Poetry/John Clare's "Young Lambs"
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
I'm trying to find out the meaning of "trays" and "yoe" mentioned in the poem printed below. I can't find anything on the Internet.
Have you come across this, please - and can you help?
by John Clare (1920)
The spring is coming by a many signs;
The trays are up, the hedges broken down,
That fenced the haystack, and the remnant shines
Like some old antique fragment weathered brown.
And where suns peep, in every sheltered place,
The little early buttercups unfold
A glittering star or two—till many trace
The edges of the blackthorn clumps in gold.
And then a little lamb bolts up behind
The hill and wags his tail to meet the yoe,
And then another, sheltered from the wind,
Lies all his length as dead—and lets me go
Close bye and never stirs but baking lies,
With legs stretched out as though he could not rise.
The word "trays" is possibly a country dialect for "trees"; "yoe" means "ewe." In this poem, Clare has created a very pastoral, rural speaker. Notice the many odd expressions: "by a many signs," "suns peep," "never stirs but baking lies."
Hope this helps.