William Barnes

William Barnes Poems

As there I left the road in May,
And took my way along a ground,
I found a glade with girls at play,
By leafy boughs close-hemmed around,
...

News o' grief had overteaken
Dark-eyed Fanny, now vorseaken;
There she zot, wi' breast a-heaven,
While vrom zide to zide, wi' grieven,
...

'Ithin the woodlands, flow'ry gleaded,
By the woak tree's mossy moot,
The sheenen grass bleades, timber-sheaded,
Now do quiver under voot;
...

Up ste{'a}rs or down below,
I'll zit me in the lwonesome ple{'a}ce,
Where flat-bough'd beech do grow;
Below the beeches' bough, my love,
...

When sycamore leaves wer a-spreadèn
Green-ruddy in hedges,
Bezide the red doust o' the ridges,
A-dried at Woak Hill;
...

If souls should only sheen so bright
In heaven as in e’thly light,
An’ nothen better wer the cease,
How comely still, in sheape an’ feace,
...

THE PRIMRWOSE in the shade do blow,
The cowslip in the zun,
The thyme upon the down do grow,
The clote where streams do run;
...

When I led by zummer streams
The pride o' Lea, as naighbours thought her,
While the zun, wi' evenen beams,
Did cast our sheades athirt the water;
...

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;
...

When wintry weather's all a-done,
An' brooks do sparkle in the zun,
An' naisy-builden rooks do vlee
Wi' sticks toward their elem tree;
...

Last Easter Jim put on his blue
Frock cwoat, the vu'st time-vier new;
Wi' yollow buttons all o' brass,
That glitter'd in the zun lik' glass;
...

I'D a dream to-night
   As I fell asleep,
O! the touching sight
   Makes me still to weep:
...

Since I noo mwore do zee your fe{"a}ce,
Up ste{"a}rs or down below,
I'll zit me in the lwonesome ple{"a}ce,
Where flat-bough'd beech do grow;
...

Ov all the birds upon the wing
Between the zunny showers o' spring,-
Vor all the lark, a-swingen high,
Mid zing below a cloudless sky,
...

When from the child, that still is led
By hand, a father's hand is gone, ---
Or when a few-year'd mother dead
...

16.

Green mwold on zummer bars do show
That they've a-dripped in winter wet;
The hoof-worn ring o' groun' below
The tree do tell o' storms or het;
...

In the zunsheen of our zummers
Wi’ the hay time now a-come,
How busy wer we out a-vield
Wi’ vew a-left at hwome,
...

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;
...

Ah! sad wer we as we did peace
the wold church road, wi' downcast feace,
the while the bells, that mwoaned so deep
above our child a-left asleep,
...

We zot bezide the leafy wall,
Upon the bench at evenfall,
While aunt led off our minds wrom ceare
Wi' veairy teales, I can't tell where,
...

William Barnes Biography

William Barnes was born at Blackmoor Vale in Dorset, the son of a farmer. He took a Bachelor of Divinity degree on a part-time basis at St. John's College, Cambridge, and became a clergyman in 1848. The poems he wrote about his birthplace on themes such as love, natural landscape and regional life brought him a lot of public acclaim. But he also had many other interests, especially languages. Apart from the classical languages, he also learned Welsh, Hindustani, Persian, Hebrew and a handful of European languages. His great interest in different kinds of knowledge made him write on different subjects such as mathematics, astronomy and geography. His real talent, however, lay in exploiting his poetic gift in the writing of folklore, thus setting the stage for people like Thomas Hardy.)

The Best Poem Of William Barnes

The Surprise

As there I left the road in May,
And took my way along a ground,
I found a glade with girls at play,
By leafy boughs close-hemmed around,
And there, with stores of harmless joys,
They plied their tongues, in merry noise:
Though little did they seem to fear
So queer a stranger might be near;
Teeh-hee! Look here! Hah! ha! Look there!
And oh! so playsome, oh! so fair.

And one would dance as one would spring,
Or bob or bow with leering smiles,
And one would swing, or sit and sing,
Or sew a stitch or two at whiles,
And one skipped on with downcast face,
All heedless, to my very place,
And there, in fright, with one foot out,
Made one dead step and turned about.
Heeh, hee, oh! oh! ooh! oo!—Look there!
And oh! so playsome, oh! so fair.

Away they scampered all, full speed,
By boughs that swung along their track,
As rabbits out of wood at feed,
At sight of men all scamper back.
And one pulled on behind her heel,
A thread of cotton, off her reel,
And oh! to follow that white clue,
I felt I fain could scamper too.
Teeh, hee, run here. Eeh! ee! Look there!
And oh! so playsome, oh! so fair.

William Barnes Comments

Alfred Gamblen 07 March 2019

Your. Reader has no idea of the 🚩Dorset dialect or she would know that “wi” means with and is pronounced.”we”. ‘Vok“ means “folk”. ‘zingen” means “singing”. “Gleaded is pronounced “ Glayded”. And on and on ‘so many mispronouncations I was very disappointed.

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