Recollections after a Ramble (II)

[Caster Hanglands]
Labour sought the water cool,
And stretching took a hearty sup,
The fish were playing in the pool,
And turn'd their milk-white bellies up;
Clothes laid down behind a bush
Boys were wading near the path,
Deeply did the maiden blush
As she pass'd the merry bath.

Some with lines the fish to catch,
Quirking boys let loose from school,
Others side the hedge-row watch,
Where the linnet took the wool:
'Tending Hodge had slept too fast,
While his cattle stray'd abroad,
Swift the freed horse gallop'd past,
Pattering down the stony road.

The gipsies' tune was loud and strong,
As round the camp they danc'd a jig,
And much I lov'd the brown girl's song,
While list'ning on the wooden brig;
The shepherd, he was on his rounds,
The dog stopt short to lap the stream,
And jingling in the fallow grounds
The ploughman urg'd his reeking team.

Often did I stop to gaze
On each spot once dear to me,
Known 'mong those remember'd days
Of banish'd, happy infancy:
Often did I view the shade
Where once a nest my eyes did fill,
And often mark'd the place I play'd
At "roly poly" down the hill.

No comments: