Diary of the Plague Year: Day 88 11 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry: William Barnes (1801 – 1886)

THE WIFE A-LOST

Since I noo mwore do zee your fe{‘a}ce,
    Up ste{‘a}rs or down below,
I’ll zit me in the lwonesome ple{‘a}ce,
    Where flat-bough’d beech do grow;
Below the beeches’ bough, my love,
   Where you did never come,
An’ I don’t look to meet ye now,
     As I do look at hwome.

Since you noo mwore be at my zide,
  In walks in zummer het,
I’ll goo alwone where mist do ride,
  Drough trees a-drippèn wet;
Below the ra{‘i}n-wet bough, my love,
  Where you did never come,
An’ I don’t grieve to miss ye now,
  As I do grieve at hwome.

Since now bezide my dinner-bwoard
  Your va{‘i}ce do never sound,
I’ll eat the bit I can avword,
  A-vield upon the ground;
Below the darksome bough, my love,
  Where you did never dine,
An’ I don’t grieve to miss ye now,
  As I at hwome do pine.

Since I do miss your va{‘i}ce an’ fe{‘a}ce
  In pra{‘y}er at eventide,
I’ll pray wi’ woone sad va{‘i}ce vor gre{‘a}ce
  To goo where you do bide;
Above the tree an’ bough, my love,
  Where you be gone avore,
An’ be a-w{‘a}itèn vor me now,
  To come vor evermwore.

FROM:

The Oxford Library of English Poetry
Volume II
Darley to Heaney

Chosen & edited by John Wain