The Year Clock

A poem by William Barnes

We zot bezide the leafy wall,
Upon the bench at evenfall,
While aunt led off our minds wrom ceare
Wi' veairy teales, I can't tell where,
An' vound us woone among her stock
O' feables, o' the gert Year-clock.
His feace wer blue's the zummer skies,
An' wide's the zight o'looken eyes,
For hands, a zun wi' glowen feace,
An' pealer moon wi' swifter peace,
Did wheel by stars o' twinklen light,
By bright-wall'd day, an' dark-treed night;
An' down upon the high-sky'd land,
A'reachen wide, on either hand,
Wer hill an' dell, wi' win'-sway'd trees,
An' lights a'zweepen over seas,
An' gleamen cliffs, an' bright-wall'd tow'rs,
Wi' sheades a-marken on the hours;
An' as the feace, a-rollen round,
Brought comely sheapes along the ground,
The Spring did come in winsome steate
Below a glowen rainbow geate;
An' fan wi' air a-blowen weak,
Her glossy heair, an' rwosy cheak,
As she did shed vrom open hand,
The leapen zeed on vurrow'd land;
The while the rook, wi' heasty flight,
A-floaten in the glowen light,
Did bear avore her glossy breast
A stick to build her lofty nest,
An' strong-limbed Tweil, wi' steady hands,
Did guide along the vallow lands
The heavy zull, wi' bright-shear'd beam,
Avore the weary oxen-team.
Wi' Spring a-gone there come behind
Sweet Zummer, jay on ev'ry mind,
Wi' feace a-beamen to beguile
Our weary souls ov ev'ry tweil,
While birds did warble in the dell,
In softest air o' sweetest smell;
An' she, so winsome-feair did vwold
Her comely limbs in green an' goold,
An' wear a rwosy wreath, wi' studs
O' berries green, an' new-born buds,
A-fring'd in colours vier-bright,
Wi' sheapes o'buttervlies in flight.
When Summer went, the next ov all
Did come the sheape o' brown-feac'd Fall,
A-smile in a comely gown
O'green, a-shot wi' yollow-brown,
A-border'd wi' a goolden stripe
O'fringe, a-meade o' corn-ears ripe,
An' up agean her comely zide,
Upon her rounded earm, did ride
A pretty basket, all a-twin'd
O' slender stems wi' leaves an' rind,
A-vill'd wi' fruit the trees did shed,
All ripe, in purple, goold an' red;
An' busy Leabor there did come
A-zingen zongs ov harvest hwome,
An' red-ear'd dogs did briskly run
Roun' cheervul Leisure, wi' his gun,
Or stan' an' mark, wi' stedvast zight,
The speckled pa'tridge rise in flight.
An' next agean to mild-feac'd Fall
Did come peale Winter, last ov all,
A-benden down, in thoughtvul mood,
Her head 'ithin a snow-white hood,
A-deck'd wi' icy-jewels bright,
An' cwold as twinklen stars o' night;
An' there were weary Leabor, slack
O' veet to keep her vrozen track,
A-looken off, wi' wistful eyes,
To reefs o'smoke, that there did rise
A-melten to the peale-feac'd zun,
Above the houses' lofty tun.
An' there the gert Year-clock did goo
By day an' night, vor ever true,
Wi' mighty wheels a-rollen round
'Ithout a beat, 'ithout a sound.

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