Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
The Water Crowvoot
By William Barnes (1801–1886)
 
O SMALL-FEÄC’D flow’r that now dost bloom
To stud wi’ white the shallow Frome,
An’ leäve the clote 1 to spread his flow’r
On darksome pools o’ stwoneless Stour,
When sof’ly-rizèn aïrs do cool        5
The water in the sheenèn pool,
Thy beds o’ snow-white buds do gleam
So feäir upon the sky-blue stream
As whitest clouds a-hangèn high
Avore the blueness o’ the sky;        10
An’ there, at hand, the thin-heäir’d cows,
In aïry sheädes o’ withy boughs,
Or up bezide the mossy raïls,
Do stan’ an’ zwing their heavy taïls,
The while the ripplèn stream do flow        15
Below the dousty bridge’s bow;
An’ quiv’rèn water-gleams do mock
The weäves, upon the sheäded rock;
An’ up athirt 2 the copèn 3 stwone
The laïtrèn 4 bwoy do leän alwone,        20
A-watchèn, wi’ a stedvast look,
The vallèn waters in the brook,
The while the zand o’ time do run
An’ leäve his errand still undone.
An’ oh! as long ’s thy buds would gleam        25
Above the softly-slidèn stream,
While sparklèn zummer brooks do run
Below the lofty-climèn zun,
I only wish that thou could’st staÿ
Vor noo man’s harm, an’ all men’s jaÿ.        30
But no, the waterman ’ull weäde
Thy water wi’ his deadly bleäde,
To slay thee even in thy bloom,
Fair small-feäc’d flower o’ the Frome.
 
Note 1. clote] water-lily. [back]
Note 2. athirt] across. [back]
Note 3. copèn] coping. [back]
Note 4. laïtrèn] loitering. [back]
 
 
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