The Maid I Love

The maid I love is fair as driven snow
Her raven curls around her white neck flow
Like light from the darkness comes above
Is the beautiful girl that I love

The maid I love is like the wild hedge rose
That by woodside in the hedge row blows
Her lily hand is hidden in a glove
Soft are the features of the maid I love

An heart hidden thought it seems to me
A womans worth is there in a maids simplicity
Hope glances on her eyelids from above
Oh sweet is the presence of the maid I love

As roses in the green bud lie concealed
In the summers sunny breath are revealed
So in hidden thought that fair one I approve
Who will waken up my heart to her love

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

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