The Water Crowfoot

O' small-feac'd flow'r that now does bloom
To stud wi' white the shallow Frome,
An' leave the clote to spread his flow'r
On darksome pools o' stwoneless Stour,
When sof'ly ly-rizen airs do cool
The water in the sheenen pool,
The beds o' snow-white buds do gleam
So feair upon the sky-blue stream,
As whitest clouds, a-hangen high
Avore the blueness of the sky;
An' there, at hand, the thin-heair'd cows
In airy sheades o' withy boughs,
Or up bezide the mossy rails,
Do stan' an' zwing their heavy tails,
The while the ripplen stream do flow
Below the dusty bridge's bow;
An' quiv'ren water-gleams do mock
The weaves, upon the sheaded rock;
An' up athirt the copen stwone
The laitren bwoy do lean alone,
A-watchen, wi' a steadvast look,
The vallen waters in the brook,
The while the zand of time do run
An' leave his errand still undone.
An' d oh! as long's thy buds would gleam
Above the softly-sliden stream,
While the sparklen zummer-brooks do run
Below the lofty-climen zun,
I only wish that thou could'st stay
Vor noo man's harm, an' all men's jay.
But no, the waterman u'll weade
They water wi' his deadly bleade,
To slay thee even in thy bloom,
Fair small-feaced flower o' the Frome.

William Barnes
Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect
2nd Collection, London, 1847.

Ranuculus penicillatus pseudofluitans, in the Frome

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