William Barnes

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Woak Hill

When sycamore leaves wer a-spreadèn,
Green-ruddy, in hedges,
Bezide the red doust o' the ridges,
A-dried at Woak Hill;
5 I packed up my goods all a-sheenèn
Wi' long years o' handlèn,
On dousty red wheels ov a wagon,
To ride at Woak Hill.
The brown thatchen ruf o' the dwellen
10 I then wer a-leävèn,
Had shelter'd the sleek head o' Meäry,
My bride at Woak Hill.
But now vor zome years, her light voot-vall
'S a-lost vrom the vloorèn.
15 Too soon vor my jay an' my childern,
She died at Woak Hill.
But still I do think that, in soul,
She do hover about us;
To ho vor her motherless children,
20 Her pride at Woak Hill.
Zoo - lest she should tell me hereafter
I stole off 'ithout her,
An' left her, uncall'd at house-ridden,
To bide at Woak Hill -
25 I call'd her so fondly, wi' lippèns
All soundless to others,
An' took her wi' aïr-reachèn hand,
To my zide at Woak Hill.
On the road I did look round, a-talkèn
30 To light at my shoulder,
An' then led her in at the door-way,
Miles wide vrom Woak Hill.
An' that's why vo'k thought, vor a season,
My mind wer a-wandrèn
35 Wi' sorrow, when I wer so sorely
A-tried at Woak Hill.
But no; that my Meäry mid never
Behold herzelf slighted,
I wanted to think that I guided
40 My guide vrom Woak Hill.

First published 1844.

Contributed by Stephen Van-Hagen.