Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PICKEN O' SCROFF, by WILLIAM BARNES

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PICKEN O' SCROFF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh! The wood wer a-vell'd in the copse
Last Line: The poor childern a-pickèn o' scroff.
Subject(s): Children; Farm Life; Childhood; Agriculture; Farmers

Oh! the wood wer a-vell'd in the copse,
An' the moss-bedded primrwose did blow;
An' vrom tall-stemmèd trees' leafless tops,
There did lie but slight sheäes down below.
An' the sky wer a-showèn, in drough
By the tree-stems, the deepest o' blue,
Wi' a light that did vall on an' off
The dry ground, a-strew'd over wi' scroff.

There the hedge that were leätely so high,
Wer a-plush'd, an' along by the zide,
Where the waggon 'd a-haul'd the wood by,
There did reach the deep wheelrouts, a-dried.
An' the groun' wi' the sticks wer bespread,
Zome a-cut off alive, an' zome dead,
An' vor burnèn, well wo'th reäkèn off,
By the childern a-pickèn o' scroff.

In the tree-studded leäze, where the woak
Wer a-spreadèn his head out around,
There the scrags that the wind had a-broke,
Wer a-lyèn about on the ground,
Or the childern, wi' little red hands,
Wer a-tyèn em up in their bands;
Vor noo squier or farmer turn'd off
Little childern a-pickèn o' scroff.

There wer woone bloomèn child wi' a cloak
On her shoulders, as green as the ground;
An' another, as gray as the woak,
Wi' a bwoy in a brown frock, a-brown'd.
An' woone got up, in plaÿ, vor to taït,
On a woak-limb, a-growèn out straïght.
But she soon wer a-taïted down off,
By her meätes out a-pickèn o' scroff.

When they childern do grow to staïd vo'k,
An' goo out in the worold, all wide
Vrom the copse, an' the zummerleäze woak,
Where at last all their elders ha' died,
They wull then vind it touchèn to bring,
To their minds, the sweet springs o' their spring,
Back avore the new vo'k did turn off
The poor childern a-pickèn o' scroff.

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