Man's Mortality

Partly from the Scripture
Written in Sickness

Our years look behind us like tales that are told
Our days like to shadows keep passing us bye
That takes a short step to our pillow of mould
& rise on lifes stage like to vapours & dye
As frail as the grass of the meadow is man
His youth like the blossom of summer comes on
That smiles to the sunbeam till autumn turns wan
& the wind passes oer it & bids it be gone
Thus one generation keeps passing away
& new generations their places retain
& the friends of our bosom that leave us to day
Shall neer fill the circle of friendship again
They go & their lives as if never begun
In the sleep of the grave shall be heard of no more
In future transactions done under the sun
No portion is left them to act as before
Their exit they make to that awful unknown
& vain we conjecture were now they sojourn
The worlds ways & wealth is no longer their own
To their houses & lands they shall never return
All nature tho sown with mortalitys seed
Some parts will a spark of long living retain
As branches the tree thats hewn down will succeed
But man is too mortal to flourish again
Lifes lamp in unscertainty burneth away
A weak waining vapour of doubtfullest light
With cares ever ready to darken its ray
Till death the extinguisher hides it in night
Our friends & our kindred we see them depart
Scant peace of our souls daily tearing away
The dearest of pledges placd nearest the heart
Their memory is all we preserve from decay
Love sweetest of Joy is most bitter to trust
Fates errand before us is constantly set
A time is in waiting to turn into dust
The fairest of faces that love ever met
Death makes no distinction he slays as in night
The wise & the foolish the king & his slave
& beauty that majic of empty delight
All fall at his footstool of terrors—the grave

A Ramble by the Riverside (II)

A ramble by the river side
No walk so sweet can be
To see the creeping waters glide
And hear the humble bee

There's nothing else so fine to see
As a fast flowing river
Hemm'd by green banks continually
And winding on for ever

There nature lives devoid of strife
There boats sail on the tide
There's nought so sweet to me in life
As a walk by the rivers side

A Ramble by the Riverside (I of II)

A ramble by the rivers side
In Spring times dewy eve
Where teal and widgeon turn to hide
In reeds which them receive

Tis sweet at eventide to go
By rivers winding rim
Where dark and deep the waters flow
And shoals of fish do swim

A ramble by the rivers side
Is pleasant in the summer
Where dragon flies on gauze wings hide
And the bee's a minstrel hummer

Song: One gloomy eve...

One gloomy eve I roamed about
Neath Oxey’s hazel bowers
While timid hares were daring out
To crop the dewy flowers
And soothing was the scene to me
Right placid was my soul
My breast was calm as summers sea
When waves forget to roll
But short was even’s placid smile
My startled soul to charm
When Nelly lightly skipt the stile
With milk pail on her arm
One careless look on me she flung
As bright as parting day
And like a hawk from covert sprung
It pounced my peace away

Thine's the dandelion-flowers

[Betony in the foreground]

Thines the dandelion-flowers
Gilt wi dew like suns wi showers
Hare bells thine & bugles blue
& cuckoo flowers all sweet to view
Thy wild woad on each road we see
& medicinal betony
By thy wood side railing reeves
Wi antique mullins flannel leaves
These tho mean the flowers of wastes
Planted here in natures haste
Each prove on the zerning eye
Her lovd wild variety
Each have charms in natures book
I cannot pass wi out a look
& thou canst boast thy herbs & plants
Which only gardens culture wants

(From Cauper [Cowper] Green)

The Dew falls...

The Dew falls on the weed & on the flower
The rose & thistle bathe their heads in dew
The lowliest heart may have its prospering hour
The saddest bosom meet its wishes true
E'en I may joy love happiness renew
Though not the sweets of my first early days
When one sweet face was all the loves I knew
& my soul trembled on her eyes to gaze
Whose very censure seemed intended praise

(From Child Harold)

Ballad: The Rose of the World

The Rose Of The World Was Dear Mary To Me
In The Days Of My Boyhood & Youth
I Told Her In Songs Where My Heart Wished To Be
& My Songs Where The Language of Truth
I Told Her In Looks When I Gazed In Her Eyes
That Mary Was Dearest To Me

I Told Her In Words & The Language Of Sighs
Where My Whole Hearts Affections Would Be
I Told her in love that all nature was true
I convinced her that nature was kind
But love in his trials had labour to do
Mary would be in the mind

Mary met me in spring where the speedwell knots grew
& the king cups were shining like flame
I chose her all colours red yellow & blue
But my love was one hue & the same
Spring summer & winter & all the year through
In the sunshine the shower & the blast
I told the same tale & she knows it all true
& Mary's my blossom at last

(From Child Harold)

It is in this poem that Clare moves from capitalising each word back to a more regular use of English. It is virtually certain therefore, that it was composed whilst he was in High Beech, Epping.

Song: Scenes of love

Scenes of love and days of pleasure
I must leave them all lassie
Scenes of love and hours of leisure
All are gone for aye lassie
No more thy velvet bordered dress
My fond and longing een shall bless
Thou lily in a wilderness
And who shall love thee then lassie

Long I've watched thy look so tender
Often clasped thy waist so slender
Heaven in thy love defend her
When I'm o'er the sea lassie
By the falls of proud Niagara
Soon I'll hear the roar lassie
Then I'll think of bonny Mary
On a foreign shore lassie

Where the dog star burns and broils
And the chasms chaldron boils
Whose spray the very heaven assails
There I'm going to bide lassie
By all the faith I've shown afore thee
I'll sware by more than that lassie
By heaven and earth I'll still adore thee
Though we should part for aye lassie

By thy infant years so loving
By thy womans love so moving
That white breast thy goodness proving
I'm thine through aye and all lassie
By the sun that shines for ever
By loves light and its own giver
That loveth truth and erreth never
I'm thine for aye and all lassie

Jane Wilson

Jane summer is with thee thy fancy may choose

Any amusement with thy sister the muse
Nor meet disappointment in walking the fields
Endearing the pleasure that innocence yields
Where wild flowers are blossoming sweet in their joy
In Natures own scene where pleasures ne'er cloy
Light as a summer day softly you tread
Silent as evening o'er the daisy's bed
O'er meadows by Woodside by Brooklets she speeds
Ne'er gathering one of vain folly's weeds —

[One of Clare's interesting Acrostic poems]

Meet Me Tonight

Oh meet me to night by the bright starlight
Now the pleasant spring's begun
My own dear maid by the greenwood shade
I' the crimson set o' the sun
Meet me to night

The sun he goes down wi a ruby crown
To a gold and crimson bed
And the falling dew from heaven so blue
Hang[s] like pearls on Phoebe's head
Love leave the town

Come thou with me neath the green leaf tree
We'll crop the bonny sweet brere
Oh come dear maid neath the hazle wood shade
For love invites us here
Come then wi' me

The Owl pops scarce seen from the Ivy green
Wi' his spectacles on I ween
See the moon above and stars twinkle love
Better time was never seen
Oh come my queen

The fox he stops and down he pops
His head beneath the grass
The birds are gone we're all alone
Oh stay my bonny lass
Come! Oh come!

Amanda's My Only Joy

Green hills of nature again I see
The pilewort returns to the hum of the bee
Again I sit on your verdant swells
And listen to the shake of the cowslip bells
And see there five brown spots lie
Within each golden vest
Like light in either eye
Or the mole on woman’s breast
While thrushes sing to cheer the spring
And charm from east to west

Green hills of nature again I see
The dews on the flower and the leaf on the tree
Again I retire to your valleys and swells
And listen the hum o' the bees like bells
That sing round the pilewort suns
And bow like weighty things
Cowslips where the water runs
And the bee for honey clings
The bright green grass the sky like glass
And the brook with the crystal springs

Come dear Amanda come with me
Again the delights o' the spring to see
Where the valley warps and the green hills swell
Hear the bees hum round the cowslips bell
With thy bonny face so fair
And thy sweet hazel eye
With thy long auburn hair
And thy lips vermil dye
I'll kiss thy dear cheek to the end of the week
For Amanda's my only joy