Ballad

Winds sing their ancient dittys through the trees
Where old ash dotterels keep their pleached keys
& snubby oaks their brown & russet leaves
Round which the old mans beard its down-flower weaves
That meet the eye in winters naked hours
As if deckt out in artificial flowers

1

One summer's sunday morning
Just by the break o' day
Dew-drops the grass adorning
Shone on the meadow way
I took my mornings rambles
Right early i' the morn
Down the hedge row hung wi' brambles
And o'er fields o' standing corn.

2

And there I saw a bonny lass
A comeing from the town
And tripping o'er the moist green grass
Bedecked in sunday gown
Why in such haste my bonny lass
And early in the day
At yonder town kind sir she said
I'm going to spend the day.

3

The bee was on the buttercup
Still clinging fast asleep
The grasshopper awake and up
Was springing in a leap
Sweet linnets they were in the bush
The lark was in the cloud
And gently waved the bright bullrush
Where the lock-pens roared aloud

4

She left the path to let me pass
— For reasons just the same
I turned aside among the grass
My face burnt like to shame
The village spire was plainly seen
Some poplar trees behind
The awthorn bush was more then green
That wavered to the wind

5

We went by sheep and grazing stock
And then we crossed the corn
The gilt hands on the old church clock
Was six that sunny morn
I'd gone too far to wander back
By meadow field and grove
Her tongue was loosed to pleasant clack
And mine was still with love

6

From the brown land the sooty crow
Flew up and gave a quark
Magpies from white thorn bush did go
And noised as they would talk.
I stooped down to tie her shoe
And knock her pattens too
'Twas just the pleasant way to woo
What honest love should do

7

She went to see her friends that day
Her mother at the door
Good byed her out o' sight the way
Till we were seen no more
She took my arm — I little knew
What in her bright eye shone
We went the way and passed for two
And both returned as one —
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