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
Blackmwore Maïdens
By William Barnes (1801–1886)
THE PRIMWROSE in the sheäde do blow,
The cowslip in the zun,
The thyme upon the down do grow,
The clote 1 where streams do run;
An’ where do pretty maïdens grow        5
An’ blow, but where the tow’r
Do rise among the bricken tuns, 2
In Blackmwore by the Stour.
If you could zee their comely gaït,
An’ pretty feäces’ smiles,        10
A-trippèn on so light o’ waïght, 3
An’ steppèn off the stiles;
A-gwaïn to church, as bells do swing
An’ ring within the tow’r,
You’d own the pretty maïdens’ pleäce        15
Is Blackmwore by the Stour.
If you vrom Wimborne took your road,
To Slower or Paladore,
An’ all the farmers’ housen show’d
Their daughters at the door;        20
You’d cry to bachelors at hwome—
“Here, come: ’ithin an hour
You ’ll vind ten maïdens to your mind
In Blackmwore by the Stour.”
An’ if you look’d ’ithin their door,        25
To zee em in their pleäce,
A-doèn housework up avore
Their smilèn mother’s feäce;
You’d cry—“Why, if a man would wive
An’ thrive, ’ithout a dow’r,        30
Then let en look en out a wife
In Blackmwore by the Stour.”
As I upon my road did pass
A school-house back in Maÿ,
There out upon the beäten grass        35
Wer maïdens at their plaÿ;
An’ as the pretty souls did tweil 4
An’ smile, I cried, “The flow’r
O’ beauty, then, is still in bud
In Blackmwore by the Stour!”        40
Note 1. clote] water-lily. [back]
Note 2. tuns] chimneys. [back]
Note 3. waïght] weight. [back]
Note 4. tweil] exert themselves. [back]

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