When sycamore leaves wer a-spreadèn,
Green-ruddy, in hedges,
Bezide the red doust o’ the ridges,
A-dried at Woak Hill;
I packed up my goods all a-sheenèn
Wi’ long years o’ handlèn,
On dousty red wheels ov a waggon,
To ride at Woak Hill.
The brown thatchen ruf o’ the dwellèn,
I then wer a-leävèn,
Had shelter’d the sleek head o’ Meäry,
My bride at Woak Hill.
But now vor zome years, her light voot-vall
‘S a-lost vrom the vloorèn.
Too soon vor my jaÿ an’ my childern,
She died at Woak Hill.
But still I do think that, in soul,
She do hover about us;
To ho vor her motherless childern,
Her pride at Woak Hill.
Zoo—lest she should tell me hereafter
I stole off ‘ithout her,
An’ left her, uncall’d at house-riddèn,
To bide at Woak Hill—
I call’d her so fondly, wi’ lippèns
All soundless to others,
An’ took her wi’ aïr-reachèn hand,
To my zide at Woak Hill.
On the road I did look round, a-talkèn
To light at my shoulder,
An’ then led her in at the door-way,
Miles wide vrom Woak Hill.
An’ that’s why vo’k thought, vor a season,
My mind wer a-wandrèn
Wi’ sorrow, when I wer so sorely
A-tried at Woak Hill.
But no; that my Meäry mid never
Behold herzelf slighted,
I wanted to think that I guided
My guide vrom Woak Hill.
© William Barnes