William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

The Castle Ruins


A HAPPY day at Whitsuntide,
As soon ’s the zun begun to vall,
We all stroll’d up the steep hill-zide
To Meldon, gret an’ small;
Out where the Castle wall stood high
A-mwoldren to the zunny sky.

An’ there wi’ Jenny took a stroll
Her youngest sister, Poll, so gay,
Bezide John Hind, ah! merry soul,
An’ mid her wedlock fay;
An’ at our zides did play an’ run
My little maid an’ smaller son.

Above the baten mwold upsprung
The driven doust, a-spreaden light,
An’ on the new-leav’d thorn, a-hung,
Wer wool a-quiv’ren white;
An’ corn, a-sheenen bright, did bow,
On slopen Meldon’s zunny brow.

There, down the roofless wall did glow
The zun upon the grassy vloor,
An’ weakly-wandren winds did blow,
Unhinder’d by a door;
An’ smokeless now avore the zun
Did stan’ the ivy-girded tun.

My bwoy did watch the daws’ bright wings
A-flappen vrom their ivy bow’rs;
My wife did watch my maid’s light springs,
Out here an’ there vor flow’rs;
And John did zee noo tow’rs, the place
Vor him had only Polly’s face.

An’ there, of all that pried about
The walls, I overlook’d em best,
An’ what o’ that? Why, I made out
Noo mwore than all the rest:
That there wer woonce the nest of zome
That wer a-gone avore we come.

When woonce above the tun the smoke
Did wreathy blue among the trees,
An’ down below, the liven vo’k
Did tweil as brisk as bees:
Or zit wi’ weary knees, the while
The sky wer lightless to their tweil

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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