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.
 
Evening, and Maidens
By William Barnes (1801–1886)
 
NOW the shiades o’ the elems da stratch muore an muore,
Vrom the low-zinkèn zun in the west o’ the sky;
An’ the mâidens da stan out in clusters avore
The doors, var to chatty an’ zee vo’ke goo by.
 
An’ ther cuombs be a-zet in ther bunches o’ hiair,        5
An’ ther curdles 1 da hang roun’ ther necks lily-white,
An’ ther cheäks tha be ruosy, ther shoulders be biare,
Ther looks tha be merry, ther lims tha be light.
 
An’ the times have a-been—but tha cnt be noo muore—
When I, too, had my jây under evemen’s dim sky,        10
When my Fanny did stan’ out wi’ others avore
Her door, var to chatty an’ zee vo’ke goo by.
 
An’ up there, in the green, is her own honey-zuck,
That her brother trâin’d up roun’ her winder; an’ there
Is the ruose an’ the jessamy, where she did pluck        15
A flow’r var her buzom ar bud var her hiair.
 
An’ zoo smile, happy mâidens! var every fiace,
As the zummers da come an’ the years da roll by,
Wull soon sadden, ar goo vur awoy vrom the pliace,
Ar else, lik’ my Fanny, wull wither an’ die.        20
 
But when you be a-lost vrom the parish, some muore
Wull come on in y’ur pliazen to bloom an’ to die;
An’ zoo zummer wull always have mâidens avore
Ther doors, var to chatty an’ zee vo’ke goo by.
 
Var d’ters ha’ marnen when mothers ha’ night,        25
An’ there ’s beauty alive when the fiairest is dead;
As when oon sparklèn wiave da zink down vrom the light,
Another da come up an’ catch it instead.
 
Zoo smile on, happy mâidens! but I shall noo muore
Zee the mâid I da miss under evemen’s dim sky;        30
An’ my heart is a-touch’d to zee you out avore
The doors, var to chatty and zee vo’ke goo by.
 
Note 1. curdles.  curls. [back]
 
 
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