William Barnes

(1801-1886 / England)

Woone Smile Mwore - Poem by William Barnes

O! MARY, when the zun went down,
Woone night in spring, w’ viry rim,
Behind the nap wi’ woody crown,
An’ left your smilen face so dim;
Your little sister there, inside,
Wi’ bellows on her little knee,
Did blow the vire, a-glearen wide
Drough window-panes, that I could zee,—
As you did stan’ wi’ me, avore
The house, a-parten,—woone smile mwore.

The chatt’ren birds, a-risen high,
An’ zinken low, did swiftly vlee
Vrom shrinken moss, a-growen dry,
Upon the lanen apple tree.
An’ there the dog, a-whippen wide
His hairy tail, an’ comen near,
Did fondly lay agan you zide
His coal-black nose an’ russet ear:
To win what I ’d a-won avore,
Vrom your gay; face, his woone smile mwore.

An’ while your mother bustled sprack,
A-getten supper out in hall,
An’ cast her shade, a-whiv’ren black
Avore the vire, upon the wall;
Your brother come, wi’ easy pace,
In drough the slammen gate, along
The path, wi’ healthy-bloomen face,
A-whis’len shrill his last new zong:
An’ when he come avore the door,
He met vrom you his woone smile mwore.

Now you that wer the daughter there,
Be mother on a husband’s vloor,
An’ mid ye meet wi’ less o’ care
Than what your harty mother bore;
An’ if abroad I have to rue
The bitter tongue, or wrongvul deed,
Mid I come hwome to share wi’ you
What ’s needvul free o’ pinchen need:
An’ vind that you ha’ still in store
My evenen meal, an’ woone smile mwore.


Comments about Woone Smile Mwore by William Barnes

  • (10/21/2004 1:35:00 PM)


    Like so many of Barnes' poems, there is a wonderful aura of tenderness in the careful use of words. One is left doubting, until the last few lines, as to the ultimate 'destination' of Mary. The fact that she became his wife is so beautifully expressed in the gentle conclusion.
    His imagery brings a lump to the throat!
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Read poems about / on: smile, mother, husband, sister, daughter, dog, brother, spring, house, tree, night, rose



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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