Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, UNCLE AN' AUNT, by WILLIAM BARNES



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UNCLE AN' AUNT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How happy uncle us'd to be
Last Line: In leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.
Subject(s): Aunts; Farm Life; Gardens & Gardening; Happiness; Summer; Uncles; Agriculture; Farmers; Joy; Delight


How happy uncle us'd to be
O' zummer time, when aunt an' he
O' Zunday evenèns, eärm in eärm,
Did walk about their tiny farm,
While birds did zing an' gnats did zwarm,
Drough grass a'most above their knees,
An' roun' by hedges an' by trees
Wi' leafy boughs a-swaÿen.

His hat wer broad, his cwoat wer brown,
Wi' two long flaps a-hangèn down;
An' vrom his knee went down a blue
Knit stockèn to his buckled shoe;
An' aunt did pull her gown-taïl drough
Her pocket-hole, to keep en neat,
As she mid walk, or teäke a seat
By leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.

An' vu'st they'd goo to zee their lots
O' pot-eärbs in the geärden plots;
An' he, i'-may-be, by the hatch,
Would zee aunt's vowls upon a patch
O' zeeds, an' vow if he could catch
Em wi' his gun, they shoudden vlee
Noo mwore into their roostèn tree
Wi' leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.

An' then vrom geärden they did pass
Drough orcha'd out to zee the grass,
An' if the apple-blooth, so white,
Mid be at all a-touch'd wi' blight;
An' uncle, happy at the zight,
Did guess what cider there mid be
In all the orcha'd, tree wi' tree
Wi' tutties all a-swaÿèn.

An' then they stump'd along vrom there
A-vield, to zee the cows an' meäre;
An' she, when uncle come in zight,
Look'd up, an' prick'd her ears upright,
An' whicker'd out wi' all her might;
An' he, a-chucklèn, went to zee
The cows below the sheädy tree
Wi' leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.

An' last ov all, they went to know
How vast the grass in meäd did grow;
An' then aunt zaid 'twer time to goo
In hwome, – a-holdèn up her shoe,
To show how wet he wer wi' dew.
An' zoo they toddled hwome to rest,
Lik' doves a-vleèn to their nest
In leafy boughs a-swaÿèn.





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