William Barnes ( )

Third Collection. The Year-clock

We zot bezide the leäfy wall,
Upon the bench at evenfall,
While aunt led off our minds vrom ceäre
Wi veäiry teäles, I cant tell where:
An vound us woone among her stock
O feäbles, o the girt Year-clock.
His feäce wer blues the zumraer skies,
An wides the zight o lookèn eyes,
For hands, a zun wi glowèn feäce,
An peäler moon wi swifter peäce,
Did wheel by stars o twinklèn light,
By bright-walld day, an dark-treed night;
An down upon the high-skyd land,
A-reachèn wide, on either hand,
Wer hill an dell wi win-swaÿd trees,
An lights a-zweepèn over seas,
An gleamèn cliffs, an bright-walld towrs,
Wi sheädes a-markèn on the hours;
An as the feäce, a-rollèn round,
Brought comely sheäpes along the ground,
The Spring did come in winsome steäte
Below a glowèn raïnbow geäte;
An fan wi aïr a-blowèn weak,
Her glossy heäir, an rwosy cheäk,
As she did shed vrom oben hand,
The leäpèn zeed on vurrowd land;
The while the rook, wi heästy flight,
A-floatèn in the glowèn light,
Did bear avore her glossy breast
A stick to build her lofty nest,
An strong-limbd Tweil, wi steady hands,
Did guide along the vallow lands
The heavy zull, wi bright-sheärd beam,
Avore the weäry oxen team.
Wi Spring a-gone there come behind
Sweet Zummer, jaÿ ov evry mind,
Wi feäce a-beamèn to beguile
Our weäry souls ov evry tweil.
While birds did warble in the dell
In softest aïr o sweetest smell;
An she, so winsome-feäir did vwold
Her comely limbs in green an goold,
An wear a rwosy wreath, wi studs
O berries green, an new-born buds,
A-fringd in colours vier-bright,
Wi sheäpes o buttervlees in flight.
When Zummer went, the next ov all
Did come the sheäpe o brown-feäcd Fall,
A-smilèn in a comely gown
O green, a-shot wi yellow-brown,
A-borderd wi a goolden stripe
O fringe, a-meäde o corn-ears ripe,
An up ageän her comely zide,
Upon her rounded eärm, did ride
A perty basket, all a-twind
O slender stems wi leaves an rind,
A-villd wi fruit the trees did shed,
All ripe, in purple, goold, an red;
An busy Leäbor there did come
A-zingèn zongs ov harvest hwome,
An red-eard dogs did briskly run
Roun cheervul Leisure wi his gun,
Or stan an mark, wi stedvast zight,
The speckled patridge rise in flight.
An next ageän to mild-feäcd Fall
Did come peäle Winter, last ov all,
A-bendèn down, in thoughtvul mood,
Her head ithin a snow-white hood
A-deckd wi icy-jewels, bright
An cwold as twinklèn stars o night;
An there wer weary Leäbor, slack
O veet to keep her vrozen track,
A-lookèn off, wi wistful eyes,
To reefs o smoke, that there did rise
A-meltèn to the peäle-feacd zun,
Above the houses lofty tun.
An there the girt Year-clock did goo
By day an night, vor ever true,
Wi mighty wheels a-rollèn round
Ithout a beat, ithout a sound.

William Barnes's other poems:
  1. Third Collection. Tweil
  2. Second Collection. The Slantèn light o Fall
  3. Second Collection. Light or Sheäde
  4. Third Collection. Comen Hwome
  5. Second Collection. Slow to come, quick agone

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