’Tis merry ov a zummer’s day,
Where vo’k be out a-meaeken hay;
Where men an’ women, in a string,
Do ted or turn the grass, an’ zing,
Wi’ cheemen vaices, merry zongs,
A-tossen o’ their sheenen prongs
Wi’ eaerms a-zwangen left an’ right,
In colour’d gowns an’ shirtsleeves white;
Or, wider spread, a reaeken round
The rwosy hedges o’ the ground,
Where Sam do zee the speckled sneaeke,
An’ try to kill en wi’ his reaeke;
An’ Poll do jump about an’ squall,
To zee the twisten slooworm crawl.
’Tis merry where a gay-tongued lot
Ov hay-meaekers be all a-squot,
On lightly-russlen hay, a-spread
Below an elem’s lofty head,
To rest their weary limbs an’ munch
Their bit o’ dinner, or their nunch;
Where teethy reaekes do lie all round
By picks a-stuck up into ground.
An’ wi’ their vittles in their laps,
An’ in their hornen cups their draps
O’ cider sweet, or frothy eaele,
Their tongues do run wi’ joke an’ teaele.
An’ when the zun, so low an’ red,
Do sheen above the leafy head
O’ zome broad tree, a-rizen high
Avore the vi’ry western sky,
’Tis merry where all han’s do goo
Athirt the groun’, by two an’ two,
A-reaeken, over humps an’ hollors,
The russlen grass up into rollers.
An’ woone do row it into line,
An’ woone do clwose it up behine;
An’ after them the little bwoys
Do stride an’ fling their eaerms all woys,
Wi’ busy picks, an’ proud young looks
A-meaeken up their tiny pooks.
An’ zoo ’tis merry out among
The vo’k in hay-vield all day long.
Other works by William Barnes...