William Barnes ( )

Third Collection. The Beäten Path

The beäten path where vok do meet
 A-comèn on vrom vur an near;
How many errands had the veet
 That wore en out along so clear!
Where eegrass bleädes be green in meäd,
 Where bennets up the leäze be brown,
An where the timber bridge do leäd
 Athirt the cloty brook to town,
Along the path by mile an mile,
Athirt the vield, an brook, an stile.

There runnèn childerns hearty laugh
 Do come an vlee alongwin swift:
The wold mans glossy-knobbèd staff
 Do help his veet so hard to lift;
The maïd do bear her basket by,
 A-hangèn at her breäthèn zide;
An ceäreless young men, straïght an spry,
 Do whissle hwome at eventide,
Along the path, a-reachèn by
Below tall trees an oben sky.

There woone do goo to jaÿ a-head;
 Anothers jaÿs behind his back.
There woone his vust long mile do tread,
 An woone the last ov all his track.
An woone mid end a hopevul road,
 Wi hopeless grief a-teäkèn on,
As he that leätely vrom abroad
 Come hwome to seek his love a-gone,
Noo mwore to tread, wi comely eäse,
The beäten path athirt the leäze.

In tweilsome hardships, year by year,
 He drough the worold wanderd wide,
Still bent, in mind, both vur an near
 To come an meäke his love his bride.
An passèn here drough evenèn dew
 He heästend, happy, to her door,
But vound the wold vok only two,
 Wi noo mwore vootsteps on the vloor,
To walk ageän below the skies,
Where beäten paths do vall an rise;

Vor she wer gone vrom ethly eyes
 To be a-kept in darksome sleep,
Until the good ageän do rise
 A-jaÿ to souls they left to weep.
The rwose wer doust that bound her brow;
 The moth did eat her Zunday ceäpe;
Her frock wer out o fashion now;
 Her shoes wer dried up out o sheäpe
The shoes that woonce did glitter black
Along the leäzes beäten track.

William Barnes's other poems:
  1. Third Collection. A Lot o Maïdens
  2. Second Collection. The Scud
  3. Third Collection. Meth below the Tree
  4. Second Collection. Married Peäirs Love-walk
  5. Third Collection. The Giants in Treädes

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