Minden House

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'Twer when the vo'k wer out to hawl
  A vield o' haÿ a day in June,
  An' when the zun begun to vall
  Toward the west in afternoon,
  Woone only wer a-left behind
  To bide indoors, at hwome, an' mind
  The house, an' answer vo'k avore
  The geäte or door,--young Fanny Deäne.

  The aïr 'ithin the geärden wall
  Wer deadly still, unless the bee
  Did hummy by, or in the hall
  The clock did ring a-hettèn dree,
  An' there, wi' busy hands, inside
  The iron ceäsement, oben'd wide,
  Did zit an' pull wi' nimble twitch
  Her tiny stitch, young Fanny Deäne.

  As there she zot she heärd two blows
  A-knock'd upon the rumblèn door,
  An' laid azide her work, an' rose,
  An' walk'd out feäir, athirt the vloor;
  An' there, a-holdèn in his hand
  His bridled meäre, a youth did stand,
  An' mildly twold his neäme and pleäce
  Avore the feäce o' Fanny Deäne.

  He twold her that he had on hand
  Zome business on his father's zide,
  But what she didden understand;
  An' zoo she ax'd en if he'd ride
  Out where her father mid be vound,
  Bezide the plow, in Cowslip Ground;
  An' there he went, but left his mind
  Back there behind, wi' Fanny Deäne.

  An' oh! his hwomeward road wer gaÿ
  In aïr a-blowèn, whiff by whiff,
  While sheenèn water-weäves did plaÿ
  An' boughs did swaÿ above the cliff;
  Vor Time had now a-show'd en dim
  The jaÿ it had in store vor him;
  An' when he went thik road ageän
  His errand then wer Fanny Deäne.

  How strangely things be brought about
  By Providence, noo tongue can tell,
  She minded house, when vo'k wer out,
  An' zoo mus' bid the house farewell;
  The bees mid hum, the clock mid call
  The lwonesome hours 'ithin the hall,
  But in behind the woaken door,
  There's now noo mwore a Fanny Deäne.

© William Barnes