The house where I wer born an’ bred,
Did own his woaken door, John,
When vu’st he shelter’d father’s head,
An’ gramfer’s long avore, John.
An’ many a ramblèn happy chile,
An’ chap so strong an’ bwold,
An’ bloomèn maïd wi’ plaÿsome smile,
Did call their hwome o’ wold
Thik ruf so warm,
A kept vrom harm
By elem trees that broke the storm.
An’ in the orcha’d out behind,
The apple-trees in row, John,
Did swaÿ wi’ moss about their rind
Their heads a-noddèn low, John.
An’ there, bezide zome groun’ vor corn,
Two strips did skirt the road;
In woone the cow did toss her horn,
While tother wer a-mow’d,
In June, below
The lofty row
Ov trees that in the hedge did grow.
A-workèn in our little patch
O’ parrock, rathe or leäte, John,
We little ho’d how vur mid stratch
The squier’s wide esteäte, John.
Our hearts, so honest an’ so true,
Had little vor to fear;
Vor we could paÿ up all their due,
An’ gi’e a friend good cheer
At hwome, below
The lofty row
O’ trees a-swaÿèn to an’ fro.
An’ there in het, an’ there in wet,
We tweil’d wi’ busy hands, John;
Vor ev’ry stroke o’ work we het,
Did better our own lands, John.
But after me, ov all my kin,
Not woone can hold em on;
Vor we can’t get a life put in
Vor mine, when I’m a-gone
Vrom thik wold brown
Thatch ruf, a-boun’
By elem trees a-growèn roun’.
Ov eight good hwomes, where, I can mind
Vo’k liv’d upon their land, John,
But dree be now a-left behind;
The rest ha’ vell in hand, John,
An’ all the happy souls they ved
Be scatter’d vur an’ wide.
An’ zome o’m be a-wantèn bread,
Zome, better off, ha’ died,
Noo mwore to ho,
Vor homes below
The trees a-swaÿen to an’ fro.
An’ I could leäd ye now all round
The parish, if I would, John,
An’ show ye still the very ground
Where vive good housen stood, John,
In broken orcha’ds near the spot,
A vew wold trees do stand;
But dew do vall where vo’k woonce zot
About the burnèn brand
In housen warm,
A-kept vrom harm
By elems that did break the storm.
© William Barnes