Rose-Ann

A poem by Thomas Hardy

Why didn't you say you was promised, Rose-Ann?
Why didn't you name it to me,
Ere ever you tempted me hither, Rose-Ann,
So often, so wearifully?

O why did you let me be near 'ee, Rose-Ann,
Talking things about wedlock so free,
And never by nod or by whisper, Rose-Ann,
Give a hint that it wasn't to be?

Down home I was raising a flock of stock ewes,
Cocks and hens, and wee chickens by scores,
And lavendered linen all ready to use,
A-dreaming that they would be yours.

Mother said: "She's a sport-making maiden, my son";
And a pretty sharp quarrel had we;
O why do you prove by this wrong you have done
That I saw not what mother could see?

Never once did you say you was promised, Rose-Ann,
Never once did I dream it to be;
And it cuts to the heart to be treated, Rose-Ann,
As you in your scorning treat me!

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