William Barnes

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

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Editor’s Note64 Out a-nuttèn

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Editor’s Note
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.
Critical Apparatus
1 a-hal'd] a-hāl'd 1847a
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3 huome] huom DCC (and so in 42)
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5 al] all 1847a (and so throughout)
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6 cloaz] ⁓, 1847a
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wer] wer' DCC; were 1847a
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8 string,] ⁓‸ DCC
Editor’s Note
8. gipsies. Their fortune-telling activities are recorded in 31.
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10 droo] drough DCC (and so in 35)
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11 vurra] ⁓, 1847a
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trudge;] ⁓, DCC
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14 wood] ⁓, 1847a
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15 thick] ⁓, 1847a
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meet,] ⁓‸ 1847a
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sky;] ⁓, DCC
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16 vine] vind 1847a
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17 in shart an' zunny] among the sharter 1847a
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20 zun up in his] downcast zunlight's 1847a
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21 thick] ripe 1847a
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21 brown] ⁓, 1847a
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22 groun';] grown. DCC; groun'. 1847a
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24 brembles] ⁓, 1847a
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cooden] coodden 1847a
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25 Dick,] ⁓‸ DCC
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26 Nuts vrom his] The nuts vrom 's 1847a
Editor’s Note
28. sniake. See 35 11n.
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29 awoy into a] off into zome girt 1847a
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30 her] the 1847a
Editor’s Note
30–1 a-put … nut. For the rhyme, see WBPG 7.5.2.
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31 nuts] share 1847a
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32 viel'] vield 1847a
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33 groun';] ⁓, 1847a
Editor’s Note
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'.
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34 strik] strick DCC
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35 leaves] ⁓, 1847a
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36 nuttèn.] ⁓, 1847a
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38 bad,] ⁓; 1847a
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39 al] all DCC
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buoys] ⁓, 1847a
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40 leäze] lieaze DCC
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41 musherooms] ⁓, 1847a
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zome] ⁓, 1847a
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44 libbets] ⁓, 1847a
Editor’s Note
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).
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