William Barnes Poems

Poems » william barnes

William Barnes
William Barnes (22nd February 1801 - 7th October 1886) was an English writer, poet, minister, and philologist. He wrote over 800 poems, some in Dorset dialect and much other work including a comprehensive English grammar quoting from more than 70 different languages. He was born at Rushay, Dorset, the son of a farmer. After being a solicitor's clerk and a schoolmaster, he was ordained into the Church, in which he served various cures, in 1847. He first contributed the Dorset dialect poems for which he is best known to periodicals, including MacMillan's Magazine; a collection in book form Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, was published in 1844. A second collection Hwomely Rhymes followed in 1858, and a third collection in 1863; a combined edition appeared in 1879. A "translation", Poems of Rural Life in Common English had already appeared in 1868. His philological works include Philological Grammar (1854), Se Gefylsta, an Anglo-Saxon Delectus (1849). Tiw, or a View of Roots (1862), and a Glossary of Dorset Dialect (1863). Among his other writings is a slim volume on "the Advantages of a More Common Adoption of The Mathematics as a Branch of Education, or Subject of Study", published in 1834. He was a friend of Thomas Hardy, Alfred Tennyson and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Barnes had a strong interest in language; he was fluent in Greek, Latin and several modern European languages. He called for the purification of English by removal of Greek, Latin and foreign influences so that it might be better understood by those without a classical education. For example, the word "photograph" (

the wife a-lost
Since I noo mwore do zee your feäce,
Up steärs or down below,
I'll zit me in... [read poem]
leaves of grass, section 14, poem 6
A child said, *What is the grass?* fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the c... [read poem]
the drover's sweetheart
An hour before the sun goes down
Behind the ragged boughs,
I go across the little run... [read poem]
o captain! my captain!
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize w... [read poem]
the men we might have been
When God's wrath-cloud is o'er me,
Affrighting heart and mind;
When days seem dark bef... [read poem]
black bonnet
A day of seeming innocence,
A glorious sun and sky,
And, just above my picket fence,... [read poem]
cameron's heart
The diggings were just in their glory when Alister Cameron came,
With recommendations, he told ... [read poem]
faces in the street
They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that mi... [read poem]
It was somewhere in September, and the sun was going down,
When I came, in search of `copy,' to... [read poem]
on the beach at night
On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.... [read poem]
i saw in louisiana a live-oak growing
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branc... [read poem]
beat! beat! drums!
Beat! beat! drums! -- blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows -- through doors -- burst like a ... [read poem]
the teams
A cloud of dust on the long white road,
And the teams go creeping on
Inch by inch with... [read poem]
when i heard the learn'd astronomer
When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns befor... [read poem]
when your pants begin to go
When you wear a cloudy collar and a shirt that isn't white,
And you cannot sleep for thinking h... [read poem]
the shanty on the rise
When the caravans of wool-teams climbed the ranges from the West,
On a spur among the mountains... [read poem]
vigil strange i kept on the field one night
Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side th... [read poem]
on the wallaby
Now the tent poles are rotting, the camp fires are dead,
And the possums may gambol in trees ov... [read poem]
the world below the brine
The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-... [read poem]
the never-never country
By homestead, hut, and shearing-shed,
By railroad, coach, and track --
By lonely grave... [read poem]
the song of the darling river
The skies are brass and the plains are bare,
Death and ruin are everywhere --
And all that... [read poem]
the captain of the push
As the night was falling slowly down on city, town and bush,
From a slum in Jones's Alley slope... [read poem]
the things we dare not tell
The fields are fair in autumn yet, and the sun's still shining there,
But we bow our heads and ... [read poem]
the dalliance of the eagles
Skirting the river road, (my forenoon walk, my rest,)
Skyward in air a sudden muffled sound, th... [read poem]
the great grey plain
Out west, where the stars are brightest,
Where the scorching north wind blows,
And the... [read poem]
a noiseless patient spider
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'... [read poem]
i hear america singing
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as ... [read poem]
scots of the riverina
The boy cleared out to the city from his home at harvest time --
They were Scots of the Riverin... [read poem]
to hannah
Spirit girl to whom 'twas given
To revisit scenes of pain,
From the hell I thought was... [read poem]
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