O meadow lea where in childhood free
O’er your grass I’ve wandered, a happy boy,
From my earliest years I had no fears
Of the dream-eyed cows, Old Crebbin’s joy.
But oh, green fields, with your scent of the wildwood
And scenes of childhood so dear to me,
I now must trace my descent from grace
In that pleasant place where we knew such glee.
I wandered at eve when the stars were peeping
And rabbits leaping on the gorsey brows,
And stood spell-bound at the thunderous sound
As over the ground cantered Crebbin’s cows.
The herd were lowing, for home they were going,
My heart like the hooves in excitement did rouse;
And I ran with the others, the sons and the brothers
Throwing clods at the udders of old Crebbins cows.
When we got to the gateway the hindmost cow straightway
Turned round in her tracks (we were not near the cowhouse)
And she lowered her pate and she bellowed in hate,
Nay ‘twas not what I’d expected of Crebbin’s meek cows.
She didn’t run after the rest but ‘mid laughter
She made me look dafter than a ligger-my-craa,
And the look in her eye left me wondering why
I had thought her so shy in the meadows at play.
While my cousins, the asses, looked on, she made passes
At me in the grasses ta’en root like a tree;
And I only could mutter I didn’t like butter,
My heart in a flutter, so quiet was she.
Then she gave a huge sigh as if wondering why
She should waste time on someone she thought but a mouse;
To the sound of much cheering she soon was careering,
Her hooves the dub clearing, to join old Crebbin’s cows !