barn-doors, To dine on English feaere, in ranks, A-zot on chairs, or stools, or planks, By bwoards a-reachen, row an' row, Wi' cloths so white as driven snow. An' while they took, wi' merry cheer, Their pleaeces at the meat an' beer, The band did blow an' beaet aloud Their merry tuens to the crowd; An' slowly-zwingen flags did spread Their hangen colors over head. An' then the vo'k, wi' jay an' pride, Stood up in stillness, zide by zide, Wi' downcast heads, the while their friend Rose up avore the teaeble's end, An' zaid a timely greaece, an' blest The welcome meat to every guest. An' then arose a mingled naise O' knives an' pleaetes, an' cups an' trays, An' tongues wi' merry tongues a-drown'd Below a deaf'nen storm o' sound. An' zoo, at last, their worthy host Stood up to gi'e em all a twoast, That they did drink, wi' shouts o' glee, An' whirlen eaerms to dree times dree. An' when the bwoards at last wer beaere Ov all the cloths an' goodly feaere, An' froth noo longer rose to zwim Within the beer-mugs sheenen rim, The vo'k, a-streamen drough the door, Went out to geaemes they had in store An' on the blue-reaev'd waggon's bed, Above his vower wheels o' red, Musicians zot in rows, an' play'd Their tuens up to chap an' maid, That beaet, wi' playsome tooes an' heels, The level ground in nimble reels. An' zome ageaen, a-zet in line, An' starten at a given sign, Wi' outreach'd breast, a-breathen quick Droo op'nen lips, did nearly kick Their polls, a-runnen sich a peaece, Wi' streamen heaeir, to win the reaece. An' in the house, an' on the green, An' in the shrubb'ry's leafy screen, On ev'ry zide we met sich lots O' smilen friends in happy knots, That I do think, that drough the feaest In Caundle, vor a day at leaest, You woudden vind a scowlen feaece Or dumpy heart in all the pleaece.
HAY MEAKEN—NUNCHEN TIME.
Anne an' John a-ta'ken o't.
A. Back here, but now, the jobber John Come by, an' cried, "Well done, zing on, I thought as I come down the hill, An' heaerd your zongs a-ringen sh'ill, Who woudden like to come, an' fling A peaeir o' prongs where you did zing?"
J. Aye, aye, he woudden vind it play, To work all day a-meaeken hay, Or pitchen o't, to eaerms a-spread By lwoaders, yards above his head, 'T'ud meaeke en wipe his drippen brow.
A. Or else a-reaeken after plow.
J. Or worken, wi' his nimble pick, A-stiffled wi' the hay, at rick.
A. Our Company would suit en best, When we do teaeke our bit o' rest, At nunch, a-gather'd here below The sheaede theaese wide-bough'd woak do drow, Where hissen froth mid rise, an' float In horns o' eaele, to wet his droat.
J. Aye, if his zwellen han' could drag A meat-slice vrom his dinner bag. 'T'ud meaeke the busy little chap Look rather glum, to zee his lap Wi' all his meal ov woone dry croust, An' vinny cheese so dry as doust.
A. Well, I don't grumble at my food, 'Tis wholesome, John, an' zoo 'tis good.
J. Whose reaeke is that a-lyen there? Do look a bit the woo'se vor wear.
A. Oh! I mus' get the man to meaeke A tooth or two vor thik wold reaeke, 'Tis leaebour lost to strik a stroke Wi' him, wi' half his teeth a-broke.
J. I should ha' thought your han' too fine To break your reaeke, if I broke mine.
A. The ramsclaws thin'd his wooden gum O' two teeth here, an' here were zome That broke when I did reaeke a patch O' groun' wi' Jimmy, vor a match: An' here's a gap ov woone or two A-broke by Simon's clumsy shoe, An' when I gi'ed his poll a poke, Vor better luck, another broke. In what a veag have you a-swung Your pick, though, John? His stem's a-sprung.
J. When I an' Simon had a het O' pooken, yonder, vor a bet, The prongs o'n gi'ed a tump a poke, An' then I vound the stem a-broke, But they do meaeke the stems o' picks O' stuff so brittle as a kicks.
A. There's poor wold Jeaene, wi' wrinkled skin, A-tellen, wi' her peaked chin, Zome teaele ov her young days, poor soul. Do meaeke the young-woones smile. 'Tis droll. What is it? Stop, an' let's goo near. I do like theaese wold teaeles. Let's hear.
A FATHER OUT, AN' MOTHER HWOME.
The snow-white clouds did float on high In shoals avore the sheenen sky, An' runnen weaeves in pon' did cheaese Each other on the water's feaece, As hufflen win' did blow between The new-leav'd boughs o' sheenen green. An' there, the while I walked along The path, drough leaeze, above the drong, A little maid, wi' bloomen feaece, Went on up hill wi' nimble peaece, A-leaenen to the right-han' zide, To car a basket that did ride, A-hangen down, wi' all his heft, Upon her elbow at her left. An' yet she hardly seem'd to bruise The grass-bleaedes wi' her tiny shoes, That pass'd each other, left an' right. In steps a'most too quick vor zight. But she'd a-left her mother's door A-bearen vrom her little store Her father's welcome bit o' food, Where he wer out at work in wood; An' she wer bless'd wi' mwore than zwome— A father out, an' mother hwome.
An' there, a-vell'd 'ithin the copse, Below the timber's new-leav'd tops, Wer ashen poles, a-casten straight, On primrwose beds, their langthy waight; Below the yollow light, a-shed Drough boughs upon the vi'let's head, By climen ivy, that did reach, A sheenen roun' the dead-leav'd beech. An' there her father zot, an' meaede His hwomely meal bezide a gleaede; While she, a-croopen down to ground, Did pull the flowers, where she vound The droopen vi'let out in blooth, Or yollow primrwose in the lewth, That she mid car em proudly back, An' zet em on her mother's tack; Vor she wer bless'd wi' mwore than zwome— A father out, an' mother hwome. A father out, an' mother hwome, Be blessens soon a-lost by zome; A-lost by me, an' zoo I pray'd They mid be speaer'd the little maid.
Anne an' Joey a-ta'ken.
A. A plague! theaese cow wont stand a bit, Noo sooner do she zee me zit Ageaen her, than she's in a trot, A-runnen to zome other spot.
J. Why 'tis the dog do sceaere the cow, He worried her a-vield benow.
A. Goo in, Ah! Liplap, where's your tail!
J. He's off, then up athirt the rail. Your cow there, Anne's a-come to hand A goodish milcher. A. If she'd stand, But then she'll steaere an' start wi' fright To zee a dumbledore in flight. Last week she het the pail a flought, An' flung my meal o' milk half out.
J. Ha! Ha! But Anny, here, what lout Broke half your small pail's bottom out?
A. What lout indeed! What, do ye own The neaeme? What dropp'd en on a stwone?
J. Hee! Hee! Well now he's out o' trim Wi' only half a bottom to en; Could you still vill en' to the brim An' yit not let the milk run drough en?
A. Aye, as for nonsense, Joe, your head Do hold it all so tight's a blather, But if 'tis any good, do shed It all so leaeky as a lather. Could you vill pails 'ithout a bottom, Yourself that be so deeply skill'd?
J. Well, ees, I could, if I'd a-got em Inside o' bigger woones a-vill'd.
A. La! that is zome'hat vor to hatch! Here answer me theaese little catch. Down under water an' o' top o't I went, an' didden touch a drop o't,
J. Not when at mowen time I took An' pull'd ye out o' Longmeaed brook, Where you'd a-slidder'd down the edge An' zunk knee-deep bezide the zedge, A-tryen to reaeke out a clote.
A. Aye I do hear your chucklen droat When I athirt the brudge did bring Zome water on my head vrom spring. Then under water an' o' top o't, Wer I an' didden touch a drop o't.
J. O Lauk! What thik wold riddle still, Why that's as wold as Duncliffe Hill; "A two-lagg'd thing do run avore An' run behind a man, An' never run upon his lags Though on his lags do stan'." What's that? I don't think you do know. There idden sich a thing to show. Not know? Why yonder by the stall 'S a wheel-barrow bezide the wall, Don't he stand on his lags so trim, An' run on nothen but his wheels wold rim.
A. There's horn vor Goodman's eye-zight seaeke; There's horn vor Goodman's mouth to teaeke; There's horn vor Goodman's ears, as well As horn vor Goodman's nose to smell— What horns be they, then? Do your hat Hold wit enough to tell us that?
J. Oh! horns! but no, I'll tell ye what, My cow is hornless, an' she's knot.
A. Horn vor the mouth's a hornen cup.
J. An' eaele's good stuff to vill en up.
A. An' horn vor eyes is horn vor light, Vrom Goodman's lantern after night; Horn vor the ears is woone to sound Vor hunters out wi' ho'se an' hound; But horn that vo'k do buy to smell o' Is hart's-horn. J. Is it? What d'ye tell o' How proud we be, vor ben't we smart? Aye, horn is horn, an' hart is hart. Well here then, Anne, while we be at it, 'S a ball vor you if you can bat it. On dree-lags, two-lags, by the zide O' vower-lags, woonce did zit wi' pride, When vower-lags, that velt a prick, Vrom zix-lags, het two lags a kick. An' two an' dree-lags vell, all vive, Slap down, zome dead an' zome alive.
A. Teeh! heeh! what have ye now then, Joe, At last, to meaeke a riddle o'?
J. Your dree-lagg'd stool woone night did bear Up you a milken wi' a peaeir; An' there a zix-lagg'd stout did prick Your vow'r-lagg'd cow, an meaeke her kick, A-hetten, wi' a pretty pat, Your stool an' you so flat's a mat. You scrambled up a little dirty, But I do hope it didden hurt ye.
A. You hope, indeed! a likely ceaese, Wi' thik broad grin athirt your feaece You saucy good-vor-nothen chap, I'll gi'e your grinnen feaece a slap, Your drawlen tongue can only run To turn a body into fun.
J. Oh! I woont do 't ageaen. Oh dear! Till next time, Anny. Oh my ear! Oh! Anne, why you've a-het my hat 'Ithin the milk, now look at that.
A. Do sar ye right, then, I don't ceaere. I'll thump your noddle,—there—there—there.
DAY'S WORK A-DONE.
And oh! the jay our rest did yield, At evenen by the mossy wall, When we'd a-work'd all day a-vield, While zummer zuns did rise an' vall; As there a-letten Goo all fretten, An' vorgetten all our tweils, We zot among our childern's smiles.
An' under skies that glitter'd white, The while our smoke, arisen blue, Did melt in aier, out o' zight, Above the trees that kept us lew; Wer birds a-zingen, Tongues a-ringen, Childern springen, vull o' jay, A-finishen the day in play.
An' back behind, a-stannen tall, The cliff did sheen to western light; An' while avore the water-vall, A-rottlen loud, an' foamen white. The leaves did quiver, Gnots did whiver, By the river, where the pool, In evenen air did glissen cool.
An' childern there, a-runnen wide, Did play their geaemes along the grove, Vor though to us 'twer jay to bide At rest, to them 'twer jay to move. The while my smilen Jeaene, beguilen, All my tweilen, wi' her ceaere, Did call me to my evenen feaere.
LIGHT OR SHEAeDE.
A Maytide's evenen wer a-dyen, Under moonsheen, into night, Wi' a streamen wind a-sighen By the thorns a-bloomen white. Where in sheaede, a-zinken deeply, Wer a nook, all dark but lew, By a bank, arisen steeply, Not to let the win' come drough.
Should my love goo out, a-showen All her smiles, in open light; Or, in lewth, wi' wind a-blowen, Stay in darkness, dim to zight? Stay in sheaede o' bank or wallen, In the warmth, if not in light; Words alwone vrom her a-vallen, Would be jay vor all the night.
THE WAGGON A-STOODED.
Dree o'm a-ta'ken o't.
(1) Well, here we be, then, wi' the vu'st poor lwoad O' vuzz we brought, a-stooded in the road.
(2) The road, George, no. There's na'r a road. That's wrong. If we'd a road, we mid ha' got along.
(1) Noo road! Ees 'tis, the road that we do goo.
(2) Do goo, George, no. The pleaece we can't get drough.
(1) Well, there, the vu'st lwoad we've a-haul'd to day Is here a-stooded in theaese bed o' clay. Here's rotten groun'! an' how the wheels do cut! The little woone's a-zunk up to the nut.
(3) An' yeet this rotten groun' don't reach a lug.
(1) Well, come, then, gi'e the plow another tug.
(2) They meaeres wull never pull the waggon out, A-lwoaded, an' a-stooded in thik rout.
(3) We'll try. Come, Smiler, come! C'up, Whitevoot, gee!
(2) White-voot wi' lags all over mud! Hee! Hee!
(3) 'Twoon't wag. We shall but snap our gear, An' overstrain the meaeres. 'Twoon't wag, 'tis clear.
(1) That's your work, William. No, in coo'se, 'twoon't wag. Why did ye drēve en into theaese here quag? The vore-wheels be a-zunk above the nuts.
(3) What then? I coulden leaeve the beaeten track, To turn the waggon over on the back Ov woone o' theaesem wheel-high emmet-butts. If you be sich a drēver, an' do know't, You drēve the plow, then; but you'll overdrow 't.
(1) I drēve the plow, indeed! Oh! ees, what, now The wheels woont wag, then, I mid drēve the plow! We'd better dig away the groun' below The wheels. (2) There's na'r a speaede to dig wi'.
(1) An' teaeke an' cut a lock o' frith, an' drow Upon the clay. (2) Nor hook to cut a twig wi'.
(1) Oh! here's a bwoy a-comen. Here, my lad, Dost know vor a'r a speaede, that can be had?
(B) At father's. (1) Well, where's that? (Bwoy) At Sam'el Riddick's.
(1) Well run, an' ax vor woone. Fling up your heels, An' mind: a speaede to dig out theaesem wheels, An' hook to cut a little lock o' widdicks.
(3) Why, we shall want zix ho'ses, or a dozen, To pull the waggon out, wi' all theaese vuzzen.
(1) Well, we mus' lighten en; come, Jeaemes, then, hop Upon the lwoad, an' jus' fling off the top.
(2) If I can clim' en; but 'tis my consait, That I shall overzet en wi' my waight.
(1) You overzet en! No, Jeaemes, he won't vall, The lwoad's a-built so firm as any wall.
(2) Here! lend a hand or shoulder vor my knee Or voot. I'll scramble to the top an' zee What I can do. Well, here I be, among The fakkets, vor a bit, but not vor long. Heigh, George! Ha! ha! Why this wull never stand. Your firm 's a wall, is all so loose as zand; 'Tis all a-come to pieces. Oh! Teaeke ceaere! Ho! I'm a-vallen, vuzz an' all! Hae! There!
(1) Lo'k there, thik fellor is a-vell lik' lead, An' half the fuzzen wi 'n, heels over head! There's all the vuzz a-lyen lik' a staddle, An' he a-deaeb'd wi' mud. Oh! Here's a caddle!
(3) An' zoo you soon got down zome vuzzen, Jimmy.
(2) Ees, I do know 'tis down. I brought it wi' me.
(3) Your lwoad, George, wer a rather slick-built thing, But there, 'twer prickly vor the hands! Did sting?
(1) Oh! ees, d'ye teaeke me vor a nincompoop, No, no. The lwoad wer up so firm's a rock, But two o' theaesem emmet-butts would knock The tightest barrel nearly out o' hoop.
(3) Oh! now then, here 's the bwoy a-bringen back The speaede. Well done, my man. That idder slack.
(2) Well done, my lad, sha't have a ho'se to ride When thou'st a meaere. (Bwoy) Next never's-tide.
(3) Now let's dig out a spit or two O' clay, a-vore the little wheels; Oh! so's, I can't pull up my heels, I be a-stogg'd up over shoe.
(1) Come, William, dig away! Why you do spuddle A'most so weak's a child. How you do muddle! Gi'e me the speaede a-bit. A pig would rout It out a'most so nimbly wi' his snout.
(3) Oh! so's, d'ye hear it, then. How we can thunder! How big we be, then George! what next I wonder?
(1) Now, William, gi'e the waggon woone mwore twitch, The wheels be free, an' 'tis a lighter nitch.
(3) Come, Smiler, gee! C'up, White-voot. (1) That wull do.
(2) Do wag. (1) Do goo at last. (3) Well done. 'Tis drough.
(1) Now, William, till you have mwore ho'ses' lags, Don't drēve the waggon into theaesem quags.
(3) You build your lwoads up tight enough to ride.
(1) I can't do less, d'ye know, wi' you vor guide.
GWAIN DOWN THE STEPS VOR WATER.
While zuns do roll vrom east to west To bring us work, or leaeve us rest, There down below the steep hill-zide, Drough time an' tide, the spring do flow; An' mothers there, vor years a-gone, Lik' daughters now a-comen on, To bloom when they be weak an' wan, Went down the steps vor water.
An' what do yonder ringers tell A-ringen changes, bell by bell; Or what's a-show'd by yonder zight O' vo'k in white, upon the road, But that by John o' Woodleys zide, There's now a-blushen vor his bride, A pretty maid that vu'st he spied, Gwain down the steps vor water.
Though she, 'tis true, is feaeir an' kind, There still be mwore a-left behind; So cleaen 's the light the zun do gi'e, So sprack 's a bee when zummer's bright; An' if I've luck, I woont be slow To teaeke off woone that I do know, A-trippen gaily to an' fro, Upon the steps vor water.
Her father idden poor—but vew In parish be so well to do; Vor his own cows do swing their tails Behind his pails, below his boughs: An' then ageaen to win my love, Why, she's as hwomely as a dove, An' don't hold up herzelf above Gwain down the steps vor water.
Gwain down the steps vor water! No! How handsome it do meaeke her grow. If she'd be straight, or walk abrode, To tread her road wi' comely gait, She coulden do a better thing To zet herzelf upright, than bring Her pitcher on her head, vrom spring Upon the steps, wi' water.
No! don't ye neaeme in woone seaeme breath Wi' bachelors, the husband's he'th; The happy pleaece, where vingers thin Do pull woone's chin, or pat woone's feaece. But still the bleaeme is their's, to slight Their happiness, wi' such a zight O' maidens, mornen, noon, an' night, A-gwain down steps vor water.
ELLEN BRINE OV ALLENBURN.
Noo soul did hear her lips complain, An' she's a-gone vrom all her pain, An' others' loss to her is gain For she do live in heaven's love; Vull many a longsome day an' week She bore her ailen, still, an' meek; A-worken while her strangth held on, An' guiden housework, when 'twer gone. Vor Ellen Brine ov Allenburn, Oh! there be souls to murn.
The last time I'd a-cast my zight Upon her feaece, a-feaeded white, Wer in a zummer's mornen light In hall avore the smwold'ren vier, The while the childern beaet the vloor, In play, wi' tiny shoes they wore, An' call'd their mother's eyes to view The feaet's their little limbs could do. Oh! Ellen Brine ov Allenburn, They childern now mus' murn.
Then woone, a-stoppen vrom his reaece, Went up, an' on her knee did pleaece His hand, a-looken in her feaece, An' wi' a smilen mouth so small, He zaid, "You promised us to goo To Shroton feaeir, an' teaeke us two!" She heaerd it wi' her two white ears, An' in her eyes there sprung two tears, Vor Ellen Brine ov Allenburn Did veel that they mus' murn.
September come, wi' Shroton feaeir, But Ellen Brine wer never there! A heavy heart wer on the meaere Their father rod his hwomeward road. 'Tis true he brought zome feaerens back, Vor them two childern all in black; But they had now, wi' playthings new, Noo mother vor to shew em to, Vor Ellen Brine ov Allenburn Would never mwore return.
THE MOTHERLESS CHILD.
The zun'd a-zet back tother night, But in the zetten pleaece The clouds, a-redden'd by his light, Still glow'd avore my feaece. An' I've a-lost my Meaery's smile, I thought; but still I have her chile, Zoo like her, that my eyes can treaece The mother's in her daughter's feaece. O little feaece so near to me, An' like thy mother's gone; why need I zay Sweet night cloud, wi' the glow o' my lost day, Thy looks be always dear to me. The zun'd a-zet another night; But, by the moon on high, He still did zend us back his light Below a cwolder sky. My Meaery's in a better land I thought, but still her chile's at hand, An' in her chile she'll zend me on Her love, though she herzelf's a-gone. O little chile so near to me, An' like thy mother gone; why need I zay, Sweet moon, the messenger vrom my lost day, Thy looks be always dear to me.
THE LEAeDY'S TOWER.
An' then we went along the gleaedes O' zunny turf, in quiv'ren sheaedes, A-winden off, vrom hand to hand, Along a path o' yollow zand, An' clomb a stickle slope, an' vound An open patch o' lofty ground, Up where a steaetely tow'r did spring, So high as highest larks do zing.
"Oh! Meaester Collins," then I zaid, A-looken up wi' back-flung head; Vor who but he, so mild o' feaece, Should teaeke me there to zee the pleaece. "What is it then theaese tower do meaen, A-built so feaeir, an' kept so cleaen?" "Ah! me," he zaid, wi' thoughtvul feaece, "'Twer grief that zet theaese tower in pleaece. The squier's e'thly life's a-blest Wi' gifts that mwost do teaeke vor best; The lofty-pinion'd rufs do rise To screen his head vrom stormy skies; His land's a-spreaden roun' his hall, An' hands do leaebor at his call; The while the ho'se do fling, wi' pride, His lofty head where he do guide; But still his e'thly jay's a-vled, His woone true friend, his wife, is dead. Zoo now her happy soul's a-gone, An' he in grief's a-ling'ren on, Do do his heart zome good to show His love to flesh an' blood below. An' zoo he rear'd, wi' smitten soul, Theaese Leaedy's Tower upon the knowl. An' there you'll zee the tow'r do spring Twice ten veet up, as roun's a ring, Wi' pillars under mwolded eaeves, Above their heads a-carv'd wi' leaves; An' have to peaece, a-walken round His voot, a hunderd veet o' ground. An' there, above his upper wall, A rounded tow'r do spring so tall 'S a springen arrow shot upright, A hunderd giddy veet in height. An' if you'd like to strain your knees A-climen up above the trees, To zee, wi' slowly wheelen feaece, The vur-sky'd land about the pleaece, You'll have a flight o' steps to wear Vor forty veet, up steaeir by steaeir, That roun' the risen tow'r do wind, Like withwind roun' the saplen's rind, An' reach a landen, wi' a seat, To rest at last your weary veet, 'Ithin a breast be-screenen wall, To keep ye vrom a longsome vall. An' roun' the winden steaeirs do spring Aight stwonen pillars in a ring, A-reachen up their heavy strangth Drough forty veet o' slender langth, To end wi' carved heads below The broad-vloor'd landen's airy bow. Aight zides, as you do zee, do bound The lower builden on the ground, An' there in woone, a two-leav'd door Do zwing above the marble vloor: An' aye, as luck do zoo betide Our comen, wi' can goo inside. The door is oben now. An' zoo The keeper kindly let us drough. There as we softly trod the vloor O' marble stwone, 'ithin the door, The echoes ov our vootsteps vled Out roun' the wall, and over head; An' there a-painted, zide by zide, In memory o' the squier's bride, In zeven paintens, true to life, Wer zeven zights o' wedded life."
Then Meaester Collins twold me all The teaeles a-painted roun' the wall; An' vu'st the bride did stan' to plight Her wedden vow, below the light A-shooten down, so bright's a fleaeme, In drough a churches window freaeme. An' near the bride, on either hand, You'd zee her comely bridemaids stand, Wi' eyelashes a-bent in streaeks O' brown above their bloomen cheaeks: An' sheenen feaeir, in mellow light, Wi' flowen heaeir, an' frocks o' white.
"An' here," good Meaester Collins cried, "You'll zee a creaedle at her zide, An' there's her child, a-lyen deep 'Ithin it, an' a-gone to sleep, Wi' little eyelashes a-met In fellow streaeks, as black as jet; The while her needle, over head, Do nimbly leaed the snow-white thread, To zew a robe her love do meaeke Wi' happy leaebor vor his seaeke.
"An' here a-geaen's another pleaece, Where she do zit wi' smilen feaece, An' while her bwoy do leaen, wi' pride, Ageaen her lap, below her zide, Her vinger tip do leaed his look To zome good words o' God's own book.
"An' next you'll zee her in her pleaece, Avore her happy husband's feaece, As he do zit, at evenen-tide, A-resten by the vier-zide. An' there the childern's heads do rise Wi' laughen lips, an' beamen eyes, Above the bwoard, where she do lay Her sheenen tacklen, wi' the tea.
"An' here another zide do show Her vinger in her scizzars' bow Avore two daughters, that do stand, Wi' leaernsome minds, to watch her hand A-sheaepen out, wi' skill an' ceaere, A frock vor them to zew an' wear.
"Then next you'll zee her bend her head Above her ailen husband's bed, A-fannen, wi' an inward pray'r, His burnen brow wi' beaeten air; The while the clock, by candle light, Do show that 'tis the dead o' night.
"An' here ageaen upon the wall, Where we do zee her last ov all, Her husband's head's a-hangen low, 'Ithin his hands in deepest woe. An' she, an angel ov his God, Do cheer his soul below the rod, A-liften up her han' to call His eyes to writen on the wall, As white as is her spotless robe, 'Hast thou remembered my servant Job?'
"An' zoo the squier, in grief o' soul, Built up the Tower upon the knowl."
Let en zit, wi' his dog an' his cat, Wi' their noses a-turn'd to the vier, An' have all that a man should desire; But there idden much reaedship in that. Whether vo'k mid have childern or no, Wou'dden meaeke mighty odds in the main; They do bring us mwore jay wi' mwore ho, An' wi' nwone we've less jay wi' less pain We be all lik' a zull's idle sheaere out, An' shall rust out, unless we do wear out, Lik' do-nothen, rue-nothen, Dead alive dumps.
As vor me, why my life idden bound To my own heart alwone, among men; I do live in myzelf, an' ageaen In the lives o' my childern all round: I do live wi' my bwoy in his play, An' ageaen wi' my maid in her zongs; An' my heart is a-stirr'd wi' their jay, An' would burn at the zight o' their wrongs. I ha' nine lives, an' zoo if a half O'm do cry, why the rest o'm mid laugh All so playvully, jayvully, Happy wi' hope.
Tother night I come hwome a long road, When the weather did sting an' did vreeze; An' the snow—vor the day had a-snow'd— Wer avroze on the boughs o' the trees; An' my tooes an' my vingers wer num', An' my veet wer so lumpy as logs, An' my ears wer so red's a cock's cwom'; An' my nose wer so cwold as a dog's; But so soon's I got hwome I vorgot Where my limbs wer a-cwold or wer hot, When wi' loud cries an' proud cries They coll'd me so cwold.
Vor the vu'st that I happen'd to meet Come to pull my girtcwoat vrom my eaerm, An' another did rub my feaece warm, An' another hot-slipper'd my veet; While their mother did cast on a stick, Vor to keep the red vier alive; An' they all come so busy an' thick As the bees vlee-en into their hive, An' they meaede me so happy an' proud, That my heart could ha' crow'd out a-loud; They did tweil zoo, an' smile zoo, An' coll me so cwold.
As I zot wi' my teacup, at rest, There I pull'd out the tays I did bring; Men a-kicken, a-wagg'd wi' a string, An' goggle-ey'd dolls to be drest; An' oh! vrom the childern there sprung Such a charm when they handled their tays, That vor pleasure the bigger woones wrung Their two hands at the zight o' their jays; As the bwoys' bigger vaices vell in Wi' the maidens a-titteren thin, An' their dancen an' prancen, An' little mouth's laughs.
Though 'tis hard stripes to breed em all up, If I'm only a-blest vrom above, They'll meaeke me amends wi' their love, Vor their pillow, their pleaete, an' their cup; Though I shall be never a-spweil'd Wi' the sarvice that money can buy; Still the hands ov a wife an' a child Be the blessens ov low or ov high; An' if there be mouths to be ved, He that zent em can zend me their bread, An' will smile on the chile That's a-new on the knee.
THE MAID O' NEWTON.
In zummer, when the knaps wer bright In cool-air'd evenen's western light, An' hay that had a-dried all day, Did now lie grey, to dewy night; I went, by happy chance, or doom, Vrom Broadwoak Hill, athirt to Coomb, An' met a maid in all her bloom: The feairest maid o' Newton.
She bore a basket that did ride So light, she didden leaen azide; Her feaece wer oval, an' she smil'd So sweet's a child, but walk'd wi' pride. I spoke to her, but what I zaid I didden know; wi' thoughts a-vled, I spoke by heart, an' not by head, Avore the maid o' Newton.
I call'd her, oh! I don't know who, 'Twer by a neaeme she never knew; An' to the heel she stood upon, She then brought on her hinder shoe, An' stopp'd avore me, where we met, An' wi' a smile woone can't vorget, She zaid, wi' eyes a-zwimmen wet, "No, I be woone o' Newton."
Then on I rambled to the west, Below the zunny hangen's breast, Where, down athirt the little stream, The brudge's beam did lie at rest: But all the birds, wi' lively glee, Did chirp an' hop vrom tree to tree, As if it wer vrom pride, to zee Goo by the maid o' Newton.
By fancy led, at evenen's glow, I woonce did goo, a-roven slow, Down where the elems, stem by stem, Do stan' to hem the grove below; But after that, my veet vorzook The grove, to seek the little brook At Coomb, where I mid zometimes look, To meet the maid o' Newton.
Aye, at that time our days wer but vew, An' our lim's wer but small, an' a-growen; An' then the feaeir worold wer new, An' life wer all hopevul an' gay; An' the times o' the sprouten o' leaves, An' the cheaek-burnen seasons o' mowen, An' binden o' red-headed sheaves, Wer all welcome seasons o' jay.
Then the housen seem'd high, that be low, An' the brook did seem wide that is narrow, An' time, that do vlee, did goo slow, An' veelens now feeble wer strong, An' our worold did end wi' the neaemes Ov the Sha'sbury Hill or Bulbarrow; An' life did seem only the geaemes That we play'd as the days rolled along.
Then the rivers, an' high-timber'd lands, An' the zilvery hills, 'ithout buyen, Did seem to come into our hands Vrom others that own'd em avore; An' all zickness, an' sorrow, an' need, Seem'd to die wi' the wold vo'k a-dyen, An' leaeve us vor ever a-freed Vrom evils our vorefathers bore.
But happy be childern the while They have elders a-liven to love em, An' teaeke all the wearisome tweil That zome hands or others mus' do; Like the low-headed shrubs that be warm, In the lewth o' the trees up above em, A-screen'd vrom the cwold blowen storm That the timber avore em must rue.
When mornen winds, a-blowen high, Do zweep the clouds vrom all the sky, An' laurel-leaves do glitter bright, The while the newly broken light Do brighten up, avore our view, The vields wi' green, an' hills wi' blue; What then can highten to my eyes The cheerful feaece ov e'th an' skies, But Meaery's smile, o' Morey's Mill, My rwose o' Mowy Lea.
An' when, at last, the evenen dews Do now begin to wet our shoes; An' night's a-riden to the west, To stop our work, an' gi'e us rest, Oh! let the candle's ruddy gleaere But brighten up her sheenen heaeir; Or else, as she do walk abroad, Let moonlight show, upon the road, My Meaery's smile, o' Morey's Mill, My rwose o' Mowy Lea.
An' O! mid never tears come on, To wash her feaece's blushes wan, Nor kill her smiles that now do play Like sparklen weaeves in zunny May; But mid she still, vor all she's gone Vrom souls she now do smile upon, Show others they can vind woone jay To turn the hardest work to play. My Meaery's smile, o' Morey's Mill, My rwose o' Mowy Lea.
The zun can zink, the stars mid rise, An' woods be green to sheenen skies; The cock mid crow to mornen light, An' workvo'k zing to vallen night; The birds mid whissle on the spray, An' childern leaep in merry play, But our's is now a lifeless pleaece, Vor we've a-lost a smilen feaece— Young Meaery Meaed o' merry mood, Vor she's a-woo'd an' wedded.
The dog that woonce wer glad to bear Her fondlen vingers down his heaeir, Do leaen his head ageaen the vloor, To watch, wi' heavy eyes, the door; An' men she zent so happy hwome O' Zadurdays, do seem to come To door, wi' downcast hearts, to miss Wi' smiles below the clematis, Young Meaery Meaed o' merry mood, Vor she's a-woo'd an' wedded.
When they do draw the evenen blind, An' when the evenen light's a-tin'd, The cheerless vier do drow a gleaere O' light ageaen her empty chair; An' wordless gaps do now meaeke thin Their talk where woonce her vaice come in. Zoo lwonesome is her empty pleaece, An' blest the house that ha' the feaece O' Meaery Meaed, o' merry mood, Now she's a-woo'd and wedded.
The day she left her father's he'th, Though sad, wer kept a day o' me'th, An' dry-wheel'd waggons' empty beds Wer left 'ithin the tree-screen'd sheds; An' all the hosses, at their eaese, Went snorten up the flow'ry leaese, But woone, the smartest for the roaed, That pull'd away the dearest lwoad— Young Meaery Meaed o' merry mood, That wer a-woo'd an' wedded.
THE STWONEN BWOY UPON THE PILLAR.
Wi' smokeless tuns an' empty halls, An' moss a-clingen to the walls, In ev'ry wind the lofty tow'rs Do teaeke the zun, an' bear the show'rs; An' there, 'ithin a geaet a-hung, But vasten'd up, an' never swung, Upon the pillar, all alwone, Do stan' the little bwoy o' stwone; 'S a poppy bud mid linger on, Vorseaeken, when the wheat's a-gone. An' there, then, wi' his bow let slack, An' little quiver at his back, Drough het an' wet, the little chile Vrom day to day do stan' an' smile. When vu'st the light, a-risen weak, At break o' day, do smite his cheaek, Or while, at noon, the leafy bough Do cast a sheaede a-thirt his brow, Or when at night the warm-breath'd cows Do sleep by moon-belighted boughs; An' there the while the rooks do bring Their scroff to build their nest in Spring, Or zwallows in the zummer day Do cling their little huts o' clay, 'Ithin the rainless sheaedes, below The steadvast arches' mossy bow. Or when, in Fall, the woak do shed The leaves, a-wither'd, vrom his head, An' western win's, a-blowen cool, Do dreve em out athirt the pool, Or Winter's clouds do gather dark An' wet, wi' rain, the elem's bark, You'll zee his pretty smile betwixt His little sheaede-mark'd lips a-fix'd; As there his little sheaepe do bide Drough day an' night, an' time an' tide, An' never change his size or dress, Nor overgrow his prettiness. But, oh! thik child, that we do vind In childhood still, do call to mind A little bwoy a-call'd by death, Long years agoo, vrom our sad he'th; An' I, in thought, can zee en dim The seaeme in feaece, the seaeme in lim', My heaeir mid whiten as the snow, My limbs grow weak, my step wear slow, My droopen head mid slowly vall Above the han'-staff's glossy ball, An' yeet, vor all a wid'nen span Ov years, mid change a liven man, My little child do still appear To me wi' all his childhood's gear, 'Ithout a beard upon his chin, 'Ithout a wrinkle in his skin, A-liven on, a child the seaeme In look, an' sheaepe, an' size, an' neaeme.
THE YOUNG THAT DIED IN BEAUTY.
If souls should only sheen so bright In heaven as in e'thly light, An' nothen better wer the ceaese, How comely still, in sheaepe an' feaece, Would many reach thik happy pleaece,— The hopeful souls that in their prime Ha' seem'd a-took avore their time— The young that died in beauty.
But when woone's lim's ha' lost their strangth A-tweilen drough a lifetime's langth, An' over cheaeks a-growen wold The slowly-weaesten years ha' rolled, The deep'nen wrinkle's hollow vwold; When life is ripe, then death do call Vor less ov thought, than when do vall On young vo'ks in their beauty.
But pinen souls, wi' heads a-hung In heavy sorrow vor the young, The sister ov the brother dead, The father wi' a child a-vled, The husband when his bride ha' laid Her head at rest, noo mwore to turn, Have all a-vound the time to murn Vor youth that died in beauty.
An' yeet the church, where prayer do rise Vrom thoughtvul souls, wi' downcast eyes. An' village greens, a-beaet half beaere By dancers that do meet, an' weaer Such merry looks at feaest an' feaeir, Do gather under leatest skies, Their bloomen cheaeks an' sparklen eyes, Though young ha' died in beauty.
But still the dead shall mwore than keep The beauty ov their eaerly sleep; Where comely looks shall never weaer Uncomely, under tweil an' ceaere. The feaeir at death be always feaeir, Still feaeir to livers' thought an' love, An' feaeirer still to God above, Than when they died in beauty.
FAIR EMILY OV YARROW MILL.
Dear Yarrowham, 'twer many miles Vrom thy green meaeds that, in my walk, I met a maid wi' winnen smiles, That talk'd as vo'k at hwome do talk; An' who at last should she be vound, Ov all the souls the sky do bound, But woone that trod at vu'st thy groun' Fair Emily ov Yarrow Mill.
But thy wold house an' elmy nook, An' wall-screen'd geaerden's mossy zides, Thy grassy meaeds an' zedgy brook, An' high-bank'd leaenes, wi' sheaedy rides, Wer all a-known to me by light Ov eaerly days, a-quench'd by night, Avore they met the younger zight Ov Emily ov Yarrow Mill.
An' now my heart do leaep to think O' times that I've a-spent in play, Bezide thy river's rushy brink, Upon a deaeizybed o' May; I lov'd the friends thy land ha' bore, An' I do love the paths they wore, An' I do love thee all the mwore, Vor Emily ov Yarrow Mill.
When bright above the e'th below The moon do spread abroad his light, An' air o' zummer nights do blow Athirt the vields in playsome flight, 'Tis then delightsome under all The sheaedes o' boughs by path or wall, But mwostly thine when they do vall On Emily ov Yarrow Mill.
Aye, aye, the leaene wi' flow'ry zides A-kept so lew, by hazzle-wrides, Wi' beds o' graegles out in bloom, Below the timber's windless gloon An' geaete that I've a-swung, An' rod as he's a-hung, When I wer young, in Woakley Coomb.
'Twer there at feaest we all did pass The evenen on the leaenezide grass, Out where the geaete do let us drough, Below the woak-trees in the lew, In merry geaemes an' fun That meaede us skip an' run, Wi' burnen zun, an' sky o' blue.
But still there come a scud that drove The titt'ren maidens vrom the grove; An' there a-left wer flow'ry mound, 'Ithout a vaice, 'ithout a sound, Unless the air did blow, Drough ruslen leaves, an' drow, The rain drops low, upon the ground.
I linger'd there an' miss'd the naise; I linger'd there an' miss'd our jays; I miss'd woone soul beyond the rest; The maid that I do like the best. Vor where her vaice is gay An' where her smiles do play, There's always jay vor ev'ry breast.
Vor zome vo'k out abroad ha' me'th, But nwone at hwome bezide the he'th; An' zome ha' smiles vor strangers' view; An' frowns vor kith an' kin to rue; But her sweet vaice do vall, Wi' kindly words to all, Both big an' small, the whole day drough.
An' when the evenen sky wer peaele, We heaerd the warblen nightengeaele, A-drawen out his lwonesome zong, In winden music down the drong; An' Jenny vrom her he'th, Come out, though not in me'th, But held her breath, to hear his zong.
Then, while the bird wi' oben bill Did warble on, her vaice wer still; An' as she stood avore me, bound In stillness to the flow'ry mound, "The bird's a jay to zome," I thought, "but when he's dum, Her vaice will come, wi' sweeter sound."
'Twer when the vo'k wer out to hawl A vield o' hay a day in June, An' when the zun begun to vall Toward the west in afternoon, Woone only wer a-left behind To bide indoors, at hwome, an' mind The house, an' answer vo'k avore The geaete or door,—young Fanny Deaene.
The air 'ithin the geaerden wall Wer deadly still, unless the bee Did hummy by, or in the hall The clock did ring a-hetten dree, An' there, wi' busy hands, inside The iron ceaesement, oben'd wide, Did zit an' pull wi' nimble twitch Her tiny stitch, young Fanny Deaene.
As there she zot she heaerd two blows A-knock'd upon the rumblen door, An' laid azide her work, an' rose, An' walk'd out feaeir, athirt the vloor; An' there, a-holden in his hand His bridled meaere, a youth did stand, An' mildly twold his neaeme and pleaece Avore the feaece o' Fanny Deaene.
He twold her that he had on hand Zome business on his father's zide, But what she didden understand; An' zoo she ax'd en if he'd ride Out where her father mid be vound, Bezide the plow, in Cowslip Ground; An' there he went, but left his mind Back there behind, wi' Fanny Deaene.
An' oh! his hwomeward road wer gay In air a-blowen, whiff by whiff, While sheenen water-weaeves did play An' boughs did sway above the cliff; Vor Time had now a-show'd en dim The jay it had in store vor him; An' when he went thik road ageaen His errand then wer Fanny Deaene.
How strangely things be brought about By Providence, noo tongue can tell, She minded house, when vo'k wer out, An' zoo mus' bid the house farewell; The bees mid hum, the clock mid call The lwonesome hours 'ithin the hall, But in behind the woaken door, There's now noo mwore a Fanny Deaene.
THE LOVELY MAID OV ELWELL MEAeD.
A maid wi' many gifts o' greaece, A maid wi' ever-smilen feaece, A child o' yours my chilhood's pleaece, O leaenen lawns ov Allen; 'S a-walken where your stream do flow, A-blushen where your flowers do blow, A-smilen where your zun do glow, O leaenen lawns ov Allen. An' good, however good's a-waigh'd, 'S the lovely maid ov Elwell Meaed.
An' oh! if I could teaeme an' guide The winds above the e'th, an' ride As light as shooten stars do glide, O leaenen lawns ov Allen, To you I'd teaeke my daily flight, Drough dark'nen air in evenen's light, An' bid her every night "Good night," O leaenen lawns ov Allen. Vor good, however good's a-waigh'd, 'S the lovely maid ov Elwell Meaed.
An' when your hedges' slooes be blue, By blackberries o' dark'nen hue, An' spiders' webs behung wi' dew, O leaenen lawns ov Allen Avore the winter air's a-chill'd, Avore your winter brook's a-vill'd Avore your zummer flow'rs be kill'd, O leaenen lawns ov Allen; I there would meet, in white array'd, The lovely maid ov Elwell Meaed.
For when the zun, as birds do rise, Do cast their sheaedes vrom autum' skies, A-sparklen in her dewy eyes, O leaenen lawns ov Allen Then all your mossy paths below The trees, wi' leaves a-vallen slow, Like zinken fleaekes o' yollow snow, O leaenen lawns ov Allen. Would be mwore teaeken where they stray'd The lovely maid ov Elwell Meaed.
OUR FATHERS' WORKS.
Ah! I do think, as I do tread Theaese path, wi' elems overhead, A-climen slowly up vrom Bridge, By easy steps, to Broadwoak Ridge, That all theaese roads that we do bruise Wi' hosses' shoes, or heavy lwoads; An' hedges' bands, where trees in row Do rise an' grow aroun' the lands, Be works that we've a-vound a-wrought By our vorefathers' ceaere an' thought.
They clear'd the groun' vor grass to teaeke The pleaece that bore the bremble breaeke, An' drain'd the fen, where water spread, A-lyen dead, a beaene to men; An' built the mill, where still the wheel Do grind our meal, below the hill; An' turn'd the bridge, wi' arch a-spread, Below a road, vor us to tread.
They vound a pleaece, where we mid seek The gifts o' greaece vrom week to week; An' built wi' stwone, upon the hill, A tow'r we still do call our own; With bells to use, an' meaeke rejaice, Wi' giant vaice, at our good news: An' lifted stwones an' beams to keep The rain an' cwold vrom us asleep.
Zoo now mid nwone ov us vorget The pattern our vorefathers zet; But each be faein to underteaeke Some work to meaeke vor others' gain, That we mid leaeve mwore good to sheaere, Less ills to bear, less souls to grieve, An' when our hands do vall to rest, It mid be vrom a work a-blest.
THE WOLD VO'K DEAD.
My days, wi' wold vo'k all but gone, An' childern now a-comen on, Do bring me still my mother's smiles In light that now do show my chile's; An' I've a-sheaer'd the wold vo'ks' me'th, Avore the burnen Chris'mas he'th, At friendly bwoards, where feaece by feaece, Did, year by year, gi'e up its pleaece, An' leaeve me here, behind, to tread The ground a-trod by wold vo'k dead.
But wold things be a-lost vor new, An' zome do come, while zome do goo: As wither'd beech-tree leaves do cling Among the nesh young buds o' Spring; An' fretten worms ha' slowly wound, Droo beams the wold vo'k lifted sound, An' trees they planted little slips Ha' stems that noo two eaerms can clips; An' grey an' yollow moss do spread On buildens new to wold vo'k dead.
The backs of all our zilv'ry hills, The brook that still do dreve our mills, The roads a-climen up the brows O' knaps, a-screen'd by meaeple boughs, Wer all a-mark'd in sheaede an' light Avore our wolder fathers' zight, In zunny days, a-gied their hands For happy work, a-tillen lands, That now do yield their childern bread Till they do rest wi' wold vo'k dead.
But liven vo'k, a-grieven on, Wi' lwonesome love, vor souls a-gone, Do zee their goodness, but do vind All else a-stealen out o' mind; As air do meaeke the vurthest land Look feaeirer than the vield at hand, An' zoo, as time do slowly pass, So still's a sheaede upon the grass, Its wid'nen speaece do slowly shed A glory roun' the wold vo'k dead.
An' what if good vo'ks' life o' breath Is zoo a-hallow'd after death, That they mid only know above, Their times o' faith, an' jay, an' love, While all the evil time ha' brought 'S a-lost vor ever out o' thought; As all the moon that idden bright, 'S a-lost in darkness out o' zight; And all the godly life they led Is glory to the wold vo'k dead.
If things be zoo, an' souls above Can only mind our e'thly love, Why then they'll veel our kindness drown The thoughts ov all that meaede em frown. An' jay o' jays will dry the tear O' sadness that do trickle here, An' nothen mwore o' life than love, An' peace, will then be know'd above. Do good, vor that, when life's a-vled, Is still a pleasure to the dead.
CULVER DELL AND THE SQUIRE.
There's noo pleaece I do like so well, As Elem Knap in Culver Dell, Where timber trees, wi' lofty shouds, Did rise avore the western clouds; An' stan' ageaen, wi' veathery tops, A-swayen up in North-Hill Copse. An' on the east the mornen broke Above a dewy grove o' woak: An' noontide shed its burnen light On ashes on the southern height; An' I could vind zome teaeles to tell, O' former days in Culver Dell.
An' all the vo'k did love so well The good wold squire o' Culver Dell, That used to ramble drough the sheaedes O' timber, or the burnen gleaedes, An' come at evenen up the leaeze Wi' red-eaer'd dogs bezide his knees. An' hold his gun, a-hangen drough His eaermpit, out above his tooe. Wi' kindly words upon his tongue, Vor vo'k that met en, wold an' young, Vor he did know the poor so well 'S the richest vo'k in Culver Dell.
An' while the woaek, wi' spreaden head, Did sheaede the foxes' verny bed; An' runnen heaeres, in zunny gleaedes, Did beaet the grasses' quiv'ren' bleaedes; An' speckled pa'tridges took flight In stubble vields a-feaeden white; Or he could zee the pheasant strut In sheaedy woods, wi' painted cwoat; Or long-tongued dogs did love to run Among the leaves, bezide his gun; We didden want vor call to dwell At hwome in peace in Culver Dell.
But now I hope his kindly feaece Is gone to vind a better pleaece; But still, wi' vo'k a-left behind He'll always be a-kept in mind, Vor all his springy-vooted hounds Ha' done o' trotten round his grounds, An' we have all a-left the spot, To teaeke, a-scatter'd, each his lot; An' even Father, lik' the rest, Ha' left our long vorseaeken nest; An' we should vind it sad to dwell, Ageaen at hwome in Culver Dell.
The airy mornens still mid smite Our windows wi' their rwosy light, An' high-zunn'd noons mid dry the dew On growen groun' below our shoe; The blushen evenen still mid dye, Wi' viry red, the western sky; The zunny spring-time's quicknen power Mid come to oben leaf an' flower; An' days an' tides mid bring us on Woone pleasure when another's gone. But we must bid a long farewell To days an' tides in Culver Dell.
How dear's the door a latch do shut, An' geaerden that a hatch do shut, Where vu'st our bloomen cheaeks ha' prest The pillor ov our childhood's rest; Or where, wi' little tooes, we wore The paths our fathers trod avore; Or clim'd the timber's bark aloft, Below the zingen lark aloft, The while we heaerd the echo sound Drough all the ringen valley round.
A lwonesome grove o' woak did rise, To screen our house, where smoke did rise, A-twisten blue, while yeet the zun Did langthen on our childhood's fun; An' there, wi' all the sheaepes an' sounds O' life, among the timber'd grounds, The birds upon their boughs did zing, An' milkmaids by their cows did zing, Wi' merry sounds, that softly died, A-ringen down the valley zide.
By river banks, wi' reeds a-bound, An' sheenen pools, wi' weeds a-bound, The long-neck'd gander's ruddy bill To snow-white geese did cackle sh'ill; An' striden peewits heaesten'd by, O' tiptooe wi' their screamen cry; An' stalken cows a-lowen loud, An' strutten cocks a-crowen loud, Did rouse the echoes up to mock Their mingled sounds by hill an' rock.
The stars that clim'd our skies all dark, Above our sleepen eyes all dark, An' zuns a-rollen round to bring The seasons on, vrom Spring to Spring, Ha' vled, wi' never-resten flight, Drough green-bough'd day, an' dark-tree'd night; Till now our childhood's pleaeces there, Be gay wi' other feaeces there, An' we ourselves do vollow on Our own vorelivers dead an' gone.
THE WINDOW FREAeM'D WI' STWONE.
When Pentridge House wer still the nest O' souls that now ha' better rest, Avore the vier burnt to ground His beams an' walls, that then wer sound, 'Ithin a nail-bestudded door, An' passage wi' a stwonen vloor, There spread the hall, where zun-light shone In drough a window freaem'd wi' stwone.
A clavy-beam o' sheenen woak Did span the he'th wi' twisten smoke, Where fleaemes did shoot in yollow streaks, Above the brands, their flashen peaks; An' aunt did pull, as she did stand O'-tip-tooe, wi' her lifted hand, A curtain feaeded wi' the zun, Avore the window freaem'd wi' stwone.
When Hwome-ground grass, below the moon, Wer damp wi' evenen dew in June, An' aunt did call the maidens in Vrom walken, wi' their shoes too thin, They zot to rest their litty veet Upon the window's woaken seat, An' chatted there, in light that shone In drough the window freaem'd wi' stwone.
An' as the seasons, in a ring, Roll'd slowly roun' vrom Spring to Spring, An' brought em on zome holy-tide, When they did cast their tools azide; How glad it meaede em all to spy In Stwonylands their friends draw nigh, As they did know em all by neaeme Out drough the window's stwonen freaeme.
O evenen zun, a-riden drough The sky, vrom Sh'oton Hill o' blue, To leaeve the night a-brooden dark At Stalbridge, wi' its grey-wall'd park; Small jay to me the vields do bring, Vor all their zummer birds do zing, Since now thy beams noo mwore do fleaeme In drough the window's stwonen freaeme.
THE WATER-SPRING IN THE LEANE.
Oh! aye! the spring 'ithin the leaene, A-leaeden down to Lyddan Brook; An' still a-nesslen in his nook, As weeks do pass, an' moons do weaene. Nwone the drier, Nwone the higher, Nwone the nigher to the door Where we did live so long avore.
An' oh! what vo'k his mossy brim Ha' gathered in the run o' time! The wife a-blushen in her prime; The widow wi' her eyezight dim; Maidens dippen, Childern sippen, Water drippen, at the cool Dark wallen ov the little pool.
Behind the spring do lie the lands My father till'd, vrom Spring to Spring, Awaeiten on vor time to bring The crops to pay his weary hands. Wheat a-growen, Beaens a-blowen, Grass vor mowen, where the bridge Do leaed to Ryall's on the ridge.
But who do know when liv'd an' died The squier o' the mwoldren hall; That lined en wi' a stwonen wall, An' steaen'd so cleaen his wat'ry zide? We behind en, Now can't vind en, But do mind en, an' do thank His meaeker vor his little tank.
If theaese day's work an' burnen sky 'V'a-zent hwome you so tired as I, Let's zit an' rest 'ithin the screen O' my wold bow'r upon the green; Where I do goo myself an' let The evenen aier cool my het, When dew do wet the grasses bleaedes, A-quiv'ren in the dusky sheaedes.
There yonder poplar trees do play Soft music, as their heads do sway, While wind, a-rustlen soft or loud, Do stream ageaen their lofty sh'oud; An' seem to heal the ranklen zore My mind do meet wi' out o' door, When I've a-bore, in downcast mood, Zome evil where I look'd vor good.
O' they two poplars that do rise So high avore our naighbours' eyes, A-zet by gramfer, hand by hand, Wi' grammer, in their bit o' land; The woone upon the western zide Wer his, an' woone wer grammer's pride, An' since they died, we all do teaeke Mwore ceaere o'm vor the wold vo'k's seaeke.
An' there, wi' stems a-growen tall Avore the houses mossy wall, The while the moon ha' slowly past The leafy window, they've a-cast Their sheaedes 'ithin the window peaene; While childern have a-grown to men, An' then ageaen ha' left their beds, To bear their childern's heavy heads.
THE LINDEN ON THE LAWN.
No! Jenny, there's noo pleaece to charm My mind lik' yours at Woakland farm, A-peaerted vrom the busy town, By longsome miles ov airy down, Where woonce the meshy wall did gird Your flow'ry geaerden, an' the bird Did zing in zummer wind that stirr'd The spreaeden linden on the lawn.
An' now ov all the trees wi' sheaedes A-wheelen round in Blackmwore gleaedes, There's noo tall poplar by the brook, Nor elem that do rock the rook, Nor ash upon the shelven ledge, Nor low-bough'd woak bezide the hedge, Nor withy up above the zedge, So dear's thik linden on the lawn.
Vor there, o' zummer nights, below The wall, we zot when air did blow, An' sheaeke the dewy rwose a-tied Up roun' the window's stwonen zide. An' while the carter rod' along A-zingen, down the dusky drong, There you did zing a sweeter zong Below the linden on the lawn.
An' while your warbled ditty wound Drough playsome flights o' mellow sound, The nightengeaele's sh'ill zong, that broke The stillness ov the dewy woak, Rung clear along the grove, an' smote To sudden stillness ev'ry droat; As we did zit, an' hear it float Below the linden on the lawn.
Where dusky light did softly vall 'Ithin the stwonen-window'd hall, Avore your father's blinken eyes, His evenen whiff o' smoke did rise, An' vrom the bedroom window's height Your little John, a-cloth'd in white, An' gwain to bed, did cry "good night" Towards the linden on the lawn.
But now, as Dobbin, wi' a nod Vor ev'ry heavy step he trod, Did bring me on, to-night, avore The geaebled house's pworched door, Noo laughen child a-cloth'd in white, Look'd drough the stwonen window's light, An' noo vaice zung, in dusky night, Below the linden on the lawn.
An' zoo, if you should ever vind My kindness seem to grow less kind, An' if upon my clouded feaece My smile should yield a frown its pleaece, Then, Jenny, only laugh an' call My mind 'ithin the geaerden wall, Where we did play at even-fall, Below the linden on the lawn.
OUR ABODE IN ARBY WOOD.
Though ice do hang upon the willows Out bezide the vrozen brook, An' storms do roar above our pillows, Drough the night, 'ithin our nook; Our evenen he'th's a-glowen warm, Drough wringen vrost, an' roaren storm, Though winds mid meaeke the wold beams sheaeke, In our abode in Arby Wood.
An' there, though we mid hear the timber Creake avore the windy rain; An' climen ivy quiver, limber, Up ageaen the window peaene; Our merry vaices then do sound, In rollen glee, or dree-vaice round; Though wind mid roar, 'ithout the door, Ov our abode in Arby Wood.
SLOW TO COME, QUICK AGONE.
Ah! there's a house that I do know Besouth o' yonder trees, Where northern winds can hardly blow But in a softest breeze. An' there woonce sounded zongs an' teaeles Vrom vaice o' maid or youth, An' sweeter than the nightengeaele's Above the copses lewth.
How swiftly there did run the brooks, How swift wer winds in flight, How swiftly to their roost the rooks Did vlee o'er head at night. Though slow did seem to us the peaece O' comen days a-head, That now do seem as in a reaece Wi' air-birds to ha' vled.
'Tis zome vo'ks jay to teaeke the road, An' goo abro'd, a-wand'ren wide, Vrom shere to shere, vrom pleaece to pleaece, The swiftest peaece that vo'k can ride. But I've a jay 'ithin the door, Wi' friends avore the vier-zide.
An' zoo, when winter skies do lour, An' when the Stour's a-rollen wide, Drough bridge-voot rails, a-painted white, To be at night the traveller's guide, Gi'e me a pleaece that's warm an' dry, A-zitten nigh my vier-zide.
Vor where do love o' kith an' kin, At vu'st begin, or grow an' wride, Till souls a-lov'd so young, be wold, Though never cwold, drough time nor tide But where in me'th their gather'd veet Do often meet—the vier-zide.
If, when a friend ha' left the land, I shook his hand a-most wet-eyed, I velt too well the ob'nen door Would leaed noo mwore where he did bide An' where I heaerd his vaices sound, In me'th around the vier-zide.
As I've a-zeed how vast do vall The mwold'ren hall, the wold vo'ks pride, Where merry hearts wer woonce a-ved Wi' daily bread, why I've a-sigh'd, To zee the wall so green wi' mwold, An' vind so cwold the vier-zide.
An' Chris'mas still mid bring his me'th To ouer he'th, but if we tried To gather all that woonce did wear Gay feaeces there! Ah! zome ha' died, An' zome be gone to leaeve wi' gaps O' missen laps, the vier-zide.
But come now, bring us in your hand, A heavy brand o' woak a-dried, To cheer us wi' his het an' light, While vrosty night, so starry-skied, Go gather souls that time do speaere To zit an' sheaere our vier-zide.
I don't want to sleep abrode, John, I do like my hwomeward road, John; An' like the sound o' Knowlwood bells the best. Zome would rove vrom pleaece to pleaece, John, Zome would goo from feaece to feaece, John, But I be happy in my hwomely nest; An' slight's the hope vor any pleaece bezide, To leaeve the plain abode where love do bide.
Where the shelven knap do vall, John, Under trees a-springen tall, John; 'Tis there my house do show his sheenen zide, Wi' his walls vor ever green, John, Under ivy that's a screen, John, Vrom wet an' het, an' ev'ry changen tide, An' I do little ho vor goold or pride, To leaeve the plain abode where love do bide.
There the benden stream do flow, John, By the mossy bridge's bow, John; An' there the road do wind below the hill; There the miller, white wi' meal, John, Deafen'd wi' his foamy wheel, John, Do stan' o' times a-looken out o' mill: The while 'ithin his lightly-sheaeken door. His wheaten flour do whiten all his floor.
When my daily work's a-done, John, At the zetten o' the zun, John, An' I all day 've a-play'd a good man's peaert, I do vind my ease a-blest, John, While my conscience is at rest, John; An' while noo worm's a-left to fret my heart; An' who vor finer hwomes o' restless pride, Would pass the plain abode where peace do bide?
By a windor in the west, John, There upon my fiddle's breast, John, The strings do sound below my bow's white heaeir; While a zingen drush do sway, John, Up an' down upon a spray, John, An' cast his sheaede upon the window square; Vor birds do know their friends, an' build their nest, An' love to roost, where they can live at rest.
Out o' town the win' do bring, John, Peals o' bells when they do ring, John, An' roun' me here, at hand, my ear can catch The maid a-zingen by the stream, John, Or carter whislen wi' his team, John, Or zingen birds, or water at the hatch; An' zoo wi' sounds o' vaice, an' bird an' bell, Noo hour is dull 'ithin our rwosy dell.
An' when the darksome night do hide, John, Land an' wood on ev'ry zide, John; An' when the light's a-burnen on my bwoard, Then vor pleasures out o' door, John, I've enough upon my vloor, John: My Jenny's loven deed, an' look, an' word, An' we be lwoth, lik' culvers zide by zide, To leaeve the plain abode where love do bide.
At Woodcombe farm, wi' ground an' tree Hallow'd by times o' youthvul glee, At Chris'mas time I spent a night Wi' feaeces dearest to my zight; An' took my wife to tread, woonce mwore, Her maiden hwome's vorseaeken vloor, An' under stars that slowly wheel'd Aloft, above the keen-air'd vield, While night bedimm'd the rus'len copse, An' darken'd all the ridges' tops, The hall, a-hung wi' holly, rung Wi' many a tongue o' wold an' young.
There, on the he'th's well-hetted ground, Hallow'd by times o' zitten round, The brimvul mug o' cider stood An' hiss'd avore the bleaezen wood; An' zome, a-zitten knee by knee, Did tell their teaeles wi' hearty glee, An' others gamboll'd in a roar O' laughter on the stwonen vloor; An' while the moss o' winter-tide Clung chilly roun' the house's zide, The hall, a-hung wi' holly, rung Wi' many a tongue o' wold an' young.
There, on the pworches bench o' stwone, Hallow'd by times o' youthvul fun, We laugh'd an' sigh'd to think o' neaemes That rung there woonce, in evenen geaemes; An' while the swayen cypress bow'd, In chilly wind, his darksome sh'oud An' honeyzuckles, beaere o' leaeves, Still reach'd the window-sheaeden eaves Up where the clematis did trim The stwonen arches mossy rim, The hall, a-hung wi' holly, rung Wi' many a tongue o' wold an' young.
There, in the geaerden's wall-bound square, Hallow'd by times o' strollen there, The winter wind, a-hufflen loud, Did sway the pear-tree's leafless sh'oud, An' beaet the bush that woonce did bear The damask rwose vor Jenny's heaeir; An' there the walk o' peaeven stwone That burn'd below the zummer zun, Struck icy-cwold drough shoes a-wore By maidens vrom the hetted vloor In hall, a-hung wi' holm, where rung Vull many a tongue o' wold an' young.
There at the geaete that woonce wer blue Hallow'd by times o' passen drough, Light strawmotes rose in flaggen flight, A-floated by the winds o' night, Where leafy ivy-stems did crawl In moonlight on the windblown wall, An' merry maidens' vaices vled In echoes sh'ill, vrom wall to shed, As shiv'ren in their frocks o' white They come to bid us there "Good night," Vrom hall, a-hung wi' holm, that rung Wi' many a tongue o' wold an' young.
There in the narrow leaene an' drong Hallow'd by times o' gwain along, The lofty ashes' leafless sh'ouds Rose dark avore the clear-edged clouds, The while the moon, at girtest height, Bespread the pooly brook wi' light, An' as our child, in loose-limb'd rest, Lay peaele upon her mother's breast, Her waxen eyelids seal'd her eyes Vrom darksome trees, an' sheenen skies, An' halls a-hung wi' holm, that rung Wi' many a tongue, o' wold an' young.
THE WOLD WALL.
Here, Jeaene, we vu'st did meet below The leafy boughs, a-swingen slow, Avore the zun, wi' evenen glow, Above our road, a-beamen red; The grass in zwath wer in the meaeds, The water gleam'd among the reeds In air a-steaelen roun' the hall, Where ivy clung upon the wall. Ah! well-a-day! O wall adieu! The wall is wold, my grief is new.
An' there you walk'd wi' blushen pride, Where softly-wheelen streams did glide, Drough sheaedes o' poplars at my zide, An' there wi' love that still do live, Your feaece did wear the smile o' youth, The while you spoke wi' age's truth, An' wi' a rwosebud's mossy ball, I deck'd your bosom vrom the wall. Ah! well-a-day! O wall adieu! The wall is wold, my grief is new.
But now when winter's rain do vall, An' wind do beaet ageaen the hall, The while upon the wat'ry wall In spots o' grey the moss do grow; The ruf noo mwore shall overspread The pillor ov our weary head, Nor shall the rwose's mossy ball Behang vor you the house's wall. Ah! well-a-day! O wall adieu! The wall is wold, my grief is new.
BLEAeKE'S HOUSE IN BLACKMWORE.
John Bleaeke he had a bit o' ground Come to en by his mother's zide; An' after that, two hunderd pound His uncle left en when he died; "Well now," cried John, "my mind's a-bent To build a house, an' pay noo rent." An' Meaery gi'ed en her consent. "Do, do,"—the maidens cried "True, true,"—his wife replied. "Done, done,—a house o' brick or stwone," Cried merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore.
Then John he call'd vor men o' skill, An' builders answer'd to his call; An' met to reckon, each his bill; Vor vloor an' window, ruf an' wall. An' woone did mark it on the groun', An' woone did think, an' scratch his crown, An' reckon work, an' write it down: "Zoo, zoo,"—woone treaedesman cried, "True, true,"—woone mwore replied. "Aye, aye,—good work, an' have good pay," Cried merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore.
The work begun, an' trowels rung, An' up the bricken wall did rise, An' up the slanten refters sprung, Wi' busy blows, an' lusty cries! An' woone brought planks to meaeke a vloor, An' woone did come wi' durns or door, An' woone did zaw, an' woone did bore, "Brick, brick,—there down below, Quick, quick,—why b'ye so slow?" "Lime, lime,—why we do weaeste the time, Vor merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore."
The house wer up vrom groun' to tun, An' thatch'd ageaen the rainy sky, Wi' windows to the noonday zun, Where rushy Stour do wander by. In coo'se he had a pworch to screen The inside door, when win's wer keen, An' out avore the pworch, a green. "Here! here!"—the childern cried: "Dear! dear!"—the wife replied; "There, there,—the house is perty feaeir," Cried merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore.
Then John he ax'd his friends to warm His house, an' they, a goodish batch, Did come alwone, or eaerm in eaerm, All roads, a-meaeken vor his hatch: An' there below the clavy beam The kettle-spout did zing an' steam; An' there wer ceaekes, an' tea wi' cream. "Lo! lo!"—the women cried; "Ho! ho!"—the men replied; "Health, health,—attend ye wi' your wealth, Good merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore."
Then John, a-prais'd, flung up his crown, All back a-laughen in a roar. They prais'd his wife, an' she look'd down A-simperen towards the vloor. Then up they sprung a-dancen reels, An' up went tooes, an' up went heels, A-winden roun' in knots an' wheels. "Brisk, brisk,"—the maidens cried; "Frisk, frisk,"—the men replied; "Quick, quick,—there wi' your fiddle-stick," Cried merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore.
An' when the morrow's zun did sheen, John Bleaeke beheld, wi' jay an' pride, His bricken house, an' pworch, an' green, Above the Stour's rushy zide. The zwallows left the lwonesome groves, To build below the thatchen oves, An' robins come vor crumbs o' lwoaves: "Tweet, tweet,"—the birds all cried; "Sweet, sweet,"—John's wife replied; "Dad, dad,"—the childern cried so glad, To merry Bleaeke o' Blackmwore.