The Humstrum

by William Barnes

William Barnes

Why woonce, at Chris'mas-tide, avore
The wold year wer a-reckon'd out,
The humstrums here did come about,
A-soundèn up at ev'ry door.
But now a bow do never screäpe
A humstrum, any where all round,
An' zome can't tell a humstrum's sheäpe,
An' never heärd his jinglèn sound.
As _ing-an-ing_ did ring the string,
As _ang-an-ang_ the wires did clang.
The strings a-tighten'd lik' to crack
Athirt the canister's tin zide,
Did reach, a glitt'rèn, zide by zide,
Above the humstrum's hollow back.
An' there the bwoy, wi' bended stick,
A-strung wi' heäir, to meäke a bow,
Did dreve his elbow, light'nèn quick,
Athirt the strings from high to low.
As _ing-an-ing_ did ring the string,
As _ang-an-ang_ the wires did clang.
The mother there did stan' an' hush
Her child, to hear the jinglèn sound,
The merry maïd, a-scrubbèn round
Her white-steäv'd païl, did stop her brush.
The mis'ess there, vor wold time's seäke,
Had gifts to gi'e, and smiles to show,
An' meäster, too, did stan' an' sheäke
His two broad zides, a-chucklèn low,
While _ing-an-ing_ did ring the string,
While _ang-an-ang_ the wires did clang.
The plaÿers' pockets wer a-strout,
Wi' wold brown pence, a-rottlèn in,
Their zwangèn bags did soon begin,
Wi' brocks an' scraps, to plim well out.
The childern all did run an' poke
Their heads vrom hatch or door, an' shout
A-runnèn back to wolder vo'k.
Why, here! the humstrums be about!
As _ing-an-ing_ did ring the string,
As _ang-an-ang_ the wires did clang.





Last updated January 14, 2019