(from 'The Village Funeral')

Clare, as always, has a sonnet for the current news :

Who is but grievd to see the fatherless
Stroll with their rags unnotisc'd thro the street
What eye but moistens at their sad distress
& sheds compassions tear where ere they meet
Yon Workhouse stands as their asylum now
The place where poverty demands to live
Where parish bounty scouls his scornful brow
& grudges the scant fare he's forc'd to give —
O may I dye before I'm doom'd to seek
That last resource of hope but ill suply'd
To claim the humble pittance once a week
Which justice forces from disdainful pride
Where the lost orphan lowly bending weeps
Unnotisc'd by the heedless as they pass

Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820)


Lionel Little said...

Is this a sonnet, or a 14 line slice of a 96 line poem?
How well it shows the riches of his poetry that sonnet sized extracts and sometimes single verses are happy to stand alone and still be meaningful.

DEI-EX said...

Ah Lionel... you found me out. I have been long struck that portions of Clare's longer works may be arranged thus. Glad you agree...