Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ECLOGUE: TWO FARMS IN WOONE, by WILLIAM BARNES



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ECLOGUE: TWO FARMS IN WOONE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You'll lose your measter soon, then, I do vind
Last Line: Why then we sartainly must starve. Good night!
Subject(s): Farm Life; Hunger; Labor & Laborers; Poverty; Agriculture; Farmers; Work; Workers


Robert
You'll lose your meäster soon, then, I do vind;
He's gwaïn to leäve his farm, as I do larn,
At Miëlmas; an' I be sorry vor'n.
What, is he then a little bit behind?

Thomas
O no! at Miëmas his time is up,
An' thik there sly wold fellow, Farmer Tup,
A-fearen that he'd get a bit o' bread,
'V a-been an' took his farm here over's head.

Robert
How come the Squire to treat your meäster zoo?

Thomas
Why, he an' meäster had a word or two.

Robert
Is Farmer Tup a-gwaïn to leäve his farm?
He han't a-got noo young woones vor to zwarm.
Poor over-reachen man! why to be sure
He don't want all the farms in parish, do er?

Thomas
Why ees, all ever he can come across.
Last year, you know, he got away the eäcre
Or two o' ground a-rented by the beäker,
An' what the butcher had to keep his hoss;
An' vo'k do beä'nhan' now, that meäster's lot
Will be a-drow'd along wi' what he got.

Robert
That's it. In theäse here pleäce there used to be
Eight farms avorse they were a-drow'd together,
An' eight farm-housen. Now how many be there?
Why after this, you know, there'll be but dree.

Thomas
An' now they don't imploy so many men
Upon the land as work'd upon it then,
Vor all they midden crop it worse, nor stock it.
The lan'lord, to be sure, is into pocket;
Vor half the housen be-en down, 'tis clear,
Don't cast so much to keep 'em up, a'near.
But then the jobs o' work in wood an' morter
Do come I 'spose, you know, a little shorter;
An' many that wer little farmers then,
Be now a-come all down to leäb'ren men;
An' many leäb'ren men, wi' empty hands,
Do live lik' drones upon the workers' lands.

Robert
Aye, if a young chap, woonce, had any wit
To try an' screäpe together zome vew pound,
To buy some cows an' teäke a bit o' ground,
He mid become a farmer, bit by bit.
But hang it! now the farms be all so big,
An' bits o' groun' so skeä'ce, woone got no scope;
If woone could seäve a poun', woone coudden hope
To keep noo live stock but a little pig.

Thomas
Why here were vourteen men, zome years agoo,
A-kept a-drashen half the winter drough;
An' now, woone's drashels be'n't a bit o' good.
They got machines to drashy wi', plague teäke em!
An' he that vu'st vound out the way to meäke em,
I'd drash his busy zides vor'n if I could!
Avore they took away our work, they ought
To meäke us up the bread our leäbour bought.

Robert
They hadden need meäke poor men's leäbour less,
Vor work a'ready is uncommon skeä'ce.

Thomas
Ah! Robert! times be badish vor the poor;
An' worse will come, I be afeärd, if Moore
In theäse year's almanick do tell us right.

Robert
Why then we sartainly must starve. Good night!





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