I'd Gaze my Soul on Thee

I wish I was the wild woodbine
Twining round the white thorn bough
I wish I was the wild hedge rose
Upon thy bonny bosom now
To feel thy thumb and finger nip
About my twisted stem
The flowers now toutch thy ruby lip
To kiss their mornings gem

My flowers would kiss those lips o' thine
That kiss'd the dewdrops made divine

I wish I was what I am not
The wild flower nodding on the Lea
To win thy notice on the spot
And touch thy bosom fond and free
To touch thy bosom lily white
To kiss thy shoulders marble bright
And in thy bosom dwell
To be thy hearts one whole delight
In thought and sense as well

My hearts one love could I but be
A flower I'd gaze my soul on thee

The Later Poems of John Clare,
ed. Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield
(Manchester University Press, 1964)

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