The fallen elm (1)

During the next week I will be posting each day a 14-line portion of Clare's important poem "The fallen Elm"

Old Elm that murmured in our chimney top
The sweetest anthem autumn ever made
And into mellow whispering calms would drop
When showers fell on thy many coloured shade
And when dark tempests mimic thunder made -
While darkness came as it would strangle light
With the black tempest of a winter night
That rocked thee like a cradle to thy root -
How did I love to hear the winds upbraid
Thy strength without — while all within was mute.
It seasoned comfort to our hearts desire
We felt thy kind protection like a friend
And pitched our chairs up closer to the fire
Enjoying comforts that was never penned

(lines 1-14)

John Clare, Poems of the Middle Period,
ed. Eric Robinson, David Powell and P.M.S. Dawson,
Volume  III (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)

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