Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXXV. Consolation
Readen ov a Head-Stwone
By William Barnes (1801–1886)
AS I wer readèn ov a stwone
In Grenley church-yard all alwone,
A little maïd ran up wi’ pride
To zee me there, an’ push’d a-zide
A bunch o’ bennets that did hide        5
    A ve’se her father, as she zaïd,
    Put up above her mother’s head,
      To tell how much he loved her.
The ve’se wer short, but very good,
I stood an’ larn’d en where I stood:—        10
‘Mid God, dear Meäry, gi’e me greäce
To vind, lik’ thee, a better pleäce,
Where I woonce mwore mid zee thy feäce;
    An’ bring thy childern up to know
    His word, that they mid come an’ show        15
      Thy soul how much I lov’d thee.’
‘Where ’s father, then,’ I zaid, ‘my chile?’
‘Dead, too’, she answer’d wi’ a smile;
‘An’ I an’ brother Jim do bide
At Betty White’s, o’ t’other side        20
O’ road.’ ‘Mid He, my chile,’ I cried,
    ‘That ’s father to the fatherless,
    Become thy father now, an’ bless,
      An’ keep, an’ leäd, an’ love thee.’
Though she’ve a-lost, I thought, so much,        25
Still He don’t let the thoughts o’t touch
Her litsome heart by day or night;
An’ zoo, if we could teäke it right,
Do show He’ll meäke His burdens light
    To weaker souls, an’ that His smile        30
    Is sweet upon a harmless chile,
      When they be dead that lov’d it.

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