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.

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