from "Child Harold"

Fame blazed upon me like a comets glare
Fame waned & left me like a fallen star
Because I told the evil what they are
& truth & falshood never wished to mar
My Life hath been a wreck — & I've gone far
For peace & truth — & hope — for home & rest
— Like Edens gates — fate throws a constant bar —
Thoughts may o'ertake the sunset in the west
— Man meets no home within a womans breast

Though they are blazoned in the poets song
As all the comforts which our lifes contain
I read & sought such joys my whole life long
& found the best of poets sung in vain
But still I read & sighed & sued again
& lost no purpose where I had the will
I almost worshiped when my toils grew vain
Finding no antidote my pains to kill
I sigh a poet & a lover still

(lines 426 - 443)

Tim Chilcott (ed),
John Clare, The Living Year, 1841
(Nottingham: Trent Editions, 1999)

[Image: Mike Hobson]

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