William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

The Child an' the Mowers


O AYE! they had woone child bezide,
An' a finer your eyes never met,
Twer a dear little fellow that died
In the summer that come wi' such het;
By the mowers, too thoughtless in fun,
He wer then a-zent off vrom our eyes,
Vrom the light ov the dew-dryen zun,-
Aye! vrom days under the blue-hollow'd skies.

He went out to the mowers in meade,
When the zun wer a-rose to his height,
An' the men wer a-swingen the snead,
Wi' their earms in white sleeves, left an' right;
An' out there, as they rested at noon,
O! they drench'd en vrom eale-horns too deep,
Till his thoughts wer a-drown'd in a swoon;
Aye! his life wer a-smother'd in sleep.

Then they laid en there-right on the ground,
On a grass-heap, a-zweltren wi'het,
Wi' his heair all a-wetted around
His young feace, wi' the big drops o' zweat;
In his little left palm he'd a-zet,
Wi' his right hand, his vore-finger's tip;
As vor zome-hat he woulden vorget,-
Aye! zome thought that he woulden let slip.

Then they took en in hwome to his bed,
An' he rose vrom his pillow noo mwore,
Vor the curls on his sleek little head
To be blown by the wind out o' door.
Vor he died while the hay russled grey
On the staddle so leately begun:
Lik' the mown grass a-dried by the day,-
Aye! the zwath-flow'r's a-killed by the zun.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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