Children's Children

by William Barnes

William Barnes

Oh! if my ling'rèn life should run,
Drough years a-reckoned ten by ten,
Below the never-tirèn zun,
Till beäbes ageän be wives an' men;
An' stillest deafness should ha' bound
My ears, at last, vrom ev'ry sound;
Though still my eyes in that sweet light,
Should have the zight o' sky an' ground:
Would then my steäte
In time so leäte,
Be jaÿ or païn, be païn or jaÿ?
When Zunday then, a-weänèn dim,
As theäse that now's a-clwosèn still,
Mid lose the zun's down-zinkèn rim,
In light behind the vier-bound hill;
An' when the bells' last peal's a-rung,
An' I mid zee the wold an' young
A-vlockèn by, but shoulden hear,
However near, a voot or tongue:
Mid zuch a zight,
In that soft light
Be jaÿ or païn, be païn or jaÿ.
If I should zee among em all,
In merry youth, a-glidèn by,
My son's bwold son, a-grown man-tall,
Or daughter's daughter, woman-high;
An' she mid smile wi' your good feäce,
Or she mid walk your comely peäce,
But seem, although a-chattèn loud,
So dumb's a cloud, in that bright pleäce:
Would youth so feäir,
A-passèn there,
Be jaÿ or païn, be païn or jaÿ.
'Tis seldom strangth or comeliness
Do leäve us long. The house do show
Men's sons wi' mwore, as they ha' less,
An' daughters brisk, vor mothers slow.
A dawn do clear the night's dim sky,
Woone star do zink, an' woone goo high,
An' livèn gifts o' youth do vall,
Vrom girt to small, but never die:
An' should I view,
What God mid do,
Wi' jaÿ or païn, wi' païn or jaÿ?

Last updated January 14, 2019