Child Harold (lines 864-872)

[Image : Solitude (c) Rosiehardy]

Abscence in love is worse than any fate
Summer is winter’s desert & the spring
Is like a ruined city, desolate.
Joy dies & hope retires on feeble wing;
Nature sinks heedless — birds unheeded sing.
‘Tis solitude in cities — crowds all move
Like living death — though all to life still cling —
The strongest bitterest thing that life can prove
Is woman’s undisguise of hate & love.


Lionel Little said...

Interesting how when punctuation is added to Clare the meaning changes.
The dash between 'cities' and 'crowds' gives a different meaning to where I thought it belonged; between the 'crowds' and 'all'.

Roger R. said...

Hi Lionel...

Certainly so. I've just been commenting on some pretty obscure Clare poems that are currently being translated into Italian by Simona, a Society member, and made exactly the same point in my comments.

Usually I post here without punctuation, but occasionally I copy a published version (which as we all know is not necessarily 'correct')