Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Apprenticed
By Jean Ingelow (1820–1897)
 
  He sings:
COME out and hear the waters shoot, the owlet hoot, the owlet hoot;
  Yon crescent moon, a golden boat, hangs dim behind the tree, O!
The dropping thorn makes white the grass, O sweetest lass, and sweetest lass;
  Come out and smell the ricks of hay adown the croft with me, O!
 
  She answers:
My granny nods before her wheel, and drops her reel, and drops her reel;
        5
  My father with his crony talks as gay as gay can be, O!
But all the milk is yet to skim, ere light wax dim, ere light wax dim;
  How can I step adown the croft, my ’prentice lad, with thee, O?
 
  He replies:
And must ye bide, yet waiting ’s long, and love is strong, and love is strong;
  And O, had I but served the time that takes so long to flee, O!        10
And thou, my lass, by morning light wast all in white, wast all in white,
  And parson stood within the rails, a-marrying me and thee, O!
 
 
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