Woak Hill

Original Text: 
William Barnes, Poems of rural life in the Dorset dialect, Second collection, 2nd edn. (London: J. R. Smith, 1863). PR 4064 P5 1863 Robarts Library
1  When sycamore leaves wer a-spreadèn
2    Green-ruddy in hedges,
3Bezide the red doust o' the ridges,
4    A-dried at Woak Hill;
5  I packed up my goods all a sheenèn
6    Wi' long years o' handlèn,
7On dousty red wheel ov a waggon,
8    To ride at Woak Hill.
9  The brown thatchen ruf o' the dwellèn,
10    I then wer a-leävèn,
11Had shelter'd the sleek head o' Meäry,
12    My bride at Woak Hill.
13  But now vor zome years, her light voot-vall
14    'S a-lost vrom the vloorèn.
16    She died at Woak Hill.
17  But still I do think that, in soul,
18    She do hover about us;
20    Her pride at Woak Hill.
21  Zoo--lest she should tell me hereafter
22    I stole off 'ithout her,
24    To bide at Woak Hill--
25  I call'd her so fondly, wi' lippèns
26    All soundless to others,
27An' took her wi' aïr-reachèn hand,
28    To my zide at Woak Hill.
29  On the road I did look round, a-talkèn
30    To light at my shoulder,
31An' then led her in at the doorway,
32    Miles wide vrom Woak Hill.
33  An' that's why vo'k thought, vor a season,
34    My mind wer a-wandrèn
35Wi' sorrow, when I wer so sorely
36    A-tried at Woak Hill.
37  But no; that my Meäry mid never
38    Behold herzelf slighted,
39I wanted to think that I guided
40    My guide vrom Woak Hill.


15] jay: joy. Back to Line
19] ho: to feel misgiving care. Back to Line
23] house-ridden: house changing, moving. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. D. Robins
RPO Edition: 
2RP.2.334; RPO 1996-2000.