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

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE MOOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Where yonder leaning hill-side roves
Last Line: But pass no door of man's abode.
Subject(s): Country Life; Moors (land)

Where yonder leaning hill-side roves
With woody dippings, far around,
And many jutting brows, and coves,
Of rugged cliffs, and slopy ground,
Beside the stream that slowly sinks
With reaches tinted from the skies,
And stream-side meadows, lowly lies
The moor, with dikes and sedgy brinks.

About us there the willow shade
Oft play'd beside the water's edge,
And there the rodded bulrush sway'd
Its soft brown club, above the sedge,
And by the aspen or the bridge,
The angler sat, and lightly whipp'd
His little float, that, dancing, dipp'd
From o'er the waveling's little ridge.

There cows, in clusters, rambled wide,
Some hanging low their heads to eat,
Some lying on their heavy side,
Some standing on their two-peaked feet,
Some sheeted white, some dun or black,
Some red, and others brindled dark,
Some marked with milk-white star, or spark,
And ours all white along the back.

There cows, to others, low'd; now here,
Now there, from open heat to shade;
And out among them, far or near,
With quiv'ring scream, the horses neigh'd,
The while some boy, within the mead,
On some high mare might come astride;
And sliding down her bulging side,
Might set her, snorting, free to feed.

And there we saw the busy crow
For mussels down the river play,
And rooks sweep on where men below
Went, water hemm'd, their crooked way,
And gamb'ling boys, in merry train,
On holidays came rambling by
With often-grounded poles, to fly
In high-bow'd flight, o'er dike and drain.

There men at work on pathless grass,
Are seen, though out of hearing, wide,
By neighbour-meeting folk, that pass
The many-roaded upland side.
So some may like the trampled road,
O'er well-rubbed stile-bars, with a gloss,
And some the moor, that some may cross
But pass no door of man's abode.

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