wall sun moon sea spring spring lambs summer summer tree blossom brown autumn corn grass winter winter wheel

HIDDEN LANGUAGE, HIDDEN TRAILS

THE YEAR CLOCK

by WILLIAM BARNES

Dorset dialect poet

We zot bezide the leafy wall,

Upon the bench at evenfall,

While aunt led off our minds wrom ceare

Wi' veairy teales, I can't tell where,

An' vound us woone among her stock

O' feables, o' the gert Year-clock.

His feace wer blue's the zummer skies,

An' wide's the zight o'looken eyes,

For hands, a zun wi' glowen feace,

An' pealer moon wi' swifter peace,

Did wheel by stars o' twinklen light,

By bright-wall'd day, an' dark-treed night;

An' down upon the high-sky'd land,

A'reachen wide, on either hand,

Wer hill an' dell, wi' win'-sway'd trees,

An' lights a'zweepen over seas,

An' gleamen cliffs, an' bright-wall'd tow'rs,

Wi' sheades a-marken on the hours;

An' as the feace, a-rollen round,

Brought comely sheapes along the ground,

The Spring did come in winsome steate

Below a glowen rainbow geate;

An' fan wi' air a-blowen weak,

Her glossy heair, an' rwosy cheak,

As she did shed vrom open hand,

The leapen zeed on vurrow'd land;

The while the rook, wi' heasty flight,

A-floaten in the glowen light,

Did bear avore her glossy breast

A stick to build her lofty nest,

An' strong-limbed Tweil, wi' steady hands,

Did guide along the vallow lands

The heavy zull, wi' bright-shear'd beam,

Avore the weary oxen-team.

Wi' Spring a-gone there come behind

Sweet Zummer, jay on ev'ry mind,

Wi' feace a-beamen to beguile

Our weary souls ov ev'ry tweil,

While birds did warble in the dell,

In softest air o' sweetest smell;

An' she, so winsome-feair did vwold

Her comely limbs in green an' goold,

An' wear a rwosy wreath, wi' studs

O' berries green, an' new-born buds,

A-fring'd in colours vier-bright,

Wi' sheapes o'buttervlies in flight.

When Summer went, the next ov all

Did come the sheape o' brown-feac'd Fall,

A-smile in a comely gown

O'green, a-shot wi' yollow-brown,

A-border'd wi' a goolden stripe

O'fringe, a-meade o' corn-ears ripe,

An' up agean her comely zide,

Upon her rounded earm, did ride

A pretty basket, all a-twin'd

O' slender stems wi' leaves an' rind,

A-vill'd wi' fruit the trees did shed,

All ripe, in purple, goold an' red;

An' busy Leabor there did come

A-zingen zongs ov harvest hwome,

An' red-ear'd dogs did briskly run

Roun' cheervul Leisure, wi' his gun,

Or stan' an' mark, wi' stedvast zight,

The speckled pa'tridge rise in flight.

An' next agean to mild-feac'd Fall

Did come peale Winter, last ov all,

A-benden down, in thoughtvul mood,

Her head 'ithin a snow-white hood,

A-deck'd wi' icy-jewels bright,

An' cwold as twinklen stars o' night;

An' there were weary Leabor, slack

O' veet to keep her vrozen track,

A-looken off, wi' wistful eyes,

To reefs o'smoke, that there did rise

A-melten to the peale-feac'd zun,

Above the houses' lofty tun.

An' there the gert Year-clock did goo

By day an' night, vor ever true,

Wi' mighty wheels a-rollen round

'Ithout a beat, 'ithout a sound.