The Courtship (I)

Where are you going lovely maid
The morning fine & early
I’m going to Walkerd Sir she said
& made across the barley

Her neck a thumb & finger span
Her bosom swelling over
Her waist was half the vulgar kind
An armful for a lover

I asked her name she blushed away
The question seemed to burn her
A neighbour came & passed the day
& called her Patty Turner

She led me on a pleasant way
Through fields when brown & fallow
Dear Walkerd lay upon the hill
& Stamford in the hollow

I see the oak agen the door
The wood agen the garden
I bade good bye she turned agen
With smiles my look rewarding



I would not that my memory all should die,
And pass away with every common lot:
I would not that my humble dust should lie
In quite a strange and unfrequented spot,
By all unheeded and by all forgot,
With nothing save the heedless winds to sigh,
And nothing but the dewy morn to weep
About my grave, far hid from the world's eye:
I fain would have some friend to wander nigh
And find a path to where my ashes sleep--
Not the cold heart that merely passes by,
To read who lies beneath, but such as keep
Past memories warm with deeds of other years,
And pay to friendship some few friendly tears.

What is Life? (excerpt)

And what is Life? An hour-glass on the run,
A mist retreating from the morning sun,
A busy, bustling, still repeated dream;
Its length?--A minute's pause, a moment's thought;
And happiness?--a bubble on the stream,
That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought.

What are vain hopes?--The puffing gale of morn,
That of its charms divests the dewy lawn,
And robs each flow'ret of its gem,--and dies;
A cobweb hiding disappointment's thorn,
Which stings more keenly through the thin disguise.

And what is Death? Is still the cause unfound?
That dark, mysterious name of horrid sound?--
A long and lingering sleep, the weary crave.
And Peace? where can its happiness abound?
No where at all, save heaven, and the grave.
Then what is Life?--When stripp'd of its disguise,
A thing to be desir'd it cannot be,
Since everything that meets our foolish eyes
Gives proof sufficient of its vanity.
'T is but a trial all must undergo,
To teach unthankful mortals how to prize
That happiness vain man's denied to know
Until he's called to claim it in the skies.

My love, thou art a nosegay sweet...

My love, thou art a nosegay sweet,
My sweetest flower I'll prove thee,
And pleased I pin thee to my breast,
And dearly do I love thee.

And when, my nosegay, thou shalt fade,
As sweet a flower thou'lt prove thee;
And as thou witherest on my breast
For beauty past I'll love thee.

And when, my nosegay, thou shalt die,
And heaven's flower shalt prove thee,
My hopes shall follow to the sky,
And everlasting love thee.


The beauties of Myra in it[s] lustre now dawning
As the spring is first seen to disclose
When the dew dropping silver of mays infant morning
Unfoldeth the blush of the Rose
While her charms O as varied as summers profusion
& Ripe as the autumn for love
In her blue Eyes sweet beaming the thrilling confusion
Near failing each bosom to move
While the snows of the Winter improvd on her bosom
No need of a Rival be told
—& O my sad pains—when I went to disclosem
I found it as killing & cold

Address to Plenty

In Winter (lines 35-56)

[Image: ‘Snowfield’ by Eric Marsh]

Toiling in the naked fields,
Where no bush a shelter yields,
Needy Labour dithering stands,
Beats and blows his numbing hands;
And upon the crumping snows
Stamps, in vain, to warm his toes.
Leaves are fled, that once had power
To resist a summer shower;
And the wind so piercing blows,
Winnowing small the drifting snows,
The summer shade of loaded bough
Would vainly boast a shelter now;
Piercing snows so searching fall,
They sift a passage through them all.
Though all's vain to keep him warm,
Poverty must brave the storm.
Friendship none, its aid to lend;
Health alone his only friend,
Granting leave to live in pain,
Giving strength to toil in vain,
To be, while winter's horrors last,
The sport of every pelting blast.

Her love is all to me

O' cold is the winter day And iron is the ground
And winters snow has found his way For fifty miles around
I turn a look to every way And nothing to be seen
The frozen clouds shuts out the day And snow hide[s] all the green

The hedges all of leaves are bare my heart beats cold & chill
O' once I loved a pretty girl and love her dearly still
Though love is but a frozen pearl as you may plainly see
My lovely girl is handsome as any maid can be

Freeze on the bitter biting sky Snows shade the naked tree
All desolate alone am I Yet I'll love none but thee
No tears I shed my love to show To freeze before they fall
No sighs I send along the snow But she's my all in all

The footpath leaves the ruts and carts O'er furrow and o'er rig
And my love lives at the ‘White hart’ a stone throw from the brig
She's like a ballad sung in tune And deep in love to be
Her face is like the rose in June And her love is all to me

A Winter Wish

My wish now's to sit in a cottage made snug
By a fire burning roozy and bright
With a Friend to make shorter short days by a Jug
And some Books for amusement at night
And could I enjoy such a peaceable lot
I'd ne'er cast on Fortune a frown
Nor would I possesing my Friend, Books, and Cott
Exchange 'em away for a—Crown!

The Fall of the Year (excerpt)

Fled is the cuckoo's note
To countries far remote,
And the nightingale is vanished from the woods;
If you search the lordship round
There is not a blossom found,
And where the hay-cock scented is the flood.

My true love's fled away
Since we walked 'mid cocks of hay,
On the Sabbath in the Summer of the year;
And she's nowhere to be seen
On the meadow or the green,
But she's coming when the happy Spring is near.

When the birds begin to sing,
And the flowers begin to spring,
And the cowslips in the meadows reappear,
When the woodland oaks are seen
In their monarchy of green,
Then Mary and love's pleasures will be here.