The Hedger

by William Barnes

William Barnes

Upon the hedge theäse bank did bear,
Wi' lwonesome thought untwold in words,
I woonce did work, wi' noo sound there
But my own strokes, an' chirpèn birds;
As down the west the zun went wan,
An' days brought on our Zunday's rest,
When sounds o' cheemèn bells did vill
The aïr, an' hook an' axe wer stïll.
Along the wold town-path vo'k went,
An' met unknown, or friend wi' friend,
The maïd her busy mother zent,
The mother wi' noo maïd to zend;
An' in the light the gleäzier's glass,
As he did pass, wer dazzlèn bright,
Or woone went by wï' down-cast head,
A wrapp'd in blackness vor the dead.
An' then the bank, wi' risèn back,
That's now a-most a-troddèn down,
Bore thorns wi' rind o' sheeny black,
An' meäple stems o' ribby brown;
An' in the lewth o' theäse tree heads,
Wer primrwose beds a-sprung in blooth,
An' here a geäte, a-slammèn to,
Did let the slow-wheel'd plough roll drough.
Ov all that then went by, but vew
Be now a-left behine', to beät
The mornèn flow'rs or evenèn dew,
Or slam the woakèn vive-bar'd geäte;
But woone, my wife, so litty-stepp'd,
That have a-kept my path o' life,
Wi' her vew errands on the road,
Where woonce she bore her mother's lwoad.

Last updated January 14, 2019