Summer Evening (IV)

Neath the willow's wavy boughs,
Dolly, singing, milks her cows;
While the brook, as bubbling by,
Joins in murmuring melody.
Dick and Dob, with jostling joll,
Homeward drag the rumbling roll;
Whilom Ralph, for Doll to wait,
Lolls him o'er the pasture gate.
Swains to fold their sheep begin;
Dogs loud barking drive them in.
Hedgers now along the road
Homeward bend beneath their load;
And from the long furrowed seams,
Ploughmen loose their weary teams:
Ball, with urging lashes wealed,
Still so slow to drive a-field,
Eager blundering from the plough,
Wants no whip to drive him now;
At the stable-door he stands,
Looking round for friendly hands

1 comment:

Roger R. said...

Just wondering if Dolly, Dick and Ralph realised that they were being immortalised in this way, or are these pseudonyms? Dob(bin) of course figures elsewhere, but does Ball?

Wonderful alliteration again: "willow's wavy... brook bubbling by... murmuring melody... jostling joll... rumbling roll". Until re-reading this early poem for this site, I had forgotten Clare's alliterative skills. The beauty of the lines catches me afresh.