The Awthorn

I love the awthorn well
The first green thing
In woods & hedges—black thorn dell
Dashed with its green first spring
When sallows shine in golden sheen
These white thorn places in the black how green
How beautifully green
Though March has but begun
To tend primroses planted in the sun
The roots thats further in
Are not begun to bud or may be just begun
I love the white thorn bough
Hung over the mole hill
Where the spring feeding cow
Rubs off the dew drop chill
When on the cowslip pips & glossy thorn
The dews hang shining pearls at early morn

Emmonsail's Heath in Winter

I love to see the old heath's withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps his melancholy wing,
And oddling crow in idle motions swing
On the half rotten ashtree's topmost twig,
Beside whose trunk the gipsy makes his bed.
Up flies the bouncing woodcock from the brig
Where a black quagmire quakes beneath the tread,
The fieldfares chatter in the whistling thorn
And for the awe round fields and closen rove,
And coy bumbarrels twenty in a drove
Flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain
And hang on little twigs and start again.


The fir trees taper into twigs and wear
The rich blue green of summer all the year,
Softening the roughest tempest almost calm
And offering shelter ever still and warm
To the small path that towels underneath,
Where loudest winds - almost as summer's breath -
Scarce fan the weed that lingers green below
When others out of doors are lost in frost and snow.
And sweet the music trembles on the ear
As the wind suthers through each tiny spear,
Makeshifts for leaves; and yet, so rich they show,
Winter is almost summer where they grow.

Ploughman Singing

Here morning in the ploughman's songs is met
Ere yet one footstep shows in all the sky,
And twilight in the east, a doubt as yet,
Shows not her sleeve of grey to know her bye.
Woke early, I arose and thought that first
In winter time of all the world was I.
The old owls might have hallooed if they durst,
But joy just then was up and whistled bye
A merry tune which I had known full long,
But could not to my memory wake it back,
Until the ploughman changed it to the song.
O happiness, how simple is thy track.
Tinged like the willow shoots, the east's young brow
Glows red and finds thee singing at the plough.

Song: I love the bonny lassie (excerpt)

Her gowns the yellow broom
& her face the blushing brere
Her cheeks have got the bloom
& she's handsome every where
& I'm welcome in her room
Where she sets the cushioned chair
What a winter fire she'll make
When I tarry as her guest
Wi' my arms about her neck
Then I kiss her into rest
Gin the hens are gone to bed
Gin the staple holds the pin
Gin the sparrows seek the shed
She will up & let me in
When I kiss & nothings sed
Rosey cheeks & lily skin

Nobody cometh to Woo

On Martinmas eve the dogs did bark,
And I opened the window to see,
When every maiden went by with her spark
But ne’er a one came to me.
And O dear what will become of me?
And O dear what shall I do,
When nobody whispers to marry me—
Nobody cometh to woo?

None's born for such troubles as I be:
If the sun wakens first in the morn
"Lazy hussy" my parents both call me,
And I must abide by their scorn,
For nobody cometh to marry me,
Nobody cometh to woo,
So here in distress must I tarry me—
What can a poor maiden do?

If I sigh through the window when Jerry
The ploughman goes by, I grow bold;
And if I'm disposed to be merry,
My parents do nothing but scold;
And Jerry the clown, and no other,
E’er cometh to marry or woo;
They think me the moral of mother
And judge me a terrible shrew.

For mother she hateth all fellows,
And spinning's my father's desire,
While the old cat growls bass with the bellows
If e’er I hitch up to the fire.
I make the whole house out of humour,
I wish nothing else but to please,
Would fortune but bring a new comer
To marry, and make me at ease!

When I've nothing my leisure to hinder
I scarce get as far as the eaves;
Her head's instant out of the window
Calling out like a press after thieves.
The young men all fall to remarking,
And laugh till they're weary to see't,
While the dogs at the noise begin barking,
And I slink in with shame from the street.

My mother's aye jealous of loving,
My father's aye jealous of play,
So what with them both there's no moving,
I'm in durance for life and a day.
O who shall I get for to marry me?
Who will have pity to woo?
Tis death any longer to tarry me,
And what shall a poor maiden do?

(from 'Address to a lark singing in winter')

Aye — little Larkie what’s the reason
Singing thus in winter season
Nothing surely can be pleasing
To make thee sing

For I see nought but cold and freezing
And feel it sting

Perhaps (all done wi' silent mourning)
Thou thinks that summer is returning
And this the last cold frosty morning
To chill thy breast

If so I pity thy discerning
And so I've guessed

(for a cold lady…)

Song (from Child Harold)

Say What Is Love—To Live In Vain
To Live & Die & Live Again
Say What Is Love—Is It To Be
In Prison Still & Still Be Free
Or Seem As Free—Alone & Prove
The Hopeless Hopes of Real Love
Does Real Love On Earth Exist
Tis Like A Sun beam On The Mist
That Fades & No Where Will Remain
& Nowhere Is Oertook Again
Say What Is Love—A Blooming Name
A Rose Leaf On The Page Of Fame
That Blooms Then Fades—To Cheat No More
& Is What Nothing Was Before
Say What Is Love—What E'er It be
It Centre's Mary Still With Thee