William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

Blackmwore Maidens


THE PRIMRWOSE in the shade do blow,
The cowslip in the zun,
The thyme upon the down do grow,
The clote where streams do run;
An’ where do pretty maidens grow
An’ blow, but where the tow’r
Do rise among the bricken tuns,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.

If you could zee their comely gait,
An’ pretty faces’ smiles,
A-trippen on so light o’ waight,
An’ steppen off the stiles;
A-gwain to church, as bells do swing
An’ ring ’ithin the tow’r,
You’d own the pretty maidens’ place
Is Blackmwore by the Stour.

If you vrom Wimborne took your road,
To Stower or Paladore,
An’ all the farmers’ housen show’d
Their daughters at the door;
You’d cry to bachelors at hwome—
“Here, come: ’ithin an hour
You ’ll vind ten maidens to your mind,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.”

An’ if you look’d ’ithin their door,
To zee em in their place,
A-doen housework up avore
Their smilen mother’s face;
You’d cry—“Why, if a man would wive
An’ thrive, ’ithout a dow’r,
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 May,
There out upon the beäten grass
Wer maïdens at their play
An’ as the pretty souls did tweil
An’ smile, I cried, “The flow’r
O’ beauty, then, is still in bud
In Blackmore by the Stour.”

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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