Treasure Island

William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

The Blackbird


Ov all the birds upon the wing
Between the zunny showers o' spring,-
Vor all the lark, a-swingen high,
Mid zing below a cloudless sky,
An' sparrows, clust'ren roun' the bough,
Mid chatter to the men at plough, -
The blackbird, whisslen in among
The boughs, do zing the gayest zong.

Vor we do hear the blackbird zing
His sweetest ditties in the spring,
When nippen win's noo mwore do blow
Vrom northern skies, wi' sleet or snow,
But dreve light doust along between
The leane-zide hedges, thick an' green;
An' zoo the blackbird in among
The boughs do zing the gayest zong.

'Tis blithe, wi' newly-opened eyes,
To zee the mornen's ruddy skies;
Or, out a-haulen frith or lops
Vrom new-pleshed hedge or new-velled copse,
To rest at noon in primrwose beds
Below the white-barked woak-trees' heads;
But there's noo time, the whole day long,
Lik' evenen wi' the blackbird's zong.

Vor when my work is all a-done
Avore the zetten o' the zun,
Then blushen Jeane do walk along
The hedge to meet me in the drong,
An' stay till all is dim an' dark
Bezides the ashen tree's white bark;
An' all bezides the blackbird's shrill
An' runnen evenen-whissle's still.

An' there in bwoyhood I did rove
Wi' pryen eyes along the drove
To vind the nest the blackbird meade
O' grass-stalks in the high bough's sheade;
Or climb aloft, wi' clingen knees,
Vor crows' aggs up in swayen trees,
While frightened blackbirds down below
Did chatter o' their little foe.
An' zoo there's noo pleace lik' the drong,
Where I do hear the blackbird's zong.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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