Spring's Messengers

(Spring is late all over the country... so a nostalgic look at an early (false?) Spring from Clare)

Where slanting banks are always with the sun
The daisy is in blossom even now;
And where warm patches by the hedges run
The cottager when coming home from plough
Brings home a cowslip root in flower to set.
Thus ere the Christmas goes the spring is met
Setting up little tents about the fields
In sheltered spots. - Primroses when they get
Behind the wood's old roots, where ivy shields
Their crimpled, curdled leaves, will shine and hide.
Cart ruts and horses' footings scarcely yield
A slur for boys, just crizzled and that's all.
Frost shoots his needles by the small dyke side,
And snow in scarce a feather's seen to fall.

 Posted by Picasa

The Yellowhammer

When shall I see the white-thorn leaves agen,
And yellowhammers gathering the dry bents
By the dyke side, on stilly moor or fen,
Feathered with love and nature's good intents?
Rude is the tent this architect invents,
Rural the place, with cart ruts by dyke side.
Dead grass, horse hair, and downy-headed bents
Tied to dead thistles--she doth well provide,
Close to a hill of ants where cowslips bloom
And shed oer meadows far their sweet perfume.
In early spring, when winds blow chilly cold,
The yellowhammer, trailing grass, will come
To fix a place and choose an early home,
With yellow breast and head of solid gold.
 Posted by Picasa

From 'June' (in anticipation).

Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun. Posted by Picasa

A fragment...

Clouds rack and drive before the wind
In shapes and forms of every kind
Like waves that rise without the roars
And rocks that guard untrodden shores
Now castles pass majestic bye
And ships in peaceful havens lie
These gone ten thousand shapes ensue
For ever beautiful and new
 Posted by Picasa

The Lament of Swordy Well (Final)

Carry's "Wet Meadow" brings to an end Clare's Lament.

Do visit Swaddywell if you are in the Helpston vicinity, it is very much worth the effort.

And if I could find a friend
With no deciet to sham
Who'd send me some few sheep to tend
And leave me as I am
To keep my hills from cart and plough
And strife and mongerel men
And as spring found me find em now
I should look up agen

And save his Lordships woods that past
The day of danger dwell
Of all the fields I am the last
That my own face can tell
Yet what with stone pits delving holes
And strife to buy and sell
My name will quickly be the whole
Thats left of swordy well Posted by Picasa

The Lament of Swordy Well (VIII)

Carry's "Landfill site" (www.carryakroyd.co.uk).
Would this have happened to Swaddywell without the Langdyke Trust?

Lord bless ye I was kind to all
And poverty in me
Could always find a humble stall
A rest and lodging free
Poor bodys with a hungry ass
I welcomed many a day
And gave him tether room to grass
And never said him nay

There was a time my bit of ground
Made freemen of the slave
The ass no pinard dare to pound
When I his supper gave
The gipseys camp was not afraid
I made his dwelling free
Till vile enclousure came and made
A parish slave of me

The gipseys further on sojourn
No parish bounds they like
No sticks I own and would earth burn
I shouldnt own a dyke
I am no friend to lawless work
Nor would a rebel be
And why I call a christian turk
Is they are turks to me
 Posted by Picasa