Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BLEAKE'S HOUSE IN BLACKMWORE, by WILLIAM BARNES



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BLEAKE'S HOUSE IN BLACKMWORE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: John bleake he had a bit o' ground
Last Line: To merry bleake o' blackmwore.
Subject(s): Country Life


JOHN BLEAKE he had a bit o' ground
Come to en by his mother's zide;
An' after that, two hundred pound
His uncle left en when he died;
'Well now,' cried John, 'it is my bent
To build a house, an' pay noo rent.'
An' Meary gi'ed en her consent.
'Do, do,'--the maidens cried.
'True, true,'--his wife replied.
'Done, done,--a house o' brick or stwone,'
Cried merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.

Then John he call'd vor men o' skill,
An' builders answer'd to his call;
An' met to reckon, each his bill,
Vor vloor an' windor, rwof an' wall.
An' woone did mark it on the groun',
An' woone did think, an' seratch his crown,
An' reckon work, an' write it down:
'Zoo, zoo,'--woone treadesman cried;
'True, true,'--woone mwore replied.
'Aye, aye,--good work, an' have good pay,'
Cried merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.

The work begun, an' trowels rung
An' up the brick'en wall did rise,
An' up the slanten refters sprung,
Wi' busy blows, an' lusty cries;
An woone brought planks to meake a vloor,
An' woone did come wi' durns or door,
An' woone did zaw, an woone did bore.
'Brick, brick,--there down below.
Quick, quick,--why b'ye so slow?'
'Lime, lime,--why we do weaste the time,
Vor merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.'

The house wer up vrom groun' to tun,
An' thatch'd agean the rainy sky,
Wi' windors to the noonday zun,
Where rushy Stour do wander by.
In coo'se he had a pworch to screen
The inside door, when win's wer keen,
An' out avore the pworch, a green.
'Here! here!'--the childern cried;
'Dear! dear!'--the wife replied;
'There, there,--the house is perty feair,'
Cried merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.

Then John he ax'd his friends to warm
His house, an' they, a goodish batch,
Did come alwone, or earm in earm,
All roads, a-meaken vor his hatch:
An' there below the clavy beam
The kettle-spout did zing an' steam;
An' there wer ceakes, an' tea wi' cream.
'Lo! lo!'--the women cried;
'Ho! ho!'--the men replied;
'Health, health,--attend ye wi' your wealth,
Good merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.'

Then John, a-praised, flung up his crown
All back, a-laughen in a roar.
They prais'd his wife, an' she looked down
A-simperen towards the vloor.
Then up they sprung a-dancen reels,
An' up went tooes, an' up went heels,
A-winden roun' in knots an' wheels.
'Brisk, brisk,'--the maidens cried;
'Frisk, frisk,'--the men replied;
'Quick, quick,--there wi' your fiddle-stick,'
Cried merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.

An' when the morrow's zun did sheen
John Bleake beheld, wi' jay an' pride,
His bricken house, an' pworch, an' green,
Above the Stour's rushy zide.
The zwallows left the lwonesome groves
To build below the thatchen oves,
An' robins come vor crumbs o' lwoaves:
'Tweet, tweet,'--the birds all cried;
'Sweet, sweet,'--John's wife replied;
'Dad, dad,'--the childern cried so glad,
To merry Bleake o' Blackmwore.





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