Bishop's Caundle

by William Barnes

William Barnes

At peace day, who but we should goo
To Caundle vor an' hour or two:
As gaÿ a day as ever broke
Above the heads o' Caundle vo'k,
Vor peace, a-come vor all, did come
To them wi' two new friends at hwome.
Zoo while we kept, wi' nimble peäce,
The wold dun tow'r avore our feäce,
The aïr, at last, begun to come
Wi' drubbèns ov a beäten drum;
An' then we heärd the horns' loud droats
Plaÿ off a tuen's upper notes;
An' then ageän a-risèn cheärm
Vrom tongues o' people in a zwarm:
An' zoo, at last, we stood among
The merry feäces o' the drong.
An' there, wi' garlands all a-tied
In wreaths an' bows on every zide,
An' color'd flags, a fluttrèn high
An' bright avore the sheenèn sky,
The very guide-post wer a-drest
Wi' posies on his eärms an' breast.
At last, the vo'k zwarm'd in by scores
An' hundreds droo the high barn-doors,
To dine on English feäre, in ranks,
A-zot on chairs, or stools, or planks,
By bwoards a-reachèn, row an' row,
Wi' cloths so white as driven snow.
An' while they took, wi' merry cheer,
Their pleäces at the meat an' beer,
The band did blow an' beät aloud
Their merry tuèns to the crowd;
An' slowly-zwingèn flags did spread
Their hangèn colors over head.
An' then the vo'k, wi' jaÿ an' pride,
Stood up in stillness, zide by zide,
Wi' downcast heads, the while their friend
Rose up avore the teäble's end,
An' zaid a timely greäce, an' blest
The welcome meat to every guest.
An' then arose a mingled naïse
O' knives an' pleätes, an' cups an' traÿs,
An' tongues wi' merry tongues a-drown'd
Below a deaf'nèn storm o' sound.
An' zoo, at last, their worthy host
Stood up to gi'e em all a twoast,
That they did drink, wi' shouts o' glee,
An' whirlèn eärms to dree times dree.
An' when the bwoards at last wer beäre
Ov all the cloths an' goodly feäre,
An' froth noo longer rose to zwim
Within the beer-mugs sheenèn rim,
The vo'k, a-streamèn drough the door,
Went out to geämes they had in store
An' on the blue-reäv'd waggon's bed,
Above his vower wheels o' red,
Musicians zot in rows, an' plaÿ'd
Their tuèns up to chap an' maïd,
That beät, wi' plaÿsome tooes an' heels,
The level ground in nimble reels.
An' zome ageän, a-zet in line,
An' startèn at a given sign,
Wi' outreach'd breast, a-breathèn quick
Droo op'nèn lips, did nearly kick
Their polls, a-runnèn sich a peäce,
Wi' streamèn heäir, to win the reäce.
An' in the house, an' on the green,
An' in the shrubb'ry's leafy screen,
On ev'ry zide we met sich lots
O' smilèn friends in happy knots,
That I do think, that drough the feäst
In Caundle, vor a day at leäst,
You woudden vind a scowlèn feäce
Or dumpy heart in all the pleäce.

Last updated January 14, 2019