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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Milken Time

By William Barnes (1801–1886)

From ‘Poems of Rural Life’

’TWER when the busy birds did vlee,

Wi’ sheenèn wings, vrom tree to tree,

To build upon the mossy lim’

Their hollow nestes’ rounded rim;

The while the zun, a-zinkèn low,

Did roll along his evenèn bow,

I come along where wide-horn’d cows,

’Ithin a nook, a-screen’d by boughs,

Did stan’ an’ flip the white-hooped pails

Wi’ heäiry tufts o’ swingèn taïls;

An’ there were Jenny Coom a-gone

Along the path a vew steps on,

A-beärèn on her head, upstraïght,

Her païl, wi’ slowly-ridèn waight,

An hoops a-sheenèn, lily-white,

Ageän the evenèn’s slantèn light;

An’ zo I took her païl, an’ left

Her neck a-freed vrom all his heft;

An’ she a-lookèn up an’ down,

Wi’ sheäply head an’ glossy crown,

Then took my zide, an’ kept my peäce,

A-talkèn on wi’ smilèn feäce,

An’ zettèn things in sich a light,

I’d faïn ha’ heär’d her talk all night;

An’ when I brought her milk avore

The geäte, she took it in to door,

An’ if her païl had but allow’d

Her head to vall, she would ha’ bow’d;

An’ still, as ’twer, I had the zight

Ov’ her sweet smile, droughout the night.