Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BLACKBIRD, by WILLIAM BARNES



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THE BLACKBIRD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ov all the birds upon the wing
Last Line: Where I do hear the blackbird's zong.
Subject(s): Birds; Blackbirds; Singing & Singers; Spring; Songs


Ov all the birds upon the wing
Between the zunny show'rs o' spring, –
Vor all the lark, a-swingèn high,
Mid zing below a cloudless sky,
An' sparrows, clust'rèn roun' the bough,
Mid chatter to the men at plough, –
The blackbird, whisslèn in among
The boughs, do zing the gaÿest zong.

Vor we do hear the blackbird zing
His sweetest ditties in the spring,
When nippèn win's noo mwore do blow
Vrom northern skies, wi' sleet or snow,
But dreve light doust along between
The leäne-zide hedges, thick an' green;
An' zoo the blackbird in among
The boughs do zing the gaÿest zong.

'Tis blithe, wi' newly-open'd eyes,
To zee the mornèn's ruddy skies;
Or, out a-haulèn frith or lops
Vrom new-plesh'd hedge or new vell'd copse,
To rest at noon in primrwose beds
Below the white-bark'd woak trees' heads;
But there's noo time, the whole daÿ long,
Lik' evenèn wi' the blackbird's zong.

Vor when my work is all a-done
Avore the zettèn o' the zun,
Then blushèn Jeäne do walk along
The hedge to meet me in the drong,
An' staÿ till all is dim an' dark
Bezides the ashen tree's white bark;
An' all bezides the blackbird's shrill
An 'runnèn evenèn-whissle's still.

An' there in bwoyhood I did rove
Wi' pryèn eyes along the drove
To vind the nest the blackbird meäde
O' grass-stalks in the high bough's sheäde:
Or clim' aloft, wi' clingèn knees,
Vor crows' aggs up in swaÿèn trees,
While frighten'd blackbirds down below
Did chatter o' their little foe.
An' zoo there's noo pleäce lik' the drong,
Where I do hear the blackbird's zong.





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