'Tis autumn now, and nature's scenes,
The pleachy fields and yellowing tree,
Lose all their blooming hues and greens;
But nature finds no change in me.
The fading woods, the russet grange,
The hues of nature may desert;
But naught in me shall find a change
To wrong the angel of my heart.

For Mary is my angel still
Through every month and every ill.
The leaves they loosen from the branch
And fall upon the gusty wind;
But my heart's silent love is staunch,
And naught can tear her from my mind.

The flowers are gone from dell and bower,
Though crowds from summer's lap were given;
But love is an eternal flower,
Like purple amaranths of heaven.
To Mary first my heart did bow.
And if she's true she keeps it now.

Just as the summer keeps the flower
Which spring concealed in hoods of gold,
Or unripe harvest met the shower
And made earth's blessings manifold;
Just so my Mary lives for me,
A silent thought for months and years;
The world may live in revelry,
Her name my lonely quiet cheers;
And cheer it will, whate'er may be,
While Mary lives in bloom for me.

"Oxford World's Classics" - John Clare Major Works (OUP 2004)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roger - are you able to say where each poem is from? I would find this really useful as the poems you choose are very beautiful.
I also found this very interesting:

Common symptoms of bipolar depression include:

Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty ("my hopes are all hopeless").
Inability to experience pleasure ("Nature seems nothing to me now")
Fatigue or loss of energy ("did nothing" clare had taken to his bed for weeks at a time)
Physical and mental sluggishness
Appetite or weight changes (Clare gained weight in later life but probably due to better diet)
Sleep problems
Concentration and memory problems (work often cited as erratic - poems tangled up with other poems/ notes/ unfinished letters)
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt (related to mary?)
Thoughts of death or suicide