Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
The Widow’s House
By William Barnes (1801–1886)
I WENT hwome in the dead o’ the night,
  When the vields wer all empty o’ vo’k,
An’ the tuns 1 at their cool-winded height
  Wer all dark, an’ all cwold ’ithout smoke;
An’ the heads o’ the trees that I pass’d        5
  Wer a-swaÿèn wi’ low ruslèn sound,
An’ the doust 2 wer a-whirl’d wi’ the blast,
  Aye, a smeech 3 wi’ the wind on the ground.
Then I come 4 by the young widow’s hatch, 5
  Down below the wold elem’s tall head,        10
But noo vingers did lift up the latch,
  Vor they all wer so still as the dead;
But inside, to a tree a-meäde vast,
  Wer the childern’s light swing, a-hung low,
An’ a-rock’d by the brisk blowèn blast,        15
  Aye, a-swung by the win’ to an fro.
Vor the childern, wi’ pillow-borne head,
  Had vorgotten their swing on the lawn,
An’ their father, asleep wi’ the dead,
  Had vorgotten his work at the dawn;        20
An’ their mother, a vew stilly hours,
  Had vorgotten where he slept so sound,
Where the wind wer a-sheäkèn the flow’rs,
  Aye, the blast the feäir buds on the ground.
Note 1. tuns] chimneys. [back]
Note 2. doust] dust. [back]
Note 3. smeech] dust-cloud. [back]
Note 4. come] came. [back]
Note 5. hatch] gate. [back]

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