Langley Bush

[An aerial photo of Langley Bush showing its inaccessibility to visitors]

ONE summer's day in happiest mood
I sat beside old Langley Bush,
And o'er the furze in Hanglands Wood
I listened at the singing thrush;
Naught did my idle mind engross,
The tiny flixweed's only flower
Was there, and little beds of moss
Swelled pleaching to the sunny hour.

I passed it in a sicker day.
The golden furze-blooms burnt the wind
With sultry sweets—and there I lay
Tormented with the saddest mind;
The little hill did naked lie,
The old old bush was broke and gone,
My heart had felt it glad to die
To miss life's sorrows coming on.

I looked upon its naked stump,
And pictured back the fallen tree
To days I played hop, skip and jump
As happy as a boy could be.
I turned me to that happy day
I streaked beneath its mossy bough,
And there came shadows of dismay,
So dismally, I feel it now.

I thought o'er all life's sweetest things
Made dreary as a broken charm,
Wood-ridings where the thrush still sings
And love went leaning on my arm.
I thought, and felt as desolate
As want upon a winter scene,
While by that broken stump I sat,
The type of broken hopes within.

James Reeves, Selected Poems of John Clare
(London: Heinemann, 1954)


Anonymous said...

I have always felt this entire area should have national park status as a lasting monument to the poet and a source of recreation and education for future generations

Anonymous said...

For instance - Castor Hanglands is a national nature reserve....