Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect
by William Barnes
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No: where the woak do overspread, The grass begloom'd below his head, An' water, under bowen zedge, A-springen vrom the river's edge, Do ripple, as the win' do blow, An' sparkle, as the sky do glow; An' grey-leav'd withy-boughs do cool, Wi' darksome sheaedes, the clear-feaeced pool, My chimny smoke, 'ithin the lew O' trees is there arisen blue; Avore the night do dim our zight, Or candle-light, a-sheenen bright, Do sparkle drough the window.

When crumpled leaves o' Fall do bound Avore the wind, along the ground, An' wither'd bennet-stems do stand A-quiv'ren on the chilly land; The while the zun, wi' zetten rim, Do leaeve the workman's pathway dim; An' sweet-breath'd childern's hangen heads Be laid wi' kisses, on their beds; Then I do seek my woodland nest, An' zit bezide my vier at rest, While night's a-spread, where day's a-vled, An' lights do shed their beams o' red, A-sparklen drough the window.

If winter's whistlen winds do vreeze The snow a-gather'd on the trees, An' sheaedes o' poplar stems do vall In moonlight up athirt the wall; An' icicles do hang below The oves, a-glitt'ren in a row, An' risen stars do slowly ride Above the ruf's upslanten zide; Then I do lay my weary head Asleep upon my peaceful bed, When middle-night ha' quench'd the light Ov embers bright, an' candles white A-beamen drough the window.


'Twer when the busy birds did vlee, Wi' sheenen wings, vrom tree to tree, To build upon the mossy lim', Their hollow nestes' rounded rim; The while the zun, a-zinken low, Did roll along his evenen bow, I come along where wide-horn'd cows, 'Ithin a nook, a-screen'd by boughs, Did stan' an' flip the white-hoop'd pails Wi' heaeiry tufts o' swingen tails; An' there wer Jenny Coom a-gone Along the path a vew steps on. A-beaeren on her head, upstraight, Her pail, wi' slowly-riden waight, An' hoops a-sheenen, lily-white, Ageaen the evenen's slanten light; An' zo I took her pail, an' left Her neck a-freed vrom all his heft; An' she a-looken up an' down, Wi' sheaepely head an' glossy crown, Then took my zide, an' kept my peaece A-talken on wi' smilen feaece, An' zetten things in sich a light, I'd fain ha' heaer'd her talk all night; An' when I brought her milk avore The geaete, she took it in to door, An' if her pail had but allow'd Her head to vall, she would ha' bow'd, An' still, as 'twer, I had the zight Ov her sweet smile droughout the night.


Vor all the zun do leaeve the sky, An' all the sounds o' day do die, An' noo mwore veet do walk the dim Vield-path to clim' the stiel's bars, Yeet out below the rizen stars, The dark'nen day mid leaeve behind Woone tongue that I shall always vind, A-whisperen kind, when birds be still.

Zoo let the day come on to spread His kindly light above my head, Wi' zights to zee, an' sounds to hear, That still do cheer my thoughtvul mind; Or let en goo, an' leaeve behind An' hour to stroll along the gleaedes, Where night do drown the beeches' sheaedes, On grasses' bleaedes, when birds be still.

Vor when the night do lull the sound O' cows a-bleaeren out in ground, The sh'ill-vaic'd dog do stan' an' bark 'Ithin the dark, bezide the road; An' when noo cracklen waggon's lwoad Is in the leaene, the wind do bring The merry peals that bells do ring O ding-dong-ding, when birds be still.

Zoo teaeke, vor me, the town a-drown'd, 'Ithin a storm o' rumblen sound, An' gi'e me vaices that do speak So soft an' meek, to souls alwone; The brook a-gurglen round a stwone, An' birds o' day a-zingen clear, An' leaves, that I mid zit an' hear A-rustlen near, when birds be still.


Oh! no, I quite injay'd the ride Behind wold Dobbin's heavy heels, Wi' Jeaene a-prattlen at my zide, Above our peaeir o' spinnen wheels, As grey-rin'd ashes' swayen tops Did creak in moonlight in the copse, Above the quiv'ren grass, a-beaet By wind a-blowen drough the geaet.

If weary souls did want their sleep, They had a-zent vor sleep the night; Vor vo'k that had a call to keep Awake, lik' us, there still wer light. An' He that shut the sleepers' eyes, A-waiten vor the zun to rise, Ha' too much love to let em know The ling'ren night did goo so slow.

But if my wife did catch a zight O' zome queer pollard, or a post, Poor soul! she took en in her fright To be a robber or a ghost. A two-stump'd withy, wi' a head, Mus' be a man wi' eaerms a-spread; An' foam o' water, round a rock, Wer then a drownen leaedy's frock.

Zome staddle stwones to bear a mow, Wer dancen veaeries on the lag; An' then a snow-white sheeted cow Could only be, she thought, their flag, An owl a-vleen drough the wood Wer men on watch vor little good; An' geaetes a slam'd by wind, did goo, She thought, to let a robber drough.

But after all, she lik'd the zight O' cows asleep in glitt'ren dew; An' brooks that gleam'd below the light, An' dim vield paths 'ithout a shoe. An' gaily talk'd bezide my ears, A-laughen off her needless fears: Or had the childern uppermost In mind, instead o' thief or ghost.

An' when our house, wi' open door, Did rumble hollow round our heads, She heaesten'd up to tother vloor, To zee the childern in their beds; An' vound woone little head awry, Wi' woone a-turn'd toward the sky; An' wrung her hands ageaen her breast, A-smilen at their happy rest.


Where the western zun, unclouded, Up above the grey hill-tops, Did sheen drough ashes, lofty sh'ouded On the turf bezide the copse, In zummer weather, We together, Sorrow-slighten, work-vorgetten. Gambol'd wi' the zun a-zetten.

There, by flow'ry bows o' bramble, Under hedge, in ash-tree sheaedes, The dun-heair'd ho'se did slowly ramble On the grasses' dewy bleaedes, Zet free o' lwoads, An' stwony rwoads, Vorgetvul o' the lashes fretten, Grazen wi' the zun a-zetten.

There wer rooks a-beaeten by us Drough the air, in a vlock, An' there the lively blackbird, nigh us, On the meaeple bough did rock, Wi' ringen droat, Where zunlight smote The yollow boughs o' zunny hedges Over western hills' blue edges.

Waters, drough the meaeds a-purlen, Glissen'd in the evenen's light, An' smoke, above the town a-curlen, Melted slowly out o' zight; An' there, in glooms Ov unzunn'd rooms, To zome, wi' idle sorrows fretten, Zuns did set avore their zetten.

We were out in geaemes and reaeces, Loud a-laughen, wild in me'th, Wi' windblown heaeir, an' zunbrown'd feaeces, Leaepen on the high-sky'd e'th, Avore the lights Wer tin'd o' nights, An' while the gossamer's light netten Sparkled to the zun a-zetten.


Now the zunny air's a-blowen Softly over flowers a-growen; An' the sparklen light do quiver On the ivy-bough an' river; Bleaeten lambs, wi' woolly feaeces, Now do play, a-runnen reaeces; An' the springen Lark's a-zingen, Lik' a dot avore the cloud, High above the ashes sh'oud.

Housen, in the open brightness, Now do sheen in spots o' whiteness; Here an' there, on upland ledges, In among the trees an' hedges, Where, along by vlocks o' sparrows, Chatt'ren at the ploughman's harrows. Dousty rwoaded, Errand-lwoaded; Jenny, though her cloak is thin, Do wish en hwome upon the pin.

Zoo come along, noo longer heedvul Ov the vier, leaetely needvul, Over grass o' slopen leaezes, Zingen zongs in zunny breezes; Out to work in copse, a-mooten, Where the primrwose is a-shooten, An in gladness, Free o' sadness, In the warmth o' Spring vorget Leafless winter's cwold an' wet.


As light do gleaere in ev'ry ground, Wi' boughy hedges out a-round A-climmen up the slopen brows O' hills, in rows o' sheaedy boughs: The while the hawthorn buds do blow As thick as stars, an' white as snow; Or cream-white blossoms be a-spread About the guelder-rwoses' head; How cool's the sheaede, or warm's the lewth, Bezide a zummer hedge in blooth.

When we've a-work'd drough longsome hours, Till dew's a-dried vrom dazzlen flow'rs, The while the climmen zun ha' glow'd Drough mwore than half his daily road: Then where the sheaedes do slily pass Athirt our veet upon the grass, As we do rest by lofty ranks Ov elems on the flow'ry banks; How cool's the sheaede, or warm's the lewth, Bezide a zummer hedge in blooth.

But oh! below woone hedge's zide Our jay do come a-most to pride; Out where the high-stemm'd trees do stand, In row bezide our own free land, An' where the wide-leav'd clote mid zwim 'Ithin our water's rushy rim: An' rain do vall, an' zuns do burn, An' each in season, and in turn, To cool the sheaede or warm the lewth Ov our own zummer hedge in blooth.

How soft do sheaeke the zummer hedge— How soft do sway the zummer zedge— How bright be zummer skies an' zun— How bright the zummer brook do run; An' feaeir the flow'rs do bloom, to feaede Behind the swayen mower's bleaede; An' sweet be merry looks o' jay, By weaeles an' pooks o' June's new hay, Wi' smilen age, an laughen youth, Bezide the zummer hedge in blooth.


O' small-feaec'd flow'r that now dost bloom To stud wi' white the shallow Frome, An' leaeve the clote to spread his flow'r On darksome pools o' stwoneless Stour, When sof'ly-rizen airs do cool The water in the sheenen pool, Thy beds o' snow-white buds do gleam So feaeir upon the sky-blue stream, As whitest clouds, a-hangen high Avore the blueness o' the sky; An' there, at hand, the thin-heaeir'd cows, In airy sheaedes o' withy boughs, Or up bezide the mossy rails, Do stan' an' zwing their heavy tails, The while the ripplen stream do flow Below the dousty bridge's bow; An' quiv'ren water-gleams do mock The weaeves, upon the sheaeded rock; An' up athirt the copen stwone The laitren bwoy do leaen alwone, A-watchen, wi' a stedvast look, The vallen waters in the brook, The while the zand o' time do run An' leaeve his errand still undone. An' oh! as long's thy buds would gleam Above the softly-sliden stream, While sparklen zummer-brooks do run Below the lofty-climen zun, I only wish that thou could'st stay Vor noo man's harm, an' all men's jay. But no, the waterman 'ull weaede Thy water wi' his deadly bleaede, To slay thee even in thy bloom, Fair small-feaeced flower o' the Frome.


Dear lilac-tree, a-spreaden wide Thy purple blooth on ev'ry zide, As if the hollow sky did shed Its blue upon thy flow'ry head; Oh! whether I mid sheaere wi' thee Thy open air, my bloomen tree, Or zee thy blossoms vrom the gloom, 'Ithin my zunless worken-room, My heart do leaep, but leaep wi' sighs, At zight o' thee avore my eyes, For when thy grey-blue head do sway In cloudless light, 'tis Spring, 'tis May.

'Tis Spring, 'tis May, as May woonce shed His glowen light above thy head— When thy green boughs, wi' bloomy tips, Did sheaede my childern's laughen lips; A-screenen vrom the noonday gleaere Their rwosy cheaeks an' glossy heaeir; The while their mother's needle sped, Too quick vor zight, the snow-white thread, Unless her han', wi' loven ceaere, Did smooth their little heads o' heaeir;

Or wi' a sheaeke, tie up anew Vor zome wild voot, a slippen shoe; An' I did leaen bezide thy mound Ageaen the deaesy-dappled ground, The while the woaken clock did tick My hour o' rest away too quick, An' call me off to work anew, Wi' slowly-ringen strokes, woone, two.

Zoo let me zee noo darksome cloud Bedim to-day thy flow'ry sh'oud, But let en bloom on ev'ry spray, Drough all the days o' zunny May.


'Twer out at Penley I'd a-past A zummer day that went too vast, An' when the zetten zun did spread On western clouds a vi'ry red; The elems' leafy limbs wer still Above the gravel-bedded rill, An' under en did warble sh'ill, Avore the dusk, the blackbird.

An' there, in sheaedes o' darksome yews, Did vlee the maidens on their tooes, A-laughen sh'ill wi' merry feaece When we did vind their hiden pleaece. 'Ithin the loose-bough'd ivys gloom, Or lofty lilac, vull in bloom, Or hazzle-wrides that gi'ed em room Below the zingen blackbird.

Above our heads the rooks did vlee To reach their nested elem-tree, An' splashen vish did rise to catch The wheelen gnots above the hatch; An' there the miller went along, A-smilen, up the sheaedy drong, But yeet too deaf to hear the zong A-zung us by the blackbird.

An' there the sh'illy-bubblen brook Did leaeve behind his rocky nook, To run drough meaeds a-chill'd wi' dew, Vrom hour to hour the whole night drough; But still his murmurs wer a-drown'd By vaices that mid never sound Ageaen together on that ground, Wi' whislens o' the blackbird.


Ah! Jeaene, my maid, I stood to you, When you wer christen'd, small an' light, Wi' tiny eaerms o' red an' blue, A-hangen in your robe o' white. We brought ye to the hallow'd stwone, Vor Christ to teaeke ye vor his own, When harvest work wer all a-done, An' time brought round October zun— The slanten light o' Fall.

An' I can mind the wind wer rough, An' gather'd clouds, but brought noo storms, An' you did nessle warm enough, 'Ithin your smilen mother's eaerms. The whindlen grass did quiver light, Among the stubble, feaeded white, An' if at times the zunlight broke Upon the ground, or on the vo'k, 'Twer slanten light o' Fall.

An' when we brought ye drough the door O' Knapton Church, a child o' greaece, There cluster'd round a'most a score O' vo'k to zee your tiny feaece. An' there we all did veel so proud, To zee an' op'nen in the cloud, An' then a stream o' light break drough, A-sheenen brightly down on you— The slanten light o' Fall.

But now your time's a-come to stand In church, a-blushen at my zide, The while a bridegroom vrom my hand Ha' took ye vor his faithvul bride. Your christen neaeme we gi'd ye here, When Fall did cool the weaesten year; An' now, ageaen, we brought ye drough The doorway, wi' your surneaeme new, In slanten light o' Fall.

An' zoo vur, Jeaene, your life is feaeir, An' God ha' been your steadvast friend, An' mid ye have mwore jay than ceaere, Vor ever, till your journey's end. An' I've a-watch'd ye on wi' pride, But now I soon mus' leaeve your zide, Vor you ha' still life's spring-tide zun, But my life, Jeaene, is now a-run To slanten light o' Fall.


The thissledown by wind's a-roll'd In Fall along the zunny plain, Did catch the grass, but lose its hold, Or cling to bennets, but in vain.

But when it zwept along the grass, An' zunk below the hollow's edge, It lay at rest while winds did pass Above the pit-bescreenen ledge.

The plain ha' brightness wi' his strife, The pit is only dark at best, There's pleasure in a worksome life, An' sloth is tiresome wi' its rest.

Zoo, then, I'd sooner beaer my peaert, Ov all the trials vo'k do rue, Than have a deadness o' the heart, Wi' nothen mwore to veel or do.


I've a-come by the May-tree all times o' the year, When leaves wer a-springen, When vrost wer a-stingen, When cool-winded mornen did show the hills clear, When night wer bedimmen the vields vur an' near.

When, in zummer, his head wer as white as a sheet, Wi' white buds a-zwellen, An' blossom, sweet-smellen, While leaves wi' green leaves on his bough-zides did meet, A-sheaeden the deaeisies down under our veet.

When the zun, in the Fall, wer a-wanderen wan, An' haws on his head Did sprinkle en red, Or bright drops o' rain wer a-hung loosely on, To the tips o' the sprigs when the scud wer a-gone.

An' when, in the winter, the zun did goo low, An' keen win' did huffle, But never could ruffle The hard vrozen feaece o' the water below, His limbs wer a-fringed wi' the vrost or the snow.


When skies wer peaele wi' twinklen stars, An' whislen air a-risen keen; An' birds did leaeve the icy bars To vind, in woods, their mossy screen; When vrozen grass, so white's a sheet, Did scrunchy sharp below our veet, An' water, that did sparkle red At zunzet, wer a-vrozen dead; The ringers then did spend an hour A-ringen changes up in tow'r; Vor Lydlinch bells be good vor sound, An' liked by all the naighbours round.

An' while along the leafless boughs O' ruslen hedges, win's did pass, An' orts ov hay, a-left by cows, Did russle on the vrozen grass, An' maidens' pails, wi' all their work A-done, did hang upon their vurk, An' they, avore the fleaemen brand, Did teaeke their needle-work in hand, The men did cheer their heart an hour A-ringen changes up in tow'r; Vor Lydlinch bells be good vor sound, An' liked by all the naighbours round.

There sons did pull the bells that rung Their mothers' wedden peals avore, The while their fathers led em young An' blushen vrom the churches door, An' still did cheem, wi' happy sound, As time did bring the Zundays round, An' call em to the holy pleaece Vor heav'nly gifts o' peace an' greaece; An' vo'k did come, a-streamen slow Along below the trees in row, While they, in merry peals, did sound The bells vor all the naighbours round.

An' when the bells, wi' changen peal, Did smite their own vo'ks window-peaenes, Their sof'en'd sound did often steal Wi' west winds drough the Bagber leaenes; Or, as the win' did shift, mid goo Where woody Stock do nessle lew, Or where the risen moon did light The walls o' Thornhill on the height; An' zoo, whatever time mid bring To meaeke their vive clear vaices zing, Still Lydlinch bells wer good vor sound, An' liked by all the naighbours round.


Ah! when the wold vo'k went abroad They thought it vast enough, If vow'r good ho'ses beaet the road Avore the coach's ruf; An' there they zot, A-cwold or hot, An' roll'd along the ground, While the whip did smack On the ho'ses' back, An' the wheels went swiftly round, Good so's; The wheels went swiftly round.

Noo iron rails did streak the land To keep the wheels in track. The coachman turn'd his vow'r-in-hand, Out right, or left, an' back; An' he'd stop avore A man's own door, To teaeke en up or down: While the reins vell slack On the ho'ses' back, Till the wheels did rottle round ageaen; Till the wheels did rottle round.

An' there, when wintry win' did blow, Athirt the plain an' hill, An' the zun wer peaele above the snow, An' ice did stop the mill, They did laugh an' joke Wi' cwoat or cloke, So warmly roun' em bound, While the whip did crack On the ho'ses' back, An' the wheels did trundle round, d'ye know; The wheels did trundle round.

An' when the rumblen coach did pass Where hufflen winds did roar, They'd stop to teaeke a warmen glass By the sign above the door; An' did laugh an' joke An' ax the vo'k The miles they wer vrom town, Till the whip did crack On the ho'ses back, An' the wheels did truckle roun', good vo'k; The wheels did truckle roun'.

An' gaily rod wold age or youth, When zummer light did vall On woods in leaf, or trees in blooth, Or girt vo'ks parkzide wall. An' they thought they past The pleaeces vast, Along the dousty groun', When the whip did smack On the ho'ses' back, An' the wheels spun swiftly roun'. Them days The wheels spun swiftly roun'.


The sky wer clear, the zunsheen glow'd On droopen flowers drough the day, As I did beaet the dousty road Vrom hinder hills, a-feaeden gray; Drough hollows up the hills, Vrom knaps along by mills, Vrom mills by churches tow'rs, wi' bells That twold the hours to woody dells.

An' when the winden road do guide The thirsty vootman where mid flow The water vrom a rock bezide His vootsteps, in a sheenen bow; The hand a-hollow'd up Do beaet a goolden cup, To catch an' drink it, bright an' cool, A-vallen light 'ithin the pool.

Zoo when, at last, I hung my head Wi' thirsty lips a-burnen dry, I come bezide a river-bed Where water flow'd so blue's the sky; An' there I meaede me up O' coltsvoot leaf a cup, Where water vrom his lip o' gray, Wer sweet to sip thik burnen day.

But when our work is right, a jay Do come to bless us in its train, An' hardships ha' zome good to pay The thoughtvul soul vor all their paein: The het do sweeten sheaede, An' weary lim's ha' meaede A bed o' slumber, still an' sound, By woody hill or grassy mound.

An' while I zot in sweet delay Below an elem on a hill, Where boughs a-halfway up did sway In sheaedes o' lim's above em still, An' blue sky show'd between The flutt'ren leaeves o' green; I woulden gi'e that gloom an' sheaede Vor any room that weaelth ha' meaede.

But oh! that vo'k that have the roads Where weary-vooted souls do pass, Would leaeve bezide the stwone vor lwoads, A little strip vor zummer grass; That when the stwones do bruise An' burn an' gall our tooes, We then mid cool our veet on beds O' wild-thyme sweet, or deaeisy-heads.


They do zay that a travellen chap Have a-put in the newspeaeper now, That the bit o' green ground on the knap Should be all a-took in vor the plough. He do fancy 'tis easy to show That we can be but stunpolls at best, Vor to leaeve a green spot where a flower can grow, Or a voot-weary walker mid rest. Tis hedge-grubben, Thomas, an' ledge-grubben, Never a-done While a sov'ren mwore's to be won.

The road, he do zay, is so wide As 'tis wanted vor travellers' wheels, As if all that did travel did ride An' did never get galls on their heels. He would leaeve sich a thin strip o' groun', That, if a man's veet in his shoes Wer a-burnen an' zore, why he coulden zit down But the wheels would run over his tooes. Vor 'tis meaeke money, Thomas, an' teaeke money, What's zwold an' bought Is all that is worthy o' thought.

Years agoo the leaene-zides did bear grass, Vor to pull wi' the geeses' red bills, That did hiss at the vo'k that did pass, Or the bwoys that pick'd up their white quills. But shortly, if vower or vive Ov our goslens do creep vrom the agg, They must mwope in the geaerden, mwore dead than alive, In a coop, or a-tied by the lag. Vor to catch at land, Thomas, an' snatch at land, Now is the plan; Meaeke money wherever you can.

The childern wull soon have noo pleaece Vor to play in, an' if they do grow, They wull have a thin musheroom feaece, Wi' their bodies so sumple as dough. But a man is a-meaede ov a child, An' his limbs do grow worksome by play; An' if the young child's little body's a-spweil'd, Why, the man's wull the sooner decay. But wealth is wo'th now mwore than health is wo'th; Let it all goo, If't 'ull bring but a sov'ren or two.

Vor to breed the young fox or the heaere, We can gi'e up whole eaecres o' ground, But the greens be a-grudg'd, vor to rear Our young childern up healthy an' sound, Why, there woont be a-left the next age A green spot where their veet can goo free; An' the goocoo wull soon be committed to cage Vor a trespass in zomebody's tree. Vor 'tis locken up, Thomas, an' blocken up, Stranger or brother, Men mussen come nigh woone another.

Woone day I went in at a geaete, Wi' my child, where an echo did sound, An' the owner come up, an' did reaete Me as if I would car off his ground. But his vield an' the grass wer a-let, An' the damage that he could a-took Wer at mwost that the while I did open the geaete I did rub roun' the eye on the hook. But 'tis dreven out, Thomas, an' heven out. Trample noo grounds, Unless you be after the hounds.

Ah! the Squier o' Culver-dell Hall Wer as diff'rent as light is vrom dark, Wi' zome vo'k that, as evenen did vall, Had a-broke drough long grass in his park; Vor he went, wi' a smile, vor to meet Wi' the trespassers while they did pass, An' he zaid, "I do fear you'll catch cwold in your veet, You've a-walk'd drough so much o' my grass." His mild words, Thomas, cut em like swords, Thomas, Newly a-whet, An' went vurder wi' them than a dreat.


I took a flight, awhile agoo, Along the rails, a stage or two, An' while the heavy wheels did spin An' rottle, wi' a deafnen din, In clouds o' steam, the zweepen train Did shoot along the hill-bound plain, As sheaedes o' birds in flight, do pass Below em on the zunny grass. An' as I zot, an' look'd abrode On leaenen land an' winden road, The ground a-spread along our flight Did vlee behind us out o' zight; The while the zun, our heav'nly guide, Did ride on wi' us, zide by zide. An' zoo, while time, vrom stage to stage, Do car us on vrom youth to age, The e'thly pleasures we do vind Be soon a-met, an' left behind; But God, beholden vrom above Our lowly road, wi' yearnen love, Do keep bezide us, stage by stage, Vrom be'th to youth, vrom youth to age.


An' while I went 'ithin a train, A-riden on athirt the plain, A-cleaeren swifter than a hound, On twin-laid rails, the zwimmen ground; I cast my eyes 'ithin a park, Upon a woak wi' grey-white bark, An' while I kept his head my mark, The rest did wheel around en.

An' when in life our love do cling The clwosest round zome single thing, We then do vind that all the rest Do wheel roun' that, vor vu'st an' best; Zoo while our life do last, mid nought But what is good an' feaeir be sought, In word or deed, or heart or thought, An' all the rest wheel round it.


When starbright maidens be to zit In silken frocks, that they do wear, The room mid have, as 'tis but fit, A han'some seat vor vo'k so feaeir; But we, in zun-dried vield an' wood, Ha' seats as good's a goolden chair.

Vor here, 'ithin the woody drong, A ribbed elem-stem do lie, A-vell'd in Spring, an' stratch'd along A bed o' graegles up knee-high, A sheaedy seat to rest, an' let The burnen het o' noon goo by.

Or if you'd look, wi' wider scope, Out where the gray-tree'd plain do spread, The ash bezide the zunny slope, Do sheaede a cool-air'd deaeisy bed, An' grassy seat, wi' spreaden eaves O' rus'len leaves, above your head.

An' there the train mid come in zight, Too vur to hear a-rollen by, A-breathen quick, in heaesty flight, His breath o' tweil, avore the sky, The while the waggon, wi' his lwoad, Do crawl the rwoad a-winden nigh.

Or now theaese happy holiday Do let vo'k rest their weaery lim's, An' lwoaded hay's a-hangen gray, Above the waggon-wheels' dry rims, The meaed ha' seats in weaeles or pooks, By winden brooks, wi' crumblen brims.

Or if you'd gi'e your thoughtvul mind To yonder long-vorseaeken hall, Then teaeke a stwonen seat behind The ivy on the broken wall, An' learn how e'thly wealth an' might Mid clim' their height, an' then mid vall.


I born in town! oh no, my dawn O' life broke here beside theaese lawn; Not where pent air do roll along, In darkness drough the wall-bound drong, An' never bring the goo-coo's zong, Nor sweets o' blossoms in the hedge, Or benden rush, or sheenen zedge, Or sounds o' flowen water.

The air that I've a-breath'd did sheaeke The draps o' rain upon the breaeke, An' bear aloft the swingen lark, An' huffle roun' the elem's bark, In boughy grove, an' woody park, An' brought us down the dewy dells, The high-wound zongs o' nightingeaeles. An' sounds o' flowen water.

An' when the zun, wi' vi'ry rim, 'S a-zinken low, an' wearen dim, Here I, a-most too tired to stand, Do leaeve my work that's under hand In pathless wood or oben land, To rest 'ithin my thatchen oves, Wi' ruslen win's in leafy groves, An' sounds o' flowen water.


When zummer's burnen het's a-shed Upon the droopen grasses head, A-dreven under sheaedy leaves The workvo'k in their snow-white sleeves, We then mid yearn to clim' the height, Where thorns be white, above the vern; An' air do turn the zunsheen's might To softer light too weak to burn— On woodless downs we mid be free, But lowland trees be company.

Though downs mid show a wider view O' green a-reachen into blue Than roads a-winden in the glen, An' ringen wi' the sounds o' men; The thissle's crown o' red an' blue In Fall's cwold dew do wither brown, An' larks come down 'ithin the lew, As storms do brew, an' skies do frown— An' though the down do let us free, The lowland trees be company.

Where birds do zing, below the zun, In trees above the blue-smok'd tun, An' sheaedes o' stems do overstratch The mossy path 'ithin the hatch; If leaves be bright up over head, When May do shed its glitt'ren light; Or, in the blight o' Fall, do spread A yollow bed avore our zight— Whatever season it mid be, The trees be always company.

When dusky night do nearly hide The path along the hedge's zide, An' dailight's hwomely sounds be still But sounds o' water at the mill; Then if noo feaece we long'd to greet Could come to meet our lwonesome treaece Or if noo peaece o' weary veet, However fleet, could reach its pleaece— However lwonesome we mid be, The trees would still be company.


As I at work do look aroun' Upon the groun' I have in view, To yonder hills that still do rise Avore the skies, wi' backs o' blue; 'Ithin the ridges that do vall An' rise roun' Blackmwore lik' a wall, 'Tis yonder knap do teaeke my zight Vrom dawn till night, the mwost ov all.

An' there, in May, 'ithin the lewth O' boughs in blooth, be sheaedy walks, An' cowslips up in yollow beds Do hang their heads on downy stalks; An' if the weather should be feaeir When I've a holiday to speaere, I'll teaeke the chance o' getten drough An hour or two wi' zome vo'k there.

An' there I now can dimly zee The elem-tree upon the mound, An' there meaeke out the high-bough'd grove An' narrow drove by Redcliff ground; An' there by trees a-risen tall, The glowen zunlight now do vall, Wi' shortest sheaedes o' middle day, Upon the gray wold house's wall.

An' I can zee avore the sky A-risen high the churches speer, Wi' bells that I do goo to swing, An' like to ring, an' like to hear; An' if I've luck upon my zide, They bells shall sound bwoth loud an' wide, A peal above they slopes o' gray, Zome merry day wi' Jeaene a bride.


At Easter, though the wind wer high, We vound we had a zunny sky, An' zoo wold Dobbin had to trudge His dousty road by knap an' brudge, An' jog, wi' hangen vetterlocks A-sheaeken roun' his heavy hocks, An' us, a lwoad not much too small, A-riden out to Brookwell Hall; An' there in doust vrom Dobbin's heels, An' green light-waggon's vower wheels, Our merry laughs did loudly sound, In rollen winds athirt the ground; While sheenen-ribbons' color'd streaeks Did flutter roun' the maidens' cheaeks, As they did zit, wi' smilen lips, A-reachen out their vinger-tips Toward zome teaeken pleaece or zight That they did shew us, left or right; An' woonce, when Jimmy tried to pleaece A kiss on cousin Polly's feaece, She push'd his hat, wi' wicked leers, Right off above his two red ears, An' there he roll'd along the groun' Wi' spreaden brim an' rounded crown, An' vound, at last, a cowpon's brim, An' launch'd hizzelf, to teaeke a zwim; An' there, as Jim did run to catch His neaeked noddle's bit o' thatch, To zee his strainens an' his strides, We laugh'd enough to split our zides. At Harwood Farm we pass'd the land That father's father had in hand, An' there, in oben light did spread, The very groun's his cows did tread, An' there above the stwonen tun Avore the dazzlen mornen zun, Wer still the rollen smoke, the breath A-breath'd vrom his wold house's he'th; An' there did lie below the door, The drashol' that his vootsteps wore; But there his meaete an' he bwoth died, Wi' hand in hand, an' zide by zide; Between the seaeme two peals a-rung, Two Zundays, though they wer but young, An' laid in sleep, their worksome hands, At rest vrom tweil wi' house or lands. Then vower childern laid their heads At night upon their little beds, An' never rose ageaen below A mother's love, or father's ho: Dree little maidens, small in feaece, An' woone small bwoy, the fourth in pleaece Zoo when their heedvul father died, He call'd his brother to his zide, To meaeke en stand, in hiz own stead, His childern's guide, when he wer dead; But still avore zix years brought round The woodland goo-coo's zummer sound, He weaested all their little store, An' hardship drove em out o' door, To tweil till tweilsome life should end. 'Ithout a single e'thly friend. But soon wi' Harwood back behind, An' out o' zight an' out o' mind, We went a-rottlen on, an' meaede Our way along to Brookwell Sleaede; An' then we vound ourselves draw nigh The Leaedy's Tow'r that rose on high, An' seem'd a-comen on to meet, Wi' growen height, wold Dobbin's veet.


Well, I do zay 'tis wo'th woone's while To beaet the doust a good six mile To zee the pleaece the squier plann'd At Brookwell, now a-meaede by hand; Wi' oben lawn, an' grove, an' pon', An' gravel-walks as cleaen as bron; An' grass a'most so soft to tread As velvet-pile o' silken thread; An' mounds wi' maesh, an' rocks wi' flow'rs, An' ivy-sheaeded zummer bow'rs, An' dribblen water down below The stwonen arches lofty bow. An' there do sound the watervall Below a cavern's maeshy wall, Where peaele-green light do struggle down A leafy crevice at the crown. An' there do gush the foamy bow O' water, white as driven snow: An' there, a zitten all alwone, A little maid o' marble stwone Do leaen her little cheaek azide Upon her lily han', an' bide Bezide the vallen stream to zee Her pitcher vill'd avore her knee. An' then the brook, a-rollen dark Below a leaenen yew-tree's bark, Wi' playsome ripples that do run A-flashen to the western zun, Do shoot, at last, wi' foamy shocks, Athirt a ledge o' craggy rocks, A-casten in his heaesty flight, Upon the stwones a robe o' white; An' then ageaen do goo an' vall Below a bridge's arched wall, Where vo'k agwain athirt do pass Vow'r little bwoys a-cast in brass; An' woone do hold an angler's wand, Wi' steady hand, above the pond; An' woone, a-pweinten to the stream His little vinger-tip, do seem A-showen to his playmeaetes' eyes, Where he do zee the vishes rise; An' woone ageaen, wi' smilen lips, Do put a vish his han' do clips 'Ithin a basket, loosely tied About his shoulder at his zide: An' after that the fourth do stand A-holden back his pretty hand Behind his little ear, to drow A stwone upon the stream below. An' then the housen, that be all Sich pretty hwomes, vrom big to small, A-looken south, do cluster round A zunny ledge o' risen ground, Avore a wood, a-nestled warm, In lewth ageaen the northern storm, Where smoke, a-wreathen blue, do spread Above the tuns o' dusky red, An' window-peaenes do glitter bright Wi' burnen streams o' zummer light, Below the vine, a-train'd to hem Their zides 'ithin his leafy stem, An' rangle on, wi' flutt'ren leaves, Below the houses' thatchen eaves. An' drough a lawn a-spread avore The windows, an' the pworched door, A path do wind 'ithin a hatch, A-vasten'd wi' a clicken latch, An' there up over ruf an' tun, Do stan' the smooth-wall'd church o' stwone, Wi' carved windows, thin an' tall, A-reachen up the lofty wall; An' battlements, a-stannen round The tower, ninety veet vrom ground, Vrom where a teaep'ren speer do spring So high's the mornen lark do zing. Zoo I do zay 'tis wo'th woone's while To beaet the doust a good six mile, To zee the pleaece the squier plann'd At Brookwell, now a-meaede by hand.


Ah! good Meaester Gwillet, that you mid ha' know'd, Wer a-bred up at Coomb, an' went little abroad: An' if he got in among strangers, he velt His poor heart in a twitter, an' ready to melt; Or if, by ill luck, in his rambles, he met Wi' zome maidens a-titt'ren, he burn'd wi' a het, That shot all drough the lim's o'n, an' left a cwold zweat, The poor little chap wer so shy, He wer ready to drap, an' to die.

But at last 'twer the lot o' the poor little man To vall deeply in love, as the best ov us can; An' 'twer noo easy task vor a shy man to tell Sich a dazzlen feaeir maid that he loved her so well; An' woone day when he met her, his knees nearly smote Woone another, an' then wi' a struggle he bro't A vew vords to his tongue, wi' some mwore in his droat. But she, 'ithout doubt, could soon vind Vrom two words that come out, zix behind.

Zoo at langth, when he vound her so smilen an' kind, Why he wrote her zome lains, vor to tell her his mind, Though 'twer then a hard task vor a man that wer shy, To be married in church, wi' a crowd stannen by. But he twold her woone day, "I have housen an' lands, We could marry by licence, if you don't like banns," An' he cover'd his eyes up wi' woone ov his han's, Vor his head seem'd to zwim as he spoke, An' the air look'd so dim as a smoke.

Well! he vound a good naighbour to goo in his pleaece Vor to buy the goold ring, vor he hadden the feaece. An' when he went up vor to put in the banns, He did sheaeke in his lags, an' did sheaeke in his han's. Then they ax'd vor her neaeme, an' her parish or town, An' he gi'ed em a leaf, wi' her neaeme a-wrote down; Vor he coulden ha' twold em outright, vor a poun', Vor his tongue wer so weak an' so loose, When he wanted to speak 'twer noo use.

Zoo they went to be married, an' when they got there All the vo'k wer a-gather'd as if 'twer a feaeir, An' he thought, though his pleaece mid be pleazen to zome, He could all but ha' wish'd that he hadden a-come. The bride wer a-smilen as fresh as a rwose, An' when he come wi' her, an' show'd his poor nose. All the little bwoys shouted, an' cried "There he goes," "There he goes." Oh! vor his peaert he velt As if the poor heart o'n would melt.

An' when they stood up by the chancel together, Oh! a man mid ha' knock'd en right down wi' a veather, He did veel zoo asheaem'd that he thought he would rather He werden the bridegroom, but only the father. But, though 'tis so funny to zee en so shy, Yeet his mind is so lowly, his aims be so high, That to do a meaen deed, or to tell woone a lie, You'd vind that he'd shun mwore by half, Than to stan' vor vo'ks fun, or their laugh.


There Liddy zot bezide her cow, Upon her lowly seat, O; A hood did overhang her brow, Her pail wer at her veet, O; An' she wer kind, an' she wer feaeir, An' she wer young, an' free o' ceaere; Vew winters had a-blow'd her heaeir, Bezide the Winter's Willow.

She idden woone a-rear'd in town Where many a gayer lass, O, Do trip a-smilen up an' down, So peaele wi' smoke an' gas, O; But here, in vields o' greaezen herds, Her vaeice ha' mingled sweetest words Wi' evenen cheaerms o' busy birds, Bezide the Winter's Willow.

An' when, at last, wi' beaeten breast, I knock'd avore her door, O, She ax'd me in to teaeke the best O' pleaeces on the vloor, O; An' smilen feaeir avore my zight, She blush'd bezide the yollow light O' bleaezen brands, while winds o' night Do sheaeke the Winter's Willow.

An' if there's readship in her smile, She don't begrudge to speaere, O, To zomebody, a little while, The empty woaken chair, O; An' if I've luck upon my zide, Why, I do think she'll be my bride Avore the leaves ha' twice a-died Upon the Winter's Willow.

Above the coach-wheels' rollen rims She never rose to ride, O, Though she do zet her comely lim's Above the mare's white zide, O; But don't become too proud to stoop An' scrub her milken pail's white hoop, Or zit a-milken where do droop, The wet-stemm'd Winter's Willow.

An' I've a cow or two in leaeze, Along the river-zide, O, An' pails to zet avore her knees, At dawn an' evenen-tide, O; An' there she still mid zit, an' look Athirt upon the woody nook Where vu'st I zeed her by the brook Bezide the Winter's Willow.

Zoo, who would heed the treeless down, A-beaet by all the storms, O, Or who would heed the busy town, Where vo'k do goo in zwarms, O; If he wer in my house below The elems, where the vier did glow In Liddy's feaece, though winds did blow Ageaen the Winter's Willow.


Aye, aye, vull rathe the zun mus' rise To meaeke us tired o' zunny skies, A-sheenen on the whole day drough, From mornen's dawn till evenen's dew. When trees be brown an' meaeds be green, An' skies be blue, an' streams do sheen, An' thin-edg'd clouds be snowy white Above the bluest hills in zight; But I can let the daylight goo, When I've a-met wi'—I know who.

In Spring I met her by a bed O' laurels higher than her head; The while a rwose hung white between Her blushes an' the laurel's green; An' then in Fall, I went along The row of elems in the drong, An' heaerd her zing bezide the cows, By yollow leaves o' meaeple boughs; But Fall or Spring is feaeir to view When day do bring me—I know who.

An' when, wi' wint'r a-comen roun', The purple he'th's a-feaeden brown, An' hangen vern's a-sheaeken dead, Bezide the hill's besheaeded head: An' black-wing'd rooks do glitter bright Above my head, in peaeler light; Then though the birds do still the glee That sounded in the zummer tree, My heart is light the winter drough, In me'th at night, wi'—I know who.


Above the timber's benden sh'ouds, The western wind did softly blow; An' up avore the knap, the clouds Did ride as white as driven snow. Vrom west to east the clouds did zwim Wi' wind that plied the elem's lim'; Vrom west to east the stream did glide, A-sheenen wide, wi' winden brim.

How feaeir, I thought, avore the sky The slowly-zwimmen clouds do look; How soft the win's a-streamen by; How bright do roll the weaevy brook: When there, a-passen on my right, A-waiken slow, an' treaden light, Young Jessie Lee come by, an' there Took all my ceaere, an' all my zight.

Vor lovely wer the looks her feaece Held up avore the western sky: An' comely wer the steps her peaece Did meaeke a-walken slowly by: But I went east, wi' beaeten breast, Wi' wind, an' cloud, an' brook, vor rest, Wi' rest a-lost, vor Jessie gone So lovely on, toward the west.

Blow on, O winds, athirt the hill; Zwim on, O clouds; O waters vall, Down maeshy rocks, vrom mill to mill; I now can overlook ye all. But roll, O zun, an' bring to me My day, if such a day there be, When zome dear path to my abode Shall be the road o' Jessie Lee.


As evenen air, in green-treed Spring, Do sheaeke the new-sprung pa'sley bed, An' wither'd ash-tree keys do swing An' vall a-flutt'ren roun' our head: There, while the birds do zing their zong In bushes down the ash-tree drong, Come Jessie Lee, vor sweet's the pleaece Your vaice an' feaece can meaeke vor me.

Below the budden ashes' height We there can linger in the lew, While boughs, a-gilded by the light, Do sheen avore the sky o' blue: But there by zetten zun, or moon A-risen, time wull vlee too soon Wi' Jessie Lee, vor sweet's the pleaece Her vaice an' feaece can meaeke vor me.

Down where the darksome brook do flow, Below the bridge's arched wall, Wi' alders dark, a-leanen low, Above the gloomy watervall; There I've a-led ye hwome at night, Wi' noo feaece else 'ithin my zight But yours so feaeir, an' sweet's the pleaece Your vaice an' feaece ha' meaede me there.

An' oh! when other years do come, An' zetten zuns, wi' yollow gleaere, Drough western window-peaenes, at hwome, Do light upon my evenen chair: While day do weaene, an' dew do vall, Be wi' me then, or else in call, As time do vlee, vor sweet's the pleaece Your vaice an' feaece do meaeke vor me.

Ah! you do smile, a-thinken light O' my true words, but never mind; Smile on, smile on, but still your flight Would leaeve me little jay behind: But let me not be zoo a-tried Wi' you a-lost where I do bide, O Jessie Lee, in any pleaece Your vaice an' feaece ha' blest vor me.

I'm sure that when a soul's a-brought To this our life ov air an' land, Woone mwore's a-mark'd in God's good thought, To help, wi' love, his heart an' hand. An' oh! if there should be in store An angel here vor my poor door, 'Tis Jessie Lee, vor sweet's the pleaece Her vaice an' feace can meaeke vor me.


'Twer where the zun did warm the lewth, An' win' did whiver in the sheaede, The sweet-air'd beaens were out in blooth, Down there 'ithin the elem gleaede; A yollow-banded bee did come, An' softly-pitch, wi' hushen hum, Upon a beaen, an' there did sip, Upon a swayen blossom's lip: An' there cried he, "Aye, I can zee, This blossom's all a-zent vor me."

A-jilted up an' down, astride Upon a lofty ho'se a-trot, The meaester then come by wi' pride, To zee the beaens that he'd a-got; An' as he zot upon his ho'se, The ho'se ageaen did snort an' toss His high-ear'd head, an' at the zight Ov all the blossom, black an' white: "Ah! ah!" thought he, the seaeme's the bee, "Theaese beaens be all a-zent vor me."

Zoo let the worold's riches breed A strife o' claims, wi' weak and strong, Vor now what cause have I to heed Who's in the right, or in the wrong; Since there do come drough yonder hatch, An' bloom below the house's thatch, The best o' maidens, an' do own That she is mine, an' mine alwone: Zoo I can zee that love do gi'e The best ov all good gifts to me.

Vor whose be all the crops an' land A-won an' lost, an' bought, an zwold Or whose, a-roll'd vrom hand to hand, The highest money that's a-twold? Vrom man to man a passen on, 'Tis here to-day, to-morrow gone. But there's a blessen high above It all—a soul o' stedvast love: Zoo let it vlee, if God do gi'e Sweet Jessie vor a gift to me.


Aye, vull my heart's blood now do roll, An' gay do rise my happy soul, An' well they mid, vor here our veet Avore woone vier ageaen do meet; Vor you've avoun' my feaece, to greet Wi' welcome words my startlen ear. An' who be you, but John o' Weer, An' I, but William Wellburn.

Here, light a candle up, to shed Mwore light upon a wold friend's head, An' show the smile, his feaece woonce mwore Ha' brought us vrom another shore. An' I'll heave on a brand avore The vier back, to meaeke good cheer, O' roaren fleaemes, vor John o' Weer To chat wi' William Wellburn.

Aye, aye, it mid be true that zome, When they do wander out vrom hwome, Do leaeve their nearest friends behind, Bwoth out o' zight, an' out o' mind; But John an' I ha' ties to bind Our souls together, vur or near, For, who is he but John o' Weer. An' I, but William Wellburn.

Look, there he is, with twinklen eyes, An' elbows down upon his thighs. A-chucklen low, wi' merry grin. Though time ha' roughen'd up his chin, 'Tis still the seaeme true soul 'ithin, As woonce I know'd, when year by year, Thik very chap, thik John o' Weer, Did play wi' William Wellburn.

Come, John, come; don't be dead-alive Here, reach us out your clust'r o' vive. Oh! you be happy. Ees, but that Woon't do till you can laugh an' chat. Don't blinky, lik' a purren cat, But leaep an' laugh, an' let vo'k hear What's happen'd, min, that John o' Weer Ha' met wi' William Wellburn.

Vor zome, wi' selfishness too strong Vor love, do do each other wrong; An' zome do wrangle an' divide In hets ov anger, bred o' pride; But who do think that time or tide Can breed ill-will in friends so dear, As William wer to John o' Weer, An' John to William Wellburn?

If other vo'ks do gleen to zee How loven an' how glad we be, What, then, poor souls, they had but vew Sich happy days, so long agoo, As they that I've a-spent wi' you; But they'd hold woone another dear, If woone o' them wer John o' Weer, An' tother William Wellburn.


'Twer where my fondest thoughts do light, At Fifehead, while we spent the night; The millwheel's resten rim wer dry, An' houn's held up their evenen cry; An' lofty, drough the midnight sky, Above the vo'k, wi' heavy heads, Asleep upon their darksome beds, The stars wer all awake, John.

Noo birds o' day wer out to spread Their wings above the gully's bed, An' darkness roun' the elem-tree 'D a-still'd the charmy childern's glee. All he'ths wer cwold but woone, where we Wer gay, 'tis true, but gay an' wise, An' laugh'd in light o' maiden's eyes, That glissen'd wide awake, John.

An' when we all, lik' loosen'd hounds, Broke out o' doors, wi' merry sounds, Our friends among the playsome team, All brought us gwaein so vur's the stream. But Jeaene, that there, below a gleam O' light, watch'd woone o's out o' zight; Vor willenly, vor his "Good night," She'd longer bide awake, John.

An' while up Leighs we stepp'd along Our grassy path, wi' joke an' zong, There Plumber, wi' its woody ground, O' slopen knaps a-screen'd around, Rose dim 'ithout a breath o' sound, The wold abode o' squiers a-gone, Though while they lay a-sleepen on, Their stars wer still awake, John.


If I've a-stream'd below a storm, An' not a-velt the rain, An' if I ever velt me warm, In snow upon the plain, 'Twer when, as evenen skies wer dim, An' vields below my eyes wer dim, I went alwone at evenen-fall, Athirt the vields to Ivy Hall.

I voun' the wind upon the hill, Last night, a-roaren loud, An' rubben boughs a-creaken sh'ill Upon the ashes' sh'oud; But oh! the reelen copse mid groan; An' timber's lofty tops mid groan; The hufflen winds be music all, Bezide my road to Ivy Hall.

A sheaedy grove o' ribbed woaks, Is Wootton's shelter'd nest, An' woaks do keep the winter's strokes Vrom Knapton's evenen rest. An' woaks ageaen wi' bossy stems, An' elems wi' their mossy stems, Do rise to screen the leafy wall An' stwonen ruf ov Ivy Hall.

The darksome clouds mid fling their sleet. An' vrost mid pinch me blue, Or snow mid cling below my veet, An' hide my road vrom view. The winter's only jay ov heart, An' storms do meaeke me gay ov heart, When I do rest, at evenen-fall, Bezide the he'th ov Ivy Hall.

There leafy stems do clim' around The mossy stwonen eaves; An' there be window-zides a-bound Wi' quiv'ren ivy-leaves. But though the sky is dim 'ithout, An' feaeces mid be grim 'ithout, Still I ha' smiles when I do call, At evenen-tide, at Ivy Hall.


When I wer still a bwoy, an' mother's pride, A bigger bwoy spoke up to me so kind-like, "If you do like, I'll treat ye wi' a ride In theaese wheel-barrow here." Zoo I wer blind-like To what he had a-worken in his mind-like, An' mounted vor a passenger inside; An' comen to a puddle, perty wide, He tipp'd me in, a-grinnen back behind-like. Zoo when a man do come to me so thick-like, An' sheaeke my hand, where woonce he pass'd me by, An' tell me he would do me this or that, I can't help thinken o' the big bwoy's trick-like. An' then, vor all I can but wag my hat An' thank en, I do veel a little shy.


No! I don't begrudge en his life, Nor his goold, nor his housen, nor lands; Teaeke all o't, an' gi'e me my wife, A wife's be the cheapest ov hands. Lie alwone! sigh alwone! die alwone! Then be vorgot. No! I be content wi' my lot.

Ah! where be the vingers so feaeir, Vor to pat en so soft on the feaece, To mend ev'ry stitch that do tear, An' keep ev'ry button in pleaece? Crack a-tore! brack a-tore! back a-tore! Buttons a-vled! Vor want ov a wife wi' her thread.

Ah! where is the sweet-perty head That do nod till he's gone out o' zight? An' where be the two eaerms a-spread, To show en he's welcome at night? Dine alwone! pine alwone! whine alwone! Oh! what a life! I'll have a friend in a wife.

An' when vrom a meeten o' me'th Each husban' do leaed hwome his bride, Then he do slink hwome to his he'th, Wi' his eaerm a-hung down his cwold zide. Slinken on! blinken on! thinken on! Gloomy an' glum; Nothen but dullness to come.

An' when he do onlock his door, Do rumble as hollow's a drum, An' the veaeries a-hid roun' the vloor, Do grin vor to see en so glum. Keep alwone! sleep alwone! weep alwone! There let en bide, I'll have a wife at my zide.

But when he's a-laid on his bed In a zickness, O, what wull he do! Vor the hands that would lift up his head, An' sheaeke up his pillor anew. Ills to come! pills to come! bills to come! Noo soul to sheaere The trials the poor wratch must bear.


Come let's goo down the grove to-night; The moon is up, 'tis all so light As day, an' win' do blow enough To sheaeke the leaves, but tidden rough. Come, Esther, teaeke, vor wold time's seaeke, Your hooded cloke, that's on the pin, An' wrap up warm, an' teaeke my eaerm, You'll vind it better out than in. Come, Etty dear; come out o' door, An' teaeke a sweetheart's walk woonce mwore.

How charmen to our very souls, Wer woonce your evenen maiden strolls, The while the zetten zunlight dyed Wi' red the beeches' western zide, But back avore your vinger wore The wedden ring that's now so thin; An' you did sheaere a mother's ceaere, To watch an' call ye eaerly in. Come, Etty dear; come out o' door, An' teaeke a sweetheart's walk woonce mwore.

An' then ageaen, when you could slight The clock a-striken leaete at night, The while the moon, wi' risen rim, Did light the beeches' eastern lim'. When I'd a-bound your vinger round Wi' thik goold ring that's now so thin, An' you had nwone but me alwone To teaeke ye leaete or eaerly in. Come, Etty dear; come out o' door, An' teaeke a sweetheart's walk woonce mwore.

But often when the western zide O' trees did glow at evenen-tide, Or when the leaeter moon did light The beeches' eastern boughs at night, An' in the grove, where vo'k did rove The crumpled leaves did vlee an' spin, You coulden sheaere the pleasure there: Your work or childern kept ye in. Come, Etty dear, come out o' door, An' teaeke a sweetheart's walk woonce mwore.

But ceaeres that zunk your oval chin Ageaen your bosom's lily skin, Vor all they meaede our life so black, Be now a-lost behind our back. Zoo never mwope, in midst of hope, To slight our blessens would be sin. Ha! ha! well done, now this is fun; When you do like I'll bring ye in. Here, Etty dear; here, out o' door, We'll teaeke a sweetheart's walk woonce mwore.


'Twer May, but ev'ry leaf wer dry All day below a sheenen sky; The zun did glow wi' yollow gleaere, An' cowslips blow wi' yollow gleaere, Wi' graegles' bells a-droopen low, An' bremble boughs a-stoopen low; While culvers in the trees did coo Above the vallen dew.

An' there, wi' heaeir o' glossy black, Bezide your neck an' down your back, You rambled gay a-bloomen feaeir; By boughs o' may a-bloomen feaeir; An' while the birds did twitter nigh, An' water weaeves did glitter nigh, You gather'd cowslips in the lew, Below the vallen dew.

An' now, while you've a-been my bride As years o' flow'rs ha' bloom'd an' died, Your smilen feaece ha' been my jay; Your soul o' greaece ha' been my jay; An' wi' my evenen rest a-come, An' zunsheen to the west a-come, I'm glad to teaeke my road to you Vrom vields o' vallen dew.

An' when the rain do wet the may, A-bloomen where we woonce did stray, An' win' do blow along so vast, An' streams do flow along so vast; Ageaen the storms so rough abroad, An' angry tongues so gruff abroad, The love that I do meet vrom you Is lik' the vallen dew.

An' you be sprack's a bee on wing, In search ov honey in the Spring: The dawn-red sky do meet ye up; The birds vu'st cry do meet ye up; An' wi' your feaece a-smilen on, An' busy hands a-tweilen on, You'll vind zome useful work to do Until the vallen dew.


Since I noo mwore do zee your feaece, Up steaeirs or down below, I'll zit me in the lwonesome pleaece, Where flat-bough'd beech do grow: Below the beeches' bough, my love, Where you did never come, An' I don't look to meet ye now, As I do look at hwome.

Since you noo mwore be at my zide, In walks in zummer het, I'll goo alwone where mist do ride, Drough trees a-drippen wet: Below the rain-wet bough, my love, Where you did never come, An' I don't grieve to miss ye now, As I do grieve at home.

Since now bezide my dinner-bwoard Your vaice do never sound, I'll eat the bit I can avword, A-vield upon the ground; Below the darksome bough, my love, Where you did never dine, An' I don't grieve to miss ye now, As I at hwome do pine.

Since I do miss your vaice an' feaece In prayer at eventide, I'll pray wi' woone said vaice vor greaece To goo where you do bide; Above the tree an' bough, my love, Where you be gone avore, An' be a-waiten vor me now, To come vor evermwore.


Ah! Meaester Collins overtook Our knot o' vo'k a-stannen still, Last Zunday, up on Ivy Hill, To zee how strong the corn did look. An' he stay'd back awhile an' spoke A vew kind words to all the vo'k, Vor good or joke, an' wi' a smile Begun a-playen wi' a chile.

The zull, wi' iron zide awry, Had long a-vurrow'd up the vield; The heavy roller had a-wheel'd It smooth vor showers vrom the sky; The bird-bwoy's cry, a-risen sh'ill, An' clacker, had a-left the hill, All bright but still, vor time alwone To speed the work that we'd a-done.

Down drough the wind, a-blowen keen, Did gleaere the nearly cloudless sky, An' corn in bleaede, up ancle-high, 'lthin the geaete did quiver green; An' in the geaete a-lock'd there stood A prickly row o' thornen wood Vor vo'k vor food had done their best, An' left to Spring to do the rest.

"The geaete," he cried, "a-seal'd wi' thorn Vrom harmvul veet's a-left to hold The bleaede a-springen vrom the mwold, While God do ripen it to corn. An' zoo in life let us vulvil Whatever is our Meaeker's will, An' then bide still, wi' peacevul breast, While He do manage all the rest."


Oh! there be angels evermwore, A-passen onward by the door, A-zent to teaeke our jays, or come To bring us zome—O Meaerianne. Though doors be shut, an' bars be stout, Noo bolted door can keep em out; But they wull leaeve us ev'ry thing They have to bring—My Meaerianne.

An' zoo the days a-stealen by, Wi' zuns a-riden drough the sky, Do bring us things to leaeve us sad, Or meaeke us glad—O Meaerianne. The day that's mild, the day that's stern, Do teaeke, in stillness, each his turn; An' evils at their worst mid mend, Or even end—My Meaerianne.

But still, if we can only bear Wi' faith an' love, our pain an' ceaere, We shan't vind missen jays a-lost, Though we be crost—O Meaerianne. But all a-took to heav'n, an' stow'd Where we can't weaeste em on the road, As we do wander to an' fro, Down here below—My Meaerianne.

But there be jays I'd soonest choose To keep, vrom them that I must lose; Your workzome hands to help my tweil, Your cheerful smile—O Meaerianne. The Zunday bells o' yonder tow'r, The moonlight sheaedes o' my own bow'r, An' rest avore our vier-zide, At evenen-tide—My Meaerianne.


The church do zeem a touchen zight, When vo'k, a-comen in at door, Do softly tread the long-ail'd vloor Below the pillar'd arches' height, Wi' bells a-pealen, Vo'k a-kneelen, Hearts a-healen, wi' the love An' peaece a-zent em vrom above.

An' there, wi' mild an' thoughtvul feaece, Wi' downcast eyes, an' vaices dum', The wold an' young do slowly come, An' teaeke in stillness each his pleaece, A-zinken slowly, Kneelen lowly, Seeken holy thoughts alwone, In pray'r avore their Meaeker's throne.

An' there be sons in youthvul pride, An' fathers weak wi' years an' pain, An' daughters in their mother's train. The tall wi' smaller at their zide; Heads in murnen Never turnen, Cheaeks a-burnen, wi' the het O' youth, an' eyes noo tears do wet.

There friends do settle, zide by zide, The knower speechless to the known; Their vaice is there vor God alwone To flesh an' blood their tongues be tied. Grief a-wringen, Jay a-zingen, Pray'r a-bringen welcome rest So softly to the troubled breast.


An' while I zot, wi' thoughtvul mind, Up where the lwonesome Coombs do wind, An' watch'd the little gully slide So crooked to the river-zide; I thought how wrong the Stour did zeem To roll along his ramblen stream, A-runnen wide the left o' south, To vind his mouth, the right-hand zide.

But though his stream do teaeke, at mill. An' eastward bend by Newton Hill, An' goo to lay his welcome boon O' daily water round Hammoon, An' then wind off ageaen, to run By Blanvord, to the noonday zun, 'Tis only bound by woone rule all, An' that's to vall down steepest ground.

An' zoo, I thought, as we do bend Our way drough life, to reach our end, Our God ha' gi'ed us, vrom our youth, Woone rule to be our guide—His truth. An' zoo wi' that, though we mid teaeke Wide rambles vor our callens' seaeke, What is, is best, we needen fear, An' we shall steer to happy rest.


Aye, Meaester Collins wer a-blest Wi' greaece, an' now's a-gone to rest; An' though his heart did beaet so meek 'S a little child's, when he did speak, The godly wisdom ov his tongue Wer dew o' greaece to wold an' young.

'Twer woonce, upon a zummer's tide, I zot at Brookwell by his zide, Avore the leaeke, upon the rocks, Above the water's idle shocks, As little playsome weaeves did zwim Ageaen the water's windy brim, Out where the lofty tower o' stwone Did stan' to years o' wind an' zun; An' where the zwellen pillars bore A pworch above the heavy door, Wi' sister sheaedes a-reachen cool Athirt the stwones an' sparklen pool.

I spoke zome word that meaede en smile, O' girt vo'k's wealth an' poor vo'k's tweil, As if I pin'd, vor want ov greaece, To have a lord's or squier's pleaece. "No, no," he zaid, "what God do zend Is best vor all o's in the end, An' all that we do need the mwost Do come to us wi' leaest o' cost;— Why, who could live upon the e'th 'Ithout God's gift ov air vor breath? Or who could bide below the zun If water didden rise an' run? An' who could work below the skies If zun an' moon did never rise? Zoo air an' water, an' the light, Be higher gifts, a-reckon'd right, Than all the goold the darksome clay Can ever yield to zunny day: But then the air is roun' our heads, Abroad by day, or on our beds; Where land do gi'e us room to bide, Or seas do spread vor ships to ride; An' He do zend his waters free, Vrom clouds to lands, vrom lands to sea: An' mornen light do blush an' glow, 'Ithout our tweil—'ithout our ho.

"Zoo let us never pine, in sin, Vor gifts that ben't the best to win; The heaps o' goold that zome mid pile, Wi' sleepless nights an' peaceless tweil; Or manor that mid reach so wide As Blackmwore is vrom zide to zide, Or kingly sway, wi' life or death, Vor helpless childern ov the e'th: Vor theaese ben't gifts, as He do know, That He in love should vu'st bestow; Or else we should have had our sheaere O'm all wi' little tweil or ceaere.

"Ov all His choicest gifts, His cry Is, 'Come, ye moneyless, and buy.' Zoo blest is he that can but lift His prayer vor a happy gift."


Zoo then the leaedy an' the squier, At Chris'mas, gather'd girt an' small, Vor me'th, avore their roaren vier, An! roun' their bwoard, 'ithin the hall; An' there, in glitt'ren rows, between The roun'-rimm'd pleaetes, our knives did sheen, Wi' frothy eaele, an' cup an' can, Vor maid an' man, at Herrenston.

An' there the jeints o' beef did stand, Lik' cliffs o' rock, in goodly row; Where woone mid quarry till his hand Did tire, an' meaeke but little show; An' after we'd a-took our seat, An' greaece had been a-zaid vor meat, We zet to work, an' zoo begun Our feaest an' fun at Herrenston.

An' mothers there, bezide the bwoards, Wi' little childern in their laps, Did stoop, wi' loven looks an' words, An' veed em up wi' bits an' draps; An' smilen husbands went in quest O' what their wives did like the best; An' you'd ha' zeed a happy zight, Thik merry night, at Herrenston.

An' then the band, wi' each his leaf O' notes, above us at the zide, Play'd up the praise ov England's beef An' vill'd our hearts wi' English pride; An' leafy chains o' garlands hung, Wi' dazzlen stripes o' flags, that swung Above us, in a bleaeze o' light, Thik happy night, at Herrenston.

An' then the clerk, avore the vier, Begun to lead, wi' smilen feaece, A carol, wi' the Monkton quire, That rung drough all the crowded pleaece. An' dins' o' words an' laughter broke In merry peals drough clouds o' smoke; Vor hardly wer there woone that spoke, But pass'd a joke, at Herrenston.

Then man an' maid stood up by twos, In rows, drough passage, out to door, An' gaily beaet, wi' nimble shoes, A dance upon the stwonen floor. But who is worthy vor to tell, If she that then did bear the bell, Wer woone o' Monkton, or o' Ceaeme, Or zome sweet neaeme ov Herrenston.

Zoo peace betide the girt vo'k's land, When they can stoop, wi' kindly smile, An' teaeke a poor man by the hand, An' cheer en in his daily tweil. An' oh! mid He that's vur above The highest here, reward their love, An' gi'e their happy souls, drough greaece, A higher pleaece than Herrenston.


Though cool avore the sheenen sky Do vall the sheaedes below the copse, The timber-trees, a-reachen high, Ha' zunsheen on their lofty tops, Where yonder land's a-lyen plow'd, An' red, below the snow-white cloud, An' vlocks o' pitchen rooks do vwold Their wings to walk upon the mwold. While floods be low, An' buds do grow, An' air do blow, a-broad, O.

But though the air is cwold below The creaken copses' darksome screen, The truest sheaede do only show How strong the warmer zun do sheen; An' even times o' grief an' pain, Ha' good a-comen in their train, An' 'tis but happiness do mark The sheaedes o' sorrow out so dark. As tweils be sad, Or smiles be glad, Or times be bad, at hwome, O

An' there the zunny land do lie Below the hangen, in the lew, Wi' vurrows now a-crumblen dry, Below the plowman's dousty shoe; An' there the bwoy do whissel sh'ill, Below the skylark's merry bill, Where primrwose beds do deck the zides O' banks below the meaeple wrides. As trees be bright Wi' bees in flight, An' weather's bright, abroad, O.

An' there, as sheenen wheels do spin Vull speed along the dousty rwoad, He can but stan', an' wish 'ithin His mind to be their happy lwoad, That he mid gaily ride, an' goo To towns the rwoad mid teaeke en drough, An' zee, for woonce, the zights behind The bluest hills his eyes can vind, O' towns, an' tow'rs, An' downs, an' flow'rs, In zunny hours, abroad, O.

But still, vor all the weather's feaeir, Below a cloudless sky o' blue, The bwoy at plough do little ceaere How vast the brightest day mid goo; Vor he'd be glad to zee the zun A-zetten, wi' his work a-done, That he, at hwome, mid still injay His happy bit ov evenen play, So light's a lark Till night is dark, While dogs do bark, at hwome, O.


Where cows did slowly seek the brink O' Stour, drough zunburnt grass, to drink; Wi' vishen float, that there did zink An' rise, I zot as in a dream. The dazzlen zun did cast his light On hedge-row blossom, snowy white, Though nothen yet did come in zight, A-stirren on the strayen stream;

Till, out by sheaedy rocks there show'd, A bwoat along his foamy road, Wi' thik feaeir maid at mill, a-row'd Wi' Jeaene behind her brother's oars. An' steaetely as a queen o' vo'k, She zot wi' floaten scarlet cloak, An' comen on, at ev'ry stroke, Between my withy-sheaeded shores.

The broken stream did idly try To show her sheaepe a-riden by, The rushes brown-bloom'd stems did ply, As if they bow'd to her by will. The rings o' water, wi' a sock, Did break upon the mossy rock, An' gi'e my beaeten heart a shock, Above my float's up-leapen quill.

Then, lik' a cloud below the skies, A-drifted off, wi' less'nen size, An' lost, she floated vrom my eyes, Where down below the stream did wind; An' left the quiet weaeves woonce mwore To zink to rest, a sky-blue'd vloor, Wi' all so still's the clote they bore, Aye, all but my own ruffled mind.


Well! thanks to you, my faithful Jeaene, So worksome wi' your head an' hand, We seaeved enough to get ageaen My poor vorefather's plot o' land. 'Twer folly lost, an' cunnen got, What should ha' come to me by lot. But let that goo; 'tis well the land Is come to hand, by be'th or not.

An' there the brook, a-winden round The parrick zide, do run below The grey-stwon'd bridge wi' gurglen sound, A-sheaeded by the arches' bow; Where former days the wold brown meaere, Wi' father on her back, did wear Wi' heavy shoes the grav'ly leaene, An' sheaeke her meaene o' yollor heaeir.

An' many zummers there ha' glow'd, To shrink the brook in bubblen shoals, An' warm the doust upon the road, Below the trav'ller's burnen zoles. An' zome ha' zent us to our bed In grief, an' zome in jay ha' vled; But vew ha' come wi' happier light Than what's now bright, above our head.

The brook did peaert, zome years agoo, Our Grenley meaeds vrom Knapton's Ridge But now you know, between the two, A-road's a-meaede by Grenley Bridge. Zoo why should we shrink back at zight Ov hindrances we ought to slight? A hearty will, wi' God our friend, Will gain its end, if 'tis but right.

[Gothic: Eclogue.]

John an' Thomas.


How b'ye, then, John, to-night; an' how Be times a-waggen on w' ye now? I can't help slackenen my peaece When I do come along your pleaece, To zee what crops your bit o' groun' Do bear ye all the zummer roun'. 'Tis true you don't get fruit nor blooth, 'Ithin the glassen houses' lewth; But if a man can rear a crop Where win' do blow an' rain can drop, Do seem to come, below your hand, As fine as any in the land.


Well, there, the geaerden stuff an' flow'rs Don't leaeve me many idle hours; But still, though I mid plant or zow, 'Tis Woone above do meaeke it grow.


Aye, aye, that's true, but still your strip O' groun' do show good workmanship: You've onions there nine inches round, An' turmits that would waigh a pound; An' cabbage wi' its hard white head, An' teaeties in their dousty bed, An' carrots big an' straight enough Vor any show o' geaerden stuff; An' trees ov apples, red-skinn'd balls An' purple plums upon the walls, An' peas an' beaens; bezides a store O' heaerbs vor ev'ry pain an' zore.


An' over hedge the win's a-heaerd, A ruslen drough my barley's beard; An' swayen wheat do overspread Zix ridges in a sheet o' red; An' then there's woone thing I do call The girtest handiness ov all: My ground is here at hand, avore My eyes, as I do stand at door; An' zoo I've never any need To goo a mile to pull a weed.


No, sure, a miel shoulden stratch Between woone's geaerden an' woone's hatch. A man would like his house to stand Bezide his little bit o' land.


Ees. When woone's groun' vor geaerden stuff Is roun' below the house's ruf, Then woone can spend upon woone's land Odd minutes that mid lie on hand, The while, wi' night a-comen on, The red west sky's a-wearen wan; Or while woone's wife, wi' busy hands, Avore her vier o' burnen brands, Do put, as best she can avword, Her bit o' dinner on the bwoard. An' here, when I do teaeke my road, At breakfast-time, agwain abrode, Why, I can zee if any plot O' groun' do want a hand or not; An' bid my childern, when there's need, To draw a reaeke or pull a weed, Or heal young beaens or peas in line, Or tie em up wi' rods an' twine, Or peel a kindly withy white To hold a droopen flow'r upright.


No. Bits o' time can zeldom come To much on groun' a mile vrom hwome. A man at hwome should have in view The jobs his childern's hands can do, An' groun' abrode mid teaeke em all Beyond their mother's zight an' call, To get a zoaken in a storm, Or vall, i' may be, into harm.


Ees. Geaerden groun', as I've a-zed, Is better near woone's bwoard an' bed.


Pentridge!—oh! my heart's a-zwellen Vull o' jay wi' vo'k a-tellen Any news o' thik wold pleaece, An' the boughy hedges round it, An' the river that do bound it Wi' his dark but glis'nen feaece. Vor there's noo land, on either hand, To me lik' Pentridge by the river.

Be there any leaves to quiver On the aspen by the river? Doo he sheaede the water still, Where the rushes be a-growen, Where the sullen Stour's a-flowen Drough the meaeds vrom mill to mill? Vor if a tree wer dear to me, Oh! 'twer thik aspen by the river.

There, in eegrass new a-shooten, I did run on even vooten, Happy, over new-mow'd land; Or did zing wi' zingen drushes While I plaited, out o' rushes, Little baskets vor my hand; Bezide the clote that there did float, Wi' yollow blossoms, on the river.

When the western zun's a vallen, What sh'ill vaice is now a-callen Hwome the deaeiry to the pails; Who do dreve em on, a-flingen Wide-bow'd horns, or slowly zwingen Right an' left their tufty tails? As they do goo a-huddled drough The geaete a-leaeden up vrom river.

Bleaeded grass is now a-shooten Where the vloor wer woonce our vooten, While the hall wer still in pleaece. Stwones be looser in the wallen; Hollow trees be nearer vallen; Ev'ry thing ha' chang'd its feaece. But still the neaeme do bide the seaeme— 'Tis Pentridge—Pentridge by the river.


In brown-leav'd Fall the wheat a-left 'Ithin its darksome bed, Where all the creaken roller's heft Seal'd down its lowly head, Sprung sheaeken drough the crumblen mwold, Green-yollow, vrom below, An' bent its bleaedes, a-glitt'ren cwold, At last in winter snow. Zoo luck betide The upland zide, Where wheat do wride, In corn-vields wide, By crowns o' Do'set Downs, O.

An' while the screamen bird-bwoy shook Wi' little zun-burnt hand, His clacker at the bright-wing'd rook, About the zeeded land; His meaester there did come an' stop His bridle-champen meaere, Wi' thankvul heart, to zee his crop A-comen up so feaeir. As there awhile By geaete or stile, He gi'ed the chile A cheeren smile, By crowns o' Do'set Downs, O.

At last, wi' eaers o' darksome red, The yollow stalks did ply, A-swayen slow, so heavy 's lead, In air a-blowen by; An' then the busy reapers laid In row their russlen grips, An' sheaeves, a-leaenen head by head, Did meaeke the stitches tips. Zoo food's a-vound, A-comen round, Vrom zeed in ground, To sheaves a-bound, By crowns o' Do'set Downs, O.

An' now the wheat, in lofty lwoads, Above the meaeres' broad backs, Do ride along the cracklen rwoads, Or dousty waggon-tracks. An' there, mid every busy pick, Ha' work enough to do; An' where, avore, we built woone rick, Mid theaese year gi'e us two; Wi' God our friend, An' wealth to spend, Vor zome good end, That times mid mend, In towns, an' Do'set Downs, O.

Zoo let the merry thatcher veel Fine weather on his brow, As he, in happy work, do kneel Up roun' the new-built mow, That now do zwell in sich a size, An' rise to sich a height, That, oh! the miller's wistful eyes Do sparkle at the zight An' long mid stand, A happy band, To till the land, Wi' head an' hand, By crowns o' Do'set Downs, O.


Ah! how the looks o' sky an' ground Do change wi' months a-stealen round, When northern winds, by starry night, Do stop in ice the river's flight; Or brooks in winter rains do zwell, Lik' rollen seas athirt the dell; Or trickle thin in zummer-tide; Among the mossy stwones half dried; But still, below the zun or moon, The fearest vield's the meaed in June.

An' I must own, my heart do beaet Wi' pride avore my own blue geaete, Where I can bid the steaetely tree Be cast, at langth, avore my knee; An' clover red, an' deaezies feair, An' gil'cups wi' their yollow gleaere, Be all a-match'd avore my zight By wheelen buttervlees in flight, The while the burnen zun at noon Do sheen upon my meaed in June.

An' there do zing the swingen lark So gay's above the finest park, An' day do sheaede my trees as true As any steaetely avenue; An' show'ry clouds o' Spring do pass To shed their rain on my young grass, An' air do blow the whole day long, To bring me breath, an' teaeke my zong, An' I do miss noo needvul boon A-gi'ed to other meaeds in June.

An' when the bloomen rwose do ride Upon the boughy hedge's zide, We haymeaekers, in snow-white sleeves, Do work in sheaedes o' quiv'ren leaves, In afternoon, a-liften high Our reaekes avore the viery sky, A-reaeken up the hay a-dried By day, in lwongsome weaeles, to bide In chilly dew below the moon, O' shorten'd nights in zultry June.

An' there the brook do softly flow Along, a-benden in a bow, An' vish, wi' zides o' zilver-white, Do flash vrom shoals a dazzlen light; An' alders by the water's edge, Do sheaede the ribbon-bleaeded zedge, An' where, below the withy's head, The zwimmen clote-leaves be a-spread, The angler is a-zot at noon Upon the flow'ry bank in June.

Vor all the aier that do bring My little meaed the breath o' Spring, By day an' night's a-flowen wide Above all other vields bezide; Vor all the zun above my ground 'S a-zent vor all the naighbours round, An' rain do vall, an' streams do flow, Vor lands above, an' lands below, My bit o' meaed is God's own boon, To me alwone, vrom June to June.


The air to gi'e your cheaeks a hue O' rwosy red, so feair to view, Is what do sheaeke the grass-bleaedes gray At breaek o' day, in mornen dew; Vor vo'k that will be rathe abrode, Will meet wi' health upon their road.

But biden up till dead o' night, When han's o' clocks do stan' upright, By candle-light, do soon consume The feaece's bloom, an' turn it white. An' light a-cast vrom midnight skies Do blunt the sparklen ov the eyes.

Vor health do weaeke vrom nightly dreams Below the mornen's eaerly beams, An' leaeve the dead-air'd houses' eaves, Vor quiv'ren leaves, an' bubblen streams, A-glitt'ren brightly to the view, Below a sky o' cloudless blue.


Why, his heart's lik' a popple, so hard as a stwone, Vor 'tis money, an' money's his ho, An' to handle an' reckon it up vor his own, Is the best o' the jays he do know. Why, vor money he'd gi'e up his lags an' be leaeme, Or would peaert wi' his zight an' be blind, Or would lose vo'k's good will, vor to have a bad neaeme, Or his peace, an' have trouble o' mind. But wi' ev'ry good thing that his meaenness mid bring, He'd pay vor his money, An' only zell honey to buy zome'hat sweet.

He did whisper to me, "You do know that you stood By the Squier, wi' the vote that you had, You could ax en to help ye to zome'hat as good, Or to vind a good pleaece vor your lad." "Aye, aye, but if I wer beholden vor bread To another," I zaid, "I should bind All my body an' soul to the nod of his head, An' gi'e up all my freedom o' mind." An' then, if my pain wer a-zet wi' my gain, I should pay vor my money, An' only zell honey to buy zome'hat sweet.

Then, if my bit o' brook that do wind so vur round, Wer but his, why, he'd straighten his bed, An' the wold stunpole woak that do stan' in my ground, Shoudden long sheaede the grass wi' his head. But if I do vind jay where the leaves be a-shook On the limbs, wi' their sheaedes on the grass, Or below, in the bow o' the withy-bound nook, That the rock-washen water do pass, Then wi' they jays a-vled an' zome goold in their stead, I should pay vor my money, An' only zell honey to buy zome'hat sweet.

No, be my lot good work, wi' the lungs well in play, An' good rest when the body do tire, Vor the mind a good conscience, wi' hope or wi' jay, Vor the body, good lewth, an' good vire, There's noo good o' goold, but to buy what 'ull meaeke Vor our happiness here among men; An' who would gi'e happiness up vor the seaeke O' zome money to buy it ageaen? Vor 'twould seem to the eyes ov a man that is wise, Lik' money vor money, Or zellen woone's honey to buy zome'hat sweet.


Thomas (1) an' John (2) a-ta'en o't.

2. I do veel vor ye, Thomas, vor I be a-feaer'd You've a-lost your wold meaere then, by what I've a-heaerd.

1. Ees, my meaere is a-gone, an' the cart's in the shed Wi' his wheelbonds a-rusten, an' I'm out o' bread; Vor what be my han's vor to eaern me a croust, Wi' noo meaere's vower legs vor to trample the doust.

2. Well, how did it happen? He vell vrom the brim Ov a cliff, as the teaele is, an' broke ev'ry lim'.

1. Why, I gi'ed en his run, an' he shook his wold meaene, An' he rambled a-veeden in Westergap Leaene; An' there he must needs goo a-riggen, an' crope Vor a vew bleaedes o' grass up the wo'st o' the slope; Though I should ha' thought his wold head would ha' know'd That vor stiff lags, lik' his, the best pleaece wer the road.

2. An' you hadden a-kept en so short, he must clim', Lik' a gwoat, vor a bleaede, at the risk ov a lim'.

1. Noo, but there, I'm a-twold, he did clim' an' did slide, An' did screaepe, an' did slip, on the shelven bank-zide, An' at langth lost his vooten, an' roll'd vrom the top, Down, thump, kick, an' higgledly, piggledly, flop.

2. Dear me, that is bad! I do veel vor your loss, Vor a vew years agoo, Thomas, I lost my ho'se.

1. How wer't? If I heaerd it, I now ha' vorgot; Wer the poor thing bewitch'd or a-pweison'd, or what?

2. He wer out, an' a-meaeken his way to the brink O' the stream at the end o' Church Leaene, vor to drink; An' he met wi' zome yew-twigs the men had a-cast Vrom the yew-tree, in churchyard, the road that he past. He wer pweison'd. (1.) O dear, 'tis a hard loss to bear, Vor a tranter's whole bread is a-lost wi' his meaere; But ov all churches' yew-trees, I never zet eyes On a tree that would come up to thik woone vor size.

2. Noo, 'tis long years agone, but do linger as clear In my mind though as if I'd a-heaerd it to year. When King George wer in Do'set, an' show'd us his feaece By our very own doors, at our very own pleaece, That he look'd at thik yew-tree, an' nodded his head, An' he zaid,—an' I'll tell ye the words that he zaid:— "I'll be bound, if you'll sarch my dominions all drough. That you woon't vind the fellow to thik there wold yew."


Ah! you do seem to think the ground, Where happiness is best a-vound, Is where the high-peael'd park do reach Wi' elem-rows, or clumps o' beech; Or where the coach do stand avore The twelve-tunn'd house's lofty door, Or men can ride behin' their hounds Vor miles athirt their own wide grounds, An' seldom wi' the lowly; Upon the green that we do tread, Below the welsh-nut's wide-limb'd head, Or grass where apple trees do spread? No, so's; no, no: not high nor low: 'Tis where the heart is holy.

'Tis true its veet mid tread the vloor, 'Ithin the marble-pillar'd door, Where day do cast, in high-ruf'd halls. His light drough lofty window'd walls; An' wax-white han's do never tire Wi' strokes ov heavy work vor hire, An' all that money can avword Do lwoad the zilver-brighten'd bwoard: Or mid be wi' the lowly, Where turf's a-smwolderen avore The back, to warm the stwonen vloor An' love's at hwome 'ithin the door? No, so's; no, no; not high nor low: 'Tis where the heart is holy.

An' ceaere can come 'ithin a ring O' sworded guards, to smite a king, Though he mid hold 'ithin his hands The zwarmen vo'k o' many lands; Or goo in drough the iron-geaete Avore the house o' lofty steaete; Or reach the miser that do smile A-builden up his goolden pile; Or else mid smite the lowly, That have noo pow'r to loose or bind Another's body, or his mind, But only hands to help mankind. If there is rest 'ithin the breast, 'Tis where the heart is holy.


Aye, a sad life his wife must ha' led, Vor so snappish he's leaetely a-come, That there's nothen but anger or dread Where he is, abroad or at hwome; He do wreak all his spite on the bwones O' whatever do vlee, or do crawl; He do quarrel wi' stocks, an' wi' stwones, An' the rain, if do hold up or vall; There is nothen vrom mornen till night Do come right to Gruffmoody Grim.

Woone night, in his anger, he zwore At the vier, that didden burn free: An' he het zome o't out on the vloor, Vor a vlanker it cast on his knee. Then he kicked it vor burnen the child, An' het it among the cat's heairs; An' then beaet the cat, a-run wild, Wi' a spark on her back up the steairs: Vor even the vier an' fleaeme Be to bleaeme wi' Gruffmoody Grim.

Then he snarl'd at the tea in his cup, Vor 'twer all a-got cwold in the pot, But 'twer woo'se when his wife vill'd it up Vrom the vier, vor 'twer then scalden hot; Then he growl'd that the bread wer sich stuff As noo hammer in parish could crack, An' flung down the knife in a huff; Vor the edge o'n wer thicker'n the back. Vor beaekers an' meaekers o' tools Be all fools wi' Gruffmoody Grim.

Oone day as he vish'd at the brook, He flung up, wi' a quick-handed knack, His long line, an' his high-vleen hook Wer a-hitch'd in zome briars at his back. Then he zwore at the brembles, an' prick'd His beaere hand, as he pull'd the hook free; An' ageaen, in a rage, as he kick'd At the briars, wer a-scratch'd on the knee. An' he wish'd ev'ry bremble an' briar Wer o' vier, did Gruffmoody Grim.

Oh! he's welcome, vor me, to breed dread Wherever his sheaede mid alight, An' to live wi' noo me'th round his head, An' noo feaece wi' a smile in his zight; But let vo'k be all merry an' zing At the he'th where my own logs do burn, An' let anger's wild vist never swing In where I have a door on his durn; Vor I'll be a happier man, While I can, than Gruffmoody Grim.

To zit down by the vier at night, Is my jay—vor I woon't call it pride,— Wi' a brand on the bricks, all alight, An' a pile o' zome mwore at the zide. Then tell me o' zome'hat that's droll, An' I'll laugh till my two zides do eaeche Or o' naighbours in sorrow o' soul, An' I'll tweil all the night vor their seaeke; An' show that to teaeke things amiss Idden bliss, to Gruffmoody Grim.

An' then let my child clim' my lag, An' I'll lift en, wi' love, to my chin; Or my maid come an' coax me to bag Vor a frock, an' a frock she shall win; Or, then if my wife do meaeke light O' whatever the bwoys mid ha' broke, It wull seem but so small in my zight, As a leaf a-het down vrom a woak An' not meaeke me ceaeper an' froth Vull o' wrath, lik' Gruffmoody Grim.


O the wings o' the rook wer a-glitteren bright, As he wheel'd on above, in the zun's evenen light, An' noo snow wer a-left, but in patches o' white, On the hill at the turn o' the days. An' along on the slope wer the beaere-timber'd copse, Wi' the dry wood a-sheaeken, wi' red-twigged tops. Vor the dry-flowen wind, had a-blow'd off the drops O' the rain, at the turn o' the days.

There the stream did run on, in the sheaede o' the hill, So smooth in his flowen, as if he stood still, An' bright wi' the skylight, did slide to the mill, By the meaeds, at the turn o' the days. An' up by the copse, down along the hill brow, Wer vurrows a-cut down, by men out at plough, So straight as the zunbeams, a-shot drough the bough O' the tree at the turn o' the days.

Then the boomen wold clock in the tower did mark His vive hours, avore the cool evenen wer dark, An' ivy did glitter a-clung round the bark O' the tree, at the turn o' the days. An' women a-fraid o' the road in the night, Wer a-heaestenen on to reach hwome by the light, A-casten long sheaedes on the road, a-dried white, Down the hill, at the turn o' the days.

The father an' mother did walk out to view The moss-bedded snow-drop, a-sprung in the lew, An' hear if the birds wer a-zingen anew, In the boughs, at the turn o' the days. An' young vo'k a-laughen wi' smooth glossy feaece, Did hie over vields, wi' a light-vooted peaece, To friends where the tow'r did betoken a pleaece Among trees, at the turn o' the days.


Last night the merry farmers' sons, Vrom biggest down to leaest, min, Gi'ed in the work of all their guns, An' had their sparrow feaest, min. An' who vor woone good merry soul Should goo to sheaere their me'th, min, But Gammon Gay, a chap so droll, He'd meaeke ye laugh to death, min.

Vor heads o' sparrows they've a-shot They'll have a prize in cwein, min, That is, if they can meaeke their scot, Or else they'll pay a fine, min. An' all the money they can teaeke 'S a-gather'd up there-right, min, An' spent in meat an' drink, to meaeke A supper vor the night, min.

Zoo when they took away the cloth, In middle of their din, min, An' cups o' eaele begun to froth, Below their merry chin, min. An' when the zong, by turn or chaice, Went roun' vrom tongue to tongue, min, Then Gammon pitch'd his merry vaice, An' here's the zong he zung, min.


If you'll but let your clackers rest Vrom jabberen an' hooten, I'll teaeke my turn, an' do my best, To zing o' sparrow shooten. Since every woone mus' pitch his key, An' zing a zong, in coo'se, lads, Why sparrow heads shall be to-day The heads o' my discoo'se, lads.

We'll zend abroad our viery hail Till ev'ry foe's a-vled, lads, An' though the rogues mid all turn tail, We'll quickly show their head, lads. In corn, or out on oben ground, In bush, or up in tree, lads, If we don't kill em, I'll be bound, We'll meaeke their veathers vlee, lads.

Zoo let the belted spwortsmen brag When they've a-won a neaeme, so's, That they do vind, or they do bag, Zoo many head o' geaeme, so's; Vor when our cwein is woonce a-won, By heads o' sundry sizes, Why, who can slight what we've a-done? We've all a-won head prizes.

Then teaeke a drap vor harmless fun, But not enough to quarrel; Though where a man do like the gun, He can't but need the barrel. O' goodly feaere, avore we'll start, We'll zit an' teaeke our vill, min; Our supper-bill can be but short, 'Tis but a sparrow-bill, min.


Oh! thik Gammony Gay is so droll, That if he's at hwome by the he'th, Or wi' vo'k out o' door, he's the soul O' the meeten vor antics an' me'th; He do cast off the thoughts ov ill luck As the water's a-shot vrom a duck; He do zing where his naighbours would cry He do laugh where the rest o's would sigh: Noo other's so merry o' feaece, In the pleaece, as Gammony Gay.

An' o' worken days, Oh! he do wear Such a funny roun' hat,—you mid know't— Wi' a brim all a-strout roun' his heaeir, An' his glissenen eyes down below't; An' a cwoat wi' broad skirts that do vlee In the wind ov his walk, round his knee; An' a peaeir o' girt pockets lik' bags, That do swing an' do bob at his lags: While me'th do walk out drough the pleaece, In the feaece o' Gammony Gay.

An' if he do goo over groun' Wi' noo soul vor to greet wi' his words, The feaece o'n do look up an' down, An' round en so quick as a bird's; An' if he do vall in wi' vo'k, Why, tidden vor want ov a joke, If he don't zend em on vrom the pleaece Wi' a smile or a grin on their feaece: An' the young wi' the wold have a-heaerd A kind word vrom Gammony Gay.

An' when he do whissel or hum, 'Ithout thinken o' what he's a-doen, He'll beaet his own lags vor a drum, An' bob his gay head to the tuen; An' then you mid zee, 'etween whiles, His feaece all alive wi' his smiles, An' his gay-breathen bozom do rise, An' his me'th do sheen out ov his eyes: An' at last to have praise or have bleaeme, Is the seaeme to Gammony Gay.

When he drove his wold cart out, an' broke The nut o' the wheel at a butt. There wer "woo'se things," he cried, wi' a joke. "To grieve at than cracken a nut." An' when he tipp'd over a lwoad Ov his reed-sheaves woone day on the rwoad, Then he spet in his han's, out o' sleeves, An' whissel'd, an' flung up his sheaves, As very vew others can wag, Eaerm or lag, but Gammony Gay.

He wer wi' us woone night when the band Wer a-come vor to gi'e us a hop, An' he pull'd Grammer out by the hand All down drough the dance vrom the top; An' Grammer did hobble an' squall, Wi' Gammon a-leaeden the ball; While Gammon did sheaeke up his knee An' his voot, an' zing "Diddle-ee-dee!" An' we laugh'd ourzelves all out o' breath At the me'th o' Gammony Gay.

When our tun wer' o' vier he rod Out to help us, an' meaede us sich fun, Vor he clomb up to dreve in a wad O' wet thorns, to the he'th, vrom the tun; An' there he did stamp wi' his voot, To push down the thorns an' the zoot, Till at last down the chimney's black wall Went the wad, an' poor Gammon an' all: An' seaefe on the he'th, wi' a grin On his chin pitch'd Gammony Gay.

All the house-dogs do waggle their tails, If they do but catch zight ov his feaece; An' the ho'ses do look over rails, An' do whicker to zee'n at the pleaece; An' he'll always bestow a good word On a cat or a whisselen bird; An' even if culvers do coo, Or an owl is a-cryen "Hoo, hoo," Where he is, there's always a joke To be spoke, by Gammony Gay.


(Dree o'm a-ta'ken o't.)

(1) There be the greyhounds! lo'k! an' there's the heaere! (2) What houn's, the squier's, Thomas? where, then, where?

(1) Why, out in Ash Hill, near the barn, behind Thik tree. (3) The pollard? (1) Pollard! no, b'ye blind? (2) There, I do zee em over-right thik cow. (3) The red woone? (1) No, a mile beyand her now. (3) Oh! there's the heaere, a-meaeken for the drong. (2) My goodness! How the dogs do zweep along, A-poken out their pweinted noses' tips. (3) He can't allow hizzelf much time vor slips! (1) They'll hab'en, after all, I'll bet a crown. (2) Done vor a crown. They woon't! He's gwaein to groun'. (3) He is! (1) He idden! (3) Ah! 'tis well his tooes Ha' got noo corns, inside o' hobnail shoes. (1) He's geaeme a runnen too. Why, he do mwore Than eaern his life. (3) His life wer his avore. (1) There, now the dogs wull turn en. (2) No! He's right. (1) He idden! (2) Ees he is! (3) He's out o' zight. (1) Aye, aye. His mettle wull be well a-tried Agwain down Verny Hill, o' tother zide. They'll have en there. (3) O no! a vew good hops Wull teaeke en on to Knapton Lower Copse. (2) An' that's a meesh that he've a-took avore. (3) Ees, that's his hwome. (1) He'll never reach his door. (2) He wull. (1) He woon't. (3) Now, hark, d'ye heaer em now? (2) O! here's a bwoy a-come athirt the brow O' Knapton Hill. We'll ax en. (1) Here, my bwoy! Can'st tell us where's the heaere? (4) He's got awoy. (2) Ees, got awoy, in coo'se, I never zeed A heaere a-scoten on wi' half his speed. (1) Why, there, the dogs be wold, an' half a-done. They can't catch anything wi' lags to run. (2) Vrom vu'st to last they had but little chance O' catchen o'n. (3) They had a perty dance. (1) No, catch en, no! I little thought they would; He know'd his road too well to Knapton Wood. (3) No! no! I wish the squier would let me feaere On rabbits till his hounds do catch thik heaere.

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