Vagrant's Song

(With an Old Wessex Refrain)

I

When a dark-eyed dawn
Crawls forth, cloud-drawn,
And starlings doubt the night-time's close;
And " three months yet,"
They seem to fret,
" Before we cease us slaves of snows,
And sun returns
To loose the burns,
And this wild woe called Winter goes!" —
O a hollow tree
Is as good for me
As a house where the back-brand glows!
Che-hane, mother; che-hane, mother,
As a house where the back-brand glows!

II

When autumn brings
A whirr of wings,
Among the evergreens around,
And sundry thrills
About their quills
Awe rooks, and misgivings abound,
And the joyless pines
In leaning lines
Protect from gates the lower ground,
O a hollow tree
Is as good for me
As a house of a thousand pound!
Che-hane, mother; che-hane, mother,
As a house of a thousand pound!
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