Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Blackmwore Maidens

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William Barnes 1801–86

Blackmwore Maidens


THE PRIMRWOSE in the sheäde do blow,

The cowslip in the zun,

The thyme upon the down do grow,

The clote where streams do run;

An’ where do pretty maidens grow

An’ blow, but where the tow’r

Do rise among the bricken tuns,

In Blackmwore by the Stour.

If you could zee their comely gaït,

An’ pretty feäces’ smiles,

A-trippèn on so light o’ waïght,

An’ steppèn off the stiles;

A-gwaïn to church, as bells do swing

An’ ring ’ithin the tow’r,

You’d own the pretty maïdens’ pleäce

Is Blackmwore by the Stour.

If you vrom Wimborne took your road,

To Stower or Paladore,

An’ all the farmers’ housen show’d

Their daughters at the door;

You’d cry to bachelors at hwome—

“Here, come: ’ithin an hour

You ’ll vind ten maïdens to your mind,

In Blackmwore by the Stour.”

An’ if you look’d ’ithin their door,

To zee em in their pleäce,

A-doèn housework up avore

Their smilèn mother’s feäce;

You’d cry—“Why, if a man would wive

An’ thrive, ’ithout a dow’r,

Then let en look en out a wife

In Blackmwore by the Stour.”

As I upon my road did pass

A school-house back in Maÿ,

There out upon the beäten grass

Wer maïdens at their plaÿ

An’ as the pretty souls did tweil

An’ smile, I cried, “The flow’r

O’ beauty, then, is still in bud

In Blackmore by the Stour.”