The brook along the Romsey road With cresses fringed about, Holds waving fins and streaming weeds And bubbles bright as crystal beads And root-bound reaches whither speeds Startled the shadowy trout.
As southward runs the Romsey road The sunny wind blows harsh With yellow shale and whirling sands That sting the faces and the hands Of us who leave the wooded lands Of pleasant Michelmarsh.
Where southward runs the Romsey road Southward lagged Betsey-Jane Clutching my hand, and still the grit Lay rough between our fingers, it Smarted on Betsey’s face and knit Her little brows with pain.
A bend was in the Romsey road, Shut off by elms the wind Was stilled, below a bridge the brookCame dimpling forth, and Betsey shook Her fingers free and ran to look,— I held her frock behind.
On the far shore a wag-tail dipped His beak,—we gazed below, And Betsey was content to standAnd see the trout and hold my hand, And watch them wave above the sand Until we turned to go.
The brook along the Romsey road With cresses fringed about Ran all day long in Betsey’s head,She played at wag-tails while she fed, And even as she went to bed She babbled of the trout.