from "The Village Minstrel"

[Photo: Langley Bush, emasulated and enclosed]

But who can tell the anguish of his mind
When reformations formidable foes
Wi civil wars on natures peace combind
& desolation struck her deadly blows
As curst improvment gan his fields inclose
O greens & fields & trees farwell farwell
His heart wrung pains his unavailing woes
No words can utter & no tongue can tell

When ploughs destroyd the green when groves of willows fell
There once was springs when daises silver studs
Like sheets of snow on every pasture spread
There once was summers when the crow flower buds
Like golden sunbeams brightest lustre shed
& trees grew once that shelterd *Lubins head
There once was brooks sweet wimpering down the vale
The brooks no more—king cup & daiseys fled

Their last falln tree the naked moors bewail
& scarce a bush is left around to tell the mournful tale
Yon flaggy tufts & many a rushy nott
Existing still in spite of spade & plough
As seemly fond & loath to leave the spot
Tells where was once the green—brown fallows now
Where Lubin often turns a saddnd brow

Marks the stopt brook & mourns oppresions power
& thinks how once he waded in each slough
To crop the yellow ‘horse blobs’ early flower
Or catch the ‘millar thumb’ in summers sultry hour
There once was days the wood man knows it well
When shades een echod wi the singing thrush
There once was hours the ploughmens tale can tell
When mornings beauty wore its earliest blush

(lines 1,048 - 1,078)

*Lubin = the poet


Anonymous said...

Roger - has peter moyse ever published his photographs of clares landscape?
mike hobson

Roger R... said...

Hi Mike... yes, "John Clare the Poet and the Place" (1999).

It's getting quite hard to find...


Roger R.

Anonymous said...

GREAT - thanks roger

Anonymous said...

Purchased from ebay for a few pounds