The Cross Roads (or Haymakers Story) (3)

‘A gloomy wanness spoilt her rosey cheek
‘& doubts hung there that was not mine to seek
‘She neer so much as dwelt on things to come
‘But sighd oer pleasures ere she left her home
‘& now & then a mournful smile woud raise
‘At pranks repeated of our younger days
‘As I brought up when passing spots of ground
‘Where we when childern hurly burly'd round
‘Or blind mans bluffd some morts of hours away
‘Two games poor thing Jane dearly lovd to play
‘She smild at these but shakd her head & sighd
‘When ere she thought my look was turnd aside
‘Nor turnd she round as was her former way
‘To praise the thorn white over then with may
‘Nor stooped once tho thousands round her grew
‘To pull a cowslip as she usd to do
‘For Jane in flowers delighted from a child
‘I like the garden but she lovd the wild
‘& oft on sundays young mens gifts declind
‘Flowers bought at gardens of the sweetest kind
‘& eager scrambd the single rose to get
‘& woodbine flowers at every tree we met
‘& lambtoe flowers as soon as caught her eyes
‘Woud start her running to ensure the prize
‘& gay long purple with its tufty spike
‘Shed wade oer shoes to reach it in the dyke
‘& oft while scratting thro the briery woods
‘For tempting cuckoo flowers & vi'let buds
‘Poor Jane Ive known her crying sneak to town
‘& fear her mother when shed tore her gown
'Ah these were days her conscience viewd wi pain
‘Which all are loath to loose as well as Jane
‘& what I took more odd then all the rest
‘Was on that night that she no wish exprest
‘To see the gipseys so belovd before
‘That lay a stones throw from us on the moor
‘I hinted it she just replyd agen
‘She once believd 'em but had doubts since then
‘& when we sought our cows I calld ‘cum mull’
‘But she stood silent for her heart was full
‘She lovd dumb things & ere she milkd begun
‘To fuss & stroke them more then ere shed done
‘& tho her tears stood watering in her eye
‘I little took it as her last good bye
‘For she was tender & Ive often known
‘Her mourn for beetles thats bin trampld on
‘So I neer dreamd from this what soon befell
‘Till the next morning rung her passing bell
‘My storys long but times in plenty yet
‘Sin the black clouds betoken nought but wet
‘& Ill een snatch a minutes breath or two
‘& take another pinch to help me thro

(lines 99-150)

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