Sun-rising in September

How delightfuly pleasant when the cool chilling air
By september is thrown oer the globe
When each morning both hedges and bushes do wear
Instead of their green—a grey robe.
To see the sun rise thro the skirts of the wood
In his mantle so lovley and red
It cheers up my spirits and does me much good
As thro the cold stubbles I tred.
Tho not that his beams more advances the scene
Or adds to the Landscape a charm
But all that delights me by him may be seen
That the ensuing hours will be warm.
And this with the poet as yet in the world
In a parrarel sence will comply
For when he does view the gay scenes there unfurl'd
Tis only to light him on high.

The Early Poems of John Clare 1804-1822
ed. Eric Robinson, David Powell and Margaret Grainger
(Oxford, 2 volumes, I-II, 1989)

from "The Parish"

The Vicars greensward pathways once his pride
His woodbine bowers that used his doors to hide
& he himself full often in his chair
Smoaking his pipe & conning sermons there
The yard & garden roods his only farms
& all his stock the hive bees yearly swarms
Are swept away—their produce & their pride
Were doomed to perish when the owner dyd
Fresh faces came with little taste or care
& joyd to ruin what was his to rear
His garden plants & blossoms all are fled
& docks & nettles blossom in their stead

(lines 1634 to 1645)

The Poems of John Clare,
ed. J. W. Tibble (2 volumes, Dent, 1935)

SONG: The bird cherrys white in the dews o' the morning

The bird cherrys white in the dews o' the morning
The wildings are blushing along the hedgeside
The gold blossomed furze the wild heaths are adorning
& the brook in the hollow runs light by my side
But where is the charmer the voice of the maiden
Whose presence once charmed me the whole summers day
The bushes wi' gold & wi' silver oerlaiden
Looks cold i' the morning when Phebe's away

The sun rises bright oer the oaks in the spinney
Bringing gold unto gold on the winbushes there
Blossoming bright as a new minted guinea
& moist wi' the mist of the morns dewy air
The flower is bowed down & I let the tired Bee be
All wet wi' night dew & unable to flye
Such a kindness in me would be pleasure to Phebe
A poor trampled Insect would cause her to sigh

The white thorn is coming wi' bunches of blossoms
The broad sheets of daiseys spread out on the lea
The bunches of cowslips spread out their gold bosoms
While the oak balls appear on the old spinney tree
Come forward my Phebe wi' dews of the morning
By the old crooked brook let thy early walk be
Where the brambles arched stalks—glossy leaves are adorning
& bits o' woo' hang on the bark o' the tree

Come forward my Phebe by times in the morning
Come forward my Phebe in blebs o' the dew
They bead the young cowslip like pearls i' the dawning
& we'll mark the young shower where the green linnet flew
I'll court thee & woo thee from morning to e'ening
Where the primrose looks bright in the ivy's dark green
& the oak oer the brook in its white bark is leaning
There let me & Phebe wi' morning be seen

The Oxford Authors: John Clare,
ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell (Oxford, 1984)

Song, from Child Harold

[Image : A Corner of the Oasis - Carry Akroyd]

No single hour can stand for nought
No moment hand can move
But calenders a aching thought
Of my first lonely love
Where silence doth the loudest call
My secrets to betray
As moonlight holds the night in thrall
As suns reveal the day

I hide it in the silent shades
Till silence finds a tongue
I make its grave where time invades
Till time becomes a song
I bid my foolish heart be still
But hopes will not be chid
My heart will beat—& burn—& chill
First love will not be hid

When summer ceases to be green
& winter bare & blea—
Death may forget what I have been
But I must cease to be
When words refuse before the crowd
My Marys name to give
The muse in silence sings aloud
& there my love will live

Child Harold (lines 493-516)
The Poems of John Clare,
ed. J. W. Tibble (2 volumes, Dent, 1935)

Summers in its glory now

Summer's in its glory now     Sweet the flower and green the bough
Dry is every swamp and slough     My own kind deary

Could I press thy bonny bosom     Swelling like a bursting blossom
Sweetly ripe as I suppose 'em     Then heaven would be near thee

Fair and buxsome bonny Lassie     Let us seek for places grassy
Where the brook it dimples glassy     There I'll love thee deary

On thy lilly bosom leaning     View thy eyes to guess their meaning
Kiss where not a look has been in     Thy lilly bosom deary

Clasp thee round thy gimpsy middle     Playing loves tunes without the fiddle
And loves secret joys unriddle     To kiss and cheer me

To throw my arms about thy shoulders     And in the band O' love enfold us
I' these green shades where none behold us     Where heaven would be near thee

Come my blyth and bonny deary     Let me clasp thee and lie near thee
And I of love shall ne'er be weary     To clasp my bonny deary

To kiss thy cheeks O' new blown roses     Thy breasts where hills O' alpine snow's is
As sweet as ever love supposes     To glad and cheer me

About thy bonny arms I'll clasp thee     And i' the vice o' fondness grasp thee
Till matrimony's charms shall hasp thee     And bind thee aye my deary

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

Sorrow is felt not seen...

Sorrow is felt not seen—the grief of verse
Is writ by those who share not in our pain
The pawl embrodered & the sable hearse
Are symbols not of sorrow but of gain
What of the scutcheoned hearse & pawl remain
When all is past—there sorrow is no more
Sorrows heart aches—& burning scars will stain
As morning dews—as april showers is oer
Some tears fall on their graves again

The Later Poems of John Clare 1837-1864
ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell
(Oxford, 2 volumes, I-II, 1984)

Infant Grave

Beneath the Sod where smiling creeps
The daisy into view
The Ashes of an Infant sleeps
Whose soul's as smiling too
— Ah doubly happy — doubly blest —
Had I so happy been
Recall'd to heavens eternal rest
Ere it knew how to sin
Thrice happy Infant great the bliss
Alone reserv'd for thee
Such joy — twas my sad fate to miss
& thy good luck to see
For Oh when all must rise again
To have their sentence gave
What crowds will wish with me in vain
They'd fill'd an Infants Grave

John Clare, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820)