Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Blackmwore Maidens
 
William Barnes (1801–86)
 
 
THE PRIMRWOSE in the sheäde do blow,
The cowslip in the zun,
The thyme upon the down do grow,
The clote where streams do run;
An’ where do pretty maidens grow        5
An’ blow, but where the tow’r
Do rise among the bricken tuns,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.
 
If you could zee their comely gaït,
An’ pretty feäces’ smiles,        10
A-trippèn on so light o’ waïght,
An’ steppèn off the stiles;
A-gwaïn to church, as bells do swing
An’ ring ’ithin the tow’r,
You’d own the pretty maïdens’ pleäce        15
Is Blackmwore by the Stour.
 
If you vrom Wimborne took your road,
To Stower or Paladore,
An’ all the farmers’ housen show’d
Their daughters at the door;        20
You’d cry to bachelors at hwome—
“Here, come: ’ithin an hour
You ’ll vind ten maïdens to your mind,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.”
 
An’ if you look’d ’ithin their door,        25
To zee em in their pleäce,
A-doèn housework up avore
Their smilèn mother’s feäce;
You’d cry—“Why, if a man would wive
An’ thrive, ’ithout a dow’r,        30
Then let en look en out a wife
In Blackmwore by the Stour.”
 
As I upon my road did pass
A school-house back in Maÿ,
There out upon the beäten grass        35
Wer maïdens at their plaÿ
An’ as the pretty souls did tweil
An’ smile, I cried, “The flow’r
O’ beauty, then, is still in bud
In Blackmore by the Stour.”        40
 

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