By the brow o’ thik hangèn I spent all my youth,
In the house that did peep out between
The dree woaks, that in winter avworded their lewth,
An’ in zummer their sheäde to the green;
An’ there, as in zummer we plaÿ’d at our geämes,
We ēach own’d a tree,
Vor we wer but dree,
An’ zoo the dree woaks wer a-call’d by our neämes.
An’ two did grow scraggy out over the road,
An’ they wer call’d Jimmy’s an’ mine;
An’ tother wer Jeännet’s, much kindlier grow’d,
Wi’ a knotless an’ white ribbèd rine.
An’ there, o’ fine nights avore gwäin in to rest,
We did dance, vull o’ life,
To the sound o’ the fife,
Or plaÿ at some geäme that poor Jeännet lik’d best.
Zoo happy wer we by the woaks o’ the green,
Till we lost sister Jeännet, our pride;
Vor when she wer come to her last blushèn teen,
She suddenly zicken’d an’ died.
An’ avore the green leaves in the fall wer gone by,
The lightnèn struck dead
Her woaken tree’s head,
An’ left en a-stripp’d to the wintery sky.
But woone ov his eäcorns, a-zet in the Fall,
Come up the Spring after, below
The trees at her head-stwone ‘ithin the church-wall,
An’ mother, to see how did grow,
Shed a tear; an’ when father an’ she wer bwoth dead,
There they wer laid deep,
Wi’ their Jeännet, to sleep,
Wi’ her at his zide, an’ her tree at her head.
An’ vo’k do still call the wold house the dree woaks,
Vor thik is a-reckon’d that’s down,
As mother, a-neämèn her childern to vo’ks,
Meäde dree when but two wer a-voun’;
An’ zaid that hereafter she knew she should zee
Why God, that’s above,
Vound fit in his love
To strike wi’ his han’ the poor maïd an’ her tree.
© William Barnes