Come let us sit down on this baulk of mown hay...

[Image: 'Harvest Scene" - John Linnell (1792-1882)]

This poem has haunted me since I transcribed it from the Archives around 18 months ago.  Anne Lee and I published it in "In the Fields" (Arbour Editions 2015) but that edition is long sold out.  So I am glad to let readers of this weblog into my secret passion.

Come let us sit down on this baulk of mown hay
I love in such places to sweeter delay
Were wheat on one side us nods down with its ear
& beans on the other in blossom appear

Perfuming the lare of the partridge that lies
In the wood shadows basking their forest supplys
& hare - heres a beaten bath tracks his retreat
Feels timidly safer in his harbour of wheat

On this mown baulk no doubt he oft ventures to play
When a grasshoppers rustle might fright him away
How sweet and how lovely such places appear
I cannot help wishing our cottage was here

With the wild bees for neighbours the whole summer long
& the lark ever near us a piping his song
With beans in full blossom close up to our door
& cows in the distance lowing loud on the moor

With grasshoppers leaping were cattle might roam
& partridges calling at night by our home
Were we might sit at night by our window & see
The timid hare feed & at play on the lea

I lie in our chamber & list if we please
The nightingale song in yon thick spinney trees
While evening kept deeping its shadows of brown
& the shepherd boy sing from his toils to the town

How sweet we might find it & doubtless as sweet
To that boy would it be thats now tracking the wheat
For the corn poppy red as a fox hunters coat
& cockle flowers pale of a less showy sort

& blue caps as rich in their sweet summer dye
As the blue eyes of love or the deep bearing sky
No doubt if he knew what our wishes was at
While hes wreathg that garland to stick in his hat

Hed happily join us with excited delight
To have his hut here all these pleasures among
With all his hearts pastimes forever in sight
& be the field tenant the whole summer long

Pet MS A31 p158R

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