T. L. Burton and K. K. Ruthven (eds), The Complete Poems of William Barnes, Vol. 1: Poems in the Broad Form of the Dorset Dialect
Editor’s Note64 Out a-nuttèn
- Critical Apparatus1Laste wik, when we'd a-hal'd the crops,
- 2We went a-nuttèn out in copse,
- Critical Apparatus3Wi' nuttèn-bags to bring huome vull,
- 4An' beaky nuttèn-crooks to pull
- Critical Apparatus5The bushes down; an' al ō's wore
- Critical Apparatus6Wold cloaz that wer in rags avore,
- 7An' look'd, as we did skip an' zing,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus8Lik' merry gipsies in a string,
- 9 A-gwâin a-nuttèn.
- Critical Apparatus10Zoo droo the stubble, auver rudge
- Critical Apparatus11An' vurra we begun to trudge;
- 12An' Sal an' Nan agreed to pick
- 13Along wi' I, an' Poll wi' Dick;
- Critical Apparatus14An' they went wher the wold wood high
- Critical Apparatus15An' thick did meet, an' hide the sky;
- Critical Apparatus16But we thought we mid vine zome good
- Critical Apparatus17Ripe nuts in shart an' zunny wood,
- 18 The best var nuttèn.
- 19We voun' zome bushes that did fiace
- Critical Apparatus20The zun up in his highest pliace,
- Critical Apparatus21Wher clusters hung so thick an' brown
- Critical Apparatus22That some slipp'd shell an' vell to groun'
- 23But Sal wi' I zoo hitch'd her lag
- Critical Apparatus24In brembles that she cooden wag;
- Critical Apparatus25While Poll kept cluose to Dick, an' stole
- Critical Apparatus26Nuts vrom his hinder pocket-hole,
- 27 While he did nutty.
- Editor’s Note28An' Nanny thought she zeed a sniake,
- Critical Apparatus29An' jump'd awoy into a briake,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus30An' tore her bag wher she'd a-put
- Critical Apparatus31Her nuts, an' shatter'd ev'ry nut.
- pg 112Critical Apparatus32An' out in viel' we al zot roun'
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus33A white-rin'd woak upon the groun';
- Critical Apparatus34Wher yoller evemen light did strik
- Critical Apparatus35Droo yoller leaves that still wer thick
- Critical Apparatus36 In time o' nuttèn.
- 37An' tuold ov al the luck we had
- Critical Apparatus38Among the bushes, good an' bad,
- Critical Apparatus39Till al the mâidens left the buoys
- Critical Apparatus40An' skipp'd about the leäze al woys
- Critical Apparatus41Var musherooms to car back zome
- 42A treat var faether in at huome.
- 43Zoo off we trudg'd wi' cloaz in slents
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus44An' libbets jis' lik' Jack-o-lents,
- 45 Vrom copse a-nuttèn.
Printings. DCC, 1 Oct. 1840, 3; 1844 159–61; 1847a 177–9.
Prosodic features. Forty-five lines in iambic tetrameter, grouped in five nine-line stanzas; for other poems in nine-line stanzas, see 24n. Like 75, 64 rhymes aabbccdde, where e (a shorter line) is a variable refrain which in 64 echoes its title. For other poems whose refrains echo their titles, see 2n.
In the farming calendar, nutting took place after harvesting: it was the subject of a poem by Wordsworth (1990: 153–4) and a sonnet by Clare (2004: 131). 'Some of the [hazel] nuts' collected by permission from the woods of landowners 'were put by for Christmas, but most of them were sold to dyers' (WBP, vol. i, p. x, endnote). On the sexual innuendo of gathering nuts, see GI lxxxiii.
1 a-hal'd] a-hāl'd 1847a
5 al] all 1847a (and so throughout)
6 cloaz] ⁓, 1847a
wer] wer' DCC; were 1847a
8 string,] ⁓‸ DCC
11 vurra] ⁓, 1847a
trudge;] ⁓, DCC
14 wood] ⁓, 1847a
15 thick] ⁓, 1847a
meet,] ⁓‸ 1847a
sky;] ⁓, DCC
16 vine] vind 1847a
17 in shart an' zunny] among the sharter 1847a
20 zun up in his] downcast zunlight's 1847a
21 thick] ripe 1847a
21 brown] ⁓, 1847a
22 groun';] grown. DCC; groun'. 1847a
24 brembles] ⁓, 1847a
cooden] coodden 1847a
25 Dick,] ⁓‸ DCC
26 Nuts vrom his] The nuts vrom 's 1847a
29 awoy into a] off into zome girt 1847a
30 her] the 1847a
30–1 a-put … nut. For the rhyme, see WBPG 7.5.2.
31 nuts] share 1847a
32 viel'] vield 1847a
33 groun';] ⁓, 1847a
33. white-rin'd woak. When revising 6 13–14 for 1847a, Barnes added 'white-rin'd woaktrees' (Apparatus). Neither phrase is likely to refer to Quercus alba, 'white oak', because that tree is native to America. The entry on rine in the 1844 Glossary quotes Spenser's description in The Shepheardes Calender (1579) of an 'aged . . . Oake' whose 'rine' was 'marred' with 'gray mosse' (Spenser 1960: 22). 'A woak wi' grey-white bark' is glimpsed in 'The Railroad [II]' (1859a 116; WBP i. 309). White-rin'd may thus mean 'covered in grey (i.e. whiteish) moss'.
34 strik] strick DCC
35 leaves] ⁓, 1847a
36 nuttèn.] ⁓, 1847a
38 bad,] ⁓; 1847a
39 al] all DCC
buoys] ⁓, 1847a
40 leäze] lieaze DCC
41 musherooms] ⁓, 1847a
zome] ⁓, 1847a
44 libbets] ⁓, 1847a
44. Jack-o-lents. In his note on 125 Barnes spells this name 'Jack of Lint' and glosses it as 'a Man of Rags, a Scarecrow'. 'Jack-a-lent' was a 'thinly lean and ragged figure' who featured in the 'wonted procession' to mark 'the beginning of Lent'; and the fact that 'a scare-crow . . . was formerly called in Blackmore Jack-a-lent' makes it 'likely that the Lent Jack had had his day in Dorset' (1886b 3–4). The 1844 Glossary mentions Henry Fielding's novel Joseph Andrews (1742), which contains a description of a Dorset scarecrow. Barnes was aware also of Jack a Lent his Beginning and Entertainment (1620), by John Taylor, whom Robert Southey had drawn attention to in his book about 'uneducated poets' (1886b 3; Southey 1831: 15–87).